Coronavirus - 23 March


• Germany extends lockdown until 18 April
• The UK payroll rose by 200,000 in February
• The WHO calls growing global vaccine gap “grotesque”
• The UK bans non-essential foreign travel

World news

• High-income countries currently hold a confirmed 4.6bn vaccine doses, while low-middle income nations have 670m, according to research by the Duke Global Health Innovation Center. “The inequitable distribution of vaccines is not just a moral outrage. It’s also economically and epidemiologically self-defeating” the WHO’s director general, Dr Tedros said.

• Germany is extending its current lockdown until 18 April and, over Easter, (1-5 April), only food shops can open for one day (on Saturday 3 April) and no more than five adults from two households can meet.

• Austria has postponed the reopening of cafes, restaurants and bar terraces, planned for 27 March.

• Spain’s ministry of health has approved extending the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to everyone up to the age of 65.

• Denmark plans to ease restrictions further by letting hairdressers, spas and other services reopen, and for more students to resume in-person classes from 6 April.

• Refuge says it recorded an average of 13,162 calls and messages to its National Domestic Abuse helpline every month between April 2020 and February 2021, up 65% on the average number of monthly contacts at the start of 2020.

• A study for BBC News and King’s College London, conducted by Ipsos MORI, suggests long-lasting behavioural changes with: • 40% walking more, 28% cycling more.

• 32% working from home more, 23% commuting less.

• 31% shopping locally more.

• 27% flying less.

• A £5,000 fine for anyone in England trying to travel abroad without good reason is due to come into force next week.

• Dexamethasone, the inexpensive steroid, is estimated to have saved millions lives globally so far, including 22,000 in the UK, according to NHS England.

• The number of workers on company payrolls in the UK rose by 200,000 in the three months to February. However, the number on payrolls is still 693,000 lower than last February.

• Spain is to lift restrictions on arrivals from Britain on 30 March.

Company news


 Roche – Said in a statement that the results of the Phase 3 trial showed that the combination of the antibodies casirivimab and imdevimab “reduced hospitalisation or death by 70% in non-hospitalised patients with Covid-19”.


 Cineworld – Has announced that its Regal theatres in the US will reopen this April for the first time in six months. The phased reopening will kick-off with a limited number of cinemas opening for "Godzilla vs Kong" on 2 April, and going wider with "Mortal Kombat" on 16 April. Cineworld also plans to reopen in the UK, its second-biggest market, in May, in line with current government guidance.