Holiday chaos as double-jabbed travellers from France told to quarantine
Holidaymakers returning from France have been told they must continue to quarantine for 10 days – even if they have been fully vaccinated – when restrictions ease on other amber list destinations next week.
Ministers said the move, announced late yesterday evening (Jul 16), was a precautionary measure amid concerns over the ‘persistent presence’ in the country of the Beta coronavirus variant.
However, the industry body Abta said the last-minute exclusion of France for those arriving back in England was a further setback for hopes of a ‘meaningful recovery’ for the sector.
Halt reforms or risk ‘damage’ to teacher supply, government warned
The government must halt its plans to overhaul teacher training as it could cause ‘irreparable damage’ to the supply of high-quality teachers to schools, education unions and organisations have said.
A joint letter to schools minister Nick Gibb accuses the government of attempting to ‘railroad through a huge change’ to teacher training with ‘minimal opportunity for scrutiny and meaningful feedback’. It wants an urgent halt to the consultation, which closes on August 22.
All initial teacher training providers would need to be reaccredited to continue recruiting trainees from August 2022 under the Department for Education proposals, which has prompted concerns that many well-respected universities could withdraw from teacher training.
Pop-up Covid jab centres to open at shops and parks this weekend
People enjoying the sunny weather this weekend by going shopping, watching live sports or visiting the park will also be able to get their coronavirus jabs at a series of pop-up clinics.
Clothes stores, sporting venues and parks will be hosting vaccination centres as part of a drive to maximise protection against the virus before restrictions in England are lifted on Monday.
Venues include the Oval cricket ground, the British Open golfing championship in Sandwich, Greenwich Park in London plus Liverpool’s Sefton Park, as well as Primark in Bristol’s Broadmead Shopping Centre and the Trinity retail centre in Leeds.
Staff shortages threatening production of goods, business groups warn
Up to a fifth of workers in companies are having to self-isolate after receiving a notification from the NHS Covid app, threatening cuts in the production of goods.
The number of people notified by the app in England and Wales recently passed 500,000 in a single week, and business groups as well as unions told the PA news agency the problem had escalated over the past week.
There are now calls to bring forward the August 16 date when the fully vaccinated won’t have to self-isolate if they come into contact with someone with Covid-19.
Greenland suspends oil exploration because of climate change
The government of Greenland has suspended all oil exploration off the world’s largest island, calling it ‘a natural step’ because it ‘takes the climate crisis seriously’.
Officials had seen potentially vast reserves as a way to help Greenlanders realise their long-held dream of independence from Denmark by cutting the annual subsidy of 3.4bn kroner (£390m) the territory receives.
‘The future does not lie in oil. The future belongs to renewable energy, and in that respect we have much more to gain,’ the Greenland government said in a statement, adding that it ‘wants to take co-responsibility for combating the global climate crisis’.
Full marks for Fiat 500 in latest round of eco testing
The new electric Fiat 500 has been given full marks for its eco-friendliness in the latest round of Green NCAP testing.
The independent initiative is designed to promote vehicles that are clean, energy-efficient and not harmful to the environment.
In all three categories – clean air, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas – the 500 scored 10/10, making it one of the cleanest cars on the road under this test scheme. It received a five-out-of-five rating overall.
More sales growth expected for Royal Mail
Royal Mail is expected to unveil further sales growth next week as the delivery giant continues to be buoyed by its expanding parcel operation – boosted by the pandemic as online shopping boomed.
Earlier this year, the company saw parcels overtake letters as its main revenue source and the group is developing a second fully automated hub to open in 2023 with a capacity for one million parcels per day.
Investors will be hoping that this progress with parcels will maintain its strong momentum when Royal Mail posts a first-quarter trading update on Wednesday (Jul 21).
Friday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed
- Reopening of UK market helps push Sytner and CarShop’s US owner to new record profit
- Sign in for early access: Car Dealer issue 161 features Peter Allibon, Sytner’s sumptuous Sunbury showroom, a 620-mile EV challenge and more
- PM says more gigafactories needed amid fears that government funding is ‘insufficient’
- Aston Martin unveils striking new hybrid supercar
- Rolls-Royce reaching ‘critical point’ over Covid isolations – reports
GSK plans to create up to 5,000 jobs with new biotech hub
Drug and pharmaceuticals giant GSK is set to create up to 5,000 new jobs over the next 10 years as part of plans to create one of Europe’s largest biotechnology campuses in Hertfordshire.
Bosses are to seek a development partner to transform land within the company’s existing 92-acre research and development site in Stevenage.
The company hopes the plans will help unlock up to £400m in new investments from a private-sector developer as part of a partnership with the local council, the government and entrepreneur bodies.
The FTSE 100 finished 3.93 points, or 0.06 per cent, lower at 7,008.09 on Friday. The German Dax, meanwhile, fell by 0.57 per cent at 15,540.31 and the French Cac moved 0.51 per cent lower at 6,460.08.
Across the pond, the Dow Jones was down by 0.86 per cent at 34,687.85.
It’ll be sunny across most of the UK today and particularly warm in England and Wales, according to BBC Weather, although north-western areas will experience drizzle and cloud.
Tonight will see plenty of late sunshine for many, but a south-westerly flow will carry on spreading some drizzle plus cloud into northern areas.
It’ll continue to be very warm and sunny in the south of the UK on Sunday. However, northern areas will see cloud with the possibility of some rain.