Here’s what you need to know on 1 September. This article was updated at 5pm.
Deaths: The Government said 41,504 people had died in the UK within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19 as of Tuesday, an increase of three on the day before.
There were nine further coronavirus deaths in England, according to NHS England. The dates ranged from 6 to 31 August, with the majority after 26 August.
Politics: A cabinet minister was caught shaking hands in a breach of his own government’s social distancing rules. Defence secretary Ben Wallace shook hands with an unknown man before entering the Foreign Office for Tuesday morning’s cabinet meeting held by Boris Johnson. Read more here.
Policy: The government’s furlough scheme is unwinding, with the Treasury reducing its contribution to employees’ salaries to 70%. The employer will have to pick up at least 10% as the government rolls back its scheme. Read more here.
Education: As pupils begin to return to schools, some for the first time in months, the schools minister Nick Gibb has said they won’t necessarily close if there’s a positive coronavirus test. He said it would depend on the extent of the contact the pupil had with others. He also said there would be a decision about delaying next year’s exams “soon”. Read more here.
One in six parents are “seriously considering” keeping their children out of school according to a new poll. YouGov’s Parents Omnibus survey showed 17% of parents were thinking about keeping their children at home. Read more here.
Travel: Travellers will face “chaos and hardship” if Portugal is put back on the UK’s coronavirus quarantine list, an airline boss has warned. Arrivals in the UK from Portugal may have to self-isolate for 14 days if restrictions are reimposed because of a rise in cases of COVID-19. Read more here.
Local lockdown: Bolton will ask to keep its special local lockdown measures hours before it’s due to be lifted after a rise in confirmed coronavirus cases. The town recorded 161 new cases in the week to 28 August, more than double the previous week, according to NHS Digital data. Read more here.
Local lockdowns will be the best way to target any future outbreaks of coronavirus, according to the WHO’s regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge. He said three factors impacting the rate of future cases would be flu season, reopening schools and excess mortality in the elderly population during the winter. Read more here.
Economy: Top economists have warned that the UK will likely face “substantial” tax increases in the coming years, as the government seeks to pay for the cost of its COVID-19 response and public services. Leading economists told parliament’s Treasury Select Committee on Tuesday that tax rises were likely, although they said increases would likely not happen for a few years. Read more here.
UK lending for new mortgages soared by 66.2% in July as pent-up demand and a stamp duty holiday “turbo-charged” the property market in England, official figures suggest. Lenders approved 66,300 mortgages for residential property purchases in July, up by around two-thirds on the 39,900 approvals in June. The data is from a comprehensive survey by the Bank of England (BoE) published on Tuesday. Read more here.
Crime: Piers Corbyn, former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s brother, has been branded dangerous after becoming one of the first people to be fined for hosting an illegal gathering. The 73-year-old climate change denier said “vaccines cause death” as he questioned whether the virus existed. Read more here.
Fewer than 400 fines have been issued to travellers in England who use public transport without a face covering, Grant Shapps has said. He said 90% of people have followed the rules, with more than 5,000 people stopped from getting transport when they don’t have a covering. Read more here.
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Rest of the world
The World Health Organization has urged governments to engage with people who protest coronavirus lockdowns and vaccines and listen to their concerns. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the virus is “real” and “dangerous”. Read more here.
Oxford Biomedica said on Tuesday that it had signed an expanded agreement with AstraZeneca to manufacture the drugmaker’s coronavirus vaccine candidate for an initial period of 18 months. Under the terms of the deal, AstraZeneca will pay Oxford Biomedica £15m ($20m) upfront to reserve capacity for the large-scale production of the vaccine. Read more here.