Coronavirus - 20 October


• Campania, Italy imposes nightly curfew
• Bavaria, Germany imposes local lockdown
• Secondary school attendance in England at 86%
• Heathrow begins one-hour rapid testing
• Manchester Covid-19 deal talks breakdown

Company news

Buildings & Construction

Bellway – “The group completed the sale of 7,522 new homes (2019: 10,892), including 6,013 that completed in the period prior to 23 March (1 August 2018 to 24 March 2019: 5,620). This is a significant reduction due to the considerable effect that Covid-19 has had on business operations.

The average selling price of completions was £293,054 (2019: £291,968), comparable to the prior year, with the proportion of lower-value social completions remaining unchanged at 22% (2019: 22%). In addition, we are pleased to report that over a quarter of our new homes were sold to first-time buyers, with 77% of these accessing the housing ladder using the government’s Help-to-Buy scheme.

Aside from the constraints to trading activity as a result of Covid-19, the market remained strong for good-quality, affordably priced homes. Our Manchester division reported a particularly resilient performance, still managing to complete the sale of in excess of 500 new homes in the year, despite the prolonged period of inactivity. Likewise, our Northern Home Counties and Essex divisions, both close to London, but with comparatively affordable average selling prices of around £326,000 and £299,000 respectively, also delivered robust performances given the circumstances, each also reporting in excess of 500 completions.”


• The Chinese economy grew 4.9% between July and September, according to government data, becoming the first major economy to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. The YoY expansion was slightly lower than analyst expectations.

• A district in Bavaria will go under lockdown from 14:00 this afternoon, the first area of Germany to do so since the spring. Schools, nurseries and restaurants will remain closed from today, and after 2pm residents will not be allowed to leave their homes unless they have a strong reason to do so, such as work commitments, grocery shopping or outdoor exercise.

• Bars and restaurants across Belgium have today been shut down for a month, and a night-time curfew took effect.

• Austria is limiting gatherings to a maximum of six people indoors and 12 people outdoors.

• Bangladesh’s garment exports totalled $27.94bn in the year to June, down 18% from the previous year. There was a rebound of less than 1% in the July September quarter, thanks to a surge in demand for knitwear items.

• Passengers flying from London’s Heathrow Airport to Hong Kong and Italy will have the option of paying for a rapid Covid test at the airport before checking in for their outward flight. The test will cost £80 and the result is guaranteed within an hour.

• Latest national figures show that overall attendance of secondary pupils across the country was just slightly down to 86%. A total of 46% of secondary schools and 16% of primary schools had at least one pupil self-isolating last week.

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