Covid-19: UK economy ‘to surge back’, and helping children through lockdownon February 12, 2021 at 7:24 am

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

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

The Bank of England’s chief economist has predicted that the British economy will surge back from the latest coronavirus lockdown, thanks to the vaccine programme and large amounts of “pent-up financial energy”. Writing in the Daily Mail, Andy Haldane said the economy was like a “coiled spring” and that due to the number of vulnerable people who would have been vaccinated, restrictions could be eased so that people were socialising and spending by the summer. Figures released on Friday morning show the UK economy shrank by a record 9.9% in 2020.

Click and collect sign at shop in Glasgow

image copyrightPA Media

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Documents seen by the BBC suggest the quarantine rules for passengers arriving in England from coronavirus “red list” countries – which comes into force on Monday – will be less strict than those enforced by Australia. While Australian rules do not allow guests to mix with security staff, the England will allow people to be escorted outside for “a smoke or fresh air”. There are other differences around meal deliveries and what kind of protective equipment security and hotel staff should wear – with the government only saying surgical masks should be used, compared with the more protective N95 ones used in Australia. 

Heathrow arrivals

image copyrightPA Media

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Young people’s job prospects have been hit hard by the pandemic, with workers under the age of 24 accounting for nearly half of the total fall in employment. Among them is Jamie Gillam. The 22-year-old graduate of King’s College London has applied for 200 jobs without success. Young people have also been disproportionately affected by redundancies, says the Institute for Employment Studies, because they tend to work in the hardest-hit sectors such as hospitality and tourism.

Demonstration by hospitality workers

image copyrightGetty Images

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It’s hard to escape the fact that for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers, the coronavirus lockdowns have made up a significant part of their young lives. Does this mean we should be concerned they are missing out on socialising, learning, having routines and getting outside? We’ve tried to answer some of these concerns here, and also look at where to get more help if you’re locked down with little ones – and how to look after your own mental health.

Boy with a smartphone under a blanket

image copyrightGetty Images

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When Northern Irish singer JC Stewart recorded a parody video of the theme tune from the TV sitcom Friends during lockdown, it went viral, and was even shared by cast member Jennifer Aniston. While the video – and its subtle change of lyrics to reflect the pandemic – brought worldwide attention, he has actually been releasing music since 2014. The singer-songwriter has four million monthly listeners on Spotify, thanks to melancholy, soul-baring ballads like I Need You To Hate Me and Lying That You Love Me. You can read more about JC Stewart here.

JC Stewart

image copyrightWarner Records

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Government statistics show 115,529 people have died, up 678 in the latest 24-hour period. In total 3,998,655 people have tested positive, up 13,494 in the latest 24-hour period, while there are 25,621 patients in hospital, down 1,080 and 13,509,108 people have had their first vaccine

You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page. We’ve also been looking at what help is on offer for self-employed people.

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