- Here are the headlines on Sunday, October 25
Self-isolation for Covid-19 contacts may be cut to seven days
Contacts of people infected with coronavirus may have to self-isolate for as little as seven days amid concerns in Whitehall about the levels of public compliance with the Test and Trace system.
Officials on the government’s Covid-19 taskforce are understood to be examining the case for reducing the current fortnight period of isolation to between 10 days and a week.
The move – which would not apply to those who test positive for the disease – may also allow city dealmakers, hedge fund managers and company bosses to be exempt from the 14-day isolation rules if they fly into the UK on business.
Welsh Government to ‘review’ non-essential item ban in supermarkets
The Welsh government will review how the ban on supermarkets selling non-essential items during Wales’ firebreak lockdown is working, First Minister Mark Drakeford has said.
Under the firebreak lockdown, which began at 6pm on Friday and will end on November 9, non-essential retail including clothes shops, furniture stores and car dealerships must close.
Supermarkets have been told they must only sell essential items to discourage people from spending more time than necessary in shops and have covered up non essential items. But Drakeford said ministers would ‘review how the weekend has gone’ with supermarkets and ‘make sure that common sense is applied’.
Normal Christmas is ‘wishful thinking’ unless action is taken
The idea that ‘we can carry on as we are’ and have a normal Christmas ‘is wishful thinking in the extreme’, a government scientific adviser has said.
Professor John Edmunds, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said ‘radical action’ would be needed to stem the rise in coronavirus cases.
He said a circuit-breaker is needed across the whole country or at least in areas where incidence is high.
Barclays hands out billions in Covid support loans
Barclays Bank handed out 640,000 payment holidays to customers hit by Covid-19 restrictions and approved loans and support worth £25bn.
The lender added that it waived £100m in interest and fees for UK customers and provided the same amount in community aid packages.
A total of 9,800 Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBLS) payments were approved with a value of £3bn. The loans are 80 per cent backed by the Government. It also handed out 296,000 bounceback loans for small businesses, worth £9.2bn.
Thousands more crashes a week after clocks change
The end of British Summer Time (BST) is followed by thousands more road crashes a week, according to new research.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car said over the past five years, demand for replacement vehicles has increased by an average of eight per cent in the two weeks after the clocks go back, compared with the previous fortnight.
Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee dies aged 78
Lee Kun-hee, the ailing Samsung Electronics chairman who transformed the small television maker into a global giant of consumer electronics, has died aged 78.
A Samsung statement said Lee died on Sunday with his family members, including his son and de facto company chief Lee Jae-yong, by his side.
Lee had been hospitalised since May 2014 after suffering a heart attack.
Shapps outlines cost of propping up public transport
Up to £12.6bn of taxpayers’ cash is expected to be spent on propping up public transport during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Grant Shapps.
The Transport Secretary revealed the estimate before confirming £35.4m will be available to help keep tram services running for the next 12 weeks.
Operators in Sheffield, Tyne and Wear, Manchester and Blackpool will be among those to benefit, Mr Shapps told MPs.
Windy and showers
Today will start bright and breezy for many regions, says the BBC, but blustery showers will drift in from the south-west all day, mainly affecting N Ireland, Wales, southern England and western Scotland.
Tonight, the blustery conditions will continue. Heavy showers and cloud will continue to affect N Ireland and many western regions of Britain. It will be drier and clearer to the east, but windy.
It will be a cloudy and showery start for much of the UK tomorrow, with sunny spells in N Ireland and south-east England. Cloud and showers will linger for many, but winds will ease and skies will clear by evening.