- Here’s your business, motoring and news round-up for Sunday, April 26
Boris back at No.10 tomorrow
Boris Johnson is set to take charge of the government’s response to coronavirus when he returns to Downing Street tomorrow.
The Prime Minister is said to be ‘raring to go’ after recuperating at Chequers. He returns amid growing pressure to begin easing lockdown and dismay at the damage it is causing to the economy.
However, scientists advising the government warned it was too soon to consider relaxation, as the death toll for the UK passed 20,000.
Sunday papers say officials are working on a Singapore-style plan for passengers arriving in the to be quarantined for 14 days.
Tata Steel to ask for £500m bailout
The coronavirus outbreak will cost Britain’s largest steel manufacturer £500m, says an MP.
Labour MP Stephen Kinnock, whose constituency includes the Port Talbot steelworks, said Tata Steel needed government support to survive the Covid-19 shutdown.
Sky News has reported the firm has approached the UK and Welsh governments for a £500m funding package after many of its customers, such as car manufacturers, halted production during the crisis.
Peter Vardy reveals PPE measures for staff to return to work
Peter Vardy will implement temperature checks for every person entering its dealerships when it reopens – and if they won’t take one they won’t be allowed in.
Manufacturers, customers and staff will all be checked at the doors of dealerships and if their temperature is high, Peter Vardy told Car Dealer Live they would not be allowed entry.
Other steps he is considering include salesmen wearing masks and gloves, sitting in the back of cars during test drives and one-way systems around his dealerships. Watch what he had to say below or read the full story here.
Auction house COYS ‘in administration’
The Telegraph has reported that auction house Coys of Kensington Automobiles has gone into administration. In a report online it says administrators FRP Advisory Trading of London were appointed on April 17 by the High Court of Justice.
The paper reports the move into administration was posted in The Gazette on Thursday but has not yet been posted on Companies House records, or on Coys’ own website which is still listing its next classic-car auction for July 11 at Blenheim Palace. The Telegraph report can be seen here.
Mobile data shows Britons are starting to ignore lockdown
Health officials fear Britons are starting to get complacent about the Covid-19 lockdown after traffic and mobile phone data revealed more of us are on the roads and looking for directions.
Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director of NHS England, said on Saturday ‘there was a little bit of concern’ after the warm weather drew big crowds to public spaces.
The Metropolitan Police sent officers on bikes to keep an eye on London’s Hyde Park, while North Yorkshire Police revealed 50 per cent of shutdown fines issued so far have gone to tourists visiting beauty spots in the area.
Tom Hartley shows off new showroom
In a fascinating feature, Autocar’s Colin Goodwin tells the story of being shown around supercar dealer Tom Hartely’s new showroom.
Hartley’s new sales premises, built on The Hartley Estate, is spread over three floors with the top floor boasting a balcony to display cars on. There’s even a glass panel between the ground and first floors so prospective buyers can look at the underneath of cars they’re interested in.
In the interview, Hartley tells Goodwin he’s used to selling cars to the rich and famous, adding: ‘I’ve sold Rod Stewart several cars. He used to live in Epping Forest, but now he’s up near Harlow. One time, I had to drop off a car at Elton John’s house in Berkshire and then go on to Rod’s to collect one.’
Hammond calls for blueprint for return to work
Former chancellor Philip Hammond has called on ministers to set out plans to begin easing the coronavirus lockdown and re-start the economy.
He said the country could not afford to wait until a vaccine becomes available before resuming more normal economic activity and added he hoped Boris Johnson’s return would mark a ‘clear step change’ in the response to the crisis.
‘The reality is that we have to start reopening the economy. But we have to do it living with Covid,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
Wizz Air to resume some flights
Low-cost European carrier Wizz Air has announced plans to resume some flights from Luton Airport on May 1.
The airline said it will restart selected flights with ‘enhanced’ health and safety measures. Cabin crew will wear masks and gloves and will distribute sanitising wipes for passengers.
New distancing measures will also be introduced during boarding and aircraft will be disinfected overnight.
Thousands of complaints over prices for hygiene essentials
Nearly 21,000 complaints have been against firms trying to rip off shoppers with inflated prices for essentials like hand sanitiser and cleaning products.
The Competition and Markets Authority launched an investigation at the beginning of March and said it has since written to 187 businesses following 2,500 complaints.
But with retail stock supplies returning to normal levels, the watchdog said four-out-of-five complaints are now related to consumers struggling to get refunds for cancelled events.
Global death toll from coronavirus pandemic passes 200,000
The global death toll from the coronavirus pandemic has surpassed 200,000.
The grim figure from experts at Johns Hopkins University, compiled from global government statistics, came as countries took cautious steps toward easing lockdowns. The true death toll is likely to be much higher.
The US states of Georgia, Oklahoma and Alaska began loosening lockdown orders on their badly-hit businesses, even as the confirmed US death toll from Covid-19 soared past 50,000 and health experts warned that such steps may have come too early.
Sources: PA Media; The Telegraph; Autocar; Car Dealer Magazine