Coronavirus: The 9 major developments that happened on Wednesday

Rebecca C. Taylor
·3-min read

Here’s what you need to know on 5 August. This article was updated at 4.40pm.

Deaths: The government said 46,364 people had died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm on Tuesday, up by 65 from the day before.

Policy: Coronavirus was able to spread faster through the UK because the government failed to shut the country’s borders in the early stages of the pandemic, MPs have said. A Commons Home Affairs Committee report highlighted “critical errors” in the government’s strategy, including the decision to lift all border restrictions in March. Read more here.

Scotland: Aberdeen is to go back into some of its lockdown measures after an outbreak of coronavirus was linked to 20 pubs and restaurants. Restrictions include no travel outside a five-mile radius, the closure of all indoor and outdoor hospitality, and an end to people entering each other’s houses. Read more here.

Lockdown: Laws coming into force in Manchester, parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire are causing some confusion as a loophole seems to suggest people can meet in hotels but not in their own homes. It means that it will be illegal for people from separate households to have sex in homes – but they will be able to pay for a hotel room. Read more here.

Three pubs in Sunderland have had to close after a drinker had a night out while awaiting the results of his coronavirus test. The unnamed man has since been confirmed as having contracted COVID-19. Read more here.

Schools: The rate of transmission of coronavirus – known as the R value – “will go up” once schools are reopened in England next month, a former government adviser has warned. Professor Neil Ferguson – who resigned from the government's advisory group Sage after he was found he had broken lockdown guidelines – said ministers "need to plan for all contingencies" when it comes to the reopening of schools. Read more here.

Business: WHSmith could cut up to 1,500 jobs, in another blow to the high street. The company, which dates back to 1792, said total revenues in July were down 57% on a year earlier, despite the easing of UK lockdown rules. 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

Young people going to nightclubs and beaches has led to a rise in new coronavirus cases across the globe, the World Health Organization has said. The proportion of those aged 15 to 24 who are infected has tripled from 4.5% to 15% in about five months, it said. Read more here.

Positive news

The Natural History Museum in London reopened today, with visitors delighted to be able to return to the venue. Slots to visit the museum this week are fully booked, while 80% of the tickets for next week have also already been sold. Read more here.

Coronavirus: what happened today

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