Coronavirus: Lockdown easing on hold, more face mask rules, and spirit of Eid ‘gone’

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Friday evening. We’ll have another update for you on Saturday morning.

1. Lockdown easing on hold

A further easing of coronavirus restrictions in England, which was due to happen this weekend, has been postponed for at least two weeks. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the change in plan as new figures suggest the number of virus infections are on the up. Read about all the latest changes to restrictions. Our health correspondent says we’re now, give or take, at the absolute limit of how much we can reopen society without a resurgence.

2. Face coverings mandatory in more places

Mr Johnson also added museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship to the list of places where face coverings should be worn in England. It is currently a recommendation, but will become law on 8 August – to add to the current mandate on wearing them in shops. Here’s what you need to know about wearing face coverings across the UK.

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3. ‘The spirit of Eid has gone’

As hordes of sun-seekers flocked to beaches in the south of England, local lockdown measures were brought in across parts of northern England, to address a spike in cases. One community leader said Muslims were angry at the timing of the announcement, two hours before Eid began. Others accused the government of causing “confusion and distress”. We’ve answered some of your questions about local lockdowns.

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PA Media

4. More elections postponed

Hong Kong has announced it will postpone its parliamentary elections by a year because of the pandemic. At least 68 countries or territories have postponed elections due to Covid-19, while 49 places held elections as planned. Here’s why Hong Kong’s “third wave” is a warning to us all.

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5. The radio play made under a duvet

From Zoom woes to duvet dens, the story of how a new BBC Radio 4 docu-drama was performed, directed and recorded from home during lockdown, with its radio workshops still shut, is one of skill, inventiveness – and a large dose of perseverance.

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And don’t forget…

You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page and get all the latest from our live page.

And, if keeping track of things is proving tricky, you can take our quiz on the virus and lockdown rules to jog your memory.

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