Covid-19: UK economy to bounce back and jab site privacy fears

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

1. UK economy to enjoy fast growth as restrictions ease

The UK economy is set to expand at the fastest rate since World War Two as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, the Bank of England says. It is expected to grow by 7.25% this year, with extra government spending helping limit job losses. It follows a contraction of 9.9% in 2020, the biggest for 300 years. Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey says while the growth is "good news" it is "more of a bounce back" than a boom and will only see the economy recover to 2019 levels.

2. Complaints after booking site reveals vaccine status

The NHS is revising the booking system for Covid-19 jabs in England after complaints that it could reveal individuals' vaccination status. By entering details such as a person's name, date of birth and postcode it may be possible to work out how many doses they have had as the website gives a different result. NHS Digital said the system had no direct access to medical records but privacy campaigners Big Brother Watch called it a "shocking failure".

image sourceReuters

3. Black leaders blame racism for lower jab take up

During England's coronavirus vaccine programme an inequality has shown itself, with black people less likely to have had the jab than any other group. By April, 64% of black over-50s had been vaccinated compared with 93% of white people of the same age. The reasons for this are complex with unethical medical treatment in the past, ongoing discrimination and personal experiences of insensitive treatment by the NHS all believed to play a part. Doctors, researchers and campaigners who spoke to the BBC said they feared black communities were being blamed. You can read more on this issue here.

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4. World's oldest person pulls out of Olympic torch relay

The world's oldest person will not take part in the Olympic torch relay because she is worried about spreading Covid-19 to others in her nursing home. Kane Tanaka, 118, was supposed to take part in the relay for Tokyo 2020 in Fukuoka, southern Japan, on 11 May. She has joined several others in pulling out of the relay, which started in March, over concerns about the virus. The event, which builds up to the start of the Games, has been hit by a coronavirus outbreak with eight cases linked to it.

image sourceReuters

5. Man uses lockdown to bring golf course to the fore

Many of us took on lockdown projects over the past year but not many can claim to have uncovered a lost golf course. That's what Chris Powell did when he started clearing bracken on common land near Rhayader, Powys. The nine-hole golf course was designed in 1920s by Dr Alister MacKenzie, who was also responsible for courses including Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, and had been unused for decades. Mr Powell said he spent the "best part of 1,000 hours" playing or clearing the course.

And don't forget...

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

And with companies starting to think about getting workers back into the office you might want to know whether you can ask to keep working from home and if it is safe to return to the commute.

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