Coronavirus: Supermarkets ration toilet paper to prevent stockpiling

Other items include dried pasta, tinned vegetables, medications and hand gel

Supermarkets trying to prevent shoppers from stockpiling have put purchase limits on items including pasta, anti-bacterial wipes, hand soap, toilet paper and children’s medications.

Shelves across the country have been stripped of such goods after Public Health England urged members of the public to “plan ahead” in case they had to self-isolate for a couple of weeks.

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Coronavirus: Foreign Office advice over Italy confuses British holidaymakers

FCO still says travel to Lombardy is largely safe despite quarantine of 16m inhabitants

The Foreign Office is facing a backlash over its lack of clear advice for British people with holidays booked in northern Italy and those currently in areas locked down due to its escalating coronavirus crisis.

The department is still advising it is safe to travel to anywhere in Italy, apart from 10 towns where the outbreak originated, meaning flights are still scheduled to depart to Milan and others areas in Lombardy where 16 million Italians are in mandatory quarantine.

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Glastonbury and Hay festival organisers press on despite coronavirus fears

Most UK events, theatres and museums yet to be affected by outbreak

Those in charge of theatres, galleries, concert halls, arts centres and festivals in the UK are all busy with contingency planning, but most have not yet been significantly affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The London book fair, which was scheduled to run from 10-12 March, has been one of the highest-profile cancellations but organisers of other mass participation events taking place in the spring and early summer are ploughing on with their plans.

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Leaked coronavirus plan to quarantine 16m sparks chaos in Italy

Thousands tried to flee south after decree to confine people until 3 April was revealed

Italy has been plunged into chaos after details of a plan to quarantine more than 16 million people in the north amid an escalating coronavirus outbreak were leaked to the press, sending thousands into panic as they tried to flee south.

The whole of Lombardy, including its financial capital of Milan, and 14 provinces across the worst-affected northern regions, have been shut down until 3 April as Italy grapples to contain the spread of a virus that has so far killed 233 people and infected 5,883.

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Sports bodies and TV bosses summoned for coronavirus crisis talks

DCMS officials to discuss plans for staging sporting events without fans if crisis worsens

Sports bodies and broadcasters have been summoned by the government to discuss plans for staging sporting events without fans if the coronavirus crisis worsens.

Officials at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will host the meeting on Monday to look at how to handle events if mass gatherings are banned.

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Hancock tries to reassure UK public as GPs warn of coronavirus crisis

Health secretary says the government will do ‘everything in its power’ to delay and mitigate threat

The health secretary has insisted the government will do “everything in its power” to delay and mitigate the coronavirus threat, as GPs have warned hospitals will have to cut back on work not related to coronavirus in order to tackle an outbreak.

Matt Hancock said ministers would do “all we can” to contain the Covid-19 outbreak as he set out plans contained in emergency legislation to deal with the impact of the virus.

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How to boost your immune system to avoid colds and coronavirus

You’re washing your hands 10 times a day and have stopped touching your face. What else can you do to improve your health and avoid bugs?

It’s been a long, wet winter. Everybody has got colds, and now we are braced for a coronavirus epidemic. Boosting our immune system has rarely felt more urgent, but, beyond eating more tangerines and hoping for the best, what else can we do?

Sheena Cruickshank, a professor of immunology at the University of Manchester, has a “shocking cold” when we speak at a safe distance, over the phone. To know how to take care of your immune system, she says, first you need to understand the weapons in your armoury – a cheeringly impressive collection, it turns out.

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Can a face mask stop it spreading? Coronavirus facts checked

The truth about how easy it is to catch Covid-19, who is vulnerable and what you can do to avoid infection

Wearing a face mask is certainly not an iron-clad guarantee that you won’t get sick – viruses can also transmit through the eyes and tiny viral particles, known as aerosols, can penetrate masks. However, masks are effective at capturing droplets, which is a main transmission route of coronavirus, and some studies have estimated a roughly fivefold protection versus no barrier alone (although others have found lower levels of effectiveness).

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Rishi Sunak: NHS will get whatever it needs to deal with coronavirus

Chancellor indicates he is willing to write blank cheque to cope with a pandemic

The Treasury will give the NHS “whatever it needs” to tackle the Coronavirus crisis, the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has said.

Before this week’s budget, Sunak did not say how much in additional resources the NHS would get, but indicated the government was potentially willing to write a blank cheque to help the health service cope with a pandemic.

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The experts who have guided the British public through coronavirus outbreak

Advisers such as chief medical officer Chris Whitty have restored the public’s faith in officialdom

The public has relied on a number of key individuals to keep them informed of developments in the spread of the coronavirus, including doctors, epidemiologists, researchers and health officials. Here are five of the main players who have helped to restore British faith in the value of experts.

• Chris Whitty. England’s chief medical officer, took up his post only a few months ago but has acted with calm authority throughout his public appearances since coronavirus emerged as a global health threat. A former epidemiologist, Whitty was appointed professor of public and international health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the post he held before becoming chief medical officer. He has warned the country that it should prepare to face disruption to many normal activities “for quite a long period”.

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