- Here are the headlines on Thursday, October 29
Macron announces new national lockdown in France
French president Emmanuel Macron has announced a second lockdown in France from Friday, to try to combat a strong resurgence of the coronavirus.
With more than 520 deaths recorded on Tuesday, the French leader said that a new nationwide lockdown would be the only possible way to successfully fight Covid-19.
The government is scheduled to lay out the details of the new lockdown today, but Macron did say schools would remain open.
Second wave of Covid-19 at ‘critical stage’
The second wave of coronavirus in England has reached a ‘critical stage’, with infections doubling approximately every nine days, experts have said.
Researchers say they are detecting early signs that areas with previously low rates of infection are following trends observed in the country’s worst-affected regions.
They add that there has to be change before Christmas, and if more stringent measures are to be implemented, it needs to be sooner rather than later as the current measures are ‘not sufficient’.
Bugatti Bolide brings 1,825bhp to the track
Bugatti has introduced a new track-only, high-performance hypercar – the Bolide that produces 1,825bhp from a quad-turbocharged 8.0-litre W16 engine and weighs just 1,240kg.
As a result, the Bolide brings performance which is ‘almost on par with Formula 1’, according to Bugatti, and should be able to push past the 300mph top speed marker.
Technically just a concept for now, Bugatti hasn’t yet confirmed whether the Bolide will go into series production. If it does, it’s likely to be accompanied by a seriously high price tag – the less powerful Chiron Super Sport cost more than £3m when it first went on sale.
Stamp duty holiday ‘must be extended’
The property industry is calling for the current stamp duty holiday to be extended beyond next March, amid fears housing transactions could fall off a cliff edge.
There are concerns the industry does not have capacity to deal with the current surge in demand – and that many home buyers will simply pull out of transactions if it becomes apparent they will not meet the stamp duty deadline.
Property professionals representing the home moving process are urging the government to act swiftly to release some of the pressure on the market.
Chancellor announces date for one-year Covid spending review
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has set a date for next month’s spending review, in which Downing Street has suggested he could announce extra support to feed families through the holidays.
Sunak said he will unveil his spending plans for next year on Wednesday November 25.
The government had already confirmed that it was scrapping a planned multi-year spending review and instead will hold only a one-year review due to the focus on dealing with the current pandemic.
More than half a million UK firms ‘significantly distressed’
More than half a million UK businesses are in ‘significant distress’ due to the impact of the pandemic, according to new figures.
The latest Begbies Traynor red flag alert report for the past quarter revealed that 557,000 businesses are in particular turmoil as restrictions continue to cause instability across enterprises.
The insolvency specialists said the figures showed the biggest increase in distress among firms since 2017. They revealed 527,000 companies were in significant distress in the previous quarter.
Global markets plunge as virus fears drag FTSE to six-month low
Markets plunged into the red across the globe over concerns that rising coronavirus case numbers in the UK, mainland Europe and the US will damage the global economic recovery.
The FTSE 100 slid to its lowest level for six months on the back of mounting numbers of infections and admissions to hospital in the UK.
London’s top flight closed 146.19 points lower at 5,582.8 at the end of trading on Wednesday. The German Dax decreased by 4.42 per cent, while the French Cac moved 3.69 per cent lower.
Weather not calming down
Cloud and rain will push eastwards across Britain through this morning, and outbreaks of rain will continue across many areas through the afternoon, says the BBC.
Overnight, rain will push northeast wards across the far north of Scotland while another band of rain will affect Wales, the Midlands and East Anglia. It will be a mild night, but with brisk winds.
Tomorrow will be an unseasonably mild day across England and Wales, but with cloud and rain across the south. Northern Ireland and Scotland will see a mixture of scattered showers and sunshine.