UK

Coronavirus: More face covering rules and £1.5bn help unclaimed

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

1. Face covering use expanded

The list of settings where face coverings are mandatory has expanded in England and Scotland following recent spikes in cases. Museums and places of worship are among the extra sites where coverings must now be worn. England also joins Scotland in requiring cinema-goers to wear one. Toby Bradon from Vue cinemas says face coverings have become "the new normal". Still confused? Read our explainer on the rules. across the UK.

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Media captionCoronavirus: How to wear a face covering

2. New quarantine rules

Anyone arriving in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland from Belgium, Andorra and the Bahamas will now have to quarantine for two weeks. The same rule was already in place in Wales. It comes after quarantines were re-imposed for passengers from Spain and Luxembourg. On Friday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the UK would "not hesitate" to add more countries to its quarantine list.

Image copyright Reuters

3. Emergency funds worth £1.5bn go unclaimed

Four months after £12bn was released to help firms get through the pandemic, £1.5bn remains unused, business leaders have said. The Federation of Small Businesses has warned that the emergency funding will go back to the Treasury at the end of the month if it is not claimed.

Image copyright Getty Images

4. Cautious optimism for 'Eat out to help out'

The government last week launched its "Eat out to help out" scheme, where diners can get 50% off their bill - up to a maximum of £10 - in cafes, pubs and restaurants in August. So how is it going? Will Beckett from steakhouse chain Hawksmoor, believes "it's helping people to learn to go out again", although one investor in the sector sees it as "gimmicky". You can read more about the scheme here.

Image copyright Hawksmoor

5. Heavy metal festival goes online

In normal times, the tranquil Derbyshire village of Walton-on-Trent turns it up to 11 for an ear-splitting celebration of all things heavy metal. However, with the coronavirus pandemic making music festivals an impractical prospect, the annual Bloodstock event at Catton Park has moved online. Organisers have teamed up with 12 other festivals to form the European Metal Festival Alliance.

Image copyright Katja Ogrin

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And don't forget...

...wearing a mask is mandatory in some circumstances, although the rules can differ in the UK nations. We have put together a user's guide to wearing a mask.

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


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