- Here are the headlines on Thursday, April 1
Over-50s and vulnerable urged to book jabs now
The head of the NHS is urging anyone who is eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine to book one immediately and for people to turn up for second doses when called.
April will see fewer available vaccines due to a slowdown in supply from India, with GPs told to concentrate on delivering second doses and vaccinating the over-50s and vulnerable groups.
NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: ‘We’re well on track to meet our April 15 goal of offering NHS Covid vaccination to everyone aged 50 and over, as well as other high risk groups. In just the past two weeks, we’ve now jabbed nearly 85 per cent of people aged 50-54, and over three million of the highest risk people have also now had their top-up second dose.’
France announces three-week school closure
French president Emmanuel Macron has announced a three-week nationwide school closure and a month-long domestic travel ban, as the rapid spread of coronavirus ramped up pressure on hospitals.
In a televised address to the nation, Macron said efforts are needed as ‘the epidemic is accelerating’.
Macron said restrictions already applying in the Paris region and other parts of north and eastern France will be extended to the whole country, for at least one month. People are allowed to go outside for leisure, but within a 10km radius from their homes — and without gathering. Also most non-essential shops are closed.
We’re not out of the woods yet, PHE warns
Tens of thousands of people are still becoming infected with Covid-19 each week, health officials have warned.
Public Health England (PHE) said ‘we’re not out of the woods yet’ as it urged people to stick to social-distancing measures as they enjoy their new freedoms.
The health body welcomed the news that deaths were reducing. But it said that there are still as many people in hospital now as there were at the start of the second wave.
Bet365 boss ‘earns £469m pay packet’
The boss of gambling firm Bet365 has reportedly earned a pay packet worth £469m in a single year.
Denise Coates, 53, is said to have earned a £421m salary in a 12-month period, along with £48m in dividends – thought to be one of the biggest packages in UK corporate history.
She founded the online gambling company in the early 2000s in Stoke-on-Trent after spotting the potential of internet betting to revolutionise the industry. She and her family, who are worth £7bn, had a tax liability of £573m last year.
Increase in productivity due to more people working from home
The rise in home-working as a result of the coronavirus crisis has increased productivity, new research suggests.
The evidence shows that employers should make hybrid working a success rather than rushing to return staff to workplaces and previous ways of working, said a report.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said a survey of 2,000 employers revealed that the benefits of home-working appear to have increased during the pandemic, suggesting a ‘significant’ productivity benefit over the past year.
Here are Wednesday’s Car Dealer headlines you may have missed:
- Dealership dreams up some ‘Willy Wonka magic’
- Man is charged with causing £100,000 of damage to cars at dealership
- Ex-Wheeler Dealers mechanic Edd China launches YouTube show
- Orphaned baby wood mice found in Mini Cooper during service
- Nissan boss Andrew Humberstone on agency sales models, Brexit, multi-franchising
- BMW slashes prices of i3 in reaction to plug-in car grant changes
- Pendragon completes disposal of US dealerships
- Kia EV6 technical details revealed as GT joins to top the range
- Volvo to offer staff around the world 24 weeks’ parental leave
- Volkswagen forced into embarrassing U-turn after ‘Voltswagen’ name change gag
- Hybrids become buyers’ favourite choice for their next car
New Range Rover costs £183k
A pair of new special edition Range Rovers have been released, designed to sit at the very top of the luxury SUV lineup.
Prices for the SVAutobiography Ultimate with the V8 start at £183,706, while the equivalent Dynamic Ultimate starts at £147,441.
Made by the Special Vehicles Bespoke team, the Ultimate editions build on the specification of the top-spec SVAutobiography and SVAutobiography Dynamic models and are intended to showcase the personalisation services on offer, including reclining airline style seats, fridges and deployable tables.
Pay boost for millions as minimum wage rates increase
Around two million of the UK’s lowest-paid workers will receive a pay rise from today with increases in statutory minimum wages.
Workers are being urged to check their pay packets as the National Living Wage rises by 2.2 per cent to £8.91, the equivalent of more than £345 a year for a full-time employee, and will be given to 23 and 24-year-olds for the first time.
Deliveroo shares close down 26 per cent
Shares in Deliveroo closed down 26.3 per cent on its first day of trading on the London Stock Exchange, having earlier seen falls of 30 per cent during its highly-anticipated launch.
Around £2bn was wiped off the value of the takeaway delivery firm as City traders balked at the flotation. By the close of trading shares had fallen from 390p to 287.45p – a fall of 102.55p.
2020 worst year on record for UK economy
The UK economy suffered a steeper contraction during the first coronavirus lockdown but bounced back more strongly than previously thought at the end of 2020, according to official figures.
The Office for National Statistics said gross domestic product (GDP) – a measure of the size of the economy – shrank by even more than first forecast between April and June last year – plummeting by 19.5 per cent against the 19 per cent initial estimate.
However, in a raft of revisions to previous figures, the ONS said the economy rebounded by 16.9 per cent and 1.3 per cent in the third and fourth quarters of 2020 respectively.
Markets subdued over increased Covid rates in Europe
The increase in coronavirus cases across continental Europe and the prospect of further lockdowns and restriction managed to infect the London Stock Exchange yesterday by strengthening the pound.
Leading shares on the FTSE 100 closed down 58.49 points, or 0.9 per cent, at 6,713.63 in part due to the pound rising against the dollar, up 0.47 per cent at 1.381, and up against the euro by 0.29% per cent at 1.175.
Lloyd’s of London faces hit of more than £6.2bn for pandemic claims
Insurance market Lloyd’s of London has said payouts for Covid-19 disruption are set to hit a record £6.2bn for 2020 as it swung to an £887m annual loss.
The group’s pre-tax loss for 2020 compares with profits of £2.5bn in 2019 after the pandemic marked its most costly single event on record.
Fiat’s 500 series of cars bolstered with new Hey Google range
Fiat has announced a new series of 500-badged models incorporating Google’s latest range of in-car connectivity features.
Called the ‘Hey Google’ range of vehicles, it sees the Fiat 500, 500X and 500L models all bolstered with the introduction of the tech company’s assistance systems.
All cars will be equipped with the Hey Google voice assistant, allowing owners to interact with the vehicle – even when they’re away from it. Accessed either via their smartphone or a Google Nest Hub.
Cooler and fresher
A cloudy but dry day today, with cloud becoming increasingly broken as the day progresses, says the BBC. The far south and north will see the best of the sunshine, but it will not be as warm as previous days.
Tonight will see extensive clear spells across the country to start, with central and eastern regions clouding over towards dawn. Southern Scotland and Northern Ireland will remain largely clear.
Tomorrow will be a dry day for many, with a few morning showers likely for eastern Scotland. Patchy cloud will spread across eastern areas, with sunny spells developing further west. A cooler day.
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