Here’s what you need to know on 17 June. This article was updated at 5pm.
Policy: Vulnerable people shielding from coronavirus may be allowed more freedoms over the coming weeks, the health secretary has indicated. Matt Hancock said an announcement on shielding will be made "very soon" following reports that it is to be axed at the end of July. Read more here.
Schools won’t reopen in September if the government’s social distancing measures remain in place, union leaders have warned. MPs were told on Wednesday that maintaining two-metre social distancing and limits on class sizes would require double the amount of classrooms and teachers. Read more here.
Politics: Sadiq Khan has slashed his own pay by 10% as he called on Boris Johnson to bail out local authorities facing funding black holes as a result of coronavirus. The London mayor warned that authorities across the country face a shortfall of business rate and council tax income. Read more here.
Crime: Every prosecution brought under the new Coronavirus Act has been dropped for the third month in a row. A CPS review of completed prosecutions under the hastily introduced legislation in England and Wales last month found that all nine prosecutions under the act had to be dropped. Read more here.
Health: About a quarter of staff at a chicken processing factory in North Wales are self-isolating after an outbreak of coronavirus. Thirteen workers have tested positive for COVID-19 at the 2 Sisters plant, with 110 isolating. Read more here.
The government has ordered an urgent review into vitamin D to see if it could reduce the risk of coronavirus. It comes amid growing concern over the disproportionate number of black, Asian and minority ethnic people contracting and dying from the disease. Read more here.
Science: Put the toilet seat down to help stop the spread of coronavirus, scientists have said. researchers in China have found flushing a toilet can cause a cloud of aerosol droplets to rise to over one metre in the air above the bowl. Read more here.
Sport: Eight new cases of coronavirus have been reported in the Championship ahead of the return of football in the division this weekend. The EFL confirmed that 2,213 players and staff from all 24 Championship clubs had been tested during the latest round of COVID-19 testing, with eight individuals returning positive results across six clubs. Read more here.
The Premier League is back tonight after 100 days in suspension due to the pandemic. Fans have to stay at home, and other new rules for the matches include drinks breaks, extra substitutes and no handshakes. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden hailed the return of the Premier League as a “hugely symbolic moment”. Read more here.
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Rest of the world
New Zealand has put border control into the hands of the military after two Britons were allowed to enter the country and meet up with friends without being tested for coronavirus. Jacinda Ardern, who had presided over a response which saw just 22 deaths and wiped the virus out from the nation, said it was “unacceptable”. Read more here.
Russian president Vladimir Putin is protected from the coronavirus by special disinfection tunnels, which people must pass through if they come to meet him in the Kremlin, his spokesman said on Wednesday. One of the tunnels has been installed at Putin's official Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow and two more in the Kremlin. Read more here.
A drug company in China has announced a positive result in a vaccine trial, claiming it induced an immune response in 100% of those who were given it. National Biotec Group’s vaccine is a frontrunner in the global race to develop inoculation. Read more here.
After researchers found that dexamethasone helped reduce COVID-19 deaths, a man who took the steroid drug claims it “definitely” helped save his life. Retired manager Peter Herring, who used to work at the John Lewis department store in Cambridge, was given doses of the world's first COVID-19 treatment as part of a trial at the city's Addenbrooke's Hospital. Read more here.