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BBC Front Page News

Covid: UK to close all travel corridors from Monday

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the action is needed to protect against the risk of new Covid strains.

Coronavirus: EU anger over reduced Pfizer vaccine deliveries

Many EU countries are receiving significantly fewer doses due to a change in manufacturing processes.

Covid-19: UK travel corridors to close and small firms' court win

Five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Friday evening.

Covid-19: Early signs of lockdown restrictions working

The R number in the UK is officially estimated at 1.2-1.3 as a further 1,280 deaths are reported.

BBC news for Somerset

Covid-19: Student union calls for help over private rent

The National Union of Students says it is "unacceptable" that there is no help.

Somerset special school opens despite lockdown 'curveball'

The Levels School has taken just under a year to set up and will eventually have 65 pupils.

Covid-19: Rest days cancelled as police hit by virus

Avon and Somerset Police currently has 82 officers off work after testing positive for coronavirus.

Portishead mum mistakes pregnancy for lockdown weight gain

Samantha Hicks attributed her baby's kicking to sickness having been in hospital with Covid-19.

AskTen - Nine things you may not have noticed last week!


1. A strategy to stop procrastinating. Procrastination is a struggle for many, but it can be overcome with a few simple questions. Focusing on four reflection points each day can cut to the psychological root of procrastination to help eliminate distraction and get work done. Start by reflecting on these four questions: [MORE]

2. Lockdown could last until April. Boris Johnson has warned that tough lockdown restrictions could remain in place until April. Speaking in the House of Commons, the prime minister said that restrictions would be lifted only “brick by brick”. “We are in a tough final stretch, made only tougher by the new variant,” he said. “Our emergence from the lockdown cocoon will not be a big bang but a gradual unwrapping.” The Times

3. World bank warns of lost decade. The World Bank has warned of a “lost decade” economically because of the impact of the pandemic on global trade and investment - as well as on education and its contribution to productivity. The international bank lowered its estimate for potential worldwide growth between 2020 and 2029 to 1.9%, compared to a 2.5% expansion last decade. While the bank projects growth this year of 4% following last year’s 4.3% contraction, it has lowered the 2021 outlook by 0.2 percentage point from June. A World Bank spokesman said policymakers could not afford to wait for everyone to be vaccinated before acting to restore growth. Forbes

4. UK Records more than 80,000 Covid deaths. More than 80,000 people have died in the UK within 28 days of a positive Covid test since the start of the pandemic, official figures have shown. According to Johns Hopkins University, only the US, Brazil, India and Mexico have recorded more Covid deaths. The Office for National Statistics says one in every 50 people in England are infected with Covid-19 and last week, the UK recorded more than 1,000 daily deaths; and patients are getting younger. BBC

5. Boosting morale in difficult times. Having to adapt to frequent change means that motivation is lower than it might be at the start of a new year. Research shows that psychological safety is one of the most important qualities for a successful team and boosting morale can give people the comfort they need to thrive. Active listening, celebrating small wins and offering positive feedback for a job well done all help give a sense of achievement, psychologists say. More positive interactions than negative will likely help everyone’s mood – and helping others can also boost our own wellbeing. Editor


6. Pandemic prompts population change. The pandemic is set to change Britain's population, with the birth rate predicted to fall and London’s population set to shrink for the first time since 1988. That’s according to a PwC report that says economic uncertainty could mean people put off having children, bringing forward the pressures on public services associated with an ageing population. The report also expects London’s population to fall this year as increased home working encourages people to move out of the city. House price predictions suggest similar, with experts expecting prices to rise more quickly outside the capital, particularly in the north-west. The Sunday Times

7. UK set for double-dip recession. The UK could suffer its first double-dip recession since 1975, with output in the first quarter of this year set to be £24.6bn lower than would have been the case without the new lockdown, according to the EY Item Club. The economic forecasting group says the economy will have a “challenging start to 2021”, leading to a second period of contraction. The British Chambers of Commerce has also predicted a double-dip recession. Metro

8. Britain is suffering from a Covid-induced sleep crisis. 42% of people told researchers that their sleep had worsened during the pandemic and 53% said they were now dissatisfied with their rest. “Even before Covid we were saying we were going through a global epidemic of sleeplessness, and now all of the things which fuel poor sleep have been magnified,” said a spokesperson for the study. The Telegraph,

9. Is Trump headed for Scotland? Donald Trump could be planning to visit Scotland during Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony. Sources at an airport in Prestwick, near the Trump-owned Turnberry golf resort, say a US military plane is scheduled to arrive on 19 January, and that the aircraft - a Boeing 757 - had been used by the US president on past trips. President-elect Biden is due to be sworn-in as America’s 46th president on 20 January. The Independent

10. The bottom line. Elon Musk has overtaken Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest person. Shares in Tesla, the electric car company he co-founded, have surged upwards on hopes that a Democrat-controlled US Senate would support a more-green agenda. Writing on Twitter, Musk responded to the news of his status as the world’s richest person saying, “how strange” and “well, back to work …” The Guardian