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Friday morning news briefing: Get Covid, get paid?

Danny Boyle
·5-min read
The possible new payment comes as hospitals, such as the Royal London, remain under pressure
The possible new payment comes as hospitals, such as the Royal London, remain under pressure

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Cash support for all Covid cases under consideration

Get Covid, get paid? Ministers are considering paying £500 to everyone who tests positive for coronavirus, under plans that would cost the state almost £2bn a month. Health officials are understood to have drawn up proposals amid fears just one person in six with symptoms is coming forward for tests as some worry a positive result would cost them too dearly. Only those on a low income who cannot work from home and are eligible for benefits can apply for a "support payment". But ministers are considering replacing it with a universal payment. Health Editor Laura Donnelly reports on what else is suggested in the policy papers. And let Matt raise a smile with today's homeschooling-inspired cartoon.

Meanwhile, ministers are trying to force Boris Johnson into closing Britain's borders to foreigners amid a growing Cabinet row over how to prevent new Covid variants spreading to the UK. The option of banning all non-British travellers from entering the country was previously rejected by the Prime Minister. But it is back on the agenda for a meeting of the Cabinet's Covid operations committee within days. Home Affairs Editor Charles Hymas explains the internal battle over borders between the Cabinet doves and Treasury hawks. Matthew Lynn says it might have worked for Australia, but a closed Britain would be a "catastrophe".

Brexit could boost our sales, predicts Nissan boss

The Brexit deal is a positive development that could turbocharge sales for Nissan and transform the UK car industry, a top executive at the firm has said. Marking a major change of rhetoric by the Japanese business following years of speculation it could close its Sunderland plant, chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta said that Boris Johnson's deal has prevented turmoil - and dismissed disruption at UK ports as "peanuts".

Meet the Trumpdashians: A new reality beckons?

Lights! Camera! Enter... the 'Trumpdashians'? For political ambitions nurtured on The Apprentice and executed with the shallow bombast of the Kardashians, it was only right that the Trump presidency ended like a reality show this week. What if the family really was a cast of characters in an addictive fly-on-the-wall show? Guy Kelly imagines how the ex-president's TV background could become a lucrative family affair.

At a glance: More coronavirus headlines

Also in the news: Today's other headlines

UK weather | Dozens of elderly residents were rescued after Storm Christoph flooded their Cheshire homes and left them stranded without electricity and heating. The 45-strong group - some in their mid-90s - tried to adhere to social distancing as they climbed aboard a boat crewed by firefighters. As the storm gives way to colder weather, temperatures could drop as low as -10c in the coming days. View the latest forecast.

Around the world: High and dry off Italy

Italian officials measure the carcass of a whale that died in waters off the southern town of Sorrento. The dead animal was towed to the port of Naples by patrol boats of the Italian coastguard and was landed yesterday morning. View today's gallery for more striking world pictures.

The dead whale was transported by a convoy of boats. CREDIT: ZUMAPRESS.COM/MEGA -  ZUMAPRESS.COM/MEGA
The dead whale was transported by a convoy of boats. CREDIT: ZUMAPRESS.COM/MEGA - ZUMAPRESS.COM/MEGA

Comment and analysis

You've got this: Getting you through lockdown

  1. Ghosted | Awful lesson that losing my best friend taught me about myself

  2. Midlife mental health | Six signs you could be suffering from a crisis

  3. Fashion | If you cannot go on a city break, let Vuitton bring the city to you

Business and money briefing

Net win | It is not for nothing that he was known as Goldenballs. But the financial fortunes of David Beckham and his wife Victoria - successful in business in her own right - have fluctuated over the years. Mind you, it is all relative. Annual figures reveal the details of his business affairs.

Sport briefing

Liverpool 0 Burnley 1 | Jurgen Klopp has urged supporters to blame him after arguing Liverpool had lost a game to Burnley that he claimed had "looked impossible to lose". The result ended Liverpool's 68-game unbeaten run in the Premier League at Anfield, while it was Burnley's first win there since 1974. Read Chris Bascombe's match report.

Tonight's dinner

Nordic cheese, spinach and rye tart | A rye-flour pastry case with a creamy cottage-cheese and spinach filling, made with plenty of fresh herbs. View the recipe by Diana Henry and try out our Cookbook newsletter.

And finally... for this morning's downtime

The man who plans to live to 180 | Silicon Valley investor Dave Asprey has spent years - and millions - on biohacking. So is he a madcap messiah? Or is he onto something? It "seems to be working".