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Culture secretary claims the UK conducted more than 177,000 Covid-19 coronavirus tests yesterday; announces hundreds of million more in UK government support for charities

By Scott Maclennan

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A total of 177,216 tests for coronavirus were carried out in the UK yesterday, culture secretary Oliver Dowden has reported.

At today's Downing Street briefing Mr Dowden also said the government is to release £150 million from dormant bank accounts to supprt scial enterprises.

He said the government would also match cash raised from recent TV fundraiser The Big Night In – totalling £70 million – to be spent by Comic Relief and Children in Need.

and £200 million of the first tranche for small to medium sized charities is now open for applications.

A support scheme for small and medium-sized charities – the coronavirus community support fund – was also to be opened for applications this week.

"Initially there will be a £200 million tranche of funding and it'll be administered by the National Lottery Community Fund," he said.

"This will focus on those charities we may not know nationally but are a lifeline to communities at the local level."

Mr Dowden also announced a delay to the Queen's Birtthday Honours List.

“When we look back on the coronavirus one of the things we remember is the incredible contribution made by so many people and as a way of showing our national gratitude to everyday heroes we are announcing today that we are delaying Her Majesty the Queen's Birthday Honours List until the autumn, so that they can be recognised and celebrated," he said.

A brand new task force is also being established to look at creative ways to help sport and the creative industries “bounce back.”

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