Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Wednesday morning. We’ll have another update for you at 18:00 BST.
1. Back to school
Millions of children in England will begin stepping back into the classroom today, many for the first time in six months. Things will certainly feel different, with measures like staggered start times and one-way systems – take a look. Attendance is compulsory, but in Scotland, where schools returned several weeks ago, one in 10 pupils is absent. See what schools plan to do if any children test positive for coronavirus, and get some advice if your child is anxious about going back.
2. Local lockdowns
Hundreds of thousands of people in Glasgow and two neighbouring areas are waking up to the return of some lockdown measures. Following a rise in virus cases, they’re being told not to mix with people from other households inside homes. Meanwhile, local restrictions affecting more than a million people in parts of Greater Manchester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire have been eased – despite strong opposition from two councils, Bolton and Trafford.
Scotland’s coronavirus hotspots
Positive tests rates in areas subject to restrictions
3. Talks on travel
The UK government and the devolved administrations will hold urgent discussions later about introducing new quarantine measures for travellers. Scotland and Wales have already set out different rules for people arriving from Greece – and travel firm Tui has cancelled all holidays to a party resort on the island of Zante. Ministers are also concerned about a rise in cases in Portugal, less than two weeks after travel to the country was opened up.
4. PM criticised by campaigners
Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, which says it represents 1,600 families who’ve lost loved ones to coronavirus, have accused Boris Johnson of being “heartless” after he declined to meet them. The prime minister had said he would “of course” meet anyone in their position, but days later wrote to them saying he was “unable” to do so. They’ve made that letter public.
5. Jobs scheme ‘to offer hope’
A £2bn scheme launches today with the aim of helping young people struggling during the pandemic into work. The Kickstart initiative will offer “a future of opportunity and hope”, according to the Treasury. Firms are being encouraged to sign up as soon as possible, and in return, the government will pay them £1,500 to help set up support and training. Read more on the sectors hiring at the moment.
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And don’t forget…
Find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.
Plus, as many of the pupils going back to class today are required to don face coverings, we’ve pulled together all the rules around when you need to mask up, in schools and beyond.
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