Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Friday morning. We’ll have another update for you at 18:00 GMT.
1. Learning disability Covid deaths ‘six times higher’
People with learning disabilities were up to six times more likely to die from Covid-19 during the first wave of the pandemic, Public Health England analysis suggests. It has prompted the charity Mencap to accuse the government of failing to protect a group already experiencing health inequalities. Social Care Minister Helen Whately says more testing is being carried out in care homes and among those most at risk.
2. Restrictions extended for a week in Northern Ireland
A partial reopening of some sectors in Northern Ireland has been delayed until next Friday after a compromise was reached by the executive. Those offering some close-contact services, such as hair and beauty salons and driving instructors, will be able to resume trade by appointment on 20 November, when cafes and coffee shops reopen. However, a “graduated” reopening of hospitality means restaurants, pubs and hotels will not welcome customers inside until a week later.
3. Positive Covid tests for more than 800 police
Some 849 police officers in the UK have tested positive for Covid since the pandemic began, according to figures from 24 of the UK’s 45 police forces. The Police Federation, which represents officers, says they are in “constant worry” when confronting offenders who might spit, bite or cough at them.
4. Too early for Christmas plans, Europeans warned
Anyone hoping to book flights to see relatives in Europe this Christmas might want to hang fire. Irish and French authorities say it’s too soon to say whether people can make travel arrangements while, in Sweden, people have been told to prepare for possible travel restrictions during the holiday period. Lockdowns and other measures remain in force in several countries.
5. Diwali celebrations ‘will be difficult’
Chancellor Rishi Sunak accepts celebrating Diwali will be a challenge this weekend, without temple visits, fireworks and family feasting, but is urging fellow Hindus to stick to lockdown restrictions. However, readers might take inspiration from the “DIY Diwalis” planned by Newsbeat listeners, involving cooking, online challenges and even singalongs over Zoom.
And don’t forget…
You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.
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