Covid: Scotland spending watchdog’s concerns, and travel firms confident for 2022on March 17, 2022 at 8:02 am

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

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Thursday morning.

1. Covid funding concerns

The Scottish government provided £4.4bn in grants and business rates relief between the start of the pandemic and October last year. A further £375m was announced following the emergence of Omicron last winter. But the spending watchdog Audit Scotland says it’s unable to determine where all of the nearly £5bn of Covid business funding went, and so can’t provide a detailed analysis. The speed and scale of the rollout helped to safeguard thousands of jobs and businesses, the government says.

Woman with mask walks past closing store

Image source, Getty Images

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2. Post-pandemic travel confidence

Most people would still be willing to go on holiday abroad this year, despite the possibility of higher ticket prices, according to one travel firm. The industry has confidence it will bounce back after coronavirus restrictions. The past two years have been particularly difficult for independent firms but they believe the sector is going to recover strongly. Read more here.

A couple on a beach in the Maldives

Image source, Getty Images

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3. Face masks divide US students

Some US students are divided over wearing face coverings in school. There have been protests to keep them in place over health concerns – while others welcome not wearing them. We’ve spoken to students on both sides of the debate to find out how it affects them. Watch more here.

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4. Scotland’s Covid surge

The latest Covid surge in Scotland may peak within the next fortnight, then decline as the virus runs out of people to infect. That’s what public heath expert Christine Tait-Burkard thinks, and says the resurgence has been driven by a new more transmissible sub-variant of Omicron. There were more patients with Covid on Wednesday than in January. Read more here.

Covid sign

Image source, Getty Images

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5. Covid concerns leave wheelchair rugby team depleted

A wheelchair youth rugby club is down to just one player with a disability since resuming training after a two-year hiatus due to Covid. Tal, 14, who has cerebral palsy, said: “I think that a lot of people were scared about coming back because of Covid.” Here’s the full story.

Summary figures on Covid, deaths, cases and people in hospital

And don’t forget…

Here’s everything you need to know about the difference between a cold and Covid.

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

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