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Covid-19: England national lockdown 'considered', and 'millions face hardship'

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  • Coronavirus pandemic

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

1. PM 'considering national lockdown next week'

The prime minister is considering a month-long lockdown across England in the hope that measures could be eased before Christmas. A new "stay at home" order could be announced on Monday, with schools, colleges and universities exempt. One of the models suggests deaths could reach more than 4,000 a day. So, when will it all be over? And how are restrictions changing around the UK?

image copyrightPA Media

2. 'Millions face hardship' as government support ends

Mortgage holidays and job furloughs are set to end on Saturday, potentially leaving millions of people facing hardship, think tanks and political groups have warned. The Treasury said it has put in place several schemes, but some organisations said there are gaps in the support that need filling.

image copyrightGetty Images

3. UK-wide Christmas rules meeting 'expected'

Boris Johnson intends to hold a meeting to discuss a UK-wide approach to Covid rules at Christmas, the Welsh first minister has said. Mark Drakeford said the prime minister had told him to expect an invitation to talks on a "common approach". The environment secretary previously warned it is "too early to say" what rules will be in place for the festive season.

image copyrightGetty Images

4. Can digital tourism get people travelling again?

Airlines are carrying only about 10% of normal levels and Covid-caused disruptions have put more than 41 million jobs at risk across the travel and tourism sector, experts estimate. In lieu of travellers, tourism boards, hotels and destinations are turning to virtual reality to keep people interested.

image copyrightGNTB/DZT

5. Lockdown means witches' coven 'can't meet'

The pandemic has meant all kinds of sports, social and religious groups cannot meet - but what about witches' covens? Karin Rainbird, a pagan prison chaplain, recently helped start a seven-strong Wiccan coven in Pontypridd, south Wales. But the other new witches need face-to-face training. "Wicca is not really something you can do online," she said.

image copyrightClaire Pingel
image captionClaire Pingel said it took her a while to realise paganism was the path for her

And don't forget...

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

Wondering whether you can go trick or treating for Halloween this weekend? Find out here.

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