- Here are the headlines on Sunday, February 21
Tesla makes more from Bitcoin than cars
Tesla’s investment in Bitcoin is reported to have made the company more money in a month than the company did selling cars in the whole of last year.
In January the company bought $1.5bn worth of Bitcoin as it said it was looking to diversify its investment portfolio and said it planned to accept the crypto currency as payment for its cars.
It is thought the company has now made a paper profit of around $930m – more than the $721m it reported as profit for the whole of last year – as Bitcoin prices surged through the $53,000 barrier, up 67 per cent in a month.
All adults to get a vaccine by July 31
Boris Johnson has pledged to offer all adults in the UK a coronavirus vaccine by the end of July.
The Prime Minister said the accelerated rollout of jabs would enable the easing of some of the stringent measures – but insisted that the unlocking would be ‘cautious and phased’.
The new targets will be seen as a sign of increasing confidence that the vaccine supply will remain steady. A further 445 people died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Saturday, while there were another 10,406 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.
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PM unlocking plan to be unveiled tomorrow
Boris Johnson has spent the past week considering data on deaths, cases, hospital admissions and the effect of the vaccine rollout, and will unveil his blueprint to Parliament tomorrow.
The PM will chair a meeting of senior ministers on Sunday, known as the ‘Covid S’ committee, to finalise his road map before it is signed off by the Cabinet tomorrow.
He will then unveil the plans to MPs in the Commons in the afternoon and is expected to lead a Downing Street press conference on Monday evening.
Outdoor family gatherings could be allowed within weeks
Outdoor family reunions could be allowed within weeks while care home residents will be able to hold hands with a loved one again under the government’s road map for easing coronavirus restrictions.
Downing Street said it wanted to make social contact easier as soon as possible. Several newspapers reported that new rules allowing two households to meet outdoors – regardless of the total number of people – are set to be introduced from April, while six people from six different households would also be able to gather.
Number 10 dismissed as speculation reports that pubs could be permitted to serve customers outdoors from April, with the Daily Mail saying that people could be served indoors in May.
Heavy rain brings flooding and travel disruption
Flooded road and rail links have brought disruption and some homes were evacuated after torrential rainfall soaked parts of the UK.
A swathe of weather warnings covering parts of Scotland, north-west England and Wales remained in place last night after some areas were struck by 36 hours of wet conditions.
In Wales, footage shared on social media showed a swollen river at Pontypridd, while other videos revealed flooded parts of Carmarthen where the River Towy burst its banks.
Teenagers arrested after car stolen with children still inside
Two teenage boys are in custody on suspicion of kidnapping after a car was stolen in Birmingham with the owner’s two children still inside, police say.
West Midlands Police were alerted to what they have called the ‘shocking incident’ yesterday when a man reported his car had been stolen from his driveway with his two and four-year-old boys still inside.
At one point, the stolen Seat Leon was seen driving the wrong way down a dual carriageway, before armed officers bought it to a halt. Two male suspects, both aged 15, ran from the car but were detained and arrested by police. They face questioning on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle and kidnap.
Charles visits Duke of Edinburgh in hospital
The Prince of Wales has visited his father the Duke of Edinburgh in hospital.
Philip, 99, was admitted to King Edward VII’s hospital in London on Tuesday as a precautionary measure after feeling unwell and walked unaided into the medical centre.
Charles arrived at the hospital at around 3.20pm on Saturday in a grey Tesla, and exited the vehicle wearing a face mask, before leaving around 30 minutes later. He is the first member of the royal family to visit Philip during the duke’s four-night stay in hospital.
Insurers expect to pay up to £2.5bn for Covid-19-related claims
Up to £2.5bn-worth of payments could be made for coronavirus-related insurance claims during 2020, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) estimates.
The ABI said its members could pay around £2bn for Covid-19 business interruption claims.
A further £204m may be paid from Covid-19 related protection insurance claims, including life, critical illness, and income protection insurance claims. And £152m is expected to be paid on travel insurance claims.
Leon boss warns economic impact of lockdown ‘costing lives’
The co-founder of fast food chain Leon has warned of the ‘terrible downsides’ of extending lockdown, arguing that its economic impact is ‘costing lives’.
John Vincent said it was ‘quite plausible’ his business would not exist if ‘the weeks and months of restrictions drag on’.
Speaking to Radio 4’s Today programme, Vincent said businesses are at the ‘heart of a healthy functioning society’ and he claimed the government had failed to produce a ‘holistic cost benefit analysis’ of lockdowns.
Drier and milder
A narrow band of patchy rain will push northwards across England and Wales today, says the BBC. It will be mostly dry across the north, and also the far south-east, with plenty of sunshine.
Tonight, the patchy rain will continue in Wales and western England. Elsewhere will remain dry overnight with clear spells, however, the cloud will thicken towards dawn.
The rain in the south will persist for a time tomorrow morning, however, it should ease off by noon. Elsewhere will have another calm and dry day, with patchy cloud and sunny spells.