Covid: Can the UK avoid lockdown? And the toll on nurses' mental health

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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. Can the UK avoid a Europe-style return to lockdown?

Sharply rising Covid infection rates - prompting fresh restrictions and lockdowns - in parts of Western Europe have triggered fears the UK could follow suit. But our health correspondent Nick Triggle hears from scientists who say there are plenty of reasons to believe Britain will escape the worst of what is being seen on the continent. Here's his analysis.

2. One in three musicians earning zero after pandemic

Nine in every 10 musicians was surviving on less than £1,000 a month, with one-third still earning nothing even after restrictions on live events were lifted this summer, according to UK charity Help Musicians. The music industry is one of the last sectors to recover from the pandemic, it says, with its survey of 929 people in August suggesting 83% of professional musicians were unable to find regular work.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
James Brown of Pulled Apart By Horses says the band have made no touring income since 2019

3. Ministers meet again to discuss measures in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland's ministers meet again later to consider ways to curb the spread of Covid-19, with the health minister having warned that hospitality businesses may have to close over Christmas. During a meeting on Monday, ministers were unable to agree on messaging surrounding working from home or dealing with any rule breaches.

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Image caption,
Health Minister Robin Swann says it's not inevitable that hospitality will close

4. 'Most people in the NHS, they are sad'

The number of people leaving the nursing profession is at its highest rate since 2017, with 13,945 quitting between April and September this year, according to the Nursing and Midwifery Council. "We're all just crashing and burning out," says Emily Moorhouse, who quit her job in A&E to go into community nursing. She describes the toll on her mental health and tells us how people's messages of support can help NHS staff cope.

Image source, Emily Moorhouse

5. 'Wonky' Christmas lights return with a Covid twist

A blue angel, a two-legged "reinduck" and a grumpy penguin are among the Christmas lights in Newburgh, Fife, which lets primary school children design a new display each year. In 2020, Covid lockdowns meant organisers were unable to raise cash to pay for a new feature. But thanks to media coverage and subsequent donations from around the globe, this year's display will feature two new lights - one inspired by the pandemic.

Image source, Ricky Evans
Image caption,
Lois's winning rainbow marked the "strange Christmas" of 2020

And don't forget...

Wondering how many cases there are in your area just now? Our data round-up has the latest figures.

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

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