By Powerscourt on 15/08/2020
Powerscourt Coronavirus Briefing – 15 August 2020
The UK has now agreed to six potential vaccine candidates after announcing a deal yesterday which it says will give people early access to 90 million doses of two more potential vaccines.
Infection rates in the UK have held steady for two weeks but the latest round of lockdown easing, planned for today, will not happen in the North West and Leicester where local restrictions are still in place. The number of people who died within 28 days of testing positive – the measure now preferred by the UK Government – rose by 11 yesterday.
California, meanwhile, is close to recording 600,000 coronavirus cases as it grapples with a second surge blamed on a hasty reopening of its economy. The CDC now projects nearly 189,000 US coronavirus deaths by September 5. Yesterday the figure stood at 167,000.
Global stock markets were shaken by disappointing economic data from China and the failure of American politicians to agree a fresh package of economic measures. The FTSE 100 retreated by 1.6% on Friday, although it was still up 1% over the week.
Finally, thousands of UK holidaymakers boarded commercial flights, trains and ferries yesterday in a desperate bid to get home from France before quarantine restrictions came into force in the early hours of this morning.
WHAT ARE COMPANIES SAYING?
Retail & Consumer
The fashion retailer launched a company voluntary arrangement yesterday, proposing store closures and a switch to turnover-based rents. A spokesperson for the company told papers: “Last year, Jigsaw started to withdraw from non-core areas of the business. However, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the retail sector at large has meant that we have had to take further accelerated action to safeguard the future of our business.”
The restaurant chain also launched a company voluntary arrangement yesterday, which will see 19 restaurants closed and 250 jobs cut. CEO Richard Hodgson said: “While we have already taken measures to reduce costs, rents remain an issue. In the current climate, it’s just not viable for us to keep any sites that no longer perform.”
Hollywood Bowl Group
The ten-pin bowling operator announced yesterday that it will reopen the vast majority of its centres this weekend. The company stressed the safety measures it has put in place. CEO Stephen Burns said: “We look forward to welcoming back our team members and customers, who will be able to enjoy our unique leisure experience once again, while feeling reassured that we have taken every possible precaution for their safety and wellbeing.”
IN THE NEWS
Schroders to allow thousands of staff to work from home in milestone for City – The Telegraph
Airlines and hotels punished by markets after quarantine change – The Times
Europe’s Summer Unravels With Covid Spikes and Travel Chaos – Bloomberg