Covid-19: Extra £400m for arts sector, and France to give Oxford jab to older peopleon March 2, 2021 at 7:18 am

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

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

On Wednesday, Rishi Sunak will outline the government’s tax and spending plans in the Budget. As usual, there has been a stream of announcements before the big day – including a new “Help to Buy” scheme, and £5bn to help the High Street recover. The latest is that Mr Sunak will announce an extra £400m to help the arts and culture sector recover from the Covid crisis. Mr Sunak is expected to put an extra £300m into the £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund in England. National museums and cultural bodies will receive £90m to help them until they can open on 17 May at the earliest, with £18.8m provided for community cultural projects. An additional £77m will be given to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. You can read our budget preview here, and our business editor Simon Jack’s analysis here. Meanwhile, the chart below shows how state borrowing has increased during the Covid crisis.

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The French government says older people with pre-existing conditions can now get the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. “People affected by co-morbidities can be vaccinated with AstraZeneca, including those aged between 65 and 74,” the health minister Olivier Véran said. Last month France approved use of the vaccine for under-65s only – citing lack of data for older people. Since then studies have shown the jab is highly effective among the elderly. The Oxford jab is used across the UK, but several EU countries are limiting it to under-65s – including Germany. You can watch more on vaccine approvals below.

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A university has been ordered to pay a student £5,000 in compensation for lost teaching time during England’s first lockdown. The Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) has released a number of complaints made by students about the impact of Covid. They include concerns over disrupted learning, accommodation, and missed practical elements of courses.

Student adjusting her hat

image copyrightPA

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The spread of highly contagious coronavirus variants is threatening to fuel a “potential fourth surge of cases” in the US, a top health official has warned. The head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr Rochelle Walensky, said about 70,000 new cases a day had been recorded last week. Watch our video on some of the US Covid victims below.

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Parts of the UK reliant on tourism have been most affected by the Covid-19 jobs crisis, analysis suggests. In some areas, around three out of five people who began claiming Universal Credit at the outset of the pandemic were still doing so six months later. Read more here.

View of Snowdonia

image copyrightRixipix

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You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page. This page looks at how many people are getting the £500 self-isolation payment.

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