Coronavirus - 6 April


• EMA denies finding a link between blood clots and AZ vaccine
• Delhi to impose new curfew
• Australia and New Zealand to reopen travel bubble
• IMF revises up global growth forecasts
• DVLA staff go on strike over office working concerns

World news

• DVLA workers at its HQ in Swansea have begun a four-day strike over safety fears. Public Health Wales declared an outbreak at the DVLA's contact centre in December, following more than 350 cases at the site.

• The first phase of reopening has begun in Denmark, with hairdressers and tattooists back at work and some children’s age groups back at school.

• The Stade de France in Paris has been turn into a vaccination centre with the aim of providing 10,000 vaccinations a week.

• The Moderna vaccine will be in deployment in the UK "around the third week of April", vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi has confirmed.

• The IMF has upgraded both its UK and global forecasts compared with what it projected in January. The UK forecast for growth is 5.3% this year and 5.1% in 2022. The new global forecasts are growth of 6% and 4.4% this year and next.

• Australia and New Zealand will relaunch their travel bubble. Residents will be able to travel between the two nations without having to quarantine from 19 April. Since October, New Zealand travellers have been allowed to enter most Australian states without quarantine, though this had not been reciprocated.

• In Germany the south-western state of Saarland has begun lifting some restrictions. Outdoor gatherings and outdoor café visits are allowed, as well as contact sports with a negative test.

• New Yorkers over 16 years old can sign up for vaccinations from today. Those aged 16 and 17 will be limited to receiving the Pfizer vaccine, as it’s the only one authorised for use by people under 18.

• In India, Delhi’s government has imposed a night curfew taking effect from today until 30 April. The curfew will be in place from 10pm to 5am every day. Only essential services will be allowed in the seven-hour window and only up to two persons will be allowed to be together.

• Contract manufacturer Catalent Inc has reached an agreement with Moderna Inc to expand US production of the vaccine.

• The EMA has denied already finding a causal link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots after a senior official told an Italian daily it is “clear” that there is a link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and a rare form of blood clot but that the cause is still not known.

• French drugmaker Valneva has reported positive results for its vaccine in early stage clinical trials and said it planned to launch a Phase Three trial later this month.

• South Africa has signed an agreement with Pfizer for 20m vaccine doses.

• Germany’s GPs are due to start vaccinating people today, however a shortage of supplies means that initially the 35,000 practices involved are due to receive only around 20 doses per week each.

• Secondary school pupils in Scotland will return to classrooms full-time after the Easter holidays in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon confirms.

Company news


 Kingfisher – underlying pre-tax profit rose 44% while sales climbed to £12.3bn in the year to 31 January. CEO Thierry Garnier said that the crisis had led to 18-34 year-olds doing more home improvements than any other age group. Kingfisher, which also owns the builders' merchant Screwfix, added that 20% of young "DIY-ers" had tried home improvement for the first time during lockdown. The company surveyed customers last year and again in February.