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Headlines • UK unemployment rate rises to 4.5% between June and August • Johnson & Johnson vaccine trial paused • First confirmed case of reinfection in the US • Germany’s population falls due to reduction in immigration

Company news

Leisure

Mitchells & Butlers – has begun redundancy consultations with a number of staff. The chain has approximately 1,700 pubs and restaurants and 44,000 employees. It has not yet disclosed how many jobs are at risk.

Pure Gym – has said it is considering legal action over the British government’s decision to close gyms and fitness centres in the Liverpool area as part of the city being placed in the “very high” level of risk.

CEO Humphrey Cobbold said the group was “extremely disappointed” about the move, which will force it to close seven sites in the Liverpool City Region.

He said there was “no evidence of Covid-19 transmission in gyms” and called on the government to publish the data on it.

Other

• Since July 160,000 jobs have been lost in the UK hospitality industry and 900,000 people remain on furlough, according to sector body UKHospitality.

• Czech schools will shut and go online from tonight and restaurants and bars will close. Hospital admissions have more than doubled since the start of October.

• The head of public hospital group APHP, Martin Hirsch, warned that 90% of intensive care beds in Paris, would be filled by 24 October.

• A new Italian decree bans school trips and amateur contact sports, such as football in the park. Private parties are banned and Italians are strongly urged to limit home visits to six.

• The unemployment rate rose from 4.1% to 4.5% in August, ONS figures show. An estimated 1.5 million people were unemployed in the period, 209,000 more than a year earlier.

• The Bank of England has predicted unemployment will hit 7.5% by the end of the year as the government’s furlough scheme comes to an end.

• Germany’s population has contracted slightly (0.05%) for the first time in nearly a decade, because immigration shrank as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, official data showed.

• The IMF now predicts the UK economy will decline by 9.8% this year. The June forecast was 10.2%. However, the rebound expected next year is also more moderate.

• A case of reinfection has been confirmed in the US. The two infections in this one patient occurred six weeks apart. Reinfections are rare – there are only five such cases documented worldwide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently advises that those who have recovered from Covid-19 generally appear to be protected from reinfection for three months.

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