Covid-19: Government approves temporary visas, and stars perform at Global Citizen festival

3 weeks ago 26

Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Sunday. We'll have another update for you tomorrow.

1. Thousands to get temporary visas to tackle supply crisis

Temporary UK visas will be issued to up to 10,500 lorry drivers and poultry workers, the government has confirmed, as it tries to limit disruption to supply chains in the run-up to Christmas. It comes after a shortage of lorry drivers led to disrupted fuel deliveries and long queues at petrol stations. However, the British Chambers of Commerce said the measures were equivalent to "throwing a thimble of water on a bonfire". There is a shortage of around 90,000 drivers in the UK, says Logistics UK.

2. Billie Eilish and Ed Sheeran among stars to perform in 24-hour concert

Billie Eilish, Coldplay, Sir Elton John and Ed Sheeran are among a host of stars to perform at a 24-hour concert to raise awareness of vaccine inequality, climate change and famine. The Global Citizen festival, which began on Saturday, is featuring performances from more than 60 artists in cities including New York, London and Sydney. Non-governmental organisation Global Citizen, which organised the event, is urging international governments to deliver one billion vaccines to the poorest countries. Measures to tackle climate change and famine are also priorities. A few days ago, research revealed that rich countries are still holding surpluses of vaccines. Could 241 million doses go to waste?

image source, Getty Images

image captionThousands of people filled The Great Lawn in New York's Central Park for a concert in the city

3. Ireland ends mandatory Covid-19 hotel quarantine

Travellers arriving in the Republic of Ireland will no longer have to undergo mandatory hotel quarantine. The country's health minister made an announcement on Saturday saying it was to end "immediately". All countries have now been removed from the list of designated states. People arriving in Ireland without proof of being vaccinated or a negative PCR test will be told to quarantine at home.

image source, Getty Images

image captionAbout 50 people were in mandatory hotel quarantine at the time of the announcement

4. Tory peer aims to force universal credit vote

A Conservative peer is intending to force a vote in the Commons on government plans to scrap the £20-a-week top-up to the universal credit benefit. The extra money was introduced at the start of the pandemic, but it is officially due to end on 6 October. Baroness Stroud said it was a "tragedy" MPs had not had a "meaningful vote" on the planned cut. Read more about the impact the cut will have on people on universal credit.

image source, Getty Images

image captionBaroness Stroud says "you can be doing all the right things... and still be really struggling in the UK"

5. Young more likely to pray than over-55s - survey

A new survey has found that young people are twice as likely as older people to pray regularly - and the pandemic might be a reason why. Some 51% of 18 to 34-year-olds polled by Savanta ComRes said they pray at least once a month, compared with 24% of those aged 55 and over. Chris Hopkins, associate director of Savanta, said the numbers could reflect the move to online worship during the pandemic. "It is possible that the pandemic opened up more avenues to prayer to young people, and this is reflected in the findings," he said.

image source, coldsnowstorm

And don't forget...

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

Wondering about the flu vaccine, as the NHS braces for a difficult winter? Find out who's entitled to a free jab.

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