Covid-19: Booster jab announcement and vaccination in schools

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

1. Booster jab announcement expected

A UK-wide programme of booster jabs to help prevent Covid will be confirmed later, the BBC understands. Ministers are expected to announce a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine will be available to over-50s at least six months after their second dose, with the over-70s and those most at risk again prioritised.

Image source, PA Media

2. Covid jab rollout to start in schools in England

All children aged 12 to 15 in England will be offered one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid jab, says Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi. The programme will be rolled out through schools, with invitations going out from next week and parental consent being sought, the government says. Rollouts are yet to be confirmed in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Image source, Getty Images

3. Record job vacancies as furlough winds down

Early data suggests the number of people in jobs returned to pre-Covid levels in August, although more than a million people were still furloughed, according to the Office for National Statistics. The number of job vacancies hit a record high - topping one million - with the unemployment rate falling to 4.6%, the official figures show, although the ONS adds young people have been badly affected by job losses.

Image source, EPA

4. Scrap Covid tests for most travellers, says industry

Tourism industry body Abta is urging the government to scrap Covid PCR testing for fully vaccinated travellers returning from lower-risk countries and perform a "significant overhaul" of the traffic-light system for destinations. It says the policies have "choked off" this summer's travel trade, with seven out of 10 travel firms planning to make redundancies after furlough ends. The government says protecting public health is its priority and that decisions on the traffic-light system are kept under regular review.

Image source, Reuters

5. Illuminations event returns to dazzle crowds

Like many events, it was cancelled last year, and in 2019 it had to be cut short after Derbyshire's River Derwent burst its banks. But the Matlock Bath Illuminations event has made a triumphant return, with hand-decorated boats in the design of a Ghostbusters car, Sonic the Hedgehog and - the winner - a carousel, delighting crowds.

Media caption,

Matlock Bath Illuminations make sparkling return

And don't forget...

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

Confused about whether vaccination for children will be compulsory? As our Q&A explains, it isn't.

Image source, BBC

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