Covid-19: 'Grave concern' over court backlog, and Biden keeps Covid travel bans

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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. 'Grave concern' at Covid court backlog

"Justice delayed is justice denied" is a common expression in the legal system. And because of Covid-19, many crime victims are being denied justice - as a backlog of court cases means alleged perpetrators are not being put on trial promptly. Jury trials stopped during the first period of the pandemic. Although they have resumed - with social distancing - many crimes committed last year will not reach trial until next year. The number of outstanding crown court cases in England and Wales has grown from 40,000 in March to 54,000 now. In one example, a domestic violence case from summer 2019 was expected to reach trial in spring 2020. It won't now be heard until spring 2022. "I am so desperate to move on... I feel utterly powerless," said the victim.

image copyrightJulia Quenzler

2. Biden keeps Covid travel bans

US President-elect Joe Biden's spokeswoman says the US will maintain travel bans on the UK, much of the EU and Brazil - despite an order from President Donald Trump to lift them. The White House decreed on Monday that the entry ban would end on 26 January - six days after Mr Biden takes office. But Mr Biden's spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, said on Twitter that now was not the time to ease travel measures. Read about the UK's travel restrictions here.

image copyrightReuters

3. Is the Covid self-employed support scheme unfair to women?

Campaigners are bringing a judicial review for indirect sexual discrimination on Thursday. They say the self-employed income support scheme - which averages profits between 2016 and 2019 - is unfair to around 75,000 women who've taken maternity leave. Watch more below.

media captionCheryl Liversuch and others say the SEISS discriminates against women who took maternity leave

4. 'My boss made me come to work and I caught Covid'

Jane works as an administrator for a private healthcare firm in Oxfordshire - a job she is expected to do from the office, even in lockdown. However, since she caught Covid at work before Christmas, she has chosen to work from home because she feels safer - something that is causing problems with her boss. "The office is so small and it is impossible to socially distance," she tells the BBC. Read more about Jane - and other concerned workers - here.

image copyrightGetty Images

5. Inside a London intensive care unit

New cases of coronavirus have fallen by almost a quarter across the UK in the past week - but hospital admissions are still rising (see graphs below). The BBC's Clive Myrie has been to the Royal London Hospital to see a system struggling to cope.

media captionMartin Freeborn's wife, Helen, died from Covid at the Royal London Hospital: 'Don't end up like us, please'

And don't forget...

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

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