Tag: Europe News

Italy starts to look ahead to ‘phase two’ as COVID-19 death toll slows

MILAN — Italy reported its lowest daily COVID-19 death toll for more than two weeks on Sunday as authorities began to look ahead to a second phase …

Italy starts to look ahead to ‘phase two’ as COVID-19 death toll slows

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

The Welsh Rugby Teams base is being transformed into a Field Hospital to help deal with Coronavirus #PositiveCoronavirusNews

Pictures show dramatic transformation of Welsh rugby team’s base into field hospital

Work on the WRU’s National Centre of Excellence started just a few days ago

BY BEN JAMES

(Image: Princess of Wales Hospital)

These are the pictures that show how the Welsh rugby team’s base is rapidly being transformed into a field hospital to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

Work started on turning the Welsh rugby team’s inside training pitches a few days ago.

The makeshift hospital at the Vale Resort will provide 290 additional beds as the numbers of people with COVID19 increases.

Speaking about the makeshift field hospital, Dr Sharon Hopkins, CEO for Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB, said: “We are very grateful to everyone who has supported the response to the challenge of COVID19. The response continues to be amazing.

“The WRU and Leekes have kindly let us use their facilities, which is greatly welcomed as rapid work takes place to increase available staff, beds and equipment. The support of the military and local authorities is just so vital in transforming the spaces and making the changes happen.

“The field hospitals will be vitally important in providing care to patients and communities in the coming weeks and months. It is an inspiring example of organisations working collaboratively to provide urgent new environments to respond to COVID19.

“As this work progresses, some patients will receive their care in a different location to their usual hospital to reduce the level of risk of exposure to COVID19. We remain very grateful to our patients and wider community for their support and understanding at this time.”

Stephen Leeke, Managing Director of the Vale Resort, said: “As a proud Welsh family business, and key player in the local community, we are really keen to step up to the plate and do what we can to assist Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB in providing additional capacity during this time of national crisis.

“This has included working with the WRU to allow 290 additional beds to be set up our indoor training arena.

The huge Principality Stadium event still scheduled to go ahead next month despite the venue being turned into a hospital

“Everybody – from businesses to individuals – has a responsibility to play their part in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, and to support the NHS, who is doing an incredible job under enormous pressure and extremely difficult circumstances.”

Martyn Phillips, WRU Group CEO, said: “We’ve worked with Leekes in partnership for many years at the National Centre of Excellence. We’re more than happy for the facilities there to be used by the Health Board at this challenging time and to support the wider communities of Wales.”

Last week, the WRU have also made the Principality Stadium available to be turned into a 2,000-bed field hospital – with work currently ongoing to complete that transformation.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

The Welsh Rugby Teams base is being transformed into a Field Hospital to help deal with Coronavirus #PositiveCoronavirusNews

Pictures show dramatic transformation of Welsh rugby team’s base into field hospital

Work on the WRU’s National Centre of Excellence started just a few days ago

BY BEN JAMES

(Image: Princess of Wales Hospital)

These are the pictures that show how the Welsh rugby team’s base is rapidly being transformed into a field hospital to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

Work started on turning the Welsh rugby team’s inside training pitches a few days ago.

The makeshift hospital at the Vale Resort will provide 290 additional beds as the numbers of people with COVID19 increases.

Speaking about the makeshift field hospital, Dr Sharon Hopkins, CEO for Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB, said: “We are very grateful to everyone who has supported the response to the challenge of COVID19. The response continues to be amazing.

“The WRU and Leekes have kindly let us use their facilities, which is greatly welcomed as rapid work takes place to increase available staff, beds and equipment. The support of the military and local authorities is just so vital in transforming the spaces and making the changes happen.

“The field hospitals will be vitally important in providing care to patients and communities in the coming weeks and months. It is an inspiring example of organisations working collaboratively to provide urgent new environments to respond to COVID19.

“As this work progresses, some patients will receive their care in a different location to their usual hospital to reduce the level of risk of exposure to COVID19. We remain very grateful to our patients and wider community for their support and understanding at this time.”

