Coronavirus: Lockdown restrictions in Preston and beach-goers told to 'head home'


Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Friday evening. We’ll have another update for you tomorrow morning.

1. Lockdown measures reintroduced in Preston

Restrictions on households mixing indoors or in gardens in parts of northern England will be extended to Preston from midnight, the Department of Health has announced. The city is now listed as an “area of intervention” after a spike in cases. Current rules on gatherings in Greater Manchester, Leicester, parts of West Yorkshire and East Lancashire will remain in place. Restrictions in Leicester, Blackburn and Bradford will also continue, the department said.

2. Virus cases ‘may be levelling off’ in England

The number of people in England testing positive for coronavirus may be levelling off, according to new data from the Office for National Statistics. The figures are based on throat and nose swabs from nearly 120,000 people. However, the figures are based on modelling a sample of the population and a very small number of positive tests.

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3. Beach-goers urged to ‘head home’ amid hot weather

Beach-goers in Dorset are being urged to “head home” as resorts and car parks in some areas are already full. A mobile app to aid social distancing showed red along four areas of the coast – meaning “avoid”. Hot weather in many parts of the UK has seen temperatures top 36C (96.8F) on Friday. Meanwhile, the heat raises questions about what we are allowed to do in line with lockdown rules – and how to keep cool in a face covering.

4. Mini house-buying boom leads to highest prices ever

House prices hit a new all time high in July as the property market gradually reopened after being put on pause during the lockdown. The government’s emergency stamp duty cut has encouraged buyers, Halifax said. According to the bank’s latest House Price Index the average price of a home was £241,604 last month, 1.7% higher than June’s £237,834 – and 3.8% higher than July 2019.

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5. This is what coronavirus will do to our offices and homes

One day, the virus will subside. It could be eradicated. But even then, life will not simply return to the way it was before Covid-19. Spurred on by the coronavirus crisis, architects have been rethinking the buildings we inhabit. See what they could look like.

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And don’t forget…

…wearing a mask is mandatory in some circumstances, although the rules can differ in the UK nations. We have put together a user’s guide to wearing a mask.

You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.


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