By Powerscourt on 17/01/2021

Powerscourt Coronavirus Briefing – 17 January 2021


Prime Minister Boris Johnson has decided its high time leaders of the world experience a genuine Cornish pasty.

Johnson has announced plans to host this year’s G7 summit in person, in Corbis Bay, Cornwall. This will be the first big summit Johnson has attended, let alone hosted, since becoming Prime Minister in 2019. Last year’s host, President-for-just-three-more-days-Trump cancelled the summit due to COVID-19 concerns.

Johnson said in a statement yesterday he wants to use the June event to establish an agreement that any global recovery from the pandemic must have both free-trade and sustainability at its heart.

“Coronavirus is doubtless the most destructive force we have seen for generations and the greatest test of the modern world order we have experienced,” Johnson said. “It is only right that we approach the challenge of building back better by uniting with a spirit of openness to create a better future.”

Those included in G7 are the US, Italy, France, Germany, Japan, Canada, the European Union and of course the UK, with Russia still on the naughty step. Johnson obviously feels the tiny resort in the seaside village also has space for Australia, India and South Korea as they are also on this year’s guest list.

Johnson is likely hoping this will be some of the leaders’ first official trip since the pandemic and it is reasonable to suggest he will be schmoozing the US President-elect Joe Biden in particular. He is banking on the UK’s ambitious vaccination program bringing down the infection rate enough by June, enabling Cornwall to be a safe and enticing destination.

Britain currently holds Europe’s highest death toll and yesterday another 1,295 deaths were reported, taking the total number of fatalities recorded within 28 days of a positive test to 88,590.

However, yesterday the daily infection rate decreased slightly, signalling that the national lockdown is slowing the spread of a more infectious variant of the disease.

Support for airports was revealed yesterday as Aviation Minister Robert Courts announced the Government’s program launching later this month – The Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme, which will mainly supply grants to airports to cover costs incurred by travel restrictions and increased checks.

Still no news for airlines, however, who have been taking on massive debt to stay afloat and face only months of uncertainty ahead.

News this morning from the Australian Open organisers is that the tennis tournament will indeed be going ahead as planned on 29 January, despite 47 players being forced to quarantine for 14 days and a fourth infection confirmed from a passenger on their flights.

Premier Steven Marshall says there is no indication any of the players or their support crews have been infected at this stage, if there is, they will be removed from the tournament and placed in a special COVID-19 facility. 



Consumer & Retail

The British online food delivery company saw its valuation shoot up to more than $7bn in its latest round of funding, in a sign confidence is rising among the company’s investors ahead of its long-anticipated stock market entry. Deliveroo said on Sunday that it had received $180m more in new funding from existing investors, led by Durable Capital Partners and Fidelity Management, valuing the eight-year-old company at more than $7bn, without including the new funds raised. This is almost double its 2019 price tag, reported at around $3bn-$4bn, when Deliveroo raised $575m from investors including Amazon.



All arrivals to UK face hotel quarantine – The Times

UK businesses win right for insurance payouts for covid losses – Financial Times

All over 18s could have vaccine by ‘end of June’ – The Telegraph