Covid-19: Boris Johnson pledges skills overhaul and Scotland expected to ease rules

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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. PM promises post-Covid skills overhaul

It's the State Opening of Parliament later, with the Queen's Speech setting out ministers' priorities for the next year. And the government says its main focus is on helping the country recover from the pandemic, after the economy shrank by 9.9% last year. This includes the offer of a "flexible loan" to help adults who want to retrain pay for university or college courses.

image copyrightPA Media
image captionThe Queen delivers the speech - but it's written by ministers

2. Scotland's rules on indoor visits set to be eased

The easing of restrictions in Scotland is expected to be confirmed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon later. It could mean up to four people from two households can meet indoors from Monday, with cinemas, bingo halls and amusement arcades likely to reopen, and outdoor and indoor events restarting to some extent. However, tighter rules could remain in Moray, where infection rates are nearly five times the Scotland-wide level.

3. 'In our language there are no words for depression'

Men from the UK's Bangladeshi community have been hit hard by the pandemic, in terms of higher death rates than other communities, the impact on industries and job losses. But with lockdown easing, many fear the toll on their mental health may be overlooked. The BBC has spoken to people encouraging Bangladeshi men to talk about how the pandemic has affected them. You can watch a clip below.

media captionWe hear from the people trying encourage Bangladeshi men to talk about how the pandemic has affected them

4. 'I fight anti-vax myths with honeypot groups'

As social media giants grapple with the anti-vaccine movement, our disinformation reporter Marianna Spring hears from everyday citizens battling conspiracy theories in their spare time. Among them is builder and trainee psychologist Richard, who is one half of a duo running decoy anti-vaccine Facebook groups. You can read Richard's story here.

image copyrightFacebook

5. Stars descend for in-person Brit Awards

The Brit Awards ceremony goes ahead in front of a live crowd of 4,000 people at London's O2 Arena later, as part of the government's pilot scheme for live events. Coldplay will open the show with a live performance from a pontoon on the River Thames, with Dua Lipa (below), Arlo Parks and Headie One playing inside. Singer Rag 'n' Bone man reckons it will be "really emotional".

image copyrightReuters

And don't forget...

With lockdown restrictions easing in various parts of the UK next Monday, remind yourself what you'll be able to do where you live.

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

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