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Coronavirus: New restrictions are announced in England and Scotland

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Tuesday evening. We’ll have another update for you on Wednesday morning.

1. New restrictions in England could last until spring

The prime minister has set out a raft of new coronavirus restrictions for England – which could last for up to six months. Describing a “perilous turning point” with cases increasing, Boris Johnson announced that shop staff would have to wear face masks and weddings would be limited to a maximum of 15 people, among other restrictions. He also said fines for breaking laws on gatherings and masks would increase to £200 for a first offence. Read our explainer on all the new rules here.

Image copyright PA Media

2. Ban on meeting in houses extended across Scotland

A ban on people from different households meeting indoors is to be imposed across Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced. The measure is already in place in Glasgow and some neighbouring areas. But Ms Sturgeon said it would be rolled out across the country in a bid to get the virus under control again before winter. She also confirmed that Scotland would be following England in imposing a 22:00 curfew on pubs and restaurants.

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Media captionNicola Sturgeon announces extension of ban on meeting in houses

3. More schools sending pupils home because of Covid

The number of schools in England sending home groups of pupils because of Covid-19 incidents has quadrupled in a week, according to the latest official figures. Based on attendance last Thursday, they show 4% of schools not fully open because of confirmed or suspected cases – up from 1% the previous week. This could mean about 900 schools sending home pupils. Overall attendance has also dipped slightly from 88% to 87%.

4. US virus death toll passes 200,000

In yet another grim development in the worldwide pandemic, the US coronavirus death toll has now passed 200,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins University (JHU). In March, President Donald Trump said that if deaths were between 100,000 and 200,000, the country would have done a “very good job”. More than 6.8 million people are known to have been infected in the US – more than in any other country.

5. ‘We just want to get married!’

We spoke to a number of couples after Boris Johnson halved the number of people allowed to attend a wedding to 15, under the new coronavirus restrictions. “We have to phone 15 people and tell them they can’t come anymore, which is an absolute nightmare,” says Tony Slade, who is due to get married to fiancee Laura next week. Some couples are determined to go ahead with their plans despite the new limit, not wanting to put their lives on hold. “We just want to get married,” says James Hoggarth, a chartered accountant from Leamington Spa, who has been engaged to fiancee Lindsay for two years.

Image copyright James Hoggarth
Image caption “It is what it is,” says James – “it is the hand that we have been dealt”

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And don’t forget…

Find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

Plus, BBC Reality Check debunks the latest coronavirus conspiracies, including false claims about testing and the origins of the pandemic.


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