September 23, 2020

Coronavirus: Vaccine trial breakthrough, but high streets take further hits

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Monday evening. We’ll have another update for you on Tuesday morning.

1. A good day for scientists…

Vaccine trials involving more than 1,000 people suggest the injection is safe and triggers an immune response to help people fight coronavirus. The UK has already ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine, named ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. But it is still too soon to know if this is enough to offer protection and larger trials are under way. Here’s an explainer on the global progress being made in the search for a vaccine. Meanwhile, early results of a separate trial suggest a new protein treatment reduces the number of virus patients needing intensive care.

Image copyright Oxford University

2. …but more bad news for high streets

Retail giant Marks and Spencer says 950 store management and head office jobs are at risk because the pandemic has forced it to accelerate cost-cutting measures. M&S’s food stores were open throughout lockdown, but trading in other parts of the business was severely affected. As the UK’s high streets struggle to deal with the economic impact of the pandemic, we look at what things are like in one town, Bournemouth.

Image copyright Getty Images

3. Government pressured over holiday childcare

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is calling for more financial support from the government for holiday activities and childcare providers. He says parents will be in an “impossible position” if they have to stop working from home but do not have access to childcare or children’s summer clubs. Some key workers in Wales have backed that up.

Image copyright Jacob King

4. Masks mandatory in France

Face masks and coverings have been a hot topic throughout the pandemic – and today is no different as France has made it compulsory to wear them in all enclosed public spaces. President Emmanuel Macron declared a “first victory” over the virus in June and has ended the national state of emergency, but local outbreaks remain. Here are some tips on wearing a face covering when they become mandatory in shops in England – and here’s how to make your own.

Image copyright Getty Images

5. ‘Dreams take time’ – advice for 2020’s graduates

School leavers and graduates from around the world, in normal circumstances, would be starting jobs by now. But the pandemic has put all their plans in jeopardy – with unemployment figures rising and the global economy in peril. We asked one woman, who entered the job market during the global recession in 2008, to give some advice to this year’s graduates.

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Media captionJob market lessons from a 2008 graduate for the class of 2020

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