Covid-19: Lockdown set to ease and suspected AZ vaccine-linked blood clots in NI

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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. Indoor pints and household mixing set to return

The next phase of coronavirus lockdown restrictions easing is almost here. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to make an announcement later about what we will be able to do from next Monday, 17 May. Indoor hospitality and household mixing is set to return - and so could hugging. In Wales and Scotland indoor hospitality is also expected to reopen along with other measures from 17 May, while further restrictions may be lifted in Northern Ireland on 24 May.

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2. Five suspected AZ vaccine-linked blood clots in NI

Northern Ireland has had five suspected cases of blood clot cases linked to the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. That is from a total of 550,000 people given the vaccine up to 28 April. The figure is in proportion to other suspected cases from across the UK including England (198); Scotland (18); Wales (9) and unknown (12). In a statement, the Department of Health said the AstraZeneca vaccine had already saved thousands of lives in the UK and around the world.

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3. The refugee nurses being fast-tracked into the NHS

Refugee nurses are being fast-tracked into the NHS as part of a pioneering scheme in Liverpool. Those involved explain why the pandemic means it's vital the UK uses their medical experience.

4. Can you tell if someone is struggling?

Lockdowns, social distancing, working from home, furlough and job losses - the pandemic has put an extra strain on people's lives, relationships and mental wellbeing. See how you would react in this scenario, where someone is struggling.

5. Problems awaiting us greater than Covid - Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough says the problems that await the world in the next five to 10 years because of climate change are greater than the coronavirus pandemic.

media captionSir David Attenborough highlights need for international agreement.

And there's more...

We are due to find out later if government advice not to hug people will be lifted. How safe is it? Here are some tips to keep safe.

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

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