Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Tuesday morning. We’ll have another update for you at 18:00 BST.
1. Cummings row latest
The government hopes to shift focus away from the furore over Dominic Cummings by announcing the next steps to lift England’s lockdown. Senior minister Michael Gove said this morning “most people” would understand Mr Cummings “was under pressure, and sought to put the health of his wife and son first”. But not everyone is satisfied with the explanations given by Boris Johnson and his top aide, including some Conservatives, and opposition MPs will meet later to discuss how to hold them to account. Read more on Mr Cummings himself, a timeline of what he did and our political editor’s view on what happens now.
2. Shops get green light
Retailers have welcomed the announcement that non-essential shops in England can reopen from 15 June, rates of infection permitting. Outdoor markets and car showrooms can do so from 1 June. Don’t expect it to be business as usual, though – strict social distancing rules will have to be in place, and services like hairdressers and nail bars will remain shut. Elsewhere in the world of work, has the pandemic changed our relationship with the office forever?
3. Sporting events ‘shut down too late’
The decision in March to go ahead with the Cheltenham Festival and Liverpool’s Champions League match against Atletico Madrid “caused increased suffering and death”. That’s the view of Prof Tim Spector, the scientist leading the UK’s largest Covid-19 tracking project. In other sporting news, the women’s professional football season has been ended, although league outcomes are yet to be determined.
4. Clear masks call
A doctor from Surrey says see-through face masks should become the norm for everyone in a healthcare setting to improve communication for people with hearing loss. Standard masks – becoming a feature of everyday life around the world – muffle words and obscure the mouth, but charities and manufacturers are working on a solution.
5. How to ease your dog out of lockdown
After more than two months of staying at home, working from home and staying close to home on walks, the easing of restrictions could have an adverse effect on our animals. Here’s some advice on how to manage the transition.
And don’t forget…
In the latest instalment of his diary from the NHS front line, Dr John Wright describes some of the trials under way to find a cure for Covid-19.
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