- Here are the headlines on Tuesday, April 6
PM vows to stick with lockdown easing plan
Boris Johnson said he plans to stick ‘like glue’ to his plan for easing restrictions despite scientific advisers warning it could create a wave of Covid infections akin to that seen during spring last year.
The PM confirmed shops, hairdressers and pub beer gardens will reopen from April 12 in England and said he had seen ‘nothing’ to make him think he would have to “deviate” from his intention to scrap all restrictions by June 21 at the earliest.
His comments come despite modelling from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) showing that, while stage two of the unlocking is unlikely to exert pressure on the NHS, the proposed changes for May and June when social mixing is set to be permitted again could cause hospital admissions to rise to levels seen during January’s winter peak.
New car sales up 11 per cent in March
Demand for new cars grew by 11 per cent last month compared with March 2020, preliminary figures show.
Around 283,000 new cars were registered in the UK last month despite showrooms remaining shut, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.
The year-on-year increase was still around 37 per cent down on the average March total between 2010 and 2019. Final figures for last month will be released at 9am.
UK must be ‘realistic’ about restart of foreign holidays
The UK must be ‘realistic’ over the resumption of foreign holidays due to ‘a surge’ of coronavirus in popular destinations, Boris Johnson said.
The Prime Minister told a Downing Street briefing ‘I wish I could give you more on that’ but insisted there was not enough ‘solid data’ on the virus. This led to an angry reaction from the travel industry.
A Downing Street paper on easing coronavirus restrictions confirmed that a traffic light system for international travel will be introduced. But it stated it is not known when trips could resume, and advised consumers not to make bookings yet.
Recovery loans of up to £10m available to businesses
Government-backed loans of up to £10m are to be made available for companies that need support until the end of the year.
As announced in the Budget last month, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has opened the Treasury’s Recovery Loan Scheme to tide businesses over, with past Covid-19 lending schemes due to run out.
From today, the new finance initiative will replace the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and its larger sibling CLBILS. The Treasury has promised to cover 80 per cent of what banks lend if businesses do not pay back their loans.
DVLA staff to launch four-day strike in Covid safety row
Hundreds of staff at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency will launch a four-day strike today in a dispute over Covid-related safety.
Members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) at the site in Swansea, South Wales, will walk out until Friday after talks failed to resolve the row.
The union said those involved will include operational staff who have not been working from home.
India’s daily virus cases soar past 100,000 for first time
India has reported its biggest single-day spike in confirmed coronavirus cases since the pandemic began.
The Health Ministry reported 103,558 new Covid-19 infections in the last 24 hours, topping the previous peak of 97,894 daily cases recorded in late September. Fatalities rose by 478, raising the country’s death toll to 165,101.
Yesterday’s Car Dealer headlines you may have missed:
- Car dealerships WILL reopen on April 12 for walk-in sales and test drives
- Apple is flirting, but still can’t find a partner for its iCar
- Number of young people with a driving licence falls to a record low
- Investigation: How Brexit has led to a parts crisis for independent garages in the UK
- 10,000 furlough fraud investigations now open as government funds special task force
GameStop to sell 3.5m shares after stock frenzy boosts price
Two months after a market phenomenon took shares of GameStop to the moon, the video game retailer said on Monday that it will sell up to 3.5m of its shares.
The company said the shares will be sold through an ‘at-the-market’ offering, which lets a publicly traded company raise capital over time.
The announcement sent shares of GameStop, up 850 per cent this year, down eight per cent at the opening bell.
LG to exit loss-making mobile phone business
South Korean electronics maker LG has said it is getting out of its loss-making mobile phone business to focus on electric vehicle components, robotics, artificial intelligence and other products and services.
LG’s board approved the shift in strategy and the company expects to fully exit the mobile phone business by the end of July, it said in a statement.
LG was once the third largest mobile phone maker, but has lost market share to Chinese and other competitors.
Cold and wintry
Today Scotland and some coastal areas will see frequent snow showers, says the BBC. Elsewhere will have sunny spells, although a few of these showers may develop further south and inland at times. Chilly and windy.
Tonight, northern Scotland will see wintry showers linger. Showers easing elsewhere, remaining largely clear and dry. Northern Ireland will see a band of rain spread in from the west by dawn.
Tomorrow wintry showers will ease for Scotland. Elsewhere will be dry and bright, with cloud moving in later. Northern Ireland will have outbreaks of rain developing in the afternoon.
- Join our breaking news WhatsApp group
- Listen to the latest Car Dealer Podcast
- List of the Top 100 profitable car dealers in the UK