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Coronavirus: PM to face questions and local lockdowns plan

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Wednesday morning. We’ll have another update for you at 18:00 BST.

1. PM to face questions

Boris Johnson will be grilled by senior MPs about the government’s handling of the pandemic later. Inevitably, there’ll be plenty of questions about senior adviser Dominic Cummings too, as anger over his decision to travel hundreds of miles during lockdown refuses to die down. More than 35 Tory MPs have now called for Mr Cummings to resign or be fired. Read more on what the PM’s top aide did and his claim that coronavirus affected his eyesight.

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Peter Summers/Getty Images

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Dominic Cummings and Boris Johnson, pictured in October 2019, are refusing to budge despite widespread criticism

2. Local lockdowns

We’ll get more details today on plans to impose local lockdowns to deal with flare-ups of the virus in parts of England in the coming months. They could see schools, workplaces or wider areas shut down. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the idea was part of the test, track and trace system designed to prevent a second wave of infections. Scotland will launch its “test and protect” strategy on Thursday.

3. Hairdressers

Salons and barber shops are calling for ministers to bring forward the date when they’re allowed to reopen – currently 4 July at the earliest. The Hair and Barber Council says its 11,000 members would be ready to operate by the middle of next month, taking the necessary precautions. See how measures have been introduced in salons in Paris.

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Media captionWhy barber shops matter to the community during lockdown

4. Domestic abuse enquiries

The charity that runs the national domestic abuse helpline is reporting a 957% increase in visitors to its website over the past two weeks. Refuge says lockdown “can aggravate pre-existing behaviours in an abusive partner”.

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The National Domestic Abuse Helpline can be contacted online as well as by phone

5. Childcare challenges

Just like schools, many childminders kept working when lockdown was imposed, looking after the children of key workers and those classed as vulnerable. How have they approached social distancing and hygiene? And elsewhere, read more on the struggles families with disabled children have faced without their usual support networks.

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Getty Images

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Try changing a nappy and maintaining social distance…


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Plus, a BBC team tracking coronavirus misinformation has found links to assaults, arsons and deaths around the world. Find out more.


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