Coronavirus: Ministers seek reassurance on schools and lockdown measures in Wales


Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Monday morning. We will have another update for you at 6:00 PM BST.

1. The ministers seek to reassure the return of schools

Ministers are pushing ahead with plans to bring all of England’s schoolchildren back to classrooms next month, as Education Secretary Gavin Williamson seeks to reassure parents and teachers of the security of such a decision. Mr Williamson says research from a large global study suggests there is little evidence that the coronavirus is transmitted in schools. But a teachers’ union says students may need to be taught in class on a weekly basis in the event of a local lockdown.

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2. Further easing of foreclosure in Wales

Gyms, leisure centers and swimming pools will reopen in Wales on Monday, the country becoming the first in the UK to allow the return of indoor play centers for children. Companies are legally required to mitigate the risk of exposure to the coronavirus, with boards being given additional powers to enforce the rules.

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3. Is the world winning the fight against the pandemic?

In just over six months, the world has been profoundly changed by the emergence of the coronavirus. The big question, however, is how is the battle to end the pandemic going? While hopes rest on a successful vaccine development, scientists continue to warn that this cannot be taken for granted. And with suspicion of a second wave of the disease, social distancing and localized lockdowns may mean it will be time before the world returns to normal.

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4. Australia records deadliest day but fewer new infections

The Australian state of Victoria reported its deadliest day in the pandemic – with 19 deaths – as it battled a second wave of coronavirus. But it is hoped that a second lockdown in the city of Melbourne has helped reduce the number of new daily infections – although they are still in the hundreds.

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5. Small businesses talk about battles against the pandemic

People who run their own businesses have spoken to the BBC about the impact of the coronavirus on them – and their plans for the future. Phil and Penny Davis are among those who, despite using the government’s various support programs to stay afloat, are now considering their next steps. In Phil’s case, it’s about shutting down his permanent makeup business and looking for a job, while Penny plans to shut down his skin therapy clinic. You can read their stories here.

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And do not forget …

… Wearing a face mask is now mandatory in some situations, but the rules may vary in the UK. Learn more here.

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