Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Wednesday evening. We’ll have another update for you on Thursday morning.
1. Impact of tighter Covid rules ‘will take time’ – PM
New measures to tackle the rise in coronavirus cases “will take time to feed through”, Boris Johnson has said. Speaking at a press conference, the prime minister said the high number of daily cases and “tragic increase” in deaths “show why our plan is so essential”. He added that he would “not hesitate” to impose further restrictions if needed. Earlier he defended the use of localised restrictions, telling MPs “strong local action” was needed in response to “a serious and growing” virus resurgence. So just how many people are now under extra restrictions?
2. MPs promised virus rules vote ‘wherever possible’
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has promised MPs votes “wherever possible” on England or UK-wide coronavirus regulations before they come into force. But he warned: “We cannot hold up urgent regulations which are needed to control the virus and save lives.” It follows concern from Tory MPs over a lack of parliamentary scrutiny, while Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle also warned the government against treating Parliament with “contempt”. MPs voted to extend the coronavirus powers by 330 votes to 24.
3. Partygoers at student flats flout Covid-19 rules
Up to 200 people flouted coronavirus restrictions by gathering for a party at a university student hall. Coventry University said it was “deeply concerned” over a video of the party and condemned the “blatant breaches” of rules for risking the health of students. Footage emerged on social media showing a large group of people who were apparently not adhering to social distancing rules. Here we look at what it’s like being a fresher during coronavirus.
4. County lines drug dealers posed as key workers
Teenage county lines drug dealers posed as key workers during the coronavirus lockdown to evade police, London authority bosses have revealed. More than 3,000 people were identified as being exploited to move drugs from London to 41 towns and cities across the UK. City Hall’s Rescue and Response’s annual report found demand for drugs has been “very high” during lockdown. The youngest age of a dealer was 10, the report revealed.
5. The London Marathon… with a social-distance twist
The London Marathon will take place this Sunday, but it will be a race like no other – with athletes having to wear social-distancing technology around their necks. The Bump device, which makes an audible alert when the wearer is too close to others, will be worn by the 100 elite competitors and 500 event coordinators. The race, 19 laps of a closed course in St James’s Park, screened from public view, is the first major marathon since the Covid-19 pandemic, organisers say. Non-elite runners can participate in a 24-hour virtual version of the event.
And don’t forget…
Plus… as global deaths pass the one million mark, have a look at our charts and maps tracking its spread across the world.
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