Covid-19: £5bn fund for High Streets and rapid tests for pupils’ families in Englandon February 28, 2021 at 7:53 am

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

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

A £5bn cash grant scheme will be announced in Wednesday’s Budget to help shops and other businesses in England recover from the coronavirus pandemic, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said. His hope is that the grants, worth up to £18,000 per firm, will help “get the tills ringing again” when lockdown eases in England in April. Businesses have broadly welcomed the payment, but some groups say it needs to go further. Ahead of the Budget, what is the challenge facing the chancellor?

Pedestrians walk along a high street with the shops closed in Maidstone

image copyrightGetty Images

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The households of school and college pupils will be provided with free rapid testing kits by the government ahead of the 8 March reopening of schools in England. Lateral flow tests will be offered twice a week to the families of all school pupils, as well as to adults who work with schools such as bus drivers and after school club leaders. The tests, which give a result within 30 minutes, will be made available from Monday from local sites or administered through workplace testing programmes.

John Murphy, chief executive of Oasis Community Learning, unboxes Covid-19 testing kits at Oasis Academy Coulsdon in Coulsdon, south London

image copyrightPA Media

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The pandemic has hit many people’s finances hard, particularly those on lower incomes. But those who have kept their employment while also working from home are likely among the more than six million “accidental savers”, a report has found. Fewer outgoings, such as meals out and holidays, as well as lower travel expenses means this group has seen their financial position improve.

Woman with baby looks at computer

image copyrightGetty Images

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have urged people to get the Covid vaccine, saying it is “really important”. They follow in the footsteps of the Queen who last week urged the public to get a jab when they are offered one.

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An interiors photographer by trade, the pandemic meant Emily Bowden could no longer work, This led her to take on a new project – capturing images of dogs with their owners, with donations then going to the NHS or Thai charity Lanta Animal Welfare.

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You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page. Read about the UK’s falling case and death rates here – and see the graphic below.

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