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Covid-19: Extra support for tier 2 workers and Paul McCartney's lockdown album

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  • Coronavirus pandemic

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Thursday morning. We'll have another update for you at 18:00 BST.

1. Workers in tier 2 areas to get more support

The chancellor is expected to announce new support for workers in parts of England under tier two restrictions later. Rishi Sunak will bolster the Job Support Scheme - which replaces furlough next month - after businesses such as bars complained they would be better off forced to shut under tier three conditions because they would qualify for more government wage support.

image copyrightGetty Images

2. Licensed trade warns of 'battle' to survive

Scotland's licensed trade faces a "battle" to survive after Wednesday's extension of Covid restrictions kept pubs and restaurants across the central belt closed until 2 November, according to the Scottish Hospitality Group. The Scottish government says it has made a range of grants available to help businesses but Neil Douglas, who runs Glasgow's Ardnamurchan restaurant, told BBC Scotland: "If we get to the end of the year without losing people I would be amazed."

image copyrightGetty Images

3. Ethnic minority Covid risk 'not down to structural racism'

A scientist advising the government on ethnicity and Covid says "structural racism is not a reasonable explanation" for black and south Asian people's greater risk of illness and death. An earlier report by Public Health England suggested racism may contribute to the unequal death toll but Dr Raghib Ali said focusing on factors like jobs and housing, rather than ethnicity, would help more people.

image copyrightGetty Images

4. Rayner apologises for 'scum' remark

Labour's deputy leader says she's sorry for using the word "scum" during a debate over support for areas subject to the top level of coronavirus restrictions. Angela Rayner made the comment in the Commons on Wednesday during a speech by Tory MP Chris Clarkson.

media captionWatch the exchange where "scum" was heard in the Commons and Angela Rayner was rebuked by the deputy Speaker

5. Macca reveals his 'fun' lockdown album

Sir Paul McCartney is to release a solo album with "echoes of the pandemic" that he recorded in nine weeks during the Covid-19 lockdown. Titled McCartney III, it follows 1970's McCartney I and 1980's McCartney II, both of which were also recorded alone. The former Beatle reveals: "I was just messing around, never suspecting for one second that this was going to be an album."

image copyrightMary McCartney/MPL

And don't forget...

...the rules on visiting pubs depend on where you live. Refresh your memory.

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

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