UK cabinet minister Michael Gove has said that A-Level exams will â€œabsolutelyâ€ go ahead next year.
Gove said the exams were â€œcritically important in making sure students have a chance to show what theyâ€™ve learnt and what their skills areâ€ and gave them â€œrobust, independently verified qualificationsâ€ which were a â€œpassport to a better futureâ€.
This differs dramatically from the rest of the UK:
In Scotland, higher and advanced higher exams will not go ahead, and will be replaced with teacher assessed grades based on evidence of the studentâ€™s attainment.
In Wales, there will be no end of year exams for those taking GCSE, AS level and A level qualifications approved by Qualifications Wales and delivered by WJEC in summer 2021.
Northern Ireland is set to reduce their exams, but not cancel them entirely.
It is likely to be summertime before herd immunity is reached through a coronavirus vaccine programme in the UK, respiratory disease expert Professor Calum Semple has said.
Semple said between 70 and 80% of the population needed to be vaccinated before herd immunity could be achieved.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Prof Semple said: â€œObviously there is an urgency about this and we know that it is difficult to vaccinate lots of people at the same time – weâ€™ve got a population of just under 70 million people and weâ€™re going to move through them in an orderly fashion vaccinating people most at risk.â€
â€œThe people that have been vaccinated will be protected within a matter of weeks and thatâ€™s very important,â€ he added. â€œOn an individual basis these vaccines are so good that they will protect individuals, so we donâ€™t have to wait for this nonsense about herd immunity developing through natural infection, we can start to protect the individuals.
â€œTo get the wider community herd immunity from vaccination rather than through natural infection will take probably 70% to 80% of the population to be vaccinated, and that, Iâ€™m afraid, is going to take us right into the summer I expect.â€
Donald Trump has signed a $900bn coronavirus relief package to help the US economy recover from the pandemic, after threatening to reject the bill last week.
The aid package was agreed by Democrats and Republicans in Congress late last Sunday, after months of negotiations. But Trump unexpectedly demanded that the package, which had already been passed by the House and Senate and was believed to have Trumpâ€™s support, be revised to include larger relief checks and scaled-back spending on foreign aid.
Despite his initial protests, the president released a statement last night saying that he had signed the bill.
You can read the full story here:
What does the bill offer?
The aid package includes $286bn in direct economic relief, with more than half going on payments of $600 to individuals.
The US government will also restart pandemic unemployment benefits at $300 a week, which will last until 14 March. However, this is a drop in the amount offered from the $600 payments that expired in July.
It includes funding for businesses, the arts, and foreign aid.
You can read more about what it offers here:
Hello everyone, Iâ€™m Molly Blackall. Iâ€™ll be bringing you the latest updates in the coronavirus pandemic in the UK and around the world over the next few hours.
If you spot something you think we should be reporting on in this blog, you can drop me a message on Twitter. Tips and pointers are always much appreciated, so thanks in advance!