Covid: PCR tests ‘rip-off’ and world of work ‘bouncing back’on August 17, 2021 at 7:09 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.

Under current travel rules, people must take coronavirus tests – but the cost has drawn criticism from many quarters. Now the ex-chairman of the Competition and Markets Authority, Lord Tyrie, says PCR tests for travel – which cost about £75 on average but in some cases can be in the hundreds – have become “a predictable Covid rip-off”. Health Secretary Sajid Javid has asked for an investigation and the competition regulator, which describes the cost of PCR testing as a pressing issue, is reviewing the situation.

Healthcare staff holds Covid test

image sourceReuters

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UK job vacancies hit a record 953,000 in the three months to July, according to official figures. Unemployment fell to 4.7% in the three months to June, down slightly on the previous quarter, while average pay rose 7.4%, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. Deputy statistician Jonathan Athow said the “world of work continues to rebound robustly” from the pandemic.

Waiter in mask serves drinks

image sourceGetty Images

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Ordering food and drink online or via apps is popular and has become commonplace during the pandemic, but do you think about what personal information you’re handing over and why it’s being requested? The Information Commissioner’s Office, which oversees data privacy, says people should think about the data they are giving out and that sharing those details is a choice.

Johnny, Matt and friends in the pub
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With nowhere to sleep, Jo and her five-year-old daughter found themselves riding around on the night bus until morning. After that night, she borrowed money from a friend. “She would text me but I could not pay – the relationship soured,” says Jo, which is not her real name. She is one of the millions of people who borrow money from family and friends – a scenario that has increased during the pandemic. Read more here.

woman wearing mask waits at a bus stop on a foggy night

image sourceGetty Images

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Air travel is getting back off the ground now that coronavirus restrictions have eased, but around a quarter of the world’s passenger jets remain idle. They’ll either fly again, be put in storage or disassembled. With about 200 parts for older models and up to 1,200 components or more on newer ones, how do you recycle a jumbo jet? We’ve taken a look.

747 in storage

image sourceGetty Images

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Government statistics show 130,979 people have now died, with 26 deaths reported in the latest 24-hour period. In total, 6,295,613 people have tested positive, up 28,438 in the latest 24-hour period. Latest figures show 5,894 people in hospital. In total, 47,333,702 people have received their first vaccination. Updated 16 Aug.

It’s not long now until schools reopen for the next academic year, so what will the new term be like? Find out here.

Find further information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

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