Nov 3 round-up: Mass testing pilot in Liverpool; Polestar recall; CBI’s ‘bleak winter’ warning

Time 6:57 am, November 3, 2020

  • Here are the headlines on Tuesday, November 3

Boris Johnson hails mass testing pilot

Some half a million people are to be offered regular coronavirus testing in a pilot scheme hailed as having the potential to be a ‘powerful new weapon’ in the fight against the disease.

All residents and workers in Liverpool will be offered repeat testing whether or not they have symptoms, the Department of Health said. The approach will see the city, which has a population of 498,042, become the first place to trial a wider testing scheme in England from Friday.

The mass testing pilot, which will see 2,000 military personnel deployed to help with the logistics, will come into effect a day after new national lockdown measures are due to take hold across England.

Polestar 2 recalled due to battery inverter fault

Polestar has issued a recall for its electric ‘2’ model due to issues with the car’s battery inverters.

Affecting 4,586 vehicles in Europe, the problem has been found to be related to a bank of faulty inverters, which take the stored energy from the car’s batteries and convert them into a voltage which can then power the electric motors used to drive the vehicle.

This issue could then cause a loss of power and could prevent the vehicle from running properly.

Markets gain despite new coronavirus restrictions

Shares in Europe bounced back from last week’s malaise yesterday as investors were busy despite new restrictions being introduced in the UK.

The FTSE 100, London’s top index, ended the day up 1.4 per cent, or 77.7 points, to 5,654.97, despite companies with a strong high street presence taking a hit.

But the FTSE was behind its European cousins, the Dax in Frankfurt, and the Cac in Paris, which gained two per cent and 2.1 per cent respectively.

Half of drivers had cut mileage even before new lockdown

Half of drivers were spending less time on the road than normal even before new lockdown restrictions were announced, a survey suggests.

An AA poll of more than 16,000 motorists conducted from October 13-19 indicated that those driving less during the crisis had seen their weekly mileage drop by an average of 50 miles.

People in professional occupations were among the most likely to be driving fewer miles, reflecting the spike in home working.

Beer left in pub cellars will have to be ‘tipped down drain’

Any beer left in pub cellars following the start of a second national lockdown will have to be ‘tipped down the drain’, pub bosses have warned.

Under the new regulations, which come into effect on Thursday, pubs and bars will not be able to serve alcohol to take away – as was permitted during the first lockdown.

Jonathan Neame, chief executive of the Shepherd Neame brewery, said that the new measures were ‘soul-destroying’.

Primark owner to take £375m sales hit 

The owner of Primark has said it will take a £375m hit from the loss of sales amid the latest enforced closures in the face of Covid-19.

Associated British Foods said around 57 per cent of selling space in its Primark stores will be temporarily closed if Parliament approves plans to shut non-essential shops for a month from Thursday.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that clothing stores will be among those required to close until December 2.

CBI chief warns of ‘bleak’ winter 

The head of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has condemned the way the government has handled major announcements such as England’s lockdown.

It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson pulled out of an appearance at the group’s annual conference.

CBI director-general Dame Carolyn Fairbairn said firms could not act on the basis of ‘speculation and leaks and surmise’, demanded more clarity on the government’s strategy and called for ministers to improve the coronavirus testing system.

Windy but bright

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Rain over south-east England will clear away this morning to leave it mostly sunny across southern Britain. A few heavy showers are possible in the west but it will be bright with a few showers elsewhere.

Most areas will become dry and clear tonight. However, the Northern Isles and northern Scotland will have scattered showers pushing in from the north-west. It will be a cold night with a frost and fog patches.

Tomorrow will be fine for much of England and Wales with sunshine after a cold start. There will be more cloud about over Northern Ireland and Scotland with rain and brisk winds spreading into the far north of Scotland later on.

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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