Covid-19: Lockdown to ease further in Wales and job market 'remains subdued'

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

1. Any six people can meet outdoors in Wales on Saturday

Six people from any households will be able to meet outdoors in Wales from Saturday, and in beer gardens once pubs, cafes and restaurants reopen next Monday. First Minister Mark Drakeford says the lower risk of catching Covid outdoors allows for the further easing of restrictions. However, Conservatives accused his Labour administration of "playing politics", given it's the second time lockdown plans have changed during the Senedd election campaign.

2. Sturgeon expected to confirm further lockdown easing

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to confirm the most significant stage in lockdown easing later. The reopening of hospitality, gyms and non-essential shops is scheduled from Monday, while travel between Scotland, England and Wales could also be allowed for the first time this year. The government's "route map" also allows for up to six people from two households to socialise indoors in a public place and the conditional reopening of hospitality venues.

Image source, PA Media

3. UK jobs market 'remains subdued'

The UK unemployment rate fell to 4.9% in the three months to February, according to official figures. The fall - down from 5% in the three months to January - came despite most of the UK being under strict lockdown restrictions for at least some of the period. The Office for National Statistics says the jobs market is "broadly stable" but "remains subdued", with five million people still furloughed and more than 800,000 fewer employees than before the pandemic.

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4. Police 'confused by unclear Covid laws'

Police officers have sometimes struggled to enforce coronavirus restrictions because of a lack of clarity from ministers, according to analysis by a policing watchdog. Chief constables heard about new restrictions from the government's television briefings, the report says. Confusion led to mistakes, putting confidence at risk, but forces in England and Wales learned from mistakes, the report by Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) says.

Image source, Reuters

5. Car insurance sees biggest price drop in six years

There can't be many positive by-products of a global pandemic but UK consumers can, perhaps, enjoy cheaper car insurance. The average cost has fallen by £87 in 12 months due to lower risk of accidents, according to price comparison website The average mileage dropped by 43% during the pandemic as driving habits changed.

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And don't forget...

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

After India was placed on the UK's travel "red list", remind yourself which other locations are subject to travel bans and quarantine.

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