Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak today. We will have another update for you on Monday morning.
1. The teachers’ union calls for clarity on the reopening of schools
Teachers and parents need “greater clarity” on reopening schools amid an increase in coronavirus cases, the leader of a major teachers’ union said. It comes after a scientist briefing the government warned that pubs or “other activities” may have to close so that schools can reopen in England next month. There are separate plans for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
2. Planning the reshuffle for England
New homes and hospitals will receive an “automatic” building permit to speed up construction in England, the housing secretary said. It comes after the Prime Minister pledged £ 5 billion to ‘build, build, build’ to help mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus. The Shelter housing charity warns against any reform leading to small amounts of “poor quality” housing. But the Federation of Master Builders, which represents small traders, has previously said construction production has fallen to historically low levels due to the pandemic, and streamlining planning apps will bring new developments.
3. Virus cases in South Africa exceed half a million
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa has now exceeded 500,000, making it the country with the fifth highest number of cases in the world after the United States, Brazil, Russia and India. South Africa is the hardest-hit country on the continent and accounts for half of all reported infections in Africa, but experts have warned the actual number of deaths could be much higher.
4. What happens in a coronavirus hotspot?
Millions of people in England live in areas on a Covid-19 watch list, which could lead to increased lockdowns if the coronavirus is left unchecked. Actions in these areas range from increased testing to tighter lockouts.
5. The moment when these shields waited
This weekend, more than two million people who shielded were finally able to leave their homes. Michelle Teale, from Leicester, has incurable cancer and had not seen her mother since March. She said she felt delighted to have been able to see her mother, who lives in Cleethorpes, on Saturday.
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