After a two-day meeting on Wednesday, its first since Joe Biden replaced Donald Trump in the White House, the Federal Reserve held its main interest rate close to zero and its asset purchases steady as it sought to maintain a massive dose of support for the US economy as it suffers through a new slowdown.

A growing number of passengers are trying to board airlines using fake test results to get around immigration controls, the aviation industry has warned. “We are aware of numerous counterfeit test results which have cropped up in … several countries,” the International Air Transport Association said on Wednesday.

US public health officials have changed their vaccination advice to make it easier for people to get a second shot, saying injections can be spaced up to six weeks apart, and can even be from a different manufacturer from the first shot if necessary, said Rochelle Walensky, head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

Vaccination rates for the Covid-19 jab in England are much lower among non-white people aged 80 and above than their white counterparts, data show. By January 13, 42.5 per cent of elderly white people in England had received their first dose, compared with 20.5 per cent of black people and 29.5 per cent of South Asians.

AT&T posted a $13.8bn quarterly loss as the US telecoms group and owner of Warner Bros and HBO warned the Covid-19 crisis has hit most of its businesses, resulting in $650m in charges. The group recorded a $15.5bn charge on its pay-TV business, as customers abandon cable and satellite in favour of streaming.

French pharmaceuticals group Sanofi is to help accelerate production of the BioNTech/Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine and add millions to the EU supply, as concern grows about the availability of doses around the world. Sanofi plans to start working on late-stage manufacturing of the vaccine in the middle of this year.

Tullow Oil has secured an additional month from its banks before it faces a test on a key lending facility as the embattled explorer and producer continues refinancing talks with its creditors. The company is still trying to recover from a torrid 2019 that resulted in hefty cuts to its production forecasts.

London’s Chelsea Flower Show will showcase dahlias rather than spring flowers and roses as the coronavirus pandemic has forced the garden show to be held in the autumn for the first time in its 108-year history. The 2021 show has been moved to September 21-26 from May 18-23, the Royal Horticultural Society said.