Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak today. We’ll have another update for you on Monday morning.

1. Teachers’ union urges clarity on school reopening

Teachers and parents need “greater clarity” on the reopening of schools amid a rise in coronavirus cases, the head of a leading teachers’ union has said. It comes after a scientist advising the government warned that pubs or “other activities” may need to close so schools can reopen in England next month. There are separate plans for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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2. Planning shake-up for England

New homes and hospitals will be granted “automatic” permission to be built to speed-up construction in England, the housing secretary has announced. It comes after the PM pledged £5bn to “build, build, build” to help soften the economic impact of coronavirus. Housing charity Shelter warns against any reforms that lead to small amounts of “bad-quality” housing. But the Federation of Master Builders, which represents small traders, previously said construction output fell to historic lows due to the pandemic and that streamlining planning applications would bring forward new developments.

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3. South Africa virus cases pass half million mark

The number of coronavirus cases confirmed in South Africa has now topped 500,000, making it the country with the fifth-highest number of cases in the world after the US, Brazil, Russia and India. South Africa is the hardest-hit country on the continent and accounts for half of all reported infections in Africa, but experts have warned that the true number of deaths could be much higher.

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Media captionCoronavirus in South Africa: A day in the life of a contact tracer

4. What happens in a coronavirus hotspot?

Millions of people in England live in areas on a Covid-19 watchlist, which could lead to tightened lockdowns if coronavirus is not brought under control. Measures in these areas range from increased testing to stricter lockdowns.

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5. The moment those shielding have waited for

This weekend, more than two million people who have been shielding were able to finally leave their homes. Michelle Teale, from Leicester, has incurable cancer and had not seen her mother since March. She said she felt elated after being able to see her mother, who lives in Cleethorpes, on Saturday.

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Media caption“It’s helping me deal with my cancer,” said Michelle Teale after seeing her mother

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And don’t forget…

You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

And, if keeping track of things is proving tricky, you can take our quiz on the virus and lockdown rules to jog your memory.


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