Sunderland Echo

5 STORIES COMING UP TODAY

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COVID RATES FALL

Covid-19 rates have fallen in most regions of England and across all age groups apart from the over-80s, in the latest sign that lockdown measures are working. Although London continues to have the highest rate of any region, its rate of new cases is now falling.

FESTIVE SLUMP

Pub, restaurant and bar sales plummeted by almost three quarters in December as escalating restrictio­ns made it a dreadful Christmas for hospitalit­y firms, according to new figures.

TRAVEL BANS

South America, Panama,

Portugal and Cape Verde are now subject to a travel ban over concerns about the Brazilian coronaviru­s variant, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced.

CREDIT VOTE

A planned £1,000 a year cut to Universal Credit will be voted on by MPs on Monday. Labour will use its opposition day debate in the Commons to force a vote on plans to end the temporary increase to the benefit, which was introduced by Rishi Sunak in response to the pandemic.

WARMING UP

Last year rivalled 2016 for the warmest on record, as global temperatur­es were measured to be nearly 1.3C hotter than pre-industrial times.

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