Covid-19: Italy’s ‘new wave’, and UK day of reflectionon March 13, 2021 at 8:05 am

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Five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Saturday.

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

One year ago, Italy became one of the first countries to impose a national lockdown following a spike in coronavirus cases. Now, the nation is once again struggling to contain the rapid spread of infections as PM Mario Draghi warns there is a “new wave” of the outbreak. Shops, restaurants and schools will close across most of the country from Monday.

People walk in Rome, Italy. Photo: 12 March 2021

image copyrightEPA

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Those who have died in the pandemic will be remembered during a minute’s silence and a national doorstep vigil on 23 March to mark the first anniversary of the UK’s initial Covid lockdown. Prominent buildings and landmarks will be illuminated and people are encouraged to light up their doorsteps. See your tributes to those who have died.

Buildings lit up across the UK soon after the first coronavirus lockdown began in March 2020

image copyrightGetty Images

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Businesses of all sizes can now register to order lateral flow tests for their members of staff – and more than 48,000 have signed up to the scheme. Praising it as a “huge step forward” in getting businesses up and running again, Health Secretary Matt Hancock encouraged more to register by the end of the 31 March deadline. The rapid tests can give results in less than 30 minutes.

A woman takes a coronavirus test

image copyrightGetty Images

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Many children in England have returned to the classroom for the first time in more than two months. The BBC visited one primary school near Skegness, Lincolnshire, to see how children, parents and teachers are getting on. So, what are the new rules for schools?

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Getting ready for the Tokyo Games has been anything but normal. Athletes are turning to obscure training methods, such as using a tin of beans strapped to a pole to practice the pole vault or borrowing a giant spa bath to train for the Paralympics. It’s a unique time, and getting in shape for the summer games while restrictions are in place is no mean feat.

Composite with Holly Bradshaw, Jessica-Jane Applegate, the Olympic and Paralympic flag

image copyrightGetty Images

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You can check how many cases there have been in your area.

Find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

Covid statistics for 12 March 2021
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