UK

Coronavirus: Virus inquiry promised and office-worker face coverings rejected

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

1. Johnson commits to virus inquiry

Boris Johnson has for the first time promised to hold an "independent inquiry" into the coronavirus pandemic. He told MPs during Prime Minister's Questions that the government would seek to learn lessons "in the future" and "certainly we will have an independent inquiry into what happened". However, the prime minister said it was not right to devote "huge amounts of official time" to an inquiry while the UK was "in the middle" of a pandemic.

Image copyright Getty Images

2. Face coverings for office workers rejected

There are no plans to make face coverings mandatory for office workers in England, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has told the BBC. He said face coverings helped prevent virus spread during short interactions with strangers, but that social distancing and hand washing were more effective for contact with people over long periods of time. Face coverings in shops will become mandatory in England on 24 July - but what's the best one for you and how should you wear it? Here is our handy guide.

3. Teens most likely to have been furloughed

Seventeen-year-old employees are the group most likely to have been put on furlough during the coronavirus crisis, official data shows. HM Revenue and Customs said men aged in their 40s and women aged 41 to 58 were least likely to have been put on the scheme. More than nine million workers who are unable to do their job because of the coronavirus outbreak have had their wages paid by the government.

4. Wales to resume driving lessons

Driving lessons in Wales will be able to resume from 27 July, with theory and practical driving tests phased in from 3 August, First Minister Mark Drakeford has said. Driving lessons resumed in England on 4 July. Scotland and Northern Ireland have separate arrangements.

5. Capt Tom to be knighted in personal ceremony

Captain Sir Tom Moore, the 100-year-old who raised more than £32m for NHS charities, is to receive his knighthood from the Queen in his own personal ceremony at Windsor Castle on Friday. In May, the prime minister made a special nomination for the war veteran to be knighted.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Capt Sir Tom initially set out to raise £1,000 for the NHS

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Plus, what can police do about coronavirus rule breakers? Our home affairs correspondent explains.


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