- Here are the headlines on Wednesday, February 24
NHS app could be used to show vaccine or test result
The NHS app could be used to display vaccination status or latest coronavirus test results, as ministers consider the ethical issues surrounding the possible introduction of vaccine passports.
Boris Johnson said yesterday that he has tasked senior minister Michael Gove with leading a review into the ‘deep and complex issues’ surrounding ‘Covid status certificates’.
It is understood that the ‘proper review’ will also investigate whether businesses such as pubs and theatres could be prohibited from making access conditional on vaccination alone.
Kia gives owners comprehensive access to charging networks
Kia has launched a new app designed to make accessing the UK’s electric vehicle charging network easier for owners of its cars.
Available for owners of both electric and plug-in hybrid models, the KiaCharge service gives people the choice of two tariffs that offer access to around 13,900 charge points across the UK.
Kia says this covers around 68 per cent of public chargers and gives access to providers such as BP Pulse, Pod Point and Ionity from a single account, with plans to expand access throughout the year.
Tiger Woods seriously injured in California crash
Golfer Tiger Woods seriously injured both his legs in a car crash in the Los Angeles suburbs yesterday.
His manager Mark Steinberg said Woods underwent surgery on his leg, and the injuries were described as serious. No charges were filed, police said there was no evidence he was impaired and no one else was injured.
A statement on Woods’s Twitter account said the golfer had suffered multiple ‘open fractures’ to his lower right leg, with a rod placed in his tibia and screws and pins in his ankle.
Chancellor urged to consider corporation tax rise
Chancellor Rishi Sunak should consider a ‘moderate rise’ in corporation tax in the upcoming Budget, according to a Conservative former Treasury minister.
Simon Clarke warned it would be ‘nothing short of immoral to mortgage our children and grandchildren’s futures to chance’ as he urged for some fiscal consolidation measures to be announced on March 3.
Government stimulus projects will help areas across the UK but difficult decisions lie ahead to deal with the country’s ‘gravely damaged’ public finances, Clarke added.
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Surge in holiday bookings following road map to end lockdown
Airlines and travel firms are experiencing a surge in demand following Boris Johnson’s road map for how coronavirus restrictions will be eased.
The Prime Minister said on Monday that a government taskforce will produce a report by April 12 recommending how international trips can resume for people in England. Foreign holidays could be permitted from May 17.
In the hours after the announcement, easyJet said bookings by UK customers for the summer season were more than four times higher compared with the same period during the previous week. The Luton-based firm’s holiday division saw an even larger rise, with demand up seven-fold.
Summer schools to help children catch up on lost learning
Secondary schools are to be given funding to run summer schools under plans to help children in England catch up on lost learning.
The Prime Minister has pledged an extra £400m of funding – on top of the £300m announced in January – as part of its education recovery plan following months of school closures.
Summer classes will be introduced for pupils who need it the most, such as incoming Year 7 pupils, while one-to-one and small group tutoring schemes will be expanded.
Women on FTSE boards soar 50 per cent
The number of women on FTSE boards has surged by 50 per cent in five years, but ‘significant progress’ is needed to boost the number of female top bosses in Britain’s biggest firms, according to a report.
The report from the Hampton-Alexander Review revealed that the number of women on FTSE boards has jumped to 1,026 – up from 682 in 2015.
It means that 34.3 per cent of FTSE 350 board roles are now held by women, up from 21.9 per cent in October 2015 – hitting the review’s target for at least a third.
Certain occupations may be linked with heavy drinking
Skilled trade occupations, such as construction and manufacturing jobs, are most likely to be associated with heavy drinking – while jobs such as teaching and clergy are associated with a lower likelihood, a new study suggests.
Working in certain occupations may be associated with a higher likelihood of heavy drinking in people aged 40 to 69 years old, researchers say.
Publicans and managers of licenced premises are almost three times more likely to be heavy drinkers, while cleaners and plasterers were twice as likely.
Duke of Edinburgh into his ninth day in hospital
The Duke of Edinburgh is into his ninth day in hospital where he is being treated for an infection.
The Earl of Wessex said Philip is ‘a lot better’ as it was announced the 99-year-old would spend several more days at King Edward VII’s hospital in central London.
Edward said his father was ‘looking forward to getting out’ and the family were keeping their ‘fingers crossed’.
Whisky collection sells for almost £6.7m
A private collection of 3,900 whisky bottles has sold for around £6.7m at auction.
The group took a hammer price of £6,675,000, becoming the highest-value collection of its kind.
It saw 1,557 distinct bidders from 54 countries battling it out for more than 1,900 lots on its final day of auction. The collection was one man’s ‘magnificent library of whisky’, said the auction house.
Nestle buys UK recipe kit business SimplyCook
Nestle has snapped up UK recipe kit business SimplyCook as it continues to rapidly grow its home delivery business.
It is the latest in a string of acquisitions by the Swiss group to expand its direct-to-consumer operations as people spend more time at home.
Nestle said it has bought the brand, which is also sold in supermarkets and grocery stores, for an undisclosed sum.
Travel companies and shop landlords gain
Tuesday proved a happier day than Monday on London’s top index as investors in companies that have been hit by Covid-19 celebrated the UK’s potential road map out of lockdown.
Travel companies and commercial landlords were among the best performers of the day. British Land and Land Securities, as well as smaller peer Hammerson, were boosted by investors looking forward to the opening of shopping centres.
It helped push the FTSE 100 to a 0.2 per cent rise by the end of the day, up 13.7 points to 6,625.94. Germany’s Dax fell 0.7 per cent, while the Cac in Paris rose 0.2 per cent.
Retail sales dive and expectations hit record low in shutdown
UK retail sales plunged in the year to February after non-essential stores shut their doors, while retailer expectations for the next month have fallen to their lowest on record.
The Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) latest retail survey revealed a decline in both sales volumes and orders over the past year.
It said that grocery businesses were the only retailers to see any growth in sales volumes in the 12-month period amid coronavirus restrictions. The CBI revealed a 45 per cent decline in sales for the period
Jobless rate hits 5.1 per cent but data shows ‘early signs’ of stability
Britain’s jobless rate has surged to its highest level for nearly five years with the pandemic hitting young workers hardest, but official figures revealed ‘early signs’ of a stabilising jobs market.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the rate of unemployment hit 5.1 per cent between October and December – up from five per cent in the previous quarter and its highest since early 2016.
It also revealed that there were 726,000 fewer workers on payrolls last month than before the start of the coronavirus crisis.
Exceptionally mild day
Rain will ease in the far north today, giving way to a few showers, says the BBC. Western areas will see persistent outbreaks of rain. It will be drier further south and east, but remaining largely cloudy and it’ll be a very mild day.
This evening, areas of rain in western areas will ease, leaving a largely dry night for many with some lingering patches of drizzle. Showers will arrive in western Scotland later, heavy in places.
It will be a dry day for many tomorrow. Scattered showers will continue to push into western areas, but elsewhere will see plenty of sunshine. It will be slightly less mild than previous days, with brisk westerly winds.
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