- Here are the headlines on Tuesday, March 2
Ioniq 5 is biggest Hyundai car launch ever
Hyundai says it has received more demand for the Ioniq 5 than any other model it has put on sale.
Since revealing the car on February 23, the South Korean firm has received 236,000 expressions of interest.
Meanwhile, the limited-edition Ioniq 5 Project 45 has seen its 3,000 units over-subscribed by three times within 24 hours of reservations opening. Hyundai says the digital reveal drove website traffic and social media engagement higher than the firm has ever seen too.
Delaying second vaccine ‘saving lives’
The decision to delay second doses of Covid vaccines in an effort to jab more older people has been credited with saving a ‘large number’ of lives, after data suggested hospital admissions are being greatly reduced by the rollout.
The ‘exciting’ and ‘hugely reassuring’ results from a Public Health England (PHE) study have indicated that the Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines are highly effective in reducing infections among those aged 70 and over.
England’s deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said data showing vaccine effectiveness against illness of approximately 60 per cent and a reduction in the likelihood of hospital admission by 80 per cent after a single dose gives the ‘first glimpses’ of how the jabs programme is working.
Chancellor to launch £520m Help to Grow scheme for firms
The Chancellor is to launch a £520m initiative to support small UK businesses with training and software in tomorrow’s Budget.
Rishi Sunak said the Help to Grow scheme could assist 130,000 SMEs become more productive by providing access to some of the UK’s top business schools.
The Treasury said that firms will receive expert technology advice and discounted software, as it aims to spark innovation as the UK plots its recovery out of the pandemic. Sunak will also commit £126m to create 40,000 traineeships in England and offer £3k cash incentives for employers who take them on.
Borrowing shrinks at fastest rate on record
Households’ consumer credit borrowing, including credit cards, personal loans and overdrafts, shrank at the sharpest annual rate on record in January, Bank of England figures show.
Consumer credit borrowing contracted by 8.9 per cent annually, marking a new low since records started in 1994.
The decline reflects less new borrowing taking place. Households collectively made £2.4bn-worth of net consumer credit repayments in January, the largest net repayment since May 2020. £2.2bn of the total was repayments made on credit cards.
Government urged to reconsider whether to impose limits on new drivers
Ministers have been urged to reconsider whether to impose limits on what new drivers can do on the road.
The Commons Transport Select Committee recommended that research into the consequences of graduated driving licences (GDLs) should resume, as there is evidence they can be ‘effective in reducing crash rates’.
GDLs place restrictions on drivers for a set time period after they pass their test, such as banning the carriage of passengers, curfews, lower alcohol limits and mandatory ‘P’ plates. They are used in several countries including the US, Canada, Australia and Sweden.
Twitter to label tweets containing misinformation
Twitter is expanding its use of warning labels, targeting tweets that contain misleading details about coronavirus vaccines.
The move is designed to strengthen the social network’s existing Covid-19 guidance, which has led to the removal of more than 8,400 tweets and challenged 11.5m accounts worldwide.
Labels providing additional context are already attached to tweets with disputed information about the pandemic, but this is the first time the firm has focused on posts about vaccines.
‘Great uncertainty’ around holidays
The UK will examine European Union proposals for a vaccine passport in the hope of reviving international travel for the summer holidays.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Britain was working with the EU and countries around the world on the issue.
But England’s deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said there was still ‘great uncertainty’ around holidays on the continent – partly because the European Union’s vaccination programmes were behind the UK’s.
Wagamama owner burning through £5.5m a month
Wagamama owner The Restaurant Group said it is burning through £5.5m each month its venues remain shut and that it has secured a new loan to shore up its finances.
Shares in the company soared higher yesterday after it revealed £500m in new debt facilities.
Trustpilot gears up for potential £1bn London float
Customer review website Trustpilot is considering listing its shares on the public exchange in London, potentially at a £1bn valuation.
The company said it has London in its sights for a flotation, which will raise around £36m to help fund growth.
Global markets rally back as bond trading calms
Global markets rebounded strongly as the bond markets calmed down following turbulent trading last week.
The FTSE 100 closed 105.1 points, or 1.62 per cent, higher at 6,588.53 at the end of play yesterday. The German Dax and the French Cac both moved 1.57 per cent higher.
Morrisons snaps up Cornish seafood supplier Falfish
Morrisons has snapped up a Cornish seafood supplier as the UK supermarket reaffirmed its commitment to fresh fish counters while rivals strip them out of stores.
The Bradford-based retailer confirmed it has acquired Falfish, which has supplied Morrisons for 16 years, for an undisclosed sum.
It claimed that the move means it has now become the first UK supermarket to own its own fishing boat.
Mostly dry and sunny
Central and eastern parts of Britain and Northern Ireland will stay overcast and chilly as low cloud, mist and fog persists, says the BBC. Sunny spells will develop more widely through the day in the west and south.
Showers will spread into south-west England, south Wales and the West Country overnight. Dry elsewhere, but with plenty of fog and low cloud. Clear breaks for Scotland and south east England.
Tomorrow will be rather cloudy and dry for many with fog in places. Sunny spells for the west and south. A chance of showers for England and Wales though, some of which could be heavy and thundery.
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