Here’s what you need to know on 19 March. This article was updated at 3pm
Deaths: Three people have died in Scotland bringing the total to six. Northern Ireland announced its first coronavirus death. There have been two deaths in Wales. England has a total of 128 deaths related to Covid-19.
Finance: The Bank of England has cut interest rates to a record low as it said financial conditions in the UK and globally have “tightened” in recent days due to weaker market conditions. Read more here.
Supermarkets: John Lewis and Waitrose have become the latest retailers to announce limits on the purchase of some items amid the coronavirus pandemic. It comes after rivals Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Aldi, Asda and Morrisons all announced similar measures to ease stockpiling pressures. Read more here.
Supermarkets are also expecting police support in the event of more panic buying according to the British Retail Consortium.
Legislation: New powers due to be given to the UK’s governments will be of an order not normally seen in peacetime. Emergency legislation being published in Parliament includes being able to create a volunteer army. Read more here.
The army: Soldiers are on standby if needed to support the NHS or be deployed onto the streets. Read more here.
Insurance: Insurance firms are expected to show flexibility to customers as people alter their routines due to coronavirus. They have been told they must recognise the circumstances that customers may find themselves in. This could mean, for example, working from home or taking their car to work rather than public transport.
Sport: Professional football in England and Wales will be suspended until 30 April. A joint statement from the Premier League, EFL and the Football Association, along with the Women’s professional game, the Professional Footballers’ Association and the League Managers’ Association confirms the bodies commitment to finish the 2019/20 season. Read more
Brexit: The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier has contracted Covid-19. It comes as Boris Johnson says he remains committed to Britain securing a trade deal by the deadline of 31 December.
Education: Funeral care staff should count as key workers, it has been argued, as the government makes plans for how to educate some children and keep most at home.
Transport: Officials have denied there will be a lockdown in London, but have moved to close dozens of Tube stations in the next day to discourage unnecessary journeys. Read more here.
A test which will show if someone had coronavirus but was asymptomatic is close to being developed. Read more.
Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs have offered their hotels for free to NHS workers. They’ve said it will help those who need to isolate from family. Read more.
Rest of the world
Italy: A town near Venice reportedly stopped new coronavirus infections after imposing a strict quarantine. Read more.
China: China reported no new domestic cases of Covid-19 for the first time since the outbreak. Read more.
Spain: 17 people died in one day in a care home. An investigation is under way. Read more.
Russia: The first coronavirus-related death has been reported, as an unnamed 79-year-old woman in Moscow with underlying health issues died from pneumonia after testing positive for the virus. Read more.
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