Coronavirus - 7 January


• Ryanair cuts its January UK flight schedule effectively to zero
• Tokyo declares new state of emergency with restaurants and bars closing
• GP surgeries begin Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine distribution
• Kent begins mass testing programme
• Tunisian tourism fell 65% in 2020

World news

• Japan is to declare a state of emergency in the greater Tokyo area today, with bars and restaurants being asked to close. Schools remain open, as do some sporting arenas.

• Kent has begun mass testing across 14 sites run by the army, with the aim of testing 13,000 asymptomatic people per day.

• GP surgeries in England began administering the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine today.

• The Canadian province of Quebec is set to go into a four-week lockdown on Saturday.

• The Chinese province of Hebei is tightening restrictions. Mass testing has been launched and gatherings are banned. Cities in Hebei have stopped selling railway tickets to Beijing and the province closed schools on Tuesday. The city of Shijiazhuang, with 11m residents, has gone into full lockdown.

• Lebanon is beginning a 25-day lockdown. Schools and restaurants must close, and a night-time curfew will be imposed.

• Tunisia’s tourism revenue plunged by 65% in 2020 compared to 2019, to around $746m.

Company news


 Mitchells & Butlers – “The group currently has cash balances on hand of £125m, with all facilities drawn. With no sites trading, ongoing monthly cash burn has returned to the level previously disclosed in relation to the last shutdown, at approximately £35m to £40m before payment of debt service (representing interest and amortisation) of £50m per quarter. The next quarter payment date for debt service is 15 March 2021.

We welcome recent positive news on vaccine approval and roll-out but the future facing the hospitality sector remains extremely uncertain. It is not possible to estimate with any confidence what restrictions on our ability to trade lie ahead of us and for how long. As a result, the directors believe it is prudent to explore an equity capital raise, to give the group increased financial and operational flexibility. No decision has yet been made with regards to the timing, size, or terms of any such equity capital raise.”


 National Express – has announced it is suspending its entire national network of coach services from midnight on Sunday, with a provisional restart date of Monday 1 March.

 Ryanair – “Now expects its Jan traffic to fall to under 1.25m passengers, and that new Covid restrictions could also reduce Feb and Mar traffic to as little as 500,000 passengers each month. In response, Ryanair will significantly cut its flight schedules from Thurs 21 Jan, which will result in few, if any, flights being operated to/from Ireland or the UK from the end of Jan.”