Coronavirus: Starmer targets savers and NI extends lockdownon February 18, 2021 at 5:23 pm

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

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

Labour leader Sir Kier Starmer wants millions of savers to be given a chance to invest in the UK’s recovery from the coronavirus crisis. His British Recovery Bond scheme is the centrepiece of his alternative plan for “national recovery”, ahead of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget on 3 March. The Conservatives said Sir Keir had stolen most of his ideas from them.

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The Stormont executive has agreed lockdown restrictions in Northern Ireland will remain in place until 1 April, but children aged four to seven will go back to school on Monday 8 March, BBC News NI understands. Another review of the measures will take place on 18 March. Health officials said they wanted to avoid a possible rise in cases around St Patrick’s Day and in the run-up to Easter.

A woman wearing a face mask walks past a public information sign in Belfast, file pic from 12 Jan 2021

image copyrightPA Media

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It may be legal for companies to insist on new staff being vaccinated as a condition of their employment, the justice secretary has said. However, Robert Buckland added it was unlikely bosses would be able to make existing workers have vaccines under their current contracts. Downing Street said it would be “discriminatory” to order people to be vaccinated to keep their job.

A care worker being vaccinated at a pharmacy in Borehamwood

image copyrightGetty Images

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The number of people applying to study nursing at UK universities has risen by almost a third (32%). There were 60,130 applicants for nursing by the main 29 January application deadline, according to the figures from the university admissions service. “Inspiring stories” from wards over the past year have led to the surge, says Ucas chief executive Clare Marchant.

Nurses changing their PPE at the Royal Alexandra Hospital

image copyrightPA Media

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In his 30s with no underlying health conditions, Liam Thorp was surprised to be told he qualified for a Covid vaccine. As suspected, a mistake had been made – the NHS had listed him as 6.2cm tall, giving him a worrying body mass index of 28,000. “I’ve put on a few pounds in lockdown but I was surprised to have made it to clinically, morbidly-obese,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live. “It really made me rethink what I was going to do for pancake night.”

Liam Thorp

image copyrightLiam Thorp

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You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

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