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Covid: Voter anger over lockdown parties, and is pandemic entering its endgame?

SharecloseShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingHere are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Saturday morning. We'll have another update for you tomorrow.1. Voter anger mounts over lockdown partiesConservative MPs have been contacted by hundreds of angry constituents about the reports of parties being held in Downing Street while Covid restrictions were in place. The MPs say their inboxes have filled up, with one telling the BBC the situation now feels "terminal". It comes after Downing Street apologised to Buckingham Palace on Friday for two staff parties in No 10 on the eve of Prince Philip's funeral. Meanwhile, Laura Kuenssberg wonders what's a prime minister to do when even kids joke about his future?Image source, UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor via Reuters2. Is the pandemic entering its endgame?"I think life in 2022 will be almost back to before the pandemic," Prof Julian Hiscox, chairman in infection and global health at the University of Liverpool, says. There is growing confidence that the Omicron variant could be hurtling the UK into the pandemic end game. But what might that look like? There will be no magic wand to make the virus disappear, but instead we will have to get used to the word "endemic", meaning Covid is here to stay. 3. Christmas Covid rules 'cost pubs £16,000 each'Covid restrictions have had a significant impact on businesses, particularly those in the hospitality sector. In December, the Welsh government put restrictions on large events and businesses. Pubs lost on average £16,000 each during the latest round of Covid measures, according to the Welsh Beer and Pub Association. The group's chief executive Emma McClarkin said "a lot of damage has been done", but welcomed restrictions being lifted over the next two weeks as Wales moves to alert level zero.Image source, Getty Images4. 'We're so proud of how Bertie bounced back'"When I think about how proud I am, it just makes me that emotional," says the mother of five-year-old Bertie, who is non-verbal and has autism. A challenging lockdown saw him deprived of his special needs playgroup, autism outreach and speech therapy. But since he's joined school, he's thrived, says his mother Laura, from Loughborough. This video can not be playedTo play this video you need to enable JavaScript in your browser.5. Call to follow Sheen's lead to save charitiesCovid had been "devastating" for charities who rely on retail income, according to the head of the British Heart Foundation Cymru, which lost about £50m in the first year of the pandemic due to shop closures. Now charities are urging people to follow in the footsteps of actor Michael Sheen after he donated some suits to a store in Port Talbot. They have since sold for hundreds of pounds apiece on eBay.Image source, Getty ImagesGet a longer daily news briefing from the BBC in your inbox, each weekday morning, by signing up here.And there's more...Covid cases in the UK are on the way down. Has the winter wave peaked already?Image source, BBC What questions do you have about coronavirus?In some cases, your question will be published, displaying your name, age and location as you provide it, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. Please ensure you have read our terms & conditions and privacy policy.Use this form to ask your question: If you are reading this page and can't see the form you will need to visit the mobile version of the BBC website to submit your question or send them via email to YourQuestions@bbc.co.uk. Please include your name, age and location with any question you send in. IT'S NOT PERSONAL, IT'S JUST BUSINESS, RIGHT?: Maxine Peake stars in a new workplace dramaWHERE A SINGLE LIFE CAN LAST A THOUSAND YEARS: David Attenborough's The Green Planet
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Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Saturday morning. We’ll have another update for you tomorrow.

1. Voter anger mounts over lockdown parties

Conservative MPs have been contacted by hundreds of angry constituents about the reports of parties being held in Downing Street while Covid restrictions were in place. The MPs say their inboxes have filled up, with one telling the BBC the situation now feels “terminal”. It comes after Downing Street apologised to Buckingham Palace on Friday for two staff parties in No 10 on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral. Meanwhile, Laura Kuenssberg wonders what’s a prime minister to do when even kids joke about his future?

Image source, UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor via Reuters

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2. Is the pandemic entering its endgame?

“I think life in 2022 will be almost back to before the pandemic,” Prof Julian Hiscox, chairman in infection and global health at the University of Liverpool, says. There is growing confidence that the Omicron variant could be hurtling the UK into the pandemic end game. But what might that look like? There will be no magic wand to make the virus disappear, but instead we will have to get used to the word “endemic”, meaning Covid is here to stay.

infographic showing pandemic, endemic and epidemic disease patterns

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3. Christmas Covid rules ‘cost pubs £16,000 each’

Covid restrictions have had a significant impact on businesses, particularly those in the hospitality sector. In December, the Welsh government put restrictions on large events and businesses. Pubs lost on average £16,000 each during the latest round of Covid measures, according to the Welsh Beer and Pub Association. The group’s chief executive Emma McClarkin said “a lot of damage has been done”, but welcomed restrictions being lifted over the next two weeks as Wales moves to alert level zero.

Queens Vault pub in Cardiff

Image source, Getty Images

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4. ‘We’re so proud of how Bertie bounced back’

“When I think about how proud I am, it just makes me that emotional,” says the mother of five-year-old Bertie, who is non-verbal and has autism. A challenging lockdown saw him deprived of his special needs playgroup, autism outreach and speech therapy. But since he’s joined school, he’s thrived, says his mother Laura, from Loughborough.

This video can not be played

To play this video you need to enable JavaScript in your browser.

Short presentational grey line

5. Call to follow Sheen’s lead to save charities

Covid had been “devastating” for charities who rely on retail income, according to the head of the British Heart Foundation Cymru, which lost about £50m in the first year of the pandemic due to shop closures. Now charities are urging people to follow in the footsteps of actor Michael Sheen after he donated some suits to a store in Port Talbot. They have since sold for hundreds of pounds apiece on eBay.

Sheen

Image source, Getty Images

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And there’s more…

Covid cases in the UK are on the way down. Has the winter wave peaked already?

Government statistics show 151,612 people have now died, with 270 deaths reported in the latest 24-hour period. In total, 15,066,395 people have tested positive, up 99,652 in the latest 24-hour period. Latest figures show 19,539 people in hospital. In total, 52,051,876 people have have had at least one vaccination

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What questions do you have about coronavirus?

In some cases, your question will be published, displaying your name, age and location as you provide it, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. Please ensure you have read our terms & conditions and privacy policy.

Use this form to ask your question:

If you are reading this page and can’t see the form you will need to visit the mobile version of the BBC website to submit your question or send them via email to YourQuestions@bbc.co.uk. Please include your name, age and location with any question you send in.

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