Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Monday morning. We’ll have another update for you at 18:00 BST.
1. Retail reopening
Shops across England will welcome back customers today for the first time in almost three months. Non-essential retailers, including clothes and book stores, have to operate with strict rules in place – you can expect staff behind screens, limits on customer numbers and no trying on. Read more here. In Northern Ireland, non-essential shops reopened last week, but there’s still no date for Wales and Scotland.
2. Compulsory face coverings
The vast majority of travellers using public transport in England now have to wear a face covering. More than 3,000 extra staff, including police officers, are being deployed at stations to enforce the new rules. Here they are in detail. The BBC has created a guide on how to make your own face covering from everyday items like T-shirts or bedding.
3. Some secondary pupils return
Some secondary pupils in England due to take exams next year will start returning to school today. Virus safety guidelines only permit a quarter of the chosen year groups, Years 10 and 12, to be on site at a time – see more about how it’ll work. It comes as ministers are being urged to work with teachers and councils on a national school recovery plan.
4. Support gaps
More than a million people have fallen through cracks in government schemes, including furlough, designed to support them during the crisis, according to MPs on the Treasury Select Committee. They want ministers to plug the gaps for the likes of freelancers and those who recently started a new role. Meanwhile, we meet two women who lost their jobs during the pandemic and have switched to working as fruit and veg pickers instead.
5. Flights begin
Easyjet will operate a limited number of domestic flights today for the first time in 11 weeks. It comes as several other European countries reopen their borders, including France, Belgium and Germany. Passengers and crew will be required to wear masks and aircraft will be regularly deep-cleaned. Other airlines like BA and Ryanair are planning to resume some services next month, but remember, quarantine rules are in place for all arrivals to the UK. And read why insurance could be the sticking point for summer holiday travel.
And don’t forget…
Plus, as the prime minister launches an urgent review into the two-metre social distancing rule, we look at the science..
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