Coronavirus: School face coverings U-turn and Aberdeen lockdown ends

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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. U-turn over face coverings in England's schools

The government has changed its advice for face coverings in schools, saying secondary pupils will have to wear them in corridors in local lockdown areas of England. Head teachers in any secondary school will also be able to introduce masks if they want to. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson says the new policy follows updated advice from the World Health Organization. In Scotland, students in secondary schools must wear face coverings in corridors or shared areas from next week. Northern Ireland has followed suit, while in Wales a decision on updating the guidance is due later. Find out more about the rules around masks.

Image source, Getty Images

2. Aberdeen local lockdown lifted

Bars, cafes and restaurants in Aberdeen are opening again for the first time in three weeks after a local lockdown was lifted. But venues are only able to open once they have passed a site inspection by environmental health officers. Hospitality businesses in the city shut earlier this month after a spike in Covid-19 cases linked to bars and nightlife.

3. Ditch truancy fines, say psychiatrists

Earlier this summer, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said parents who did not send their children to school in England in September would be penalised with truancy fines. But psychiatrists say such fines should be dropped amid a Covid-related spike in mental health issues. More than 250 psychiatrists have written to Mr Williamson saying a forced return to school will hit pupils with anxiety hard.

Image source, Thinkstock

4. Complaints over cancelled weddings and ruined holidays

More than 3,500 complaints about financial issues relating to the coronavirus outbreak have been submitted to the financial ombudsman. The service said firms "must do more" to ensure consumers and small businesses were treated fairly. Complaints from small businesses were often about insurance cover for interrupted trade, while consumers' complaints often related to ruined holiday plans, cancelled weddings and concerts.

Image source, Getty Images

5. 'I saved £200 doing Eat Out to Help Out every day'

Diners used Eat Out to Help Out more than 64 million times in its first three weeks, according to the latest Treasury figures. Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the scheme - which offers customers in restaurants, pubs and cafes 50% off their meal, up £10 per person - was supporting nearly two million jobs. We talked to some customers who made the most of it, saving more than £200 in the last month, and others who are happy it's in its final week.

Image source, Daniel Davies-Luke

And don't forget...

Find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

Here is a guide on how to wear your face covering correctly.

Image source, BBC

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