Coronavirus - 21 April


• Anti-lockdown protests in Berlin
• J&J vaccine “benefits outweigh the risks” (EMA)
• The Netherlands, France and Spain to begin J&J vaccine rollout
• Finland to begin lifting restrictions and publishes exit plan
• French domestic travel restrictions to end on 3 May

World news

• There were 180,690 UK property sales in March, the non-seasonally adjusted HMRC figures show, which was more than double the number in March last year and 50% higher than February. Official data also shows average UK house prices rose 8.6% in a year.

• The UK’s decision to offer people under 30 an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine has not had a significant impact on people’s likelihood to take the vaccine. A survey on 9 April found that 85.7% of the respondents intended to get the vaccine compared to 86.1% on 17 March.

• Demonstrators gathered in Berlin today to protest against a law parliament is set to pass giving Germany’s national government power to impose lockdowns on areas with high coronavirus infection rates.

• The European Medicines Agency has stated that the overall benefits of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine outweigh any risks after eight cases of unusual blood clots, including one death, were reported in the US.

• Spain’s health service will today start distributing Johnson & Johnson vaccines across the country after the EMA’s statement.

• The Netherlands is to resume its use of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine from Wednesday.

• France is to start using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine next week.

• Finland could start lifting coronavirus curbs on businesses and youth activities from next week, but borders will remain closed to tourists for at least the coming months. Restrictions on youth sports and hobbies will gradually be lifted from April, while libraries and museums, currently closed in the worst-hit areas, will reopen in May. The current 10-person limit on gatherings will be lifted for outdoor events in July, and in August at the earliest for indoor meetings.

• France’s domestic travel restrictions are to end on 3 May.

• Denmark began reopening today, allowing customers inside restaurants, visitors in museums and spectators back in football stadiums.

• Spanish health officials have rejected a proposal to widen the interval between first and second vaccine doses.

• Hawaii has announced a vaccine passport program for inter-island travel.

• Oman will ban entry to travellers from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh from 24 April.

Company news


 Netflix – Has reported a slowdown in subscriber growth, with 3.98m people signing up between January and March, short of the projected 6m. The company projected poor customer growth ahead, with an additional 1m new customers projected in the second quarter, below the previously predicted 5m.