Coronavirus latest: US data show Covid-19 cases declining but few signs of a return to work

UK ministers will be deployed to encourage the estimated 10 per cent of over-70s yet to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to come forward for their first dose. More than 14m people in the UK have been vaccinated with their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, while more than 530,000 have received their second dose, data shows.

The World Health Organization has outlined the major threats to Covax, its project to ensure developing countries get their fair share of coronavirus vaccines. The chief obstacle is a $27bn funding gap, which threatens its plan to distribute tests and treatments, according to WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Pupils sit with their laptop computers at St Joseph Catholic School in La Puente, California

US schools can reopen safely without teachers being vaccinated as long as masks are worn and pupils stay six feet away from each other when possible, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said. The US public health authority revealed new guidelines on Friday for how schools can safely reopen with in-person classes.

The UK government’s new border regime to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic came under increasing strain, with its quarantine hotel booking system down for a second day and growing concerns over how the scheme will work. The website went down shortly after its launch on Thursday and was offline for more than 24 hours.

Companies news you might have missed …, the online travel company, faces legal action from the UK’s competition regulator unless it refunds £1m to customers whose holidays were cancelled last year. The company has seven days to repay 2,600 holidaymakers still waiting for refunds, the Competition and Markets Authority said.

L’Oréal, the world’s biggest cosmetics maker, envisions a boom for beauty once Covid-19 subsides similar to the roaring 1920s that followed the influenza pandemic of 1918. The message came after the company behind brands such as Maybelline, Garnier and Kiehl’s reported stronger than expected fourth-quarter sales.

Customer Sara Roschanzamir checks out L’Oréal products at a Karstadt store in Frankfurt

Disney said the pandemic knocked $2.6bn from its operating income in the most recent quarter, as its theme parks were shut or operating at limited capacity. The world’s largest entertainment company warned the pandemic would increase its costs by $1bn this fiscal year, because it has to spend more on safety measures.

Bloomberg News is set to lay off about 90 editorial employees, including senior editors in Europe. Justin Smith, chief executive of Bloomberg Media, said last year that live events made up nearly 15 per cent of revenues for Bloomberg’s news division. However, events have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

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