Coronavirus - 22 January


• UK retail sales fell 1.9% in 2020
• UK’s R number falls to 0.8-1.0
• Clothes sales in the UK fell 25% in 2020
• Denmark has halted all arriving flights from Dubai
• France introduces mandatory PCR tests for all arrivals

World news

• In 2020, total UK retail sales decreased by 1.9% compared with 2019: clothing stores (-25.1%), fuel stores (-22.2%), “other stores” (-11.6%) and department stores (-5.2%). Total online retailing values increased 46.1% in 2020 compared with 2019, the highest annual growth reported since 2008.

• Denmark has halted all flights arriving from Dubai for five days, due to potential problems with fake coronavirus tests in Dubai.

• France introduces mandatory PCR tests for arrivals from Sunday, including from fellow EU countries.

• In Spain the number of people going to hospital rose by 82%, while intensive care admissions increased by 60% over the past two weeks.

• Hungary has signed a deal to buy Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine

• The release of the next James Bond film is being delayed for a third time. No Time To Die had already been pushed back twice, and the plan is now for it to debut globally on 8 October.

• UK is banning all arrivals from Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo from today.

• UK government borrowing reached £34.1bn last month, the highest December figure on record.

• Japan’s Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Manabu Sakai told reporters on Friday that there is “no truth” to reports about the possible cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics. The Times newspaper reported that the government had privately concluded the Games would have to be cancelled.

• Beijing has ordered more coronavirus tests for about 2 million residents of the Xicheng and Dongcheng districts.

• A WHO programme for pharmaceutical companies to voluntarily share Covid-19 related knowledge, treatments and technology so they can be more widely distributed has attracted no contributions in the eight months since it was established.