Coronavirus - 12 January


• Total UK sales fell by 0.3% YoY in 2020
• CDC says nearly 9 million Americans vaccinated
• China locks down Langfang city and parts of Beijing
• German lockdown to last another 8-10 weeks
• Royal Mail to reduce deliveries to high-risk areas

World news

• The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said total sales fell by 0.3% last year from the level in 2019.

• China introduced new Covid-19 curbs in areas surrounding Beijing today, putting 4.9 million residents under lockdown. Also, the city of Langfang in Hebei has put residents under home quarantine for seven days and subject to mass Covid-10 testing.

• Japan PM Yoshihide Suga has said he will declare a state of emergency for the prefectures of Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo.

• Dubai has been removed from UK’s travel corridor list.

• CDC says 9 million Americans have now been vaccinated.

• Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has declared a nationwide state of emergency, which will last until 1 August.

• Two members of Congress in the United States have tested positive for coronavirus, and others are quarantining, after the Capitol riot last week.

• Lebanon is to enforce an 11-day curfew, with people forbidden from leaving their homes from Thursday, with few exemptions. They will be unable to shop in supermarkets and will need to rely on deliveries.

• A preliminary assessment from research group Rhodium says that overall US emissions were down over 10% YoY in 2020, the largest fall since World War Two. Transport saw the biggest decline, with emissions down almost 15% over 2019.

• Royal Mail is warning some areas will see a reduced service because of workers being off sick or self-isolating due to Covid. The postal service has published a list of 27 areas in England and one in Northern Ireland that are affected.

• Angela Merkel suggested Germany’s hard lockdown may last a further 8-10 weeks.

• Portugal’s Algarve region made €800m less in 2020 than the year before, a 65% drop. Hotel stays fell 75% and occupancy was 28%, the lowest ever recorded.

Company news

Food, Drink & Household

 Tesco, Asda, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s & Morrisons – will deny entry to shoppers who do not wear facemasks, unless they are medically exempt.


 Edinburgh Woollen Mill – a deal has been agreed in principle for the sale of Edinburgh Woollen Mill, Ponden Homes and Bonmarché chains, potentially saving about 2,500 jobs and 300 stores.