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Thursday evening news briefing: Lockdown could last until summer

Chef Mark Hix recalls how much his life has changed since the pandemic hit and the fall of his London restaurants

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Comment and analysis

You've got this: Getting you through lockdown

  1. Lockdown long haul | The psychology of how to keep going... and going... and going
  2. Stay active | How to keep exercising – even when you have 'pandemic fatigue'
  3. Home-schooling | Tips for surviving the never-ending slog

Business and money briefing

France demands UK's help | Britain and France are in talks to rescue Eurostar, with officials in Paris determined not to let the struggling rail operator fail but insisting the UK must also play its part.

Sport briefing

Six Nations | Due to coronavirus, Eddie Jones can only select 28 players for his England squad for the Six Nations. Will he pick bolters like Harry Randall and Paolo Odogwu? Our writers select their squads.

Tonight's TV  

Back, Channel 4, 10pm | It seems odd that the first series of Simon Blackwell's enjoyably dark comedy of rivalry starring David Mitchell and Robert Webb aired back in 2017, but the second series was well worth the wait. Read more.

And finally... for this evening's downtime

'An existential threat' | Netflix is about to get pricier prompting BBC correspondent Daniel Sandford to tweet: "Netflix is now more than the BBC licence and there is no radio, no live TV, no news online etc etc". The pushback from other social media users was swift and to the point. Ed Power reveals why it should scare the BBC.

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PM refuses to rule out English lockdown until summer

Boris Johnson has declined to say whether the national lockdown will be over by summer, as he warned the new Covid variant was spreading "very fast indeed". On a visit to North West England, where Storm Christoph has caused flooding, Mr Johnson was asked whether restrictions would be eased by the summer. His answer raised yet more questions about the length of the lockdown, with the Prime Minister's official spokesman also refusing to rule out a lockdown that extends to the summer. It comes as scientists warn that opening pubs before May could cause a third wave of Covid cases. Researchers from Imperial College London and the Universities of Edinburgh and Warwick said that there could be a surge of cases if restrictions are lifted too soon. Adrian Tierney-Jones sums up many feelings as he outlines why, if pubs stay closed until May, he will miss much more than just the beer. It comes as Northern Ireland's lockdown has been extended to March 5.

Meanwhile, EU countries could introduce travel bans under plans being considered today to combat the spread of new strains of Covid-19. The European council will meet this evening to discuss proposals put forward by the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, that would allow countries to introduce bans on all forms of transport for citizens from EU countries as well those from outside the EU, including the UK. At a Downing Street press conference, Home Secretary Priti Patel announced a new £800 fine for anyone caught at an illegal house party.

Storm Christoph leaves flood warnings across England

Severe flood warnings remain in place after hundreds of residents were told to leave their homes overnight because of adverse weather caused by Storm Christoph. Homes were flooded following heavy rainfall and snow showers in Cheshire, with roads disrupted and residents in the county warned that river levels were still rising today. Over 170 flood warnings remain in place across England, with three "severe" warnings - meaning danger to life - issued for parts of the North West. Boris Johnson has pledged £20 million for flood defences in Manchester as he warned that there is more rain to come on a visit to the flood affected region today. Read our liveblog, which features some heartbreaking personal stories and here is a gallery of Storm Christoph.

How Biden swept away signs of Trump in Oval Office

Joe Biden has wasted no time sweeping away many of the signs that Donald Trump was ever in the White House. Marcus Parekh spots the differences in the layout of the Oval Office as the new President made it his own. Of course, last night saw a TV celebration of Mr Biden's inauguration and Jane Mulkerrins reveals how a cringe-fest was averted as Tom Hanks hosted an inspirational show. Another inspiration was Amanda Gorman, who has become an overnight bestseller after her poem at the Capitol. Susannah Goldsbrough examines how she has re-lit America's spark for poetry. Rosa Prince outlines why the inauguration was all about Kamala Harris, while Donald Trump spent his first night as a private citizen reportedly "looking for some lawyers".

At a glance: Latest coronavirus headlines

Also in the news: Today's other headlines

More Brexits | Michel Barnier has warned that there is "always a risk" that other European countries will follow Britain and leave the EU. The bloc's chief negotiator on the Brexit deal said there was still "anger" against Brussels in many regions of Europe. Read on for details.

Around the world: Twin suicide bombing in Baghdad

At least 32 people were killed and 110 injured when two suicide bombers targeted a busy market in central Baghdad this morning, in the first such attack for two years and the deadliest for three years. Terrorists from the Islamic State group were suspected to be responsible for the explosions which ripped through a busy open air market, although there was no immediate confirmation from the group. Read on for details.

Thursday big-read

'A decade ago I cut this shop's ribbon – now I sell fish in its car park'

Football news:

Cavani has returned to training and is likely to play against Crystal Palace
Fabio Capello, Juventus played Rugby against the Port. Only Ronaldo and Chiesa can make a difference in this squad
Neymar: I posted how I was recovering from my injury, and I didn't get any messages saying, Wow, what a professional. No
Ole Gunnar Solscher: The work of the judges is very difficult and without additional pressure. We have to make their decisions
Joan Laporta: I'm sure Messi won't stay at Barca if I don't win the election. He gives the club 30% of revenue
Trent had idolized Gerrard since he was a kid, and he was in a fairy tale: he got Steven's care and the captain's armband. The story of a great relationship
Hazard's recovery from the injury is delayed. He probably won't play against Atletico on March 7