Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Friday evening. We’ll have another update for you tomorrow morning.
1. Tougher measures for parts of northern England
Coronavirus measures have been tightened in Oldham, Pendle and Blackburn in a bid to reduce the spread of cases. From Saturday, residents in those areas in north-west England will not be allowed to socialise with anyone from outside their household. It is the latest move in the government’s attempts to tackle the virus with a more targeted approach. Click here to find out how many confirmed cases there are in your area.
2. Eviction ban to be extended by four weeks
The ban on landlords evicting tenants in England had been due to end on Monday – but it has now been extended until 20 September. The government introduced the ban in March to help those financially hit by the coronavirus lockdown. The extension – described by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer as an “11th hour U-turn” – came after charities warned of a homelessness crisis. Read more about the current rules around evictions.
3. UK government debt surpasses £2 trillion
UK government debt has exceeded £2 trillion for the first time following heavy spending to support the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic. Spending on measures such as the job retention scheme means the debt figure now equals the value of everything the UK produces in a year. How does it work when a government wants to borrow money, and when does it have to pay it back? Find out here.
4. Driving test website crashes as bookings resume
The website for booking new driving tests in England and Wales relaunched on Friday ahead of tests restarting on 14 September. But after facing what the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) called “unprecedented demand”, the site crashed. Many people complained on social media about being unable to access the site and the DVSA said it was working to fix the issue. It suspended all driving tests on 20 March due to the pandemic.
5. Students’ belongings binned by university halls
A student who returned to her halls of residence five months after being made to leave because of coronavirus restrictions found all her belongings had been thrown away. Hannah Mullins and two other students at the University of Brighton made appointments to collect their items and arrived to find them all gone. The possessions she left behind at the start of the lockdown included her professional camera, art supplies for her graphic design degree, clothes and makeup.
And don’t forget…
…the rules about which countries UK holidaymakers can visit without having to quarantine on return are regularly changing, here’s all you need to know about the latest measures.
You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.
Find out how the pandemic has affected your area and how it compares with the national average.
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