Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Monday morning. We'll have another update for you this evening.
1. PM to announce lockdown exit plan
The prime minister will announce later how England's third national lockdown will end - but those hoping for a quick return to the pub may be disappointed. All schools in England are set to reopen on 8 March, with a few days' flexibility built in. At the same time, two people will be allowed to meet outside in public - for example, for a picnic in a park. Currently, two people can only meet for exercise. By 29 March up to six people, or two households, will be allowed to meet outdoors, including in gardens, it is understood. Grassroots sport will also restart. However, Boris Johnson has said the reopening will be "cautious" and will depend on four conditions - including the vaccination programme and any new variants. You can read more about the routes out of lockdown here. And here's a reminder of how Mr Johnson announced the latest lockdown, back on 4 January.
2. Scottish and Welsh schools reopen for younger pupils
3. Vaccine booed at Australian Open
Australia's government has criticised fans at the Australian Open for booing the mention of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout. The booing happened during the awards ceremony at the men's final. Australia is just beginning its national inoculation programme and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack called the crowd's behaviour "disgusting". While the vaccine has broad support in Australia, it has also sparked protests. On Saturday, small crowds of anti-vaccination demonstrators marched in cities including Melbourne and Sydney - see footage below.
4. A UK hiring spree on its way?
More than half of UK employers intend to recruit in the next three months, according to new research, as the economy slowly reopens. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and recruiter Adecco say about 56% of the 2,000 firms surveyed plan to hire in the first quarter of 2021 - the highest figure in a year. The sectors with the strongest hiring intentions include healthcare, finance and insurance, education and ICT. "These are the first signs of positive employment prospects that we've seen in a year," said the CIPD's Gerwyn Davies.
5. A history of face masks
Once limited to bank robbers, eccentric pop stars and health-conscious (and conscientious) Japanese tourists, the wearing of face masks in public is now common enough to be dubbed "the new normal". Normal it might be - but it's not new. Read about London's five centuries of face coverings here.
And don't forget...
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