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Covid-19: UK daily deaths at record high and Scotland rules tightened

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  • Coronavirus pandemic

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

1. UK daily death toll at record high

A further 1,564 people have died in the UK within 28 days of a positive Covid test - the biggest figure reported in a single day since the pandemic began. It takes the total number of deaths to 84,767. Another 47,525 new cases have been recorded, according to the government's coronavirus dashboard. The figures come as the prime minister warned there was a "very substantial" risk of intensive care capacity in hospitals being "overtopped".

image copyright European Pressphoto Agency

2. Scotland lockdown rules tightened

People in Scotland are facing further lockdown restrictions from Saturday, which will see rules around takeaway and click and collect services tightened. Only shops selling essential items - such as clothing, footwear, baby equipment, homeware and books - will be allowed to offer click and collect. Collections must also be outdoors, with appointments staggered to avoid queuing. And takeaways will no longer allow customers indoors, and must instead operate from a hatch or doorway.

image copyrightAlamy

3. 24-7 vaccine hubs as 'soon as supply allows'

Covid vaccinations will be offered 24 hours a day, seven days a week as soon as supply allows, Boris Johnson says. The prime minister said the plan was to extend opening hours of vaccination centres - at the moment, most sites run from 08:00 to 22:00. The 24-7 service will be piloted in a small number of places first - with NHS staff likely to be offered the option of overnight vaccinations first. Mr Johnson said supply was the limiting factor at the moment. The NHS had just over a million doses available last week and used up most of them.

image copyrightReuters

4. GCSE and A-level pupils could sit mini exams

A-level, AS and GCSE students in England could be asked to sit mini external exams to help teachers with their assessments after formal exams were cancelled last week. In a letter to the exams regulator Ofqual, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said this would help teachers to decide "deserved grades". But he promised not to use an algorithm which saw results downgraded from school estimates last summer - before Ofqual announced a U-turn allowing them to use teachers' predictions. Head teachers said the "devil was in the detail" for these plans.

image copyrightPA Media
image captionPupils are currently learning remotely from home

5. Pokemon player fined for lockdown breach

Gaming may be one way of keeping boredom at bay during this latest lockdown but one man found it was not a good enough excuse to leave his home. He was fined £200 for breaking Covid rules after travelling 14 miles to play Pokemon Go. The man admitted to Warwickshire Police he had driven from his home in Bedworth to look for the characters in Kenilworth, and was told he was "contravening the requirement to not leave or be outside the place they live without a reasonable excuse". Find out more about what counts as a reasonable excuse for leaving your home during the lockdown here.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionPokemon Go allows players to hunt for characters that "appear" in real-life places

And don't forget...

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

Plus, the public is being urged to stay at home and reduce social contact to help combat the spread of the virus. But are people sticking to the rules and how does their behaviour compare with previous lockdowns? The BBC's reality check team has been looking into the data.

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