Coronavirus: These are 14 of Thursday's main developments

Yahoo News UK

Here’s what you need to know on 26 March. This article was updated at 6pm

Deaths: Six more people have died in Wales, bringing the total there to 28. There have been three more deaths in Scotland and three in Northern Ireland. The UK total is currently 578. Read more here.

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A second prisoner has died after contracting coronavirus. An 84-year-old in HMP Littlehey was the first, and a 66-year-old male inmate at HMP Manchester, died in hospital on Thursday. Both had underlying health conditions. Read more here.

Infection origin: Questions have been raised about whether a couple from East Sussex were the first instance of coronavirus in the UK, having contracted it in mid-January after visiting an Austrian ski resort. The resort is now under investigation for allegedly covering up the early outbreak. Read more here.

Rishi Sunak will unveil a package for self-employed people on Thursday. (Getty Images)
Rishi Sunak will unveil a package for self-employed people on Thursday. (Getty Images)

Policy: Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the government would launch a new self-employed income support scheme that will pay a taxable grant worth 80% of average monthly profits over last three years up, to £2,500. The scheme will be open to those with profit up to £50,000 and who earn the majority of income from self-employment. Only those already in employment with a tax return for 2019 will be eligible. Read more here.

Thousands of ventilators have been ordered by the government from Dyson, but will need to pass safety tests before they can be used. Sir James Dyson said the race was on to get the ventilators into production. Read more here.

Officials are considering more areas for field hospitals as the number of coronavirus cases grows. Detailed discussions have taken place about setting up a site in Scotland as the ExCel centre in London was being converted into a facility able to treat 4,000 people. Sites in Manchester and Birmingham are also being considered. Read more here.

Royals: Prince Charles is back at his desk despite his coronavirus diagnosis, as officials in Scotland and the UK defend the decision to test him for COVID-19. Read more here.

Police: Officers have been given powers to issue people who flout the lockdown rules with a £60 fine. Unpaid fines could result in a trip to a magistrates’ court, where unlimited fines can be imposed. Read more here.

A man has been bailed after appearing in court charged with attempted grievous bodily harm after claiming to have the coronavirus and deliberately coughing on two police officers in Belfast. It comes as the director of prosecutions warned such an offence could be punishable by up to two years in prison. Read more here.

North Yorkshire Police has said its officers will use checkpoints to stop vehicles and ask drivers if their journey is essential while the UK remains on lockdown because of coronavirus. The checkpoints were rolled out on Thursday. Read more here.

Defence: Nine Royal Navy vessels have shadowed seven Russian warships after detecting "unusually high levels of activity" in the Channel and North Sea. It comes as the Royal Navy has been preparing to help the NHS and other government departments deal with the coronavirus crisis. Read more here.

Rest of the world

Italy has become the first country to shut down most factories as part of the bid to tackle coronavirus. After more than two weeks of a nationwide lockdown, the Italian government has decided to expand the mandatory closure of non-essential commercial activities to heavy industry. Read more here.

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Positive news

A mass round of applause has been organised to praise NHS workers at 8pm on Thursday evening. People are urged to clap for carers by their front doors, in their gardens or out of their windows to say thank you. Read more here.

A couple surprised their family by getting married in their kitchen when they couldn’t elope to Las Vegas to get married. Ashley Wells, 26, and Cody Wells, 35, invited their families to a virtual pyjama party but were actually married by Ashley’s step-mother Brooke Meritt, an ordained minister. Read more here.

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