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April 8 round-up: Under 30s get different jab; Covid prevalence falls; Rail services ramp up; New DS9 on sale

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  • Here are the headlines on Thursday, April 8

Lockdown easing will not be delayed by under-30s vaccine change

The move to favour alternatives to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for under 30s will not delay the easing of the lockdown or affect the deadline to offer jabs to all adults, ministers have said.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday that he sees no reason to ‘deviate from the road map’ to relax England’s restrictions ‘in any way’.


Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the nation remained ‘on track’ to offer a first dose to all adults by the end of July, a message echoed by deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam. Their assurances came as the official advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation said under 30s should be offered alternative jabs to AstraZeneca.

Covid prevalence in England dropped by 60 per cent from February to March

The prevalence of coronavirus cases in England dropped by around 60 per cent from February to March, with recent data suggesting the decline is ‘levelling off’, researchers have said.

Experts found that the rate of infection fell in all age groups and regions across those two months, with figures also indicating that the vaccine rollout could be ‘breaking the link’ between infections, deaths and hospital admissions.

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According to the latest round of the Real-Time Assessment of Community Transmission (React-1) study, there have been ‘big falls’ in prevalence of the virus in the South East and London, but there remain ‘persistent areas of higher prevalence’ of the virus in the southern part of Yorkshire, and parts of the East Midlands and the North West.

Recruitment increases as lockdown eases

Recruiters are placing more people in work as businesses start returning to normal because of lockdown measures easing, a study suggests.

Permanent placements in recent weeks showed the biggest increase for almost six years, said the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG.

Their research among 400 recruitment and employment consultancies also showed a big increase in temporary jobs. The number of vacancies also increased, while pay rates on offer for permanent and temporary jobs increased for the first time in three months, said the report.

Waylands boss on the Car Dealer Podcast

Rail services ramped up ahead of next easing of lockdown rules

Britain’s rail services are being ramped up ahead of the further easing of lockdown restrictions.

Industry body the Rail Delivery Group said more than 1,000 daily weekday services have been added to timetables since mid-February.

The increase means nearly 18,000 services will run from Monday, when non-essential retail, pub beer gardens and outdoor visitor attractions are among premises allowed to reopen in England. A more significant uplift is planned for May.

Drivers feeling more stress and anger since first lockdown 

Stress and anger has increased among drivers since the first coronavirus lockdown, a new survey suggests.

Some 11 per cent of motorists said they have those feelings every time they get behind the wheel, according to the poll commissioned by road safety charity Brake and insurer Direct Line.

That is compared with 8 per cent in March 2020.

A total of 90 per cent of respondents said they feel stressed or angry on at least some journeys, up from 84 per cent a year ago, according to 2,013 drivers questioned for the research.

Tiger Woods driving at twice the speed limit before crash

Tiger Woods was driving at twice the speed limit when he crashed an SUV in southern California leaving him seriously injured, authorities said.

The golfer was driving at 84-87 mph on a downhill stretch of road outside Los Angeles that had a speed limit of 45mph, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said yesterday.

The stretch of road is known for crashes and drivers hitting speeds so high that there is an emergency exit for runaway vehicles just beyond where Woods crashed. Villanueva blamed the February 23 crash solely on excessive speed and Woods’ loss of control behind the wheel.

Man wins High Court victory against Betfred over £1.7m online jackpot

A man has won a High Court fight against a betting firm over its refusal to pay a £1.7m jackpot he won in an online casino.

Andrew Green, 54, from Lincolnshire, said he was devastated and felt as though he had been ‘robbed’ when Betfred told him it would not pay out following his win in 2018 because of a ‘defect’ in the game.

He brought legal action against the firm at the High Court in London and, on Wednesday, a judge ruled in his favour. Green said he was delighted to have won his case – which means he will finally receive his payout, plus interest.

Wednesday Car Dealer headlines you may have missed:

House sales picked up in March

House sales picked up sharply in March amid signs that the extension of a stamp duty holiday had an immediate impact on the housing market, according to surveyors.

A net balance of 50 per cent of property professionals reported an increase rather than a decrease in agreed sales, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said.

It marked the strongest sales surge since last August.

FTSE 250 reaches record high as vaccine concerns drag on sterling

London’s markets continued their soaring start to the week with the FTSE 250 hitting a record high as further vaccine fears pressed on the pound.

The slump in the currency helped lift UK multinational firms higher, with the FTSE 100 now just short of a new 12-month high.

The FTSE 100 closed 61.77 points, or 0.91 per cent, higher at 6,885.32 yesterday. The German Dax decreased by 0.24 per cent and the French Cac moved 0.01 per cent lower.

DS 9 UK pricing and trim levels revealed


DS has announced that its new flagship saloon car – the DS 9 – will cost from £40,615 when it goes on sale in the UK this week.

It expands the French firm’s line-up to three models, with the DS 9 sitting above the DS 3 Crossback and DS 7 Crossback SUVs in the range. 

It’s designed to take on the likes of the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class in the executive saloon segment.

Winds strengthening 

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Today will see winds strengthening, with rain persisting in the north-west and outbreaks of rain moving south and east into central areas, says the BBC. Generally dry in the south and milder.

Tonight, it will turn windy and colder in the far north with wintry showers. Rain will taper off in central areas then clear spells will develop. Spells of rain will move into the south.

Friday will bring light rain to the south with winds easing. Windy and cold with wintry showers in the far north. Drier with sunny spells elsewhere.

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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