Stephen Leeke, Managing Director of the Vale Resort, said: “As a proud Welsh family business, and key player in the local community, we are really keen to step up to the plate and do what we can to assist Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB in providing additional capacity during this time of national crisis.

“This has included working with the WRU to allow 290 additional beds to be set up our indoor training arena.

The huge Principality Stadium event still scheduled to go ahead next month despite the venue being turned into a hospital

“Everybody – from businesses to individuals – has a responsibility to play their part in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, and to support the NHS, who is doing an incredible job under enormous pressure and extremely difficult circumstances.”

Martyn Phillips, WRU Group CEO, said: “We’ve worked with Leekes in partnership for many years at the National Centre of Excellence. We’re more than happy for the facilities there to be used by the Health Board at this challenging time and to support the wider communities of Wales.”

Last week, the WRU have also made the Principality Stadium available to be turned into a 2,000-bed field hospital – with work currently ongoing to complete that transformation.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Recruitment drive for NHS volunteers stopped now as levels reach 750,000…

The NHS drove for volunteers have reached their target just two days after it was extended, the Royal Voluntary Service announced today.

The recruitment drive has been such an overwhelming success that it has now been temporarily paused to allow the charity to process the torrent of applicants and work with the NHS to get the volunteer army up and running.

Those who registered will be helping the health service perform ‘vital roles’ that will allow people to comply with strict government advice on self isolation and social distancing.

Community response volunteers will collect and deliver shopping, medication or ‘other essential supplies’ for people under isolation.

Business News Coronavirus News Positive Coronavirus News and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See https://mikearmstrong.me/news

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Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Positive Coronavirus News roundup… #PositiveCoronavirusNews

  • Battersea Dogs and Cats Home reportedly rehomed more than double their usual amount of cats and dogs last week. Pet shops were also cleared as people looked for a companion for the lockdown.
  • British scientists have developed a new ventilator for the NHS in just a week – they hope the simple design will make it easy for manufacturers to produce en masse.
  • Families in America, Canada and some parts of Britain, have been decking their houses like it’s Christmas with fairy lights, decorations and inflatables.
  • Millions of the world’s poorest people will receive over 20 million hygiene and cleaning products, including soap and bleach, from a new campaign by Unilever and the Department for International Development.
  • A mental health company called Unmind has made their online resources free for all NHS workers to combat the impact of pressure and demand on staff mental health caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. They’ve already had 7,000 NHS staff members sign up.
  • A 96-year-old woman is now the oldest South Korean to fully recover from the coronavirus.
  • The National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal has raised almost £11 million since launching a week ago (Weds 18). The first £2.5 million is now being distributed to front-line charities, which will deliver food to isolated people, help people recover after leaving hospital, and protect vulnerable children now schools are closed.

Business News Coronavirus News Positive Coronavirus News and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See https://mikearmstrong.me/news

For Business Advice follow the link or visit one of our Blogs: Entrepreneur Zone | King of Marketing | The Voice of Social Media | Networking Grapevine | British Business News |

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

British PM Johnson has coronavirus, self-isolates in Downing Street

LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus and is self-isolating at his Downing Street residence but said…

British PM Johnson has coronavirus, self-isolates in Downing Street

Business News Coronavirus News and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See https://mikearmstrong.me/news

For Business Advice follow the link or visit one of our Blogs: Entrepreneur Zone | King of Marketing | The Voice of Social Media | Networking Grapevine | British Business News |

Brexit: EU-UK meeting to continue via video link

Copyright of the imagePA Media Caption of the image Michael Gove will not meet EU officials face to face for a whileA post-Brexit meeting between the…

Brexit: EU-UK meeting to continue via video link

Business News and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

For more Brexit News please click the link.

All the latest UK & Global Coronavirus News from the BBC

 

 
 
It was an emotional moment for those who took part – not least the NHS staff and care workers being saluted by the nation. The Royal Family and prime minister joined well-wishers who flocked to front doorsteps, balconies and windows on Thursday evening night to applaud those dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. It came after figures revealed the UK death toll rose from 475 to 578 in one day, with 11,658 confirmed cases.

