Covid: Plea not to 'squander' gains and poorer nations jabs appeal

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

1. 'Don't squander Covid gains' - NHS England boss

Ahead of lockdown restrictions easing on Monday, the head of NHS England has urged people not to "squander the gains" that have been made against coronavirus. Outdoor gatherings are allowed in England from Monday. But although "enormous progress" had been made, Prof Stephen Powis warned that it "does not mean job done". It comes after Boris Johnson said the roadmap for easing England's lockdown remained on track. Meanwhile, Wales has become the first in the UK to lift travel restrictions within its borders.

Image source, Getty Images

2. PM urged to share Covid jabs with poorer nations

More than 29 million UK adults have received a first dose of a Covid vaccine, but in many countries around the world, a single jab has not been given. Now, the PM is being urged to "swiftly clarify" how many doses the UK is prepared to donate to poorer nations. A group of charities, including Save the Children and the Wellcome Trust, want Mr Johnson to start donating doses through the Covax scheme. So, how fast is the vaccine progress around the world?

Image source, Reuters

3. Rapid home Covid tests to be available for workers

In an attempt to detect asymptomatic cases quickly and help prevent workplace outbreaks, employers in England will be able to offer free coronavirus tests to staff to take at home. Firms with more than 10 employees will be offered home kits from 6 April. Businesses should register by 12 April for the lateral flow tests, which can give results in less than 30 minutes, and they are free until 30 June.

Image source, Getty Images

4. Easter celebrations set to rival Christmas

Easter marks the first time in months that many friends and families will be able to see each other again. As such, weekend celebrations are more significant this year, with shoppers pulling out all the stops. Easter trees, decorations and garden improvements are all popular searches.

Image source, Sainsbury
Image caption,
Sainsbury's says searches for its Easter trees rose nearly 1,000%

5. 'My pet has helped me so much during the pandemic'

Since the pandemic began, there has been an increase in demand for pets. Many owners have credited their four-legged companions with helping them through the challenges of lockdown. From Francesca Balon who goes on regular walks with her guide dog Sean, to Raisa Daya whose kitten has replaced the need for therapy, these owners share what their pets mean to them.

Image source, Contributors

And don't forget...

Find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page, like this explainer on what a third wave might look like.

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