- Here are the headlines on Friday, April 9
Holidaymakers face taking two Covid tests
Holidaymakers will have to take pre-departure and post-arrival coronavirus PCR tests at a cost of up to £120 a time.
Although the government hasn’t confirmed if leisure travel will resume after May 17, the earliest it could begin again, it announced a framework for it restarting which includes testing for all returning travellers.
A traffic light system will see those entering from a red country forced to stay in a quarantine hotel, an amber country quarantine at home for 10 days, while a green country will not require isolation – all will require the tests. The government has pledged to work with travel companies to make testing ‘affordable’.
Covid-19 jabs prevent 10,400 deaths in older adults
The Covid-19 vaccination programme has prevented the deaths of some 10,400 older people in England since it began, new analysis suggests.
Figures from Public Health England (PHE) reveal that thousands of lives have been saved among those aged 60 and over in the space of four months.
According to its estimates, 9,100 deaths were prevented in those aged 80 and over, 1,200 were avoided in those aged 70 to 79, and 100 lives were saved in those aged 60 to 69.
Wales accelerates easing of Covid restrictions
Two households will be able to meet indoors a week earlier than previously planned, as the Welsh government accelerates easing restrictions.
The reopening of gyms and leisure centres, and outdoor organised activities are also set to be brought forward amid a drop in new Covid-19 infections.
The Welsh government said on Thursday that coronavirus cases in Wales had dropped from 37 to fewer than 21 per 100,000 this week, while the number of people with Covid-19 in hospital beds was 89 – the lowest since September 22.
Falling coronavirus deaths give hope
Deaths involving coronavirus have plummeted 92 per cent since the peak of the second wave in January, official weekly figures for England and Wales showed in the latest sign of progress against the pandemic.
Some 712 deaths involving Covid-19 happened in the seven days to March 19, according to the Office for National Statistics, down from 8,945 deaths in the week ending January 22 and the lowest level of weekly deaths since October 9. Covid-19 case rates have also dropped across all regions.
FTSE 100 hits highest level since start of pandemic
The FTSE 100 bounced to a new high since the pandemic hit the UK amid renewed optimism ahead of the next phase of the government’s reopening road map next week.
This positivity also drove the FTSE 250 to another all-time peak, despite questions over the vaccine rollout and the need for vaccine passports.
London’s top flight closed 56.9 points, or 0.83 per cent, higher at 6,942.22 yesterday – its highest level since February 2020. The German Dax increased by 0.17 per cent and the French Cac moved 0.57 per cent higher.
Thursday Car Dealer headlines you may have missed:
- Lookers trading ‘ahead of expectations’ in first quarter
- New car discounts of more than 20 per cent available
- BMW Group posts record Q1 sales in 2021
- More than half of car dealers believe Q2 sales will be higher than pre-Covid levels
- Volkswagen adds more choice and range to ID.4 electric SUV
- Mercedes freshens up CLS four-door coupe with mid-life makeover
- Bentley Surrey relocates to brand new state-of-the-art showroom
- Multi-million-pound loss at Cinch parent company
- Strong online revenue growth for Motorpoint reveals trading update
One in three plan to leave lockdown savings untouched
A third of people who have managed to build savings during the coronavirus pandemic do not plan to spend any of this cash as restrictions are eased.
Just over half (56 per cent) of people have managed to save during the lockdowns, Comparethemarket.com’s household financial confidence tracker found.
Some 33 per cent of people plan to sit on the money they have put away rather than spend it, and the same proportion say they are planning to spend less than half of the money they have set aside.
Co-op repays furlough but holds onto £66m of rates relief
The Co-op has said it will repay the government £15.5m it received in furlough support during the height of the pandemic but stopped short of handing back the £66m it secured in business rates relief.
It comes after more than £2bn in rates relief was handed back to the state by other essential retailers who continued to trade during lockdown measures.
The mutual made the announcement as it revealed its revenues increased by 5.5 per cent to £11.5bn during the year to January 2. Profit more than doubled to £77m.
Asos sales soar 24 per cent to nearly £2bn
Online fashion giant Asos has revealed that sales soared during the latest Covid-19 lockdown as high street stores remained closed.
Revenues at the retailer jumped 24 per cent to £1.98bn in the six months to the end of February, with pre-tax profits up 253 per cent to £106.4m.
The business said it benefited particularly from strong UK sales during the period – which covered the second English lockdown in November, the subsequent tiering and eventual third lockdown.
Vast majority want smart motorway construction halted
Eighty five per cent of people want smart motorway construction paused until their safety benefits can be proven.
An online poll by road safety charity IAM Roadsmart had 4,500 responses, with 84 per cent saying they had little faith in the ability of the current safety system to spot them if their car broke down in a live lane.
Mazda MX-5 limited edition ‘Sport Venture’ model revealed
A special edition version of the Mazda MX-5 has been revealed, limited to just 160 examples.
Called Sport Venture, it’s based on the Sport trim level with the 130bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine and has standard equipment that includes Deep Crystal Blue Mica paint, a grey fabric roof and 16-inch alloy wheels. Inside, it has Light Stone Nappa leather upholstery and silver rollover hoop trims.
It goes on sale this month, with prices starting at £27,615, making it about £1,300 pricier than a regular Sport model.