- Here’s your motoring, business and news briefing for Sunday, May 31
Car dealerships to reopen tomorrow
It’s the news we’ve been wanting to write for weeks – car dealerships in England will reopen tomorrow amid a host of new safety measures.
Dealers of all shapes and sizes have been busy preparing to reopen their doors following the new Covid-19 Secure guidelines. Now, tomorrow they will be able to begin welcoming customers back into showrooms following strict new health and safety measures
However, dealers in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland will remain shut as the devolved nations choose a slower path out of lockdown.
- The essentials car dealers need to focus on for reopening
- Health and safety checks and getting your Covid-19 Secure certificate
- Guide: The guidelines for reopening summarised in one place
Public warned to remain cautious
The public has been warned not to go beyond official guidance as lockdown restrictions ease further, with one expert claiming the UK could face a resurgence of coronavirus cases.
Small groups of people will be able to meet within the rules for the first time tomorrow in England, and more than two million clinically vulnerable people, who have been shielding since March, will finally be allowed to spend time outdoors.
But the new freedoms must be treated with caution, England’s deputy chief medical officer has insisted. Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said the government and public had a ‘dual responsibility’ to prevent a second wave of the virus, describing now as a ‘very dangerous moment’.
Elon Musk’s emotion at SpaceX launch
SpaceX founder and Tesla boss Elon Musk said he was ‘overcome with emotion’ after Nasa astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley launched into space yesterday.
The pair are on their way to the International Space Station (ISS) on a rocket and capsule system built by the billionaire entrepreneur’s firm – the first time a private company sent humans into orbit.
He said: ‘I think this is something that should really get people right in the heart – anyone who has a spirit of exploration. I am really quite overcome with emotion – it’s kind of hard to talk really.’
[Watch the launch, 1:01 video]
Barnier takes hard line on trade deal
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator has told Boris Johnson to stick to his promises as he warned there would not be a trade deal otherwise.
Michel Barnier appeared to play hard ball with the Prime Minister ahead of a fourth round of trade talks this week as he insisted the prospect of a no-deal end to the transition period this year would be compounded by the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.
Barnier told The Sunday Times there would not be an ‘agreement at any cost’. With talks on future trading arrangements seemingly in deadlock over issues like fisheries, Britain has until July 1 to seek an extension to the transition period.
Starling Bank raises £40m
Starling Bank has raised £40m from investors as small businesses turn to lenders for support during the coronavirus crisis.
The digital bank said it has seen a ‘robust’ number of new customers setting up accounts. Many of these have been businesses, with an acceleration in daily sign-ups since the beginning of the year.
The business said it will use its funding to help small firms get through the crisis.
US protests heat up as governors call in National Guard
Governors in several US states called in National Guard troops as protests over police killings of black men intensified yesterday.
Similar scenes of unrest unfolded across several cities from New York to Tulsa to Los Angeles, where police fired rubber bullets to scatter crowds and at least one police car burned.
The protests – which began in Minneapolis following Monday’s death of George Floyd during an arrest – have left parts of that city a grid of broken windows, burned-out buildings and ransacked stores. The demonstrations have become a national phenomenon, with protesters decrying years of deaths at police hands.
Aston Martin DB5 production recommences after 55 years
One of Aston Martin’s most desirable classic models has re-entered production after more than half a century.
Fewer than 900 saloon DB5 models were built between 1963 and 1965, but it earned cult status after being driven by James Bond in the 1964 film Goldfinger.
Fifty-five years after the final DB5 rolled off the production line, Aston Martin has again begun work on the sports car as part of its Continuation series of cars that sees classic models revived.
Lamborghini announces inaugural esports racing series
Lamborghini has unveiled its own one-make esports racing championship called The Real Race.
The virtual races, which will take place within the Assetto Corsa Competizione game, have been created in a collaboration between the Italian supercar manufacturer and Kunos Simulazione, the design house behind the video game.
Lamborghini boss Stefano Domenicali said: ‘Sim racing is one of the fastest growing sectors in esports, with esports increasingly important to younger generations. I also follow it closely.’
Airport announces redundancy programme
Belfast International Airport has announced a programme of voluntary redundancies due to the impact of coronavirus on air travel.
Managing director Graham Keddie said they estimate losing up to 45 employees out of a total workforce of 195. He announced the move with ‘deep regret and sadness’, blaming the ‘devastating impact’ of the pandemic on air travel.
Lower sales predicted when customers return to pubs
Brewer and pub group Young’s has said it expects lower sales when its sites reopen, as the company said it will not pay shareholders a dividend for the past year.
The London-based firm halted the interim pay-out in ‘view of the ongoing closure of the company’s pubs’ and ‘the expected lower levels of trade when they re-open’.
Pubs have been told they will re-open on July 4 at the earliest, although Boris Johnson delivered some optimism in the sector after he said measures for hospitality businesses could come ‘faster’ than previously thought. He said he hoped the two-metre social distancing rule could also soon be reduced to enable businesses to reopen.
Premier League gets all-clear
The Premier League has revealed there were no positive results from its latest round of Covid-19 testing, providing a timely confidence boost for the planned June 17 restart.
A total of 1,130 players and club personnel were tested in the fourth screening session, which took place on Thursday and Friday, and yielded the first all-clear.
The news followed an optimistic briefing from the government, during which Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden outlined guidance for the return of elite sport and said: ‘The wait is over, football is back.’
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