- Here are the headlines on Thursday, March 25
Matt Hancock sees future where Covid-19 managed ‘like flu’
Health Secretary Matt Hancock says he can see an ‘end’ to the pandemic after which the UK will manage coronavirus ‘more like flu’ with repeated and updated vaccinations.
He said: ‘I see an end where Covid is managed more like flu: we repeatedly vaccinate, we update the vaccines according to mutations and we manage the challenges, especially around transmissions over winter.
‘I’m confident that’s where we can get to. I want to get to a position where we can have an updated vaccine in weeks or months, not a year.’
Landlords could be able to set rules on vaccine certificates
Pub landlords could be allowed to require customers to provide proof they are vaccinated against coronavirus, according to Boris Johnson.
The Prime Minister told the Commons Liaison Committee it may be left up to ‘individual publicans’ as to whether they can ask punters for domestic vaccine passports to enter venues.
Ministers are currently reviewing the possibility of introducing a document providing proof that a person has either been vaccinated against the virus or tested negative as part of the drive to return to normality.
Quarter of people cut spending on food and utilities during pandemic
A quarter of people are cutting back on food and utilities due to the financial strain of the pandemic, a new study has found.
Research carried out by Red C found 43 per cent of the population are experiencing some kind of financial hardship due to the pandemic.
The survey found 24 per cent are cutting back on food, heat or electricity, 22 per cent are using their savings to meet living expenses and 14 per cent are falling behind on bills such as rent or mortgages.
Nationwide to allow 13,000 office staff to choose where they work
Nationwide Building Society has unveiled plans to allow 13,000 employees to choose where they work and revealed three small offices will shut amid the shift to remote working.
The lending giant said it will put office staff in control of deciding where they are based according to their job once the latest Covid-19 restrictions end, after more than half – 57 per cent – said they wanted to work from home full-time.
The mutual said it would close three small leasehold offices in Swindon as it trims the network in response to the shift to remote working.
Stuck ship in Egypt’s Suez Canal imperils shipping worldwide
A skyscraper-sized cargo ship wedged across Egypt’s Suez Canal imperilled global shipping today as at least 150 other vessels idled while waiting for the obstruction to clear.
The Ever Given, a Panama-flagged ship that carries cargo between Asia and Europe, ran aground on Tuesday in the narrow, man-made canal dividing continental Africa from the Sinai Peninsula after high winds knocked it off course.
In the time since, efforts to free the ship using dredgers, digging and the aid of high tides are yet to push the container vessel aside. Workers are hoping to avoid offloading containers from the vessel as it would take days.
Yesterday’s Car Dealer headlines you may have missed:
- Firefighters swamp Westway Nissan in Southampton after major blaze
- Top 20 biggest depreciating used cars revealed
- Pendragon on the ‘road to recovery’ as it posts a profit
- Vauxhall cuts electric vehicle prices
- More than three-quarters disagree with cuts to Plug-in Car Grant
- Porsche Taycan gets free software update to make it quicker
AstraZeneca jab has 76% efficacy against symptomatic Covid-19
AstraZeneca says its vaccine has 76 per cent efficacy against symptomatic Covid-19, after the firm updated analysis of the third phase of testing.
The revised number follows figures released on Monday reporting the jab was 79 per cent effective, which US federal health officials expressed concern were based on ‘outdated information’.
The firm said its vaccine also has 100 per cent efficacy against severe or critical disease and hospitalisation due to coronavirus and is 85 per cent effective against symptomatic Covid-19 in patients aged 65 years and over.
‘Natural wanderlust’ will see Britons wanting to holiday abroad again
The ‘natural wanderlust’ of Britons will lead to a ‘miraculous change’ in the desire to holiday abroad once it is safe to do so, the Prime Minister has predicted.
Boris Johnson made the optimistic statement during an evidence session with senior MPs, in which he also suggested it was likely that holidaymakers would need a so-called vaccine passport in order to embark on international travel.
Motorists missing MOTs by more than three weeks triples
Motorists are waiting longer to sort an MOT renewal than this time last year, following government extensions related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Data from the country’s biggest MOT tester Kwik Fit shows that nine per cent of motorists who booked an MOT in the past six months waited more than three weeks after their existing MOT expired. This compares with just three per cent in the same period of the previous year.
John Lewis to permanently shut eight more stores
John Lewis is to shut eight more stores in a move which will put 1,465 jobs at risk.
The department store retailer told staff yesterday that it will not reopen the stores after lockdown measures lift, as it undergoes a major shift in strategy to adapt to changing shopping habits.
The eight shops set to close comprise four At Home stores in Ashford, Basingstoke, Chester and Tunbridge Wells and four department stores in Aberdeen, Peterborough, Sheffield and York.
Passengers likely to be asked to wear face masks until 2022
Passengers will be asked to wear face masks on Ryanair flights potentially until 2022, the airline’s boss has said, as he announced a return to a more normal summer schedule.
The budget airline plans to run around 2,300 flights every day during the summer this year, Michael O’Leary said.
The schedule will mean that Ryanair is running at about 80 per cent of its usual capacity, with British people desperate to get back to European beaches, according to the chief executive.
Business optimism and economic activity soar
The UK economy showed strong signs of growth in March, hitting a seven-month high, as the optimism over the vaccine rollout saw businesses increase their spending, according to new data.
The closely-followed IHS Markit/CIPS Flash UK Composite PMI report came in at 56.6, with anything below 50 seen as a market in contraction. This improved from February’s contraction of 49.6.
Data collected at the start of the month – but crucially after the government’s Budget and latest official projections for recovery – showed businesses reported a rise in new orders for the first time since September last year.
Teletext Holidays told to pay up or face court action
Teletext Holidays has failed to refund many of its customers and must sign a formal commitment or risk court action, the competition watchdog has warned.
The Competition and Markets Authority said customers due refunds on cancelled package holidays due to the pandemic are still waiting for their cash.
Bosses must address the CMA’s concerns and avoid any potential court action by signing a formal undertaking to refund the affected consumers as soon as possible.
Rimac Automobili is opening centre in the UK
Rimac Automobili has announced that it is opening a research and development office in the UK this year.
The Croatian firm is considered a world-leader in electric vehicle technology and is currently based in Zagreb, but wants to tap into the UK’s ‘great expertise’ in the car industry.
Mate Rimac, the firm’s founder and CEO, said: ‘While Croatia will always be our home, we have decided to take the opportunity to gather a small team in the UK, where the automotive industry has a long history and great expertise.’
Mixed picture across the UK
Today will be cloudy for Scotland and Northern Ireland as outbreaks of showery rain persist, says the BBC. Scotland, England and Wales will have patchy cloud, clearing to lengthy sunny spells. Windy.
Tonight, outbreaks of blustery rain will spread east across Scotland, Northern Ireland, reaching northern England and Wales in the early hours before pushing further east. Clear spells may develop in places.
Tomorrow will be a wet and windy day for many, with bands of rain moving in from the west. It will turn colder, with blustery showers in western areas; these turning wintry over the highest ground.
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