Government unveils taskforces for reopening five economic sectors

  • Post author:

The government has unveiled five new taskforces devoted to vulnerable sectors of the economy, intended to liaise with unions and others to see how soon each sector can safely resume work with coronavirus distancing measures. The five areas covered are all ones that have to wait before even limited reopening efforts can begin, in most cases until at least July. They are pubs and restaurants; non-essential shops; recreation and leisure; places of worship; and international air travel. The government view is that such businesses and areas should reopen as soon as possible “when the scientific advice provided allows us to”,…

Continue Reading Government unveils taskforces for reopening five economic sectors

£2bn for cycling & walking as Shapps warns of gradual return to normality

  • Post author:

The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, has said that moving beyond the coronavirus pandemic will be a “gradual process, not a single leap to freedom” as he announced a £2bn package to support cycling and walking. The prime minister is expected to announce only very modest changes in detailing his “roadmap” for easing the lockdown in his televised address on Sunday evening, but there are concerns that mixed messaging has prompted the public to head outside. Warning that it will take some time for things to get back to normal, Shapps said: “Moving beyond Covid will be a gradual process, not…

Continue Reading £2bn for cycling & walking as Shapps warns of gradual return to normality

Global tourist industry faces struggle ‘for well over a year’

  • Post author:

Travel stocks came under pressure in London this morning as wider economic tensions between the United States and China suppressed global markets. Analysts raised the prospect of tourism taking well over a year to fully recover to pre-pandemic levels, knocking shares in leading airlines, cruise companies and hotel chains. Intercontinental Hotels Group was among the largest fallers, declining by 5.7 per cent, or 201p, to £33.42, after Deutsche Bank predicted that demand could “take some time to revive”, meaning that a full recovery “could well be into 2021 and beyond”. “While the broader market seems to be factoring in a…

Continue Reading Global tourist industry faces struggle ‘for well over a year’

School children will not return until Autumn education secretary suggests

  • Post author:

Schoolchildren will not all return to lessons at the same time, the education secretary has confirmed, in a strong hint that many will not be back until the autumn. Gavin Williamson told a committee of MPs today that he could not give a date for schools to begin reopening, but that it would have to be “phased”. He revealed that he had asked the government’s scientific advisory group (SAGE) to report on which children should return first – taking into account the effect of coronavirus on children, and whether black and ethnic minority school staff may be at higher risk.…

Continue Reading School children will not return until Autumn education secretary suggests

UK business leaders call for clarity over ending lockdown

  • Post author:

Business leaders have called on the UK government to provide greater clarity over when and how the coronavirus lockdown will end as ministers step up efforts to help companies restart operations. Although prime minister Boris Johnson on Monday signalled that it was too early to lift social distancing measures, the business department has set up six working groups with industry to draw up guidelines for the safe return of employees to different working environments. Alok Sharma, the business secretary, has privately ordered officials to work with businesses on guidance covering outdoor, leisure, offices, non-food retail, factory and warehousing. The guidance…

Continue Reading UK business leaders call for clarity over ending lockdown

Stella McCartney joins Victoria Beckham in furloughing staff

  • Post author:

Fashion designer Stella McCartney has furloughed hundreds of her staff and asked those who remain working to take a pay cut during the coronavirus crisis. McCartney will use taxpayers’ money offered as part of the Government’s job retention scheme to pay salaries, in a move similar to Victoria Beckham, who has been slammed for furloughing people despite her £335million fortune. One employee said staff were ‘extremely hurt’ by the decision taken by McCartney, who has a personal fortune estimated at more than £60million. ‘What she has done is morally wrong and socially unacceptable,’ said one of the workers who has…

Continue Reading Stella McCartney joins Victoria Beckham in furloughing staff

Lord Sugar says Apprentice could air two series in one year after filming for latest show was cancelled due to coronavirus

  • Post author:

Lord Sugar has revealed the BBC is in talks to air two series of the Apprentice in one year after filming for the latest show was cancelled due to coronavirus. The Apprentice boss, 73, has said that producers hope they can start shooting for series 16 in September and put the show on at the start of 2021. Businessman Lord Sugar, who aims to do another four series of the Apprentice before retiring, said: ‘We hope that if things calm down by July we might be able to start filming in September, in which case the show will be on…

Continue Reading Lord Sugar says Apprentice could air two series in one year after filming for latest show was cancelled due to coronavirus

Virgin Atlantic will close without aid, warns Sir Richard Branson

  • Post author:

Sir Richard Branson has warned that airline Virgin Atlantic needs government support to survive. The boss of the Virgin Group said he was not asking for a handout, but a commercial loan, believed to be £500m. In an open letter to staff, Sir Richard said: “Many airlines around the world need government support and many have already received it. The plea comes as Virgin Australia, the country’s second largest airline, faces going into administration without aid. An open letter to Virgin employees https://t.co/Nv1RLBhp3j pic.twitter.com/Qj16CUT5N0 — Richard Branson (@richardbranson) April 20, 2020 Sir Richard wrote in his letter that without UK…

