UK

Coronavirus: Evening update as Williamson warns over September school return

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Thursday evening. We'll have another update for you on Friday morning.

1. Williamson stresses importance of September school return

In the first evening Downing Street briefing for more than a week, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson stressed the importance of all children once again attending school in England from September. Earlier, the government published guidance on measures to ensure that return. Speaking alongside Jenny Harries, the deputy chief medical officer for England, Mr Williamson said it was important not to "underestimate the value that our children going back to school brings, not just them but the whole of society". He added: "That is why we cannot sit back and cannot be in a position where we just say children cannot go back to school."

Image copyright PA Media

2. New face coverings rule for Scottish shops

Face coverings will become mandatory in shops in Scotland by the end of next week, Nicola Sturgeon announced today. Non-essential shops have already reopened in Scotland, with bars and restaurants due to open up again later this month. The first minister said the 2m physical distancing rule would be eased for some premises when the country enters the next phase of its routemap on 10 July. And she said face coverings would be mandatory in shops from that date.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionCoronavirus: Face coverings in shops 'can reduce risk'

3. High Street restaurant chains go into administration

As the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic continues, High Street restaurant chains Café Rouge and Bella Italia have now gone into administration. Owners Casual Dining Group said 91 outlets will close immediately and 1,900 of the firm's 6,000 staff will lose their jobs. Administrators Alix Partners are seeking offers for all or parts of the remaining business.

Image copyright Hannah Mckay

4. PM's father criticised over lockdown Greece trip

PM Boris Johnson's father, Stanley Johnson, has been criticised for travelling to Greece during the coronavirus lockdown. The former Conservative MEP shared a number of pictures on his Instagram account on Wednesday, showing him arriving in Athens and at an airport in a mask. He told the Daily Mail he was in the country "on essential business" to ensure a property he rents out was "Covid-proof" before holidays restart - but has now come under fire for breaking lockdown rules.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Stanley Johnson posted pictures of his arrival in Athens on Wednesday

5. 'Miracle recovery' Mal Martin welcomed home

In April 2020, Sue Martin told the BBC how her husband Mal had contracted Covid-19 and his chances of survival were almost zero. Three months on, Mal has recovered - and his family recorded the moment he arrived back home, cheered on by his neighbours.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionFriends and family line the street in an emotional homecoming

Get a longer coronavirus briefing from the BBC in your inbox, each weekday morning, by signing up here.

And don't forget...

...mandatory MOTs for vehicles in England, Scotland and Wales are being reintroduced from 1 August. We have five tips to get your car out of lockdown.

Find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page and get the latest in our live page.


What questions do you have about coronavirus?

In some cases, your question will be published, displaying your name, age and location as you provide it, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. Please ensure you have read our terms & conditions and privacy policy.

Use this form to ask your question:

If you are reading this page and can't see the form you will need to visit the mobile version of the BBC website to submit your question or send them via email to YourQuestions@bbc.co.uk. Please include your name, age and location with any question you send in.