Coronavirus: Morning update

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Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Sunday morning. We’ll have another update for you on Monday morning.

1. Schools the ‘national priority’

Getting all children back into schools in England next month is the “national priority” and a key test for the government, Boris Johnson has declared. The prime minister said there was a “moral duty” to reopen schools. And he is understood to have made clear that schools should be the last places to close should there be severe local lockdowns in the future. Read more about how schools will reopen.

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Getty Images

2. Redundancies rise fivefold

The number of businesses that notified the government in June about plans to cut 20 or more jobs was five times higher than in the same month last year, figures obtained by the BBC show. A Freedom of Information request found that in June 1,778 firms said were intending to cut more than 139,000 jobs in England, Wales and Scotland, compared to 345 firms planning to cut 24,000 jobs in 2019.

Employers planning 20 or more redundancies

HR1 forms submitted

3. When coronavirus came to our hospital

What is it like being in a hospital at the centre of a coronavirus hotspot? As the Covid-19 pandemic loomed, the staff at one hospital in the English Midlands braced themselves. But nothing turned out as they anticipated.

4. Crowdfunding gives hope to pub

A pub that has been under threat of closure after shutting its doors during the pandemic is hoping to reopen as a live music venue after crowdfunding raised more than £33,000. The Horn in St Albans, which normally hosts about 80 acts per month, is due to reopen as a pub later this month, with gigs to resume at a later date. Owner Adrian Bell he said he was “overwhelmed” by the public’s support.

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The Horn

Image caption

The venue opened as The Horn of Plenty in the early 1970s

5. How fishing trade transformed to survive lockdown

The fishing industry, like many business sectors, has been hit hard by the pandemic, with prices plummeting. But for some small-scale fishermen necessity has proved the mother of invention. Business has been booming, some say, after they began selling directly to households via social media.

Image copyright
Sam Chapman

Image caption

Sam Chapman said after advertising fish on his business’s Facebook page “we never looked back”

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And don’t forget…

…the furlough scheme designed to help people who couldn’t do their jobs because of the outbreak is to close in October. We have put together an explainer here.

You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.


Postcode search: See case numbers in your area


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