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Ashleigh Barty will not defend her French Open title this year after the world No 1 opted to miss the tournament in Paris due to concerns over coronavirus and a lack of training time spent with her coach.

The Australian, who becomes the biggest name to pull out so far, has already skipped the US Open, currently being played in New York. Her absence from Roland Garros will be a huge blow to organisers who planning for a delayed 21 September start amid the pandemic in France:

One in three UK university students were unable to access online learning during the Covid-19 lockdown, according to new research which suggests that disabled students and those from poorer backgrounds were worst affected.

The survey, which was carried out in July by the National Union of Students (NUS), found that disruptions to studies arose from a lack of IT equipment and software, insufficient course materials, and poor internet connections.

Of the 4,178 respondents, 18% said they lacked the support necessary to deal with Covid-19, such as counselling or financial help. Disabled students and those with caring responsibilities were more likely to have not received this support. The survey called for more help with students’ mental health and wellbeing, as well as more targeted, personalised teaching:

UK Wedding firms have been told they must refund couples who were unable to exchange vows without breaking lockdown rules, after the competition watchdog was inundated by complaints from angry prospective brides and grooms.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said venues and suppliers should repay people in full, except where services or goods had already been supplied, or the company had incurred costs.

Couples planning to marry in the run-up to lockdown and since then have reported problems getting money back for ceremonies and receptions that they were forced to cancel because going ahead would have meant breaking physical distancing rules.

In some cases, couples have been offered only partial refunds, or incurred extra costs after moving their nuptials to another date:

Up to 60,000 people in the UK may have been suffering from “long Covid” for more than three months, unable to get the care they need to recover from prolonged and debilitating symptoms.

Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London who runs the app-based Covid symptom study, said around 300,000 people had reported symptoms lasting for more than a month.

A minority have been suffering for longer; up to 60,000 people have reported having symptoms for more than three months. Some cases are mild, but others are seriously debilitating, with breathlessness and fatigue. Some people have had to use wheelchairs. Others say attempting to carry out everyday tasks such as shopping or even climbing the stairs can leave them bedridden for days:

Read the original article at The Guardian

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