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. ‘Serious mistake’ over UK border policy
A committee of MPs has said a lack of border measures earlier in the pandemic was a “serious mistake”, and that ministers underestimated the risk that the virus could be imported from Europe rather than Asia. The MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee said it was wrong not to tell people returning to the UK from Spain during February and March that they should quarantine for 14 days. The Home Office said “appropriate measures were introduced at the right time”.
2. Schools ‘first to open, last to close’
The children’s commissioner for England has said that schools should only close as a last resort if another lockdown is needed to tackle a resurgence of the coronavirus. Anne Longfield said pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops should be among the first to be closed, arguing that children played a smaller role in spreading the virus and were less likely to get ill. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said getting all children back into the classroom full-time next month was “a national priority”.
3. Is the UK in a better position than we think?
After another day of worrying coronavirus headlines, might the UK actually be in a better position than we think? With ministers warning that infection numbers are rising and government scientists saying the UK may have reached the limits of easing lockdown, our health correspondent Nick Triggle examines whether there is cause for concern. It’s possible things may not be as gloomy as the headlines suggest.
4. Duchess wears face covering for Sheffield trip
Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, says she wept after visiting a charity in the South Yorkshire city which provides essential supplies for mothers in need. The duchess was pictured wearing a floral face mask for the first time during the visit. Other royals have also masked up following the easing of lockdown, including Catherine’s husband, Prince William, and his stepmother, the Duchess of Cornwall.
5. Lockdown boost to TV and streaming
With most of the nation confined to their homes and having to spend more time indoors during the coronavirus lockdown, the findings from broadcasting watchdog Ofcom’s latest survey about our viewing habits may confirm many people’s experience – namely that we watched a lot more TV and streaming services. According to the report, British adults spent six hours and 25 minutes each day during lockdown looking at screens. The research also shows that 12 million people joined streaming services such as Disney+ and Netflix.
And don’t forget…
…wearing a face covering is now mandatory in some situations, but the rules can vary around the UK. Find out more here.
You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page and get all the latest from our live page (link)
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