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Coronavirus roundup

That’s not a masssk! Snake ruled out as face covering

A BUS passenger seen with a snake wrapped around his neck and face (pictured) was not wearing a valid mask, officials say. A spokesman for Transport for Greater Manchester said the rule is fairly flexible but ‘we do not believe it extends to the use of snakeskin — especially when still attached to the snake’.

Canaries could give tourists ‘two-minute’ infection tests

THE Canary Islands are set to start testing holidaymakers for coronavirus at the beginning and end of their trip in a bid to create safe air corridors and boost tourism. Breathalyser-like tests which take just two minutes are the preferred option, Spain’s tourism minister Maria Reyes Maroto said — but she is still working to persuade countries including the UK that these are ‘valid’.

88% of pupils back in class as schools open

NEARLY nine in ten pupils have returned to schools in England since normal classes resumed last week, figures show. Around 92 per cent of state schools were fully open last Thursday and 88 per cent of students were back in class on the same day, according to the Department for Education. But some schools closed within days and headteachers say a lack of tests could lead to staff shortages, partial school closures and lower attendance. Education secretary Gavin Williamson said: ‘The best place for children and young people to learn is in class.’

Irish cabinet ‘restricts activities’ after minister falls ill

MEMBERS of the Irish cabinet have been told to restrict their movements after health minister Stephen Donnelly reported feeling unwell. The move came just hours after ministers announced a new coronavirus blueprint to further reopen the country’s economic, social and cultural life. Mr Donnelly has reportedly contacted his GP for a Covid-19 test. At first members were told to self-isolate but business was expected to resume last night.