UK

Coronavirus: Starmer criticism, student life and Portugal 'welcomes' Brits

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Wednesday morning. We'll have another update for you at 18:00 BST.

1. Starmer's strongest criticism yet

The Labour leader has accused Boris Johnson of "winging it" over steps to ease lockdown in England. Speaking to the Guardian, Sir Keir Starmer urged the PM to "get a grip" and restore public trust. No 10 insists it is proceeding with caution to secure a safe recovery. The two men will face each other at Prime Minister's Questions later. Although daily deaths in the UK have decreased, the downwards trend appears to have stalled in recent days. Here we look closely at the risks around lifting lockdown.

2. Come to Portugal?

We'll get more details from the home secretary on plans to introduce 14-day quarantine for most arrivals into the UK. The policy is deeply unpopular in some quarters, but ministers are insisting it's necessary. Portugal's foreign minister, meanwhile, has told the BBC anyone from the UK thinking of going to his country this summer would be "most welcome". Read more on the quarantine rules.

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Image caption Portugal's Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva is optimistic about the prospect of an "air bridge" with the UK

3. Socially-distanced student life

University leaders have been setting out ways their institutions could operate when the new academic year begins in the autumn. They suggest students might have to live and study in the same small group - the sort of "bubbles" being used in schools - and enjoy, if that's the right word, a virtual freshers' week.

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Image caption Lectures might have to shift from lecture halls to online lessons

4. Ibuprofen trial

A team of scientists from London's Guy's and St Thomas' hospital and King's College have begun a study to see if the everyday anti-inflammatory and painkiller ibuprofen could provide a low-cost treatment for coronavirus. The hope is that it can keep patients off ventilators. Read more on work being done all over the world to find new drugs to fight the virus.

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5. Finding the positives in lockdown

Rather than lamenting the loss of a packed calendar, some people have found that the quieter, slower life imposed by the coronavirus lockdown offered a much-needed break. Others, like four-year-old Zachary - who has Down's syndrome - appear to be thriving.

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Media captionHow one four-year-old has thrived in coronavirus lockdown

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And don't forget...

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

Plus, after Public Health England says people from ethnic minorities are more likely to die after contracting coronavirus, the BBC's Ashitha Nagesh takes a closer look at the issue.


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