Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Friday evening. We will have another update for you on Saturday morning.
1. No 10 considering mandatory face coverings in shops
Making face coverings mandatory in shops in England is being considered by the government to slow the spread of coronavirus, senior sources have said. The prime minister hinted at the change in a Facebook Q&A. It came on the same day face coverings became compulsory in shops in Scotland.
2. Further easing of lockdown in Wales
Pubs, cafes, restaurants and bars in Wales will be able to serve customers indoors from 3 August, providing Covid cases continue to fall. The announcement from First Minister Mark Drakeford means indoor hospitality is now set to reopen across all areas of the UK. It came on the same day it was confirmed that Wales’ campsites and hairdressers would be resuming business over the next month.
3. Tory councillor PPE contracts questioned
The government is under pressure to review its personal protective equipment (PPE) deals after it was revealed a Tory councillor’s company received supply contracts worth £120m. Labour said ordering face shields from the Gloucestershire-based firm raised questions about the procurement. The government has forgone its usual tendering process during the pandemic, but says commercial “due diligence” remains and it looks to ensure value for money.
4. Most Britons still ‘uncomfortable’ eating out
An Office for National Statistics survey suggests a majority of Britons currently feel uncomfortable at the prospect of eating out. Only about two-in-10 of the 1,788 adults interviewed by the ONS in England, Scotland and Wales said they would be happy to have a sit-down meal as restrictions ease. It comes after the government launched its “eat out to help out” scheme.
5. Star Wars actor’s lockdown clear out
Many people have had a “clear out” during the lockdown – but not many would have found more than 250 items worth putting up for auction. Veteran actor Julian Glover, who has appeared in Indiana Jones and Bond movies, is selling costumes, props and other memorabilia acquired over a lifetime. A badge he wore playing General Veers in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back could fetch up to £6,000.
And don’t forget…
You can find out about the UK’s travel rules and which countries can you visit here.
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