UK

Coronavirus: Free appeals for schools, and businesses reopen

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

1. Free exam appeals for schools in England

The government will cover the cost of schools in England appealing against exam grades after 280,000 A-level students had their marks downgraded. Ministers are also expected to set up a taskforce to oversee the appeals process. It comes after Labour called on the government to scrap the process used to award A-Level grades, with Sir Keir Starmer saying young people had been "betrayed" by the system. Accusations of unfairness plagued this year's A-level results day in England. Here's why the algorithm said "no".

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption There has been widespread concern about the fairness of the "calculated" results

2. Final rush to get back to UK to beat quarantine

A two-week quarantine has come into force for travellers arriving into the UK from France, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos, and Aruba. Thousands of British nationals made last-ditch efforts to arrive on UK soil before the deadline and avoid the need to self-isolate. Many were forced to find hundreds of pounds for air fares and Eurostar tickets, while others lost out as flights and other routes sold out quickly. Find out more about the UK travel quarantine rules.

Image copyright PA Media

3. Businesses reopen as England lockdown eases further

Businesses such as bowling alleys, soft play centres and casinos can now reopen in England as lockdown rules ease. More beauty treatments, small wedding receptions and live indoor performances can also resume. The easing of many lockdown rules had been postponed on 1 August due to concerns about a slight increase in the number of people testing positive for coronavirus. How many confirmed cases are there in your area?

Image copyright PA Media

4. 'Care home lockdown sent my grandad into spiral of decline'

When lockdown began, my grandad, who had dementia, had no understanding of the virus and the changes or restrictions it brought. Three days after my grandparents quietly celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in late June, he moved into a care home. The pandemic meant limited visiting and by the time loved ones were able to see him, he was barely recognisable as the man who had left home just six weeks before.

Image copyright Family handout

5. How Covid-19 changed rough sleeper George's life

When the UK entered lockdown in March, councils in England were given £3.2m to provide emergency shelter for rough sleepers. One of those helped by the scheme was 49-year-old George Murray, who had spent 15 years sleeping rough. He has now moved into his own flat - and has become a Star Trek fan.

Image caption George Murray spends evenings in his flat watching TV and has become "a bit of a Star Trek fan"

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And don't forget...

...lockdown rules are regularly changing, here's all you need to know about the latest measures around the UK.

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


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