Coronavirus: Morning update

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

1. Let students go home for Christmas, says Labour

Thousands of university students across the UK have spent another night stuck in their halls of residence following local coronavirus outbreaks. Labour is calling on the government to promise them that they will be allowed to return home to their families for Christmas, after Health Secretary Matt Hancock refused to rule it out earlier this week. Meanwhile, many students have expressed worry and confusion about being locked down. We’ve put together a guide with tips for coping at uni during the pandemic.

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PA Media

2. A million young people may need help, says Charles

Prince Charles has written a piece in the Sunday Telegraph highlighting the impact the coronavirus lockdown could have on young people. He suggests there could be a million young people “needing urgent help”. There have been many warnings in recent months about how the pandemic is taking a toll on young people – whether it’s their education, brain development or employment. But the heir to the throne imparts a message of hope, saying the task ahead to help their futures is “not insurmountable”.

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3. Cardiff and Swansea prepare for lockdown

By the end of the day, about half of Wales’ population will be under local lockdown restrictions. The latest batch of rules will come into force at 18:00 BST on Sunday, covering Wales’ two biggest cities – Cardiff and Swansea. Under the rules, nobody is able to enter or leave without a “reasonable excuse” and people are not allowed to meet other households indoors. There’s an explanation of the local lockdown rules in Wales here, or for a guide to where in the UK is facing extra restrictions, head here.

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More than a quarter of the UK’s population – including 1.5 million people in Wales – will be under lockdown by Sunday night

4. Fact-checking Trump on coronavirus

President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, in which more than 200,000 people in the US have died, has become a key issue in the forthcoming election. He’s been criticised for playing down the virus in the early stages and for the US registering the world’s highest number of Covid-related deaths. Our Reality Check team have fact-checked some of the president’s – and his rival Joe Biden’s – claims on the virus response.

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Getty Images

5. From crime writing to chronicling the coronavirus

Author Karen Campbell is usually a crime writer, but the past few months has seen her try her hand at something different. She’s working with local council staff in Dumfries and Galloway to hear about their experiences working in the pandemic, and then plans to fictionalise it in a story. “I really want to get that cross-section of everybody that had to step up to the mark,” she says. “It is almost like a piece of history I want to pin down.” And from taxidermy to cheesemaking, here are some other stories of people who took up new projects in lockdown.

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John Devlin

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And don’t forget…

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

The new NHS contact tracing app was released this week in England and Wales. Here’s how it works.

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