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Covid-19: Manchester deadline, airport testing and Capt Tom's 'rival'

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  • Coronavirus pandemic

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

1. Greater Manchester ultimatum

After 10 days of fruitless talks, ministers have told regional leaders they must agree a deal on moving to the highest level of coronavirus restrictions by midday on Tuesday, or the government will take action. Mayor Andy Burnham and council leader Sir Richard Leese want more financial support for businesses and individuals, but say the idea of an additional hardship fund was "taken off the table" on Monday. Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick insists it was never on. In our political editor's view, it's a pretty extraordinary and risky fight for both sides. It's also worth saying there's disagreement over how much strain the NHS is really under in the area - our story has more.

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2. Rapid tests before check-in

From today, passengers flying from Heathrow will be able to pay £80 for a Covid test before checking in. With a result in as little as 20 minutes, the aim is to help people travelling to some destinations where proof of a negative result is required, such as Hong Kong and Italy. However, it won't be sufficient to satisfy authorities in other destinations, such as Greece, Cyprus, the Bahamas and Bermuda, which require a more detailed test done in a lab. See the latest restrictions affecting UK travellers.

image copyrightGetty Images

3. Prison lockdowns

The outgoing chief inspector of prisons is warning the practice of locking inmates in their cells for 23 hours a day to prevent the spread of coronavirus is dangerous. Peter Clarke told BBC Newsnight prisoners were "losing hope" and warned of the impact on their mental health. The Prison Officers' Association, though, argues it has led to other benefits beyond the pandemic, including reduced violence and self-harm, and a more stable jail environment. Watch the full interview on Tuesday at 22:45 BST on BBC Two and on BBC iPlayer.

media captionPeter Clarke says keeping inmates in cells for 23 hours a day is like solitary confinement

4. Card complaints

Many more shops and hospitality businesses have switched to card payments as part of Covid safety measures, but the British Retail Consortium is accusing Visa and Mastercard of cashing in. The lobby group is accusing the payment firms of charging "excessive fees", almost doubling their rates in the last two years. It argues those costs will inevitably have to be passed onto customers. Visa and Mastercard say they offer fast, secure payment systems which "generate significant value" for businesses.

image copyrightSOPA Images

5. 'He's not so old as me'

Captain Sir Tom Moore captured hearts around the world earlier this year, and now a 104-year-old who was inspired by him is nearing the end of her own challenge. Ruth Saunders, from Berkshire, started taking daily walks during lockdown and was encouraged by her granddaughter to aim for a marathon. She's raising money for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance, and has no shortage of competitive spirit. Of Capt Tom, she says: "I beat him because he didn't do as far as I'm doing."

media captionRuth Saunders began her charity walk during lockdown

And don't forget...

Find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

Plus, with Northern Ireland already in one and Wales soon set to follow, when will we know whether a circuit-breaker is working?

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