Covid-19: Taskforce for at-home treatments and Scotland to ease lockdown

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Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Tuesday evening. We'll have another update for you on Wednesday morning.

1. Search begins for at-home treatments

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced an anti-viral taskforce to investigate Covid treatments that could be taken at home, as he warned there will likely be "another wave of Covid at some stage this year" in the UK. Speaking at a Downing Street press conference, he said anti-viral treatments could be a part of the UK's defence against Covid, as "we will have to live with this disease". Also at the briefing, Nikita Kanani, medical director of primary care for NHS England, said uptake of the vaccine among ethnic minority backgrounds had tripled since February, outpacing the national average across all ethnicities.

Media caption,

Boris Johnson says he hopes pills to treat Covid at home can be developed

2. Blood clots 'very rare' Johnson & Johnson side-effect

Blood clots should be listed as a "very rare" side-effect of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine, the EU's drug regulator has said. The European Medicines Agency said it had found a "possible link" between the jab and clots, but added that the benefits of the Covid-19 vaccine outweighed the risks. Earlier this month, the EMA made the same recommendation for the Covid-19 vaccine produced by Oxford-AstraZeneca.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been administered to more than seven million people in the US

3. India's addition to red list 'may be too late'

The UK's decision to add India to the red list of banned countries may have been made too late, the UK's former chief scientific adviser has said. The announcement about India was made on Monday after 103 cases of a new variant from India were detected in the UK. Prof Mark Walport told the BBC: "These decisions are almost inevitably taken a bit too late in truth, but what's absolutely clear is that this variant is more transmissible in India." Meanwhile, around 100 people are trying to enter the country each day with a "fake Covid certificate", MPs have heard. Read our explainers here about why India was not already on the red list and more on the Indian and other variants.

Image source, PA Media

4. Young facing brunt of jobs crisis

The jobs crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic continues to most badly affect the young, official figures have shown. In the year to March, 811,000 payroll jobs were lost in the UK, with under-35s accounting for 80% of these losses. The ONS said younger people were suffering disproportionately because sectors such as retail and hospitality were hit hard by the crisis.

Image source, Getty Images

5. Scotland's pubs, shops and gyms to reopen

The most significant stage of Scotland's lockdown easing will take place as planned on Monday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed. Hospitality venues, gyms and non-essential shops will reopen while non-essential travel with England, Wales and Northern Ireland will also be allowed for the first time this year. Mrs Sturgeon said life should look "much more like normality" during July. Read our pieces on what rules are changing and we answer readers' questions here about coming out of lockdown here.

Image source, Getty Images

And don't forget...

Find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

After India was placed on the UK's travel "red list", remind yourself which other locations are subject to travel bans and quarantine.

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