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News Round-Up

May 1: Holiday lists deadline missed; Care home visits rule change; NI non-essential retail reopens; Cheaper Golf plug-in hybrid

  • Here are the headlines on Saturday, May 1

Time 6 months ago

Deadline missed for release of holiday lists

A deadline for grading countries under the new traffic light system for international travel has been missed by the government.

The Transport Select Committee issued a report last week which stated that the green, amber and red lists of destinations must be published by today (May 1) ‘at the latest’, but this hasn’t happened.

Instead, the Department for Transport has only said the lists will be made public in ‘early May’.

Rule change allows outdoor family visits for care home residents

Care home residents will be able to spend time with loved ones in ‘low-risk’ visits without having to self-isolate on their return, the government has said after being threatened with legal action by the charity John’s Campaign.

From Tuesday (May 4), residents leaving their home for a walk or to visit a loved one’s garden will no longer have to isolate for two weeks on their return.

However, those leaving for medical appointments and overnight visits will still have to self-isolate for 14 days, the PA news agency understands.

Shops reopen and pints pour again in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has witnessed long shopping queues and buzzing beer gardens as the region took a major step out of lockdown.

Many hospitality and retail outlets reopened their doors yesterday (Apr 30) after four months of closure.

Publicans, cafe owners and restaurateurs could serve customers outdoors, while all non-essential retailers were able to pull their shutters up once again.

Scottish businesses call for clarity and four-nation approach to easing guidelines

CBI Scotland has demanded more clarity about the future of social distancing guidelines that are affecting worker numbers and business capacity.

The business group has called on the UK and Scottish governments to give more details about how and when the restrictions will be eased.

It also wants a consistent approach across all four nations of the UK, along with the publication of evidence and data used for decision-making.

Campaigning group urges new Lord Speaker to abolish aristocrat elections

An organisation promoting electoral reform is urging the new Lord Speaker to abolish a controversial system of replacing hereditary members in the House of Lords.

The Electoral Reform Society called resuming the so-called by-elections among cross-bench peers a ‘sign of very warped priorities’ and urged Lord McFall of Alcluith, set to replace Lord Fowler as Lord Speaker, to take action on the ‘absurd practice’.

The system used to choose which aristocrats get to sit in the upper chamber has been put on hold since last March because of the coronavirus crisis.

Labour leader putting Tory ‘sleaze’ in spotlight ahead of by-election

Sir Keir Starmer will today look to put so-called Tory ‘sleaze’ front and centre as he visits Hartlepool again on the final weekend of campaigning before Thursday’s by-election.

Labour is looking to hold on to the so-called ‘red wall’ seat and see off a challenge from the Conservatives.

Paul Williams, who was the Labour MP for Stockton South from 2017 until 2019, is contesting the traditionally Labour-held seat after incumbent Mike Hill resigned in March amid sexual harassment allegations.

Pfizer and BioNTech ask EU to clear vaccine for 12-to-15-year-olds

Pfizer and BioNTech have submitted a request for European Union drug regulators to extend the approval of the companies’ coronavirus vaccine to include children aged 12 to 15.

In a statement yesterday (Apr 30), the two companies said their submission to the European Medicines Agency was based on an advanced study of more than 2,000 adolescents that showed the vaccine to be safe and effective.

The children will continue to be monitored for longer-term protection and safety for another two years.

Friday Car Dealer headlines you may have missed:

Pharma giants help take FTSE 100 higher

AstraZeneca joined fellow pharmaceutical giant Hikma as the best performer among London’s biggest firms on Friday – its shares rose by 4.3 per cent, with Hikma’s going up by 3.2 per cent.

That and a weak pound led the FTSE 100 higher, seeing it reach 6,969.81 points – an 8.33 point rise and up 0.1 per cent. In the US, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 were both trading down around 0.6 per cent when markets closed in Europe. In Germany, the Dax dropped 0.1 per cent, while in France the Cac index fell 0.5 per cent.

Just before markets closed, one pound would buy 1.3821 dollars – 0.9 per cent less than a day earlier or 1.1491 euros, down 0.1 per cent. Rather than a weak pound, though, the reason for the fall was a strong dollar – the euro also lost 0.7 per cent against the US currency.

Disneyland reopening highlights California’s Covid turnaround

Disneyland has reopened to excited visitors after an unprecedented 13-month closure, in what tourism officials hope is a sign of California’s rebound from the pandemic.

Friday’s reopening came four months after the nation’s most populous state was struggling to combat a surge in coronavirus hospital admissions that packed patients into outdoor tents and killed hundreds of people each day.

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Police chief defends Met vetting process after neo-Nazi ex-officer jailed

A counter-terrorism chief has defended the vetting process for Metropolitan Police officers after a former officer was jailed for belonging to a neo-Nazi group.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu spoke of being ‘shocked and betrayed’ after Ben Hannam, 22, was jailed for more than four years for being a member of banned extremist group National Action.

However, the National Police Chiefs Council lead for counter-terrorism policing denied the force’s vetting procedure was the problem, saying Hannam wouldn’t have been caught even if background checks had been more rigorous.

Orders open for lower-priced plug-in hybrid VW Golf

Volkswagen has brought in a new lower-priced plug-in hybrid version of the Golf for company car buyers.

The eHybrid Style, which has a seven per cent benefit-in-kind rate, brings down the cost of the Golf’s hybrid offerings, with the aim of making it more widely accessible to fleet and private buyers.

Prices start at £32,995 – a lot less than the £36,010 GTE – and it uses a 1.4-litre petrol engine with an electric motor powered by a battery that can provide up to 44 miles of electric-only range.

Weather outlook

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There’ll be a mix of sunshine and showers in most places today, says the BBC, with the rain thundery and heavy in some areas in the afternoon. It’ll be a chilly day again with light winds.

England, Northern Ireland and Wales will become cold and dry tonight and the skies will be mainly clear. Showers will continue in Scotland, possibly becoming wintry on higher ground.

Sunday will see most places experiencing showers and sunshine again, with the rain thundery and heavy in some areas in the afternoon once more. It’ll be chilly again for this time of year, with light winds blowing once again.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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