Coronavirus: The 13 major developments that happened on Tuesday

Rebecca C. Taylor
·4-min read

Here’s what you need to know on 11 August. This article was updated at 4.30pm.

Deaths: There were no new coronavirus deaths in Scotland or Northern Ireland. There were two in Wales, and six in England. Figures published on Tuesday by the ONS show that 51,779 deaths involving COVID-19 had occurred in England and Wales up to July 31, and had been registered by August 8.

Cases: The rise in the number of new cases in the UK of more than 1,000 a day has breached the government’s ceiling, and it unacceptable, according to a senior public health expert. Prof Gabriel Scally, president of epidemiology and public health at the Royal Society of Medicine and a member of Independent Sage said something had to change. Read more here.

Scotland: Pupils in Scotland have started returning to schools, with those in the Scottish Borders going back first. But there will be staggered start and finish times, as well as staggered lunch breaks. Read more here.

The Scottish government has performed a dramatic U-turn and will reinstate the teacher awarded grades awarded to thousands of pupils, after they were lowered by biased computer algorithms. It came amid mounting criticism that poorer students were hit hardest by modelling that gave them unfairly harsh results during the pandemic. Read more here.

Three Scottish football matches have been postponed following breaches of lockdown rules by Aberdeen and Celtic players. Celtic defender Boli Bolingoli took a secret trip to Spain and failed to self-isolate on his return. Read more here.

Test and trace: The government has defended NHS Test and Trace after it emerged the system will have a radical overhaul. The number of tracers will drop from 18,000 to 12,000 as the system becomes more localised, and people will get home visits, not just calls. Read more here.

Education: Older children spread coronavirus in the same way adults do, a new report has found, putting pressure on the government as it prepares to reopen schools fully from September. Scientists are said to be unhappy with the way ministers have interpreted the report so far. Read more here.

Business: Debenhams is planning to cut up to 2,500 jobs, just months after falling into administration. Debenhams confirmed in a statement on Tuesday it was planning redundancies in response to slow sales at its stores. Read more here.

The official UK unemployment rate remained near all-time lows in June, confounding expectations for a rise in jobless numbers and “lag[ging] behind the reality on the ground.” The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Tuesday that the 3-month unemployment rate remained near record lows at 3.9% in June. The single-month rate fell from 4.1% in May to 3.8% in June. Read more here.

Crime: West Midlands Police shut down 125 parties and raves as hundreds of people flouted the law over the weekend. Among them was a rave attended by 600 people in Aston, Birmingham, which was shut down on Saturday night. Read more here.

Local lockdowns: Oldham has overtaken Blackburn as the worst-hit area in England. Some 145 new cases were recorded in the seven days up to Sunday, despite the area being in an extra layer of lockdown. Read more here.

Read more about COVID-19

How to get a coronavirus test if you have symptoms

What you can and can’t do under lockdown rules

In pictures: How UK school classrooms could look in new normal

How public transport could look after lockdown

How our public spaces will change in the future

Rest of the world

New Zealand has recorded four new cases of COVID-19 after going 102 days without any community transmission. Auckland was swiftly put under a three-day lockdown after four cases in one family there. Read more here.

Russia has become the first country in the world to approve a coronavirus vaccine after less than two months of human testing. President Vladimir Putin has announced the jab was officially registered with the Russian Health Ministry after it brought about “stable” immunity “quite effectively”. Read more here.

Coronavirus: what happened today

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