- Here are the headlines on Tuesday, March 23
PM says restrictions are easing ‘once and for all’
Boris Johnson has said coronavirus restrictions are being eased ‘once and for all’ as the UK marks the anniversary of the first national lockdown today.
The prime minister offered his ‘sincere condolences to those who have lost loved ones’ and praised the ‘great spirit’ displayed ahead of the nation pausing in remembrance.
‘It’s because of every person in this country that lives have been saved, our NHS was protected, and we have started on our cautious road to easing restrictions once and for all,’ he said in a statement.
Johnson warns Europe’s third wave could come here
Boris Johnson warned the UK to be braced for another wave of coronavirus infections despite figures showing just 17 daily reported deaths – the lowest for nearly six months.
The prime minister said a third wave of Covid-19 cases being seen in countries such as France and Italy could ‘wash up on our shores as well’.
He said it demonstrated the need to press ahead with the vaccination programme and stressed the importance of international co-operation as diplomatic efforts continued to defuse a row between the UK and European Union over vaccine supplies.
Holidays could be banned until end of June
Foreign holidays look likely to continue to be outlawed until at least June 30, according to reports.
After a month-long lockdown returned to several French regions including Paris, health minister Lord Bethell raised the prospect of all Europe being put on the UK’s travel ‘red list’.
Legislation published yesterday also suggested anyone who tries to leave the UK without a reasonable excuse could be fined up to £5,000.
TfL agrees short-term extension of bailout
Transport for London has accepted the government’s offer to extend its bailout by seven weeks, despite calling for a long-term deal.
The agreement secures the continuation of public transport in the capital until May 18.
The collapse in passenger numbers during the coronavirus pandemic has decimated TfL’s finances, leading it to require government funding to keep services running.
£40m to replace diesel buses with EVs
Funding to help replace 215 diesel buses with low-emission, electric models has been awarded by the Scottish government.
Bus companies across Scotland have been given a share of £40.5m to help update their fleets with electric vehicles through the Scottish Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme.
US chicken chain Popeyes to launch here
US fried chicken chain Popeyes is to launch its first UK restaurant, as it pushes ahead with an ambitious expansion plan to open hundreds of UK sites.
The KFC competitor, which runs 3,400 restaurants globally, said it will welcome customers to the first location by the end of 2021.
It said it has a goal of opening 350 UK restaurants over the next 10 years, after rapid growth in continental Europe.
FTSE moves higher despite drag from airline stocks
Airline and travel stocks dragged on the markets amid fears that international holidays from the UK are likely to be heavily restricted this summer.
British Airways owner IAG, Tui and fellow rival EasyJet all slid lower, but it was not enough to upend the London markets which nudged higher.
The FTSE 100 closed 17.39 points, or 0.26 per cent, higher at 6,726.1 yesterday. The German Dax increased by 0.25 per cent and the French Cac moved 0.49 per cent lower.
Cadbury owner buys Grenade
Cadbury owner Mondelez has agreed a deal to buy protein bar maker Grenade.
The move to buy a ‘significant majority interest’ in the Solihull-based business from private equity firm Lion Capital is Mondelez’s first UK acquisition since purchasing Cadbury in 2010.
The global snacking group did not disclose the terms of the transaction but it is understood that it valued Grenade at around £200m.
Thousands book staycation cruises
Thousands of people have booked staycation sailings with P&O Cruises this summer on the first day of sale.
The cruise line’s flagship Britannia and new ship Iona will set sail from Southampton between June and September, travelling around the UK’s coastline in search of good weather.
The itineraries do not include stops at any ports, apart from one Britannia sailing which will visit Liverpool.
Snows Group executive chats to the Car Dealer Podcast
Common cold protection against coronavirus
The immune response from the common cold virus which offers some level of protection against coronavirus ‘might have a population-wide effect’, according to a new study.
Research from scientists in Glasgow indicated the human rhinovirus triggers an innate response which seemingly blocks SARS-CoV-2 replication in cells of the respiratory tract.
But, as part of further studies, they ran mathematical simulations which suggest such interaction and an increasing prevalence of rhinovirus could reduce the number of new Covid-19 cases.
Twitter CEO sells first-ever tweet for £2m
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, has sold his first-ever tweet for £2.09m, donating the money to a charity battling Covid-19 in Africa.
The tweet has been sold as a unique digital token, known as an NFT (non-fungible token), following a bidding war between Sina Estavi, CEO of cryptocurrency company Bridge Oracle, and tech entrepreneur Justin Sun.
An NFT is a limited edition asset in the digital world, including jpegs and video clips, that can be bought and sold like any other item – but has no physical form of its own.
B&Q profits soar more than 600%
The owner of B&Q has cashed in on a DIY boom as millions of people stuck at home tried to improve their living conditions.
Kingfisher said it had seen pre-tax profits balloon 634 per cent from £103m to £756m in the 12 months to the end of January.
Sales increased by 7.2% during the same period to £12.3bn, the company revealed yesterday.
Deliveroo aims for £8.8bn listing
Takeaway company Deliveroo is expected to be valued at up to £8.8bn when it starts selling its shares on the stock exchange in London.
The business aims to sell shares for around 390p to 460p each in what is expected to be one of the biggest public listings of the year.
The share price will value the entire business at between £7.6bn and £8.8bn, Deliveroo said. The company is yet to make a profit.
Jeep reveals all-electric Magneto concept
Jeep has revealed the Magneto, an electric 4×4 concept that is said to have the same off-road capabilities as the firm’s petrol-powered vehicles.
Based on a two-door Wrangler Rubicon, it has a custom-built electric motor that is attached to a six-speed manual transmission.
It has 370Nm of torque and 281bhp, with Jeep’s engineers working to match the motor’s characteristics and performance to the firm’s 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 petrol engine.
Getting colder and wetter
This morning, it will remain largely dry and cloudy for many, with intermittent brighter spells, says the BBC. However, northern and western areas will have light rain or drizzle. Rain arriving from the west later.
Tonight will be largely cloudy with outbreaks of rain moving south-eastwards. Western Scotland will see frequent outbreaks of rain. Skies will be mostly clear for most of Scotland and N Ireland.
Tomorrow, Scotland and N Ireland will have blustery showers, turning wintry over the highest ground. A cloudy start for many with sunny spells developing, but light showers in the south-east.
- Join our breaking news WhatsApp group
- Listen to the latest Car Dealer Podcast
- List of the Top 100 profitable car dealers in the UK