Continue Reading Virgin Atlantic will close without aid, warns Sir Richard Branson

Michelle Mone in talks to join Dragons’ Den to ‘inspire people’ following COVID-19

  • Post author:

Michelle Mone has revealed she’s been in secret talks to join Dragons’ Den after previously turning down the show several times. Mone, who recently wrote for us here at Business Matters providing advice to to businesses struggling in the current financial climate hinted she would be open to appearing on the show to ‘inspire people’ following the COVID-19 pandemic. Michelle, 48, became one of the UK’s top businesswomen after founding underwear brand Ultimo in 1996, and is thought to be worth around £50 million. Speaking to The Sun, Michelle said she had been approached to appear on Dragons’ Den several…

Continue Reading Michelle Mone in talks to join Dragons’ Den to ‘inspire people’ following COVID-19

Football stars told to play their part and take wage cut

  • Post author:

Matt Hancock, the health secretary, has urged Premier League footballers to “play your part” in the coronavirus crisis and take a reduction in wages. Football clubs have been accused of operating in a “moral vacuum” after a number of them put non-playing staff on furlough leave without asking their superstar players to accept a pay cut. Speaking at the government’s daily coronavirus briefing, he said: “I think everybody needs to play their part in this national effort and that means Premier League footballers too. “Given the sacrifices that many people are making, including some of my colleagues in the NHS…

Continue Reading Football stars told to play their part and take wage cut

Wales based engineering company develop ventilator and make 100 a day

  • Post author:

A family-run engineering company in Wales developed a special ventilator to help tackle coronavirus in just three days – and are now manufacturing a 100 a day. The Covid Emergency Ventilator was devised with the help of a senior NHS consultant and has already successfully treated a coronavirus patient. Engineers CR Clarke – who usually design plastic fabrication equipment for industry – were approached by Dr Rhys Thomas who was concerned at the lack of intensive care unit ventilators. It took just three days to build the device on a small industrial park in Ammanford, south Wales. On Saturday, it…

Continue Reading Wales based engineering company develop ventilator and make 100 a day

Criminal trials to be delayed due to COVID-19 outbreak

  • Post author:

Criminal trials which are due to last longer than three days will be put on hold due to the spread of coronavirus. The move by the Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett – the most senior judge in England and Wales – affects those cases that were set to start before the end of April. They will now be postponed. Any current trials will continue as it is hoped they can still be completed. The government has been under pressure to outline its strategy for the legal system, following concerns about how COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, could spread and…

Continue Reading Criminal trials to be delayed due to COVID-19 outbreak

Nissan invests £52m in Sunderland plant to build new Qashqai

  • Post author:

More than £50m has been invested in the Nissan plant in Sunderland as the firm gears up to build the new Qashqai. The Japanese car-manufacturer said its new press, which weighs over 2,000 tonnes and can exert a pressure of 5,000 tonnes, forms part of its £400m investment in the plant. The Qashqai, which came out in 2006, is the plant’s most successful car. Nissan had previously said that a no-deal Brexit could make its European business model “unsustainable”. The press took 18 months to install. Nissan’s chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta, said: “When the first Nissan Qashqai rolled off…

Continue Reading Nissan invests £52m in Sunderland plant to build new Qashqai

Flybe’s collapse could be ‘first of many’ airlines

  • Post author:

The failure of Europe’s biggest regional airline Flybe could be the start of more casualties, analysts predict. On Thursday, a global airline industry body warned the financial hit from coronavirus could reach $113bn (£87bn) this year. The bleak prediction came on the same day UK-based Flybe went into administration. Airline experts are forecasting more failures as passengers cancel flights. Flybe’s collapse “will likely be the first of many in 2020,” said James Goodall, transport analyst at Redburn. “We expect that the demand destruction caused by Covid-19 accelerated its demise and we believe further airline bankruptcies should be expected in the…

Continue Reading Flybe’s collapse could be ‘first of many’ airlines

Flybe goes into administration after outbreak struggle

  • Post author:

Flybe has gone into administration after struggling to raise funds amid a steep fall in bookings due to coronavirus. One of Britain’s largest airlines, Flybe entered administration just after 3am on Thursday, with all flights grounded and the business having ceased trading “with immediate effect”. It prompted pilots’ union Balpa to accuse the government and the airline’s owners of “betrayal and broken promises” – and questions about how vital regional transport links will be maintained. The GMB union warned that, in addition to Flybe’s 2,400 staff, the collapse threatened 1,400 jobs in the supply chain and put the future of…

Continue Reading Flybe goes into administration after outbreak struggle