Retirement could be delayed for those whose income was harmed by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new survey. One in four Americans say they plan to retire later as a result of the pandemic, a number that jumps to 42 per cent among individuals who reported to have lost income during the crisis.
Global food prices have recorded their biggest annual rise in a decade in the latest sign of rising food inflation, which has accelerated during the Covid-19 pandemic. China’s soaring appetite for grain and soyabeans, a severe drought in Brazil and the demand for vegetable oil for biodiesel have driven the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s monthly food price index up 40 per cent in May compared with the same period last year.
The US will donate millions of excess doses of Covid-19 vaccines to countries around the world in an attempt to help battle fresh outbreaks of the pandemic. The Biden administration has previously promised to donate 80m doses, and on Thursday outlined how the first 25m of those would be allocated. South America, Africa, and south and south-east Asia will all receive millions of doses under the plans.
Social mixing in the UK remains well below pre-pandemic levels despite a huge tranche of restrictions being eased in mid-May. John Edmunds, a professor of infectious modelling at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said it was a sign of “residual cautiousness in the population”.
Portugal will be taken off England’s “green list” of foreign travel destinations and no new countries will be added this week, in a significant blow to the leisure industry ahead of the summer season. Airlines had expected at least a handful of destinations to be opened up under the so-called traffic light system for overseas travel. European airline shares dived on Thursday after the news.
The US private sector created jobs in May at the fastest pace in nearly a year, driven by strong gains in leisure and hospitality as the economy pushes ahead with reopening. Non-farm private employers added 978,000 jobs last month, according to a report from payroll processor ADP. That was the biggest month for jobs since June 2020 and topped expectations for 650,000.
An upswing in coronavirus infections among the under-40s has pushed the UK’s R value back above 1, a closely watched study has found. The Zoe symptom-tracking project estimated that R, which measures the number of people to whom each infected person passes on the virus, stood at 1.1 as of last week.
Six asylum seekers won a legal challenge after the High Court ruled that the UK government had acted unlawfully by housing them in a former military barracks that failed to meet minimum living standards. The asylum seekers were housed in Napier barracks in Kent in accommodation that the men’s lawyers claimed was “squalid” and in which there was a Covid-19 outbreak in mid-January.
Taiwan reported another 583 new local Covid-19 infections on Thursday, the second straight daily increase, in an apparent sign that soft lockdown measures imposed more than two weeks ago have so far failed to stop the country’s first sizeable local outbreak. The Central Epidemic Command Centre announced 364 new locally-transmitted confirmed cases plus 219 more from a testing backlog.
The Supreme Court of India has criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vaccine policy, calling it “arbitrary and irrational” that people under the age of 45 are paying for their doses. In an order made public on Wednesday, the country’s top court said that New Delhi’s decision to change the country’s vaccine policy from free, centrally procured doses to “paid vaccination” by states and private hospitals needed to be reviewed.