UK businesses call for help as pandemic restrictions are extended

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Covid cases and vaccinations

Total global cases: 175.9 m

Total doses administered: 2.4 billion

Get the latest global image with our vaccine tracker

Latest news

  • The British government is postponing the easing of the lockdown until July 19 and aims for two-thirds of the population to have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine by then.

  • The head of the World Trade Organization said trade barriers on Covid-19 medical supplies stood up and called on member states to abandon them (Reuters)

  • UK insurers have paid over £ 750million in business interruption claims since landmark legal decision in January

  • Late-stage trials have shown Novavax’s Covid-19 vaccine to be 90% effective and able to fight viral variants of concern

For coronavirus updates and the latest details of UK plans to delay unlocking, visit our live blog

The decision to delay by four weeks until July 19 the final easing of pandemic restrictions in England next week reflects growing unease around the world over the rise of new variants of the coronavirus, even as vaccination programs – in the richest countries at least – move up a gear.

The recent increase in infections and deaths meant that the delay in the government’s “road map” for reopening, dating to the end of February, was no real surprise. Half of UK adults have already been fully vaccinated, but the postponement leaves time for what Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called “one more uprising” to secure two-thirds by July 19.

UK business groups have pleaded for more help from the government to deal with the additional costs of a delay. Banks have already made considerable preparations for a June 21 return, while from July 1 all companies must pay 10 percent of the cost of workers’ leave, as well as face reduced relief. corporate rates. The ban on evictions of commercial rents is also ending.

The hospitality industry, which has been hit particularly hard by the lockdown, has warned of a “wave of business failures.” A month delay in reopening would cost £ 3 billion and put 300,000 jobs at risk, he said.

Get the latest data on cases and infections and the status of government lockdowns at FT Tracking Center

Mondial economy

The debate on the end of the US monetary stimulus could start tomorrow when the Federal Reserve begins its two-day political meeting. Investors will be watching closely the Fed’s thoughts on the economic recovery and the recent spike in inflation. G7 leaders this weekend, backed US President Joe Biden’s approach to using government spending to jumpstart the global economy, rejecting the notion of post-pandemic austerity.

turkey is bracing for serious damage from a second lost summer of foreign tourism, which normally accounts for around 13 percent of GDP. New travel restrictions from Russia, Germany and the UK – its three largest markets – could mean a substantial reduction in foreign currency inflows so vital to the country’s economy.

Industry body Make the United Kingdom has doubled its growth forecast for the UK manufacturing sector this year from 3.9% to 7.8% as the economic recovery takes hold. The earnings outlook was weaker, however, as companies suffered from rising material costs and a post-Brexit hike in shipping costs.


Optimism over post-pandemic travel inspired bidding war for rental car giant Hertz. Our big read traces the remarkable turnaround in its bankruptcy filing in May 2020 when it became one of the first large-scale corporate victims of the crisis.

ireland Stobart Air became the last airline to fall victim to the pandemic as it went into liquidation after failing to find a buyer. IndiGo Airlines, India’s largest domestic carrier, is already forecasting a potential third wave of coronavirus in November by building a $ 1 billion war chest.

MasterCard, Ambev and Diageo withdrew its sponsorship from the Copa America soccer tournament in Brazil, which kicked off on Sunday, amid the worsening coronavirus crisis. Brazil stepped in to host the event after the cancellation of previous co-organizers Argentina and Colombia.


The yield on The 5-year Greek bond fell below zero for the first time today. The European Central Bank’s decision to keep the pace of its pandemic bond buying program led to a riskier euro area debt recovery, which in this case means investors are paying Athens to borrow for up to half a decade, despite the country’s skyrocketing debt levels.

South Korean shipbuilders and ocean freight companies plan to raise billions of dollars through stock quotes as the industry profits from the recovery in global trade. Hyundai Heavy Industries, part of the world’s second-largest shipbuilder, is among those betting on a potential multi-year supercycle for trade-related industries after a decade of recession.

Veteran investor Mohamed El-Erian writing for the FT on how this week’s US Federal Reserve meeting will be pivotal in its quest to convince investors that the current rise in inflation is transitory. President Joe Biden’s economic reforms and broader global stability are at stake, he says.

Have your say

Elvira89’s comments on We should disconnect unnecessary emails after hours:

The employees are 100% accomplices. If you respond to emails, you create expectations that you are happy to do so. You also create an expectation that other colleagues should do the same. Hence a vicious circle. Disconnect and answer the next morning, the world will not fall apart.

Final thought

Freedom, style, sex, power. As electric vehicles hasten the end of the combustion era, designer Stephen Bayley reflects on our fast car fetishization.

© John Dominis / The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Image

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