- Here are the headlines on Friday, April 16
Plea to follow rules amid concern over ‘dangerous wave’
A senior public health official has urged caution as lockdown is lifted, with a warning that a ‘dangerous wave’ of cases is hitting countries ‘on our doorstep’.
Public Health England’s medical director Yvonne Doyle stressed the importance of following guidance as restrictions are eased.
Efforts also continue to limit the spread of the South African coronavirus variant following a cluster of cases being discovered in London. A total of 600 cases of the South African variant have been detected so far in the UK, an increase of 56 in a week.
Tui boss ‘optimistic’ for foreign summer holidays
The boss of Europe’s largest tour company has said he is ‘optimistic’ the summer holiday season can be saved with successful vaccine programmes.
In an interview with the BBC, Tui Group chief executive Friedrich Joussen said bookings in March had hit 2.8m, with the company expecting to operate up to 75 per cent of its normal schedule for the summer season.
Britons are set to be allowed to travel abroad for foreign holidays from May 17 under the government’s road map to easing coronavirus restrictions.
China’s economy grows 18.3% in post-coronavirus recovery
China’s economy grew 18.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same quarter last year after factory and consumer activity returned largely to normal following the coronavirus pandemic.
Manufacturing, car sales and other consumer activity have revived to above pre-pandemic levels since the ruling Communist Party declared victory over the coronavirus last March and allowed factories and stores to reopen.
The figures reported on Friday were magnified by comparison with early 2020, when the world’s second-largest economy fell into its deepest contraction in decades. The government noted growth in activity compared with the final quarter of 2020, when a recovery already had begun, was a more modest 0.6 per cent.
Man charged with drink-driving on e-scooter
A man has been charged with drink-driving while riding an e-scooter.
Suffolk Police said officers spotted someone using the electric device in Ipswich at around 1.50am on April 5. They stopped the rider and he failed a roadside breath test.
Unal Gokbulut, 42, of Hilton Road, Ipswich, has been charged with drink-driving.
Car Dealer headlines you may have missed yesterday
- Pendragon hires AutoNation executive to lead its used car operation
- Hendy Group opens order books for new ‘Mini’ Moke
- Cazoo adds former Ocado CFO Duncan Tatton-Brown to board
- Car dealers’ strangest test drives revealed
- Hendy Performance to host action-packed free open day at Thruxton
- Audi reveals new Q4 e-tron pure-electric SUVs
- Used car prices stay above £8,000 at BCA as record number of bidders look to stock up
- April could be a bumper month for dealers as research shows customers ready to buy
FTSE 100 stops shy of 7,000 points
The FTSE 100 pushed towards 7,000 points for the first time since early 2020 on Thursday, but narrowly missed out on the prize.
At the end of the day it had 6,983.5 points after hitting an earlier high of 6,994.9. It was a rise of 43.92, or 0.7 per cent. Germany’s Dax added 0.3 per cent and France’s Cac rose 0.4 per cent.
The Hut Group founder donates £100m
The founder of The Hut Group has pledged to donate £100m of the online retailer’s shares to charity and hand all his salary to good causes following the firm’s stock market debut last year.
Executive chairman and chief executive Matthew Moulding will give the mammoth stake to the Moulding Foundation, set up by the entrepreneur and his family last year.
The move – which comes just seven months after The Hut Group owner THG’s initial public offering (IPO) – sees him become one of the UK’s biggest philanthropists.
Mazda6 gains exclusive new Kuro Edition
Mazda’s 6 range has gained a new specification.
Called Kuro Edition, the trim level is limited to just 100 cars in the UK.
Priced from £29,250 and £30,250 for saloon and estate examples respectively, the Kuro Edition features a standard Polymetal Grey Metallic paint with contrast black detailing, as well as 19-inch black alloy wheels and black door mirrors.
Citroen adds to C1 line-up with new Urban Ride variant
Citroen has bolstered its C1 city car range with the introduction of a new Urban Ride model.
Joining existing Shine and Airscape Shine specifications, the Urban Ride – which is priced from £12,815 – brings a host of exterior styling upgrades as well as additional driver assistance systems.
A range of new exterior colours contrasts with tinted rear windows, while inside the Urban Ride is finished in grey fabric with a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear knob.
Matchbox cars to take new climate friendly direction
Matchbox cars, playsets and packaging will be created from 100 per cent recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic by 2030, their creators Mattel have stated.
It follows the toy maker’s plans to make all of its products and packaging from entirely eco-friendly plastic materials by the end of the decade.
To showcase these plans, Mattel has created a Matchbox version of the electric Tesla Roadster, which arrives as its first die-cast vehicle to be made from 99 per cent recycled materials.
Dry and sunny
This morning, areas of mist and fog will clear away, leaving a largely dry day for many, says the BBC. Patches of cloud are expected to develop in the afternoon, and rain for the Western Isles and Northern Ireland.
Tonight, it will be cloudier in the north-west, and showers will ease. Elsewhere, it will remain dry and clear with just a few patches of cloud around. Some patches of mist or fog may develop locally.
Tomorrow will be a dry and fine day with sunshine for many, and just a few patches of cloud around. A chance of rain for western Scotland and Northern Ireland later in the day, however.