There will be additional support for the NHS from firefighters, who have agreed to drive ambulances and deliver essential supplies if required. However, unions point out many are off-work in self-isolation. And, with NHS leaders saying staff feel “at risk” of contracting the virus unless they wear protective equipment while dealing with all patients, the BBC is told guidance is expected to be updated within two days. 

Normal life continues to be seriously affected. As vulnerable people continue to report problems getting groceries while in isolation, supermarkets are to use a government database of the 1.5 million people deemed most at risk to help prioritise delivery slots. Sharon Cranfield, from Surrey, tells us she’s reliant on deliveries because her daughter Jessica, 19, has cystic fibrosis, adding: “I’m terrified of going to the shops.” There are signs, too, the housing market is grinding to a halt, with transactions agreed before the lockdown falling through.

We dig into the detail of the government’s latest financial support package to find out what help is available to self-employed people. Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says the government’s response to coronavirus proves he was “absolutely right” during December’s election campaign that public spending could be increased .

 
 
 

 
 
The US now has more confirmed cases of coronavirus than any other country, with more than 85,500 positive tests – overtaking both China and Italy. However, the US death toll remains much lower, at less than 1,300. Some 8,215 people have died in Italy. President Donald Trump predicts the US will get back to work “pretty quickly”, calling the figures “a tribute to the amount of testing that we’re doing”. 

Back in China, where the outbreak began, the government is temporarily banning all foreign visitors to prevent a further rise in the number of imported cases. Meanwhile, South Africa has begun a three-week lockdown. And while recent numbers from Italy’s worst-hit northern region suggest the epidemic might be slowing there, fresh fearshave arisen for poorer communities in the south.

Meanwhile, doctors, aid workers and the United Nations say camps for the displaced in north-western Syriacould be devastated by an outbreak. Follow all the latest global developments via our live page.

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
EU leaders meeting on Thursday – by socially-distant video conference – glaringly failed to agree to share the debt they are all racking up fighting Covid-19. From her flat in Berlin, where she is self-isolating after her doctor tested positive for the virus, German Chancellor Angela Merkel openly admitted to the disharmony over financial instruments.

What leaders did agree on was asking Eurogroup finance ministers to explore the subject further, reporting back in two weeks‘ time. The EU is famous for kicking difficult decisions down the road but in coronavirus terms, with spiralling infection and death rates, two weeks feels like an eternity.

 
 
 
Katya Adler

BBC Europe editor

 
 
 
 

 
 
The Coronavirus Newscast team is joined by Sean Farrington, from Radio 5 live’s Wake Up To Money, to help unpack the government’s new measures to support the self-employed. And musician Charli XCX offers some tips on keeping fit, staying creative and painting rocks in self-isolation. Meanwhile, the World Service’s Science in Actionexamines why China’s strong social distancing policies seem to have been successful in stopping the spread of the virus .

 
 
 

 
 
Some front pages use photographs of staff at the Royal Liverpool Hospital taking in the nation’s gratitude for the work of the NHS during the applause that rang around the UK. Others feature the members of the public – and young royals Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis – saluting the medical staff and carers. “Checkpoint Britain” is the main headline for both the Daily Express and the Metro, as they report police measures to enforce social distancing. The Daily Star describes those driving without good reason as “Checkpoint Charlies”. The effects of the virus on the property market is the big story for the Daily Mail, under the headline: “Don’t move home.” The housing market was “plunged into chaos” after the government called on people to delay moving home, the Times reports. Meanwhile, the Sun looks at the UK’s latest virus statistics to declare: “One Brit dies every 13 minutes.”

 
 
   
   
 

 

For more UK News, Global News or Coronavirus News please follow the links.

Business News and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

For Business Advice follow the link or visit the Entrepreneur Zone

All the latest Coronavirus News from the BBC – UK & Global News…

 

 
 

It seems self-employed people are about to get some of the help they have been demanding since the government agreed to pay 80% of the salary of staff kept on by employers during the coronavirus outbreak. Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to reveal what’s in the package at a press conference later. It comes as MPs criticