- Here’s your business, motoring and news round-up for Thursday, May 21
Test and trace system planned by June 1
A testing and tracing system seen as the key to easing the lockdown will be up and running by June 1 – but the rollout of the contact tracing app will come later.
Boris Johnson said 25,000 staff would be in place by the start of next month and they would be capable of tracking the contacts of up to 10,000 new Covid-19 cases a day.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said last week that the contact tracing app would be rolled out from mid-May, but that has now been pushed back. Mr Johnson did not mention the app – currently being trialled on the Isle of Wight – as part of his plan for June 1.
First Range Rover built with social distancing
The first Range Rover built under social distancing measures has rolled off the production line at Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull plant.
The company has performed an extensive review of the entire process and implemented new health and safety measures to ensure employee safety.
These include temperature checks, a JLR-made reusable face mask, two-metre spacing between workers and the wearing of PPE whenever that isn’t possible.
Drinking at the bar could be stopped
Customers could be stopped from drinking at the bar at pubs as part of new proposals aimed at helping hospitality firms reopen on July 4.
Restrictions on the number of children in outdoor playing areas and patrols of smoking areas have also been put forward among potential measures touted to help sites meet guidelines.
Trade group UKHospitality (UKH) has put forward the initial proposals, alongside other industry leaders, in a document submitted to ministers.
Spending capped as McDonald’s reopens 33 drive-thrus
McDonald’s has reopened 33 restaurants for drive-thru customers after a successful trial for deliveries – with hope for all to open within the next month.
The sites, primarily in south-east England, opened at 11am yesterday and offered a limited menu with orders capped at £25 per car. Contactless payments were encouraged.
McDonald’s called for customers to be ‘patient and supportive’ of staff as sites reopen, warning that service ‘will not be as quick as you might be used to’. Large queues were reported at many restaurants.
McDonalds Drive-Thru opened in Sutton today, here's the queue… pic.twitter.com/MN0pZ1Z0dW
— Will Gavin (@WillGav) May 20, 2020
£593m per year spent on policy adjustments
UK motorists are forking out around £593m each year on making changes to their insurance policies.
Choosemycar found the average fee charged by insurers to make changes to a policy is £22.50. Companies charged between £0 and £70.50 to make changes such as a new address or marital status.
The company said around 26m policy changes are made each year.
Rolls-Royce axing 9,000 jobs amid aviation crisis
Aerospace giant Rolls-Royce plans to cut at least 9,000 jobs amid the continuing crisis, with UK factories set to be hardest hit.
The Derby-based company announced a major reorganisation of its business as demand for aircraft, and the engines it makes, slumps across the world.
Chief executive Warren East acknowledged it was ‘terrible news’ for employees, but added that action has to be taken to protect the business in the long term. He gave a painful interview to the BBC which has been largely ridiculed for its insincerity on social media.
— Daniel Maguire (@DanielMaguireFC) May 20, 2020
‘Foolish’ to rule out negative UK interest rates
Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey has said it would be ‘foolish’ to rule out cutting interest rates below zero and confirmed policymakers are actively reviewing options to help see the economy through coronavirus.
Bailey told MPs the Bank did not rule out any monetary policy action as a ‘matter of principle’.
In a hearing with the Treasury Select Committee, he said the Bank was keeping the outlook for how low UK rates could go – and other monetary policy tools available – under ‘active review’.
Markets remain hopeful as BoE boosts optimism
Following a wobble on Tuesday, the bulls were back out in force yesterday as optimism swept markets, building on strong growth from earlier in the week.
Soothing words from Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey, following similar moves from US Fed chair Jerome Powell on Tuesday, also helped.
The FTSE 100 closed the day up 64.93 points, or 1.08 per cent, to 6,067.16 – reversing the losses made on Tuesday. In Europe, the German Dax 30 closed up 1.3 per cent and France’s Cac 40 up 0.9 per cent.
Growing safety concerns among public transport users
Train and bus passengers are becoming increasingly concerned about safety and hygiene, a new survey suggests.
The Transport Focus poll of 2,000 people indicated that 72 per cent would not travel unless social distancing was in place, up from 62 per cent two weeks ago.
It also suggested the proportion of people who would not be happy to use public transport unless passengers were required to wear face masks or coverings has risen from 51 per cent to 62 per cent. Fear of using public transport is widely hoped to bring a possible boost to the used car market.
Young adults not ‘strictly’ sticking to lockdown rules
More than half of young adults are no longer sticking strictly to the lockdown rules, according to a new survey.
Researchers who questioned more than 90,000 adults found that ‘complete’ compliance with safety measures, such as social distancing and staying at home, has dropped in the past two weeks from an average of 70 per cent to under 60 per cent.
Less than 50 per cent of younger adults are ‘completely’ complying with lockdown rules, according to the University College London (UCL) study which looked at how adults are feeling about a range of issues during the pandemic.
Tom Hartley interview – not to be missed
If you missed our interview yesterday with larger-than-life motor trade personality Tom Hartley on Car Dealer Live you can read about what he said and watch it now.
The supercar specialist, who has just published a book called The Dealmaker, told us all about his career, his business and how he’s never been busier during the lockdown. Click here to read the story and watch the video.
Car Dealer Live today: SsangYong executives Nick Laird and chairman Jim Tyrell live at midday today
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