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Coronavirus: School reopening row deepens and Capt Tom knighted

Coronavirus: School reopening row deepens and Capt Tom knighted

  • 20 May 2020
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  • Coronavirus pandemic

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. Pressure mounts over schools

A growing list of councils in England have now advised the primary schools they govern not to reopen on 1 June amid continuing fears over safety. The body which represents school governors is also warning it'll be hard for their members to sign off on reopening against the will of their local authority. The government says the date isn't set in stone, and BBC education correspondent Branwen Jeffries thinks it's now clear any return will be patchy and partial. Concern over the higher R number - what's that? - in some regions is driving much of the concern.

2. Warning over treatment delays

The NHS is being warned not to "lose sight" of other areas of life-saving medicine amid the pandemic. The Institute of Cancer Research fears delays in surgery could cost more lives than the number of Covid-19 patients saved, Elsewhere this morning, a study suggests washing your hands at least six times a day makes catching infections such as coronavirus much less likely.

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Media captionThe University of Westminster's Dr Adele McCormick demonstrates how to wash your hands well in 20 seconds

3. More bad economic news

Aerospace giant Rolls-Royce has announced it will cut 9,000 jobs across the firm and warned it will take "several years" for the aviation industry to recover from the crisis. Marks & Spencer, meanwhile, has reported a 21% drop in profits and announced plans to accelerate cost-saving measures like store closures. Clothing sales dropped to just 16% of last year's level at one point during lockdown.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The job losses at Rolls-Royce amount to almost a fifth of the workforce

4. Online-only learning

Cambridge University has announced it'll hold no face-to-face lectures at all during the 2020-21 academic year. Some teaching in smaller groups might be possible, but otherwise it'll be virtual. Other universities may well follow suit, but students have been told they'll still have to pay full fees even if their courses are taught entirely online. The BBC has also spoken to students doing their year abroad online.

Image copyright PA Media

5. Arise Sir Tom...

Capt Tom Moore is to be knighted after a special nomination from the prime minister. The war veteran raised more than £32m for NHS charities by completing 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday in April. Find out how his millions are being spent.

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Media captionThe moment Captain Tom Moore completed his 100th lap

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And don't forget...

You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page and follow our live page for the latest updates.

And with no real return to secondary school on the cards at all, our education reporter Katherine Sellgren speaks to parents worried about their unmotivated teens and gathers some tips that might help.


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