Coronavirus: Evening update as shops reopen, and England star makes free school meals plea

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

1. Long queues as shops reopen

Some shoppers waited for more than hour at retailers such as Primark, TK Maxx and Foot Locker as non-essential businesses opened in England for the first time in three months. Footfall in High Streets and shopping centres was up 42% on the previous week, but still lower than the same time last year. Retailers have taken safety measures familiar in supermarkets, such as plastic screens at tills and 2m floor markings for queueing. Summer clothes and handbags were among the items being snapped up by the shoppers we spoke to in Milton Keynes. Meanwhile, hotels and bars can open in Northern Ireland from 3 July.

Image source, Getty Images

2. England star Rashford makes free school meals plea

Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford has written an open letter calling on the government to reverse its decision to stop providing free school meal vouchers during the summer. The 22-year-old, who grew up in poverty and has raised £20m to feed people during the pandemic, said it was "written from the heart". Some families told the BBC they would be "left with zero" if the voucher scheme for England stopped.

Media caption,

Man Utd's Rashford speaks about mother's sacrifices in his bid to end food poverty

3. Review of 2m rule due in 'weeks'

Downing Street said a review into the 2m social distancing rule, amid calls from hospitality companies to reduce it, will be complete "in the coming weeks". But the prime minister's spokesman could not confirm it would be ready before pubs and restaurants in England are due to reopen on 4 July. The hospitality industry says it is a "matter of survival" but scientists say that a 1m distance carries more risk of the virus spreading.

Image source, Getty Images

4. Police call for protests to stop

After another weekend of protests, rank-and-file police officers have called on the home secretary to be "unequivocal" that demonstrations are not allowed in England and Wales during the pandemic. John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation, said the right to protest is important, but "we are not in normal times". Meanwhile, police in Manchester said it was "almost impossible" to stop thousands of people gathering at illegal raves.

Image source, Getty Images

5. Organisers call off Great North Run

The Great North Run has been cancelled after organisers said they could not find a way to go ahead in September while complying with social distancing. More than 55,000 runners were due to take part in the 40th annual half-marathon from Newcastle to South Shields. Brendan Foster, the race's founder, said the cancellation was "devastating" and it would have been Britain's largest mass-participation event.

Image source, Getty Images

And don't forget...

...it's now compulsory in England to wear a face covering on public transport and in hospitals - and recommended in the rest of the UK. Find out and about the new rules here and learn to make your own mask here.

There's more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page and you can get the latest updates on our live page.

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