Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Thursday morning. We’ll have another update for you at 18:00 BST.
1. Long drives for coronavirus tests
The coronavirus testing system is struggling to keep up with demand, with shortages reported in some areas where there are fewer cases because tests are needed elsewhere. It means some people with symptoms have been directed to drive-through testing centres more than 100 miles away.
2. Government ‘overseeing the demise of UK aviation’
Leading figures in UK aviation have criticised the government for not backing Covid-19 testing at airports as an alternative to quarantine. The head of the firm which owns Southampton, Aberdeen and Glasgow airports says ministers are “overseeing the demise of UK aviation”. The Department for Transport says the rules are under “constant review” and points to “unprecedented support” for the industry.
3. Mortgage deals plummet as lenders play safe
The number of low-deposit mortgage deals available to borrowers has plummeted since the pandemic hit the UK, with lenders being much stricter amid fears of defaults. Borrowers with 10% deposits can choose from just 60 deals now – down from 779 at the start of March, according to financial information company Moneyfacts.
4. Charity seeks review of care home visit guidance
Many care homes in England are still refusing regular face-to-face visits, which are often deemed essential for people with severe dementia, says the charity John’s Campaign which is demanding a judicial review of the government guidance. The Department of Health says its first priority is to prevent infections.
5. School is ‘going to get me back on track’
GCSE pupils missed a lot of schooling through lockdown. But year 11 pupils tell us they are glad to be back at Riverside School in Barking, east London. Its head teacher explained how the first day of term differed at a time of pandemic.
And don’t forget…
Find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.
Here are some social media myths about testing and school that you should ignore.
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