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Covid-19: Scotland school return plan due and why we may have to live with the virus

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

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is due to set out later her government’s plans for getting pupils currently in Covid lockdown back into classrooms. Currently, the youngest pupils and older children who have to do coursework are due back in from next week. And while Ms Sturgeon has said she is “very keen” to have a phased return to school, Scottish ministers will review the latest coronavirus data and scientific advice before confirming the next steps later.

Children in a Scottish school

image copyrightPA Media

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that speedy tests which would show if a person is infectious could be the way to reopen parts of the UK economy which have been closed since the pandemic began – such as nightclubs – and places that have struggled with social distancing, like theatres. But Mr Johnson stressed that it was early days and any steps towards lifting lockdown measures would be “cautious but irreversible”.

Closed theatre

image copyrightReuters

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Hotel quarantine for people flying back to the UK began on Monday, but for one family from Fife, a lack of familiarity with the rules meant they ended up spending a night in an Edinburgh Airport hotel instead of going home. The Scottish government requires all arriving passengers to enter “managed isolation” and because Chun Wong and his daughter had flown to Scotland from the US they were required to check in to a hotel. But officials realised a mistake had been made because Mr Wong had transited via Dublin, and so therefore should be treated as an arrival from the Irish Republic, which is exempt from the rules. The Wongs are due to return home to Fife on Tuesday.

Chun and Kiernan Wong

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The government says it hopes to make Covid a manageable disease like flu. Vaccination and new treatments, they argue, will reduce the death rate, allowing us to live with the virus rather than constantly trying to fight it. Is this the right approach? And is it even possible? Wiping Covid from the face of the Earth would, of course, be great given the death and destruction it has caused. But the only problem with that is this has only been achieved with one virus before – smallpox in 1980. It is easy to forget flu kills. Back in 2017-18 more than 20,000 people died from it. You can read health correspondent Nick Triggle’s full analysis here.

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image copyrightGetty Images

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New Orleans, Louisiana, is a city famous for its rich musical tradition and heritage, but the pandemic has meant that live venues have been closed for 10 months and Mardi Gras parades have been cancelled. After a year like that, can the musicians of New Orleans survive? We’ve been to the city to find out.

media captionKnown as the birthplace of Jazz, New Orleans has thousands of musicians that rely on gigs to survive

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You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page. We’ve also been looking into whether a “vaccine passport” might be needed for international travel.

Government statistics show total deaths are 117,396, up 230 in the past 24 hours, total cases are now 4,047,843, up 9,765, there are 23,341 people in hospital, down 1,027 - 15,300,151 have received a first dose of a vaccine tested, up 237,962.

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