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Coronavirus map LIVE: Up to 4.5million at risk Britons will be told to stay at home

9:30am update: UK must act quickly to prevent further growth

Professor Peter Openshaw praised the systems that have detected the UK’s rise in coronavirus cases but said people must act quickly to prevent further growth.

He told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “Everyone is in agreement that we really need to act very quickly now in order to prevent this from growing exponentially.

“We must act fast because it’s so much harder to get this sort of thing under control if you delay even a few days is potentially going to be quite dangerous at this particular moment.”

When asked if he agreed with the idea that the UK was “losing control” of the virus, he added: “It’s a bit like water seeping through a dam, it starts as a trickle and if you don’t do something about it it can turn into a real cascade.”

8:45am update: Separate UK nation approach to dealing with COVID-19 

Linda Bauld, Professor of Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, said the UK has diverged from a four nations approach to tackling coronavirus.

She told BBC Breakfast: “We are well off that.”

Addressing differences in measures restricting household gatherings across the UK, she said: “The differences are minor… but what I am concerned about is the mixing of households.

“In England it’s six people from any household, but then children are included including a baby which doesn’t quite make sense to me, and then in Scotland it’s a maximum of two households.

“It’s that inter-household mixing which is more risky from a public health perspective.”

8am update: Everyone should be tested for COVID-19, says Blair

People without coronavirus symptoms should be tested for the disease, even if the results are not “fully accurate”, former prime minister Tony Blair has insisted.

Mr Blair said that as the “largest part” of those who contract COVID-19 do not display symptoms of the virus, it was “sensible” for testing to be made more widely available.

Back in June, the former Labour leader had called for a mass coronavirus testing regime to be adopted, arguing this could help keep the disease in check.

He has now called on the UK to ensure it is using all its available capacity for tests.

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