Coronavirus: Record economic slump and bereaved families demand inquiry

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

1. Record slump for economy as lockdown kicked in

The UK economy shrank by 20.4% in April, the largest monthly contraction on record, according to figures revealing the impact of the early stages of lockdown. The fall is three times greater than the decline seen during the whole of the 2008 to 2009 economic downturn, Office for National Statistics figures reveal.

2. UK backtracks on full EU border checks post-Brexit

The government will take a "pragmatic and flexible approach" to border checks when the post-Brexit transition period ends in December, a source tells the BBC. It's likely to mean much less rigorous checks - at least temporarily - on EU imports than the full controls initially planned from 2021. Businesses already battered by the pandemic had warned they lacked the resilience to withstand the impact of the UK leaving the EU's customs union without a trade deal in place.

Image source, PA Media

3. Start Covid-19 inquiry now, say bereaved families

Relatives of 450 people who have died with coronavirus want an urgent review of steps needed to prevent more deaths as a result of the pandemic. The call comes as a report reveals it is not known how many of the 25,000 people discharged from hospitals into care homes at the peak of the outbreak were infected. The government says it took the "right decisions at the right time", that it's too early for an inquiry and that 60% of care homes avoided outbreaks.

Image source, Family photo
Image caption,
Jamie Brown (left), whose father, Tony, died of Covid-19 in March, wants an urgent public inquiry

4. School in September 'part-time with 2m distancing'

Pupils in England will not be able to attend school full time in September if current social distancing rules still apply, say academy leaders. With distancing of 2m (6ft 6in), schools would not have capacity for more than half of all pupils at any time, says Star Academy chief executive Hamid Patel. All nations of the UK currently advise distancing of 2m, although policy on the reopening of schools varies. The UK government says it wants all pupils back by September.

Image source, Getty Images

5. Reunited after seven-week battle against disease

Many of the most seriously affected coronavirus patients are spending weeks being rehabilitated in hospital after being discharged from intensive care. Special correspondent Ed Thomas followed the story of one patient through recovery to reunion with his partner.

Media caption,
Watch Denise's reunion with her partner, Guy, after he spent seven weeks in University Hospital Wishaw in Lanarkshire

And don't forget...

...if you're confused about when your child might return to school, here's a summary of the situation as it stands.

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

Image source, BBC

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