Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Thursday morning. We’ll have another update for you at 18:00 BST.

1. Sunak to unveil emergency jobs scheme

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is to set out measures aimed at minimising further unemployment as stricter Covid-19 restrictions come into force. They are expected to replace the furlough scheme, which is due to expire next month.

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2. NHS Covid-19 app launches for the over-16s

People aged 16 and over in England and Wales are being urged to download the government’s newly-launched contact-tracing app. NHS Covid-19 instructs users to self-isolate for 14 days if it detects they were in close contact with someone who has the virus, and features a check-in scanner to alert owners if a venue they have visited is found to be an outbreak hotspot.

3. Flu jabs limited due to high demand

Governments have made more people eligible for the vaccine – such as over-50s in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and over-55s in Scotland – to try to avoid a combination of the annual flu season and a coronavirus surge overwhelming health services. But pharmacies and GP surgeries are limiting flu jabs to the most at-risk groups – such as the over-65s – in the face of increased demand.

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4. Male domestic abuse ‘soars during Covid lockdown’

Charities working with men who suffer domestic abuse say calls for help jumped by up to 60% during the lockdown, with some men sleeping in cars or tents. The Respect Men’s Advice Line says it received 13,812 calls and emails between April and July, compared to 8,648 in the same period in 2019. “I just used to isolate myself in my room and I used to be there for days,” one man tells us.

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5. UK volunteers could be given virus to test vaccine

The UK could be the first country in the world to carry out Covid “challenge trials” – where healthy volunteers are deliberately infected with coronavirus to test possible vaccines. It is understood the studies – first reported by the Financial Times – would be conducted in London, although no contracts have yet been signed.

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And don’t forget…

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

Our Q&A has all you need to know about the NHS Covid-19 contact-tracing app.


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