Coronavirus: Face coverings plan and indoor meet-ups warning

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

1. Face coverings to be mandatory on public transport in England

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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said that it's going to be compulsory to wear face coverings - not medical face masks - while on public transport in England from 15 June.

He said "every precaution" must be taken as passenger numbers are expected to increase when lockdown measures are further eased.

You could be fined if you don't comply, he said, but added that he expected the vast majority to adhere to the new rule.

2. Sharma tests negative for coronavirus

Media caption,

Alok Sharma wiped his face several times while speaking in Parliament

Business Secretary Alok Sharma says he has tested negative for coronavirus. He had become unwell on Wednesday while in the House of Commons.

His apparent illness had added to the row over how proceedings should be conducted in Parliament. Critics argue it's irresponsible for MPs to return to physical sittings during the outbreak, saying it puts MPs, their families and their constituents at risk.

3. Quarantine plan 'killer blow' to travel

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The travel industry has voiced more condemnation of the new quarantine rules for travellers - warning that visitors will be put off by the two-week isolation period, and that jobs will be put at risk.

From 8 June all passengers arriving in the UK must self-isolate for 14 days. The boss of one travel firm said the plan could deliver a "killer blow" to the tourism sector.

4. 'Don't meet up indoors'

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Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon has warned people not to meet up with others indoors, saying this is a "surefire way" of allowing coronavirus to spread.

Currently, people from two households in Scotland can meet outdoors in groups of no more than eight. But with rain forecast for the weekend, she said those meetings cannot move inside.

5. More lockdown easing in NI

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The easing of more lockdown measures in Northern Ireland has been given the go-ahead by the Stormont Executive.

It means that large retailers, like car showrooms and shops in retail parks, will be able to reopen. Outdoor weddings, with up to 10 people present, will also be allowed.

Vulnerable people who had been advised to shield are also going to be able to go outside.

And don't forget...

You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page. Our correspondents have been answering your questions, such as whether people can start a relationship during the lockdown.

Confused about the right way to wear a face covering? You can watch our explainer here.

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