- The UK's collective sacrifice during the coronavirus pandemic must lead to a better future, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer says
- Covid has exposed deep inequalities and injustices in society and the government needs to play a bigger role in the economy permanently, Sir Keir says
- There has been a "strong decline" in levels of coronavirus infections in England since January, say scientists tracking the epidemic
- A group of MPs and peers have signed a letter to the prime minister calling for compensation for key workers suffering from "long Covid"
- Almost two million people have not worked for at least six months because of the economic impact of the pandemic, a think tank says
- Life expectancy in the US fell by a full year in the first half of 2020, a change experts say was fuelled by the growing coronavirus pandemic
- Ministers in Northern Ireland are to meet to discuss whether to extend the nation's lockdown restrictions
- A star-filled video urging people from ethnic minority communities to get the Covid vaccine will be shown on TV in the UK later
- Many European countries are ignoring mentally ill patients in their Covid vaccine campaign, according to a survey published by the Lancet
Good morningWelcome to today’s live page. Here is a summary of the main coronavirus stories in the UK today.
- There has been a "strong decline" in the level of coronavirus infections in England since January, say scientists tracking the epidemic. Infections have dropped by two-thirds since lockdown began, with an 80% fall in London, but virus levels are still high, with one in 200 testing positive last week
- Boris Johnson is facing fresh calls to compensate keyworkers suffering from "long Covid" . A total of 65 MPs and peers have signed a letter to the PM, asking for it to be recognised as an occupational disease. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus estimates approximately 390,000 people will have long Covid in the UK
- A video featuring celebrities including singer Beverley Knight, Olympian Denise Lewis and Citizen Khan’s Adil Ray will be shown on TV on Thursday evening, urging people from ethnic minority communities to get the Covid vaccine .The campaign comes amid growing concern about the uptake of Covid vaccines among BAME communities in the UK
- Government support for workers needs to be wound down gradually to keep a lid on rising unemployment , the Resolution Foundation has said. The think tank warned many furloughed workers are expected to lose their jobs when the scheme ends. It said furlough should remain in place for several months after restrictions are lifted to give employers time to recover
- Government needs to play a bigger role in the economy permanently, Labour's leader Sir Keir Starmer will argue on Thursday. Sir Keir will say there cannot be a "return to business as usual" in the wake of the virus and argue for a new partnership between "an active state and enterprising business".
What the UK papers sayToday's newspapers report Boris Johnson's cautious words on lockdown easing – with the focus shifting to young people and their role in spreading the virus.
- The Daily Telegraph says the government's plans to reopen schools in England will involve parents testing their children for coronavirus twice a week at home .
- The agreement that secondary school pupils should take bi-weekly lateral-flow tests at home during term time is said to be a "compromise" between the government and teaching unions, who were unhappy about the idea of mass testing in schools.
- The Guardian highlights why the testing of young people could become a crucial issue , pointing to the latest React study of infection rates by Imperial College London. It suggests Covid-19 is now spreading most among 18 to 24-year-olds and and children aged between 5 and 12.
- The Express and the Mirror both report comments by the prime minister, insisting on a "cautious" data-led approach to lifting the lockdown.
- It is a position that appears to have frustrated the Daily Mail, given its headline: "Now take the brakes off, Boris!"
- Business chiefs and MPs are part of the "growing clamour" for more haste, the paper says, amid fears restrictions could last until July.
Latest around Europe
- Italy's new prime minister, Mario Draghi, easily won a vote of confidence in the upper house of Congress - the Senate - last night, after telling Italians they had to pull together to help rebuild the country after the pandemic. He also promised to fight Covid "with all means". He is now set to win today's vote by MPs in the lower house too.
- Many European countries are ignoring mentally ill patients in their Covid vaccine campaign, even though they are particularly vulnerable. In a survey of 20 countries published by the Lancet, only the Netherlands, UK, Germany and Denmark have recognised severe mental illness as a high-risk condition. Belgian professor Livia De Picker says patients are between 1.5 and two times more likely to die than others.
- Airline Air France-KLM has announced net losses of €7.1bn (£6bn; $8.6bn) for 2020, with income badly hit by the pandemic. The previous year it made a profit but Chief Executive Benjamin Smith said the air transport industry had been hit by its "most severe crisis ever". European plane manufacturer Airbus says it managed to limit its losses to €1.1bn last year, slightly better results than 2019.
- A French vet school has launched a dog training programme to see if sniffing for Covid-19 is more effective than normal PCR tests. The dogs will have to sniff through a metal cone a compress soaked in the sweat of 2,000 young volunteers. Finland's Helsinki-Vantaa airport ran a test late last year using six dogs which officials said was "surprisingly good and promising".