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Coronavirus: Wider school reopening dropped and university dilemma

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  • Coronavirus pandemic

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Tuesday morning. We'll have another update for you at 18:00 BST.

1. Wider school reopening plan dropped

Plans to get all primary pupils in England back to school before the end of term have been dropped. Some years began returning last week, but head teachers and governors warned further expansion was unrealistic while social distancing measures limit classroom capacity. It's now going to be left up to individual schools to decide whether or not to increase numbers. Health Secretary Matt Hancock suggested on Monday that secondary schools might not even fully reopen in September.

image captionSocial distancing requires class sizes of no more than 15

2. Lockdown meeting later

Before Education Secretary Gavin Williamson delivers a statement to the House of Commons on that schools story, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will chair a cabinet meeting later to discuss the next steps in easing England's restrictions. Here's a reminder of the rules right now and the latest figures on UK coronavirus cases.

3. University dilemma

Students must decide by the middle of next week whether or not to accept university offers for the new academic year. It's an even bigger decision than usual given how different the experience is likely to be, with many lectures online and restrictions imposed on socialising. Those who put off university often hit the backpacking trail instead, but what is it like in towns normally full of young people now travel is off the cards?

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionStudents might have to stay within social "bubbles" similar to those being used in schools

4. May 'another tough month' for retail

Total UK sales fell by 5.9% in May compared with the previous year, the British Retail Consortium says. Online sales growth rose fifteenfold, but failed to offset that drop. The numbers aren't as bad as April's precipitous slump, but a lot of hope is pinned on the planned reopening of bricks-and-mortar stores from next week. All non-essential retailers in Northern Ireland have been told they can reopen from Friday.

image copyrightGetty Images

5. Gurdwara transformed

Places of worship have been forced to close their doors to worshippers during this time, but one of the largest Sikh temples, or Gurdwaras, in the UK has responded by reinventing itself as a community kitchen, delivering thousands of meals a day to NHS staff and those most in need.

media captionOne of the UK's largest Sikh Gurdwaras has reinvented itself as an emergency food operation

And don't forget...

You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page and visit our live page for the latest developments.

Plus, as lockdowns ease, thermal imaging cameras are popping up in all sorts of public places to assess the state of people's health. How do they work?

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