Coronavirus: Social distancing change urged and business resilience warning

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Thursday morning. We’ll have another update for you at 18:00 BST.

1. Calls grow to scrap two-metre distancing

Boris Johnson faces pressure from backbenchers – including ex-Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith – to relax England’s 2m (6ft) social distancing rule, currently mirrored across the UK. Sir Iain is urging the PM to follow World Health Organization guidance of a 1m distance, followed in countries such as France, Denmark and Singapore. However, the UK’s chief medics advise against change. The UK government says it constantly reviews its guidance.

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2. Business ‘can’t cope with no deal and virus’

British companies do not have the resilience to cope with a no-deal Brexit because the coronavirus crisis has wiped out the reserves they built up to deal with any disruption to EU trade, the CBI lobby group head Dame Carolyn Fairbairn tells the BBC. The government says it wants a deal but insists that, “whatever happens”, the UK will leave the single market and customs union when the transition period closes at the end of the year.

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3. Fears over online grooming of children in lockdown

Britain’s top police officer dealing with online grooming says he fears there has been a huge rise in cases during lockdown, while children have been alone and vulnerable online.

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Media captionBBC News spoke to an internet safety campaigner and investigator who poses as a 14-year-old girl online, about the attempted grooming she has encountered.

4. Police warn of lockdown radicalisation threat

Spending time online during lockdown may have led more individuals to become radicalised, a police chief warns. The current UK terror threat level is “substantial”, meaning an attack is likely, and the Met Police’s Lucy D’Orsi urges the public to remain vigilant as restrictions ease and people return to public spaces.

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5. Coronation Street, and the Rovers, return

Coronation Street stars are back on the cobbles, as filming resumes with social-distancing measures in place. Episodes recorded this week will be aired in July.

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Media captionProgramme bosses and stars describe how filming has changed.

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And don’t forget…

…the rules on meeting people from outside your household in each of the UK’s four nations, including the “support bubbles” announced for England on Wednesday by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page and our live page has all the latest developments.


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