Covid: Weekly tests for all in England, and cabinet to sign off lockdown easing

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

1. Twice-weekly Covid tests offered to all in England

In a bid to "squash any outbreaks" as lockdown rules ease, everyone in England will soon be able to order twice-weekly coronavirus tests. The lateral flow kits, which will provide results in about 30 minutes, will be available for free from testing sites, pharmacies and through the post from Friday. However, critics of the scheme say it could become a "scandalous" waste of money. There are also concerns over false positive tests.

Image source, Getty Images

2. Cabinet to give green light to further ease lockdown

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to meet the cabinet to sign off the next stage of lockdown easing in England. Later, the prime minister will hold a Downing Street briefing, where he is expected to outline plans for coronavirus passports to enable mass-audience events to take place in the months ahead and confirm a traffic light system will be introduced when international leisure travel resumes. Read more about the roadmap for easing restrictions.

Image source, Reuters

3. Hairdressers and homeware shops reopen in Scotland

Meanwhile in Scotland, hairdressers, homeware shops and garden centres are reopening. Holyrood lifted its "stay at home" rule on Friday, but urged people to continue following the rules. "The virus is down but it's not yet out," Deputy First Minister John Swinney said. Other areas allowed to reopen include non-essential click-and-collect services, key cutting, mobility equipment, baby equipment and electrical repairs. Read more about what rules are changing in Scotland and when.

Image source, PA Media

4. How the virus has changed our sleep patterns

A little over a year ago the labels Covid-somnia or coronasomnia would have been unheard of. But doctors are starting to see those who were once good sleepers experience insomnia, while those who had sleeping problems before the pandemic have experienced a worsening of symptoms. This is how the virus has changed the way we sleep.

Image source, Getty Images

5. The woman who refuses to be defeated by Covid

"I don't have any job, I don't have a life, I don't have any food for my kids." Josephine Muchilwa worked in the kitchen of a school in Kenya before pupils were told to study at home. When she lost her job, she had to find new ways of supporting her four children. More than a year on, and despite her attempts to start her own business, the circumstances she is faced with means Josephine continues to struggle. Listen to her story on Business Daily.

Image source, Josephine Muchilwa

And don't forget...

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

Lockdown is being eased, with fewer restrictions on what we can do. What does it mean for things like sports, gyms, hairdressers and pubs?

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