Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Thursday morning. We’ll have another update for you at 18:00 BST.
1. Virus test and trace systems get up and running
Tracing teams are to begin calling, emailing or texting people who have been in close contact with those confirmed to have coronavirus to warn them to self-isolate for 14 days. A 25,000-strong team has been recruited for the task in England. Scotland’s system gets under way as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon prepares to announce a slight easing of the nation’s lockdown later. Northern Ireland’s system is up and running, while Wales’ scheme is due for early June.
2. EasyJet plans to cut 30% of staff
EasyJet says it intends to reduce its workforce by up to 30% as the budget airline struggles to cope with the collapse in demand for air travel caused by the pandemic. It comes as travel firms and hotel owners call for a planned 14-day quarantine for people arriving from overseas to be scrapped amid fears it will reduce visitor numbers and make it harder for Brits to travel abroad.
3. US deaths top 100,000
Some 100,276 people have died with coronavirus in the US – a similar total to the combined number of American service personnel killed in conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. However, the US mortality rate – the number that have died relative to the country’s population – is much lower than the UK’s.
4. Prayers for sick in community hit by Covid-19
Like many mosques around the country, the East London Mosque in the borough of Tower Hamlets, has been at the centre of local relief efforts, from organising food parcels for those self-isolating to establishing a mortuary to ease the burden on local funeral services. The BBC’s Clive Myrie has been finding out how the community is coping with the pandemic.
5. Proms to include two weeks of live concerts
This year’s BBC Proms will combine archive recordings and live concerts, and – if coronavirus restrictions allow – with audiences present at the Royal Albert Hall. Organisers say the “ambition” is for musicians to perform at the London venue for the last two weeks of the two-month classical music festival.
And don’t forget…
… you can check the rules on visiting friends or family, picnics and barbecues, with our updated guide.
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