Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Friday morning. We’ll have another update for you at 18:00 BST.
Ministers are considering shutting hospitality businesses across England for a few weeks to try to slow a surge in coronavirus cases. Scientific advisers warned them that without intervention, another serious outbreak with a significant number of deaths by the end of October was likely. A decision has yet to be made on the “circuit break” plan but tighter rules could be announced in the next week.
A rapid test can accurately diagnose a coronavirus infection within 90 minutes in situ, without the need for a specialist laboratory, say scientists. A study by Imperial College London suggests the device, which analyses DNA on nasal or saliva swabs, gives comparable results to current tests. However, others warn the kit – already used in eight hospitals – is not suitable for mass testing.
Personal protective equipment will be free for care homes until next March, as part of a UK government coronavirus plan for England this winter. A new chief nurse will also be appointed to provide more guidance for nurses working in the care sector, ministers say.
An Edinburgh mum-of-two speaks of the shock of being told how Scotland’s coronavirus restrictions meant her dentist could not give her 16-year-old son the nine fillings he needed on the NHS – but that he could do it privately for £1,250. “It’s a terrible situation as normally fillings are free on the NHS for under-18s. I just cannot afford this,” says Sally (not her real name).
If you’re spending more time at home, you may as well make your surroundings look good. British retail sales have continued to increase for the fourth consecutive month, boosted by spending on household goods and DIY. The amount shelled out for homeware products in particular was 9.9% higher in August than it was in February, when the pandemic was declared, says the Office for National Statistics.
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Boris Johnson says he may need to “go further” than the rule of six restrictions brought in this week.
Coronavirus, Lockdown, Government of the United Kingdom
World news – GB – Coronavirus: Morning update