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Covid-19: Regional tiers to be set out and how crisis could affect pay

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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 this evening.

1. England's regional Covid tiers to be set out

People in England will find out later which of three tiers of restrictions they will face when the national lockdown ends next week. And our political editor Laura Kuenssberg understands only a handful will be in the lowest tier, with most areas - including London - in tier two and "significant numbers" facing the toughest restrictions.

image copyrightPA Media

2. Tiers and Christmas: A recipe for disaster?

A government scientific adviser says the UK-wide relaxation of rules over Christmas - allowing three households to form a bubble between 23 and 27 December - amounts to "throwing fuel on the Covid fire". However, as health correspondent Nick Triggle reports, others argue there are huge benefits, and that the pivot from "paternalism to partnership" could help build public trust ahead of mass vaccination.

image copyrightPA Media

3. Covid crisis could 'cut pay by £1,200 a year by 2025'

Average pay packets could be £1,200 a year smaller by 2025 as a result of the pandemic, according to analysis from a think tank focused on improving living standards for people on low-to-middle incomes. "Weaker pay growth and higher unemployment will serve to prolong Britain's living standards squeeze", warns the Resolution Foundation. Meanwhile, with union leaders furious over a pay freeze on at least 1.3 million public sector workers, Chancellor Rishi Sunak tells the BBC he "couldn't justify" a rise when the disparity with private sector pay had widened.

image copyrightGetty Images

4. What ME could teach long Covid sufferers

Our knowledge of the long-term illness ME - or chronic fatigue syndrome - has helped specialists treat long Covid, the lingering effects suffered by some people who catch coronavirus. Evan was diagnosed with ME in 2017, and she believes her experience can help her support those living with long Covid.

media captionEvan was diagnosed with ME in 2017, and believes her experience can help long Covid sufferers

5. A glimmer of hope for cinemas?

It's been a terrible year for many industries and cinema has been among the worst hit, with most of the year's planned blockbusters put on hold in light of the various global lockdown restrictions. Movie theatres have paid the price, with Cineworld temporarily shutting up shop in the UK. But is the era of the Hollywood blockbuster over, or do busy cinemas in Asia offer a glimmer of hope?

image copyrightWarner Bros
image captionWonder Woman 1984 will be released in cinemas internationally ahead of its US big and small-screen debut on 25 December

And don't forget...

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

Here's a rundown of the rules around Christmas across the UK, restrictions for the various tiers in England and Scotland, and details of what's allowed in Wales and Northern Ireland.

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