Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Saturday morning. We’ll have another update for you on Sunday.
1. Risk of wrong grades
MPs have warned the system of predicted grades – which is being used in place of GCSE and A-level exams in schools in England this summer – could deny pupils the marks they deserve. The Commons Education Committee says disadvantaged and ethnic minority pupils face particular risks from the possibility of unconscious bias. The regulator, Ofqual, says it is working with exam boards to ensure all students and their families can register complaints, or appeal against results.
2. Face coverings
Labour wants the government to clarify its position on face coverings after Boris Johnson said a “stricter” approach to their use in England was needed. Face coverings became compulsory in shops in Scotland on Friday – and senior sources have said the government is considering a similar move south of the border. They are currently advised in enclosed public spaces, so why aren’t more politicians wearing face coverings?
3. North-south divide
Labour has warned that the economic downturn caused by coronavirus must not “increase the gap” in income and wealth between the north and south of England. Deputy leader Angela Rayner urged the government not to leave regions behind and to think of the “human cost” of unemployment. The prime minister has previously promised to “level up” the country.
4. Holiday homes reopen in Wales
Restrictions on holidays are being relaxed in Wales this weekend, with holidaymakers able to stay at cottages, caravans and yurts for the first time since March. Holiday accommodation without shared facilities such as bathrooms are able to reopen from Saturday. In England some restrictions are also being lifted, allowing open air swimming pools and outdoor theatres to reopen.
5. Lockdown love
Lockdown has prompted many people to reflect on past relationships that ended badly. A BBC story about a surprise lockdown apology from an ex resulted in many readers getting in touch with stories of their own about contacting an ex – and either apologising or rekindling their old romances. Here is a selection of those stories.
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