Coronavirus: Ministers seek to reassure over schools and lockdown eases in Wales

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

1. Ministers seek to reassure over schools return

Ministers are pushing ahead with plans to have all school children in England back in classrooms next month, as Education Secretary Gavin Williamson seeks to reassure parents and teachers over the safety of such a move. Mr Williamson says research from a large global study suggests there is little evidence coronavirus is transmitted in schools. But one teaching union says pupils may have to be taught in class on a week-on, week-off basis in the event of local lockdowns.

Image source, Reuters

2. Further easing of lockdown in Wales

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools are reopening in Wales on Monday, with the nation becoming the first in the UK to allow children's indoor soft play centres to come back. Businesses are legally required to mitigate the risk of exposure to coronavirus, with councils given extra powers to enforce the rules.

Image source, Getty Images

3. Is the world winning the pandemic fight?

In a little over six months the world has been profoundly changed by the emergence of coronavirus. The big question though is how is the battle to end the pandemic going? While hopes rest on the successful development of a vaccine, scientists continue to warn that this cannot be taken for granted. And with wariness over a second wave of the disease, social distancing and localised lockdowns may mean it's some time before the world returns to normal.

Image source, Reuters

4. Australia records deadliest day but fewer new infections

The Australian state of Victoria has reported its deadliest day of the pandemic - with 19 deaths - as it battles a second wave of coronavirus. But it's hoped that a second lockdown in the city of Melbourne has helped reduce the number of daily new infections - although they are still in the hundreds.

Image source, Reuters

5. Small businesses tell of pandemic struggles

People who run their own businesses have been speaking to the BBC about the impact coronavirus has had on them - and their plans for the future. Phil and Penny Davis are among those who, despite using the government's various support packages to stay afloat, are now considering their next steps. In Phil's case it's to fold his permanent make-up business and seek employment, while Penny is considering closing her skin therapy clinic. You can read their stories here.

Image source, Kelliejo Photography

And don't forget...

...wearing a face covering is now mandatory in some situations, but the rules can vary around the UK. Find out more here.

You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

Image source, BBC

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