Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Thursday morning. We’ll have another update for you at 18:00 BST.
1. Self-isolation pay for low-income workers
People on low incomes who cannot work from home will be able to claim £13 a day, up to £182, if they have to self-isolate under coronavirus restrictions, the government says. However, payments to those who test positive, those in their household and other eligible people told to self-isolate by NHS contact tracers will only apply in parts of England with high virus rates.
2. Warnings of ‘ghost towns’ if offices stay empty
City centres could become “ghost towns” if the prime minister does not do more to encourage workers back to the office, the head of business lobby group the CBI says. Allowing staff to work from home helped keep firms afloat during lockdown, but thousands of local businesses that rely on passing trade are suffering, Dame Carolyn Fairbairn writes in the Daily Mail. Meanwhile, Rolls Royce, which makes engines for the badly-hit aviation market, has reported record losses.
3. Flu vaccination rates prompt complacency warning
Complacency over the flu jab risks overwhelming the NHS, if there is a surge in Covid-19 cases this winter, vaccination specialists warn. It comes as BBC analysis of data from English local authorities found the take-up among people in vulnerable groups eligible for a free jab has declined in recent years. In Wales, health officials are reassuring the public it’s safe to attend GP surgeries for jabs.
4. Mum’s anger at daughter’s operation delays
A mother whose 16-year-old daughter has twice had an ankle operation postponed says the pandemic should not be used as an excuse for pushing back operations. Aisling McCrory says her daughter, Dearbhaile, is in pain every day. She remains on crutches and wears a medical boot, despite several operations on the joint she fractured six years ago. Health trusts say services have been “significantly disrupted” by the pandemic.
5. Pent-up demand ‘leading to quicker home sales’
A mini-boom since the property market reopened in different parts of the UK has led to properties selling much faster since the height of lockdown, research suggests. In the 90 days to mid-August, a three-bedroom home has typically sold in 24 days, 12 days quicker than the same period a year ago, property portal Zoopla said.
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And don’t forget…
You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.
Here are some tips on avoiding catching the virus indoors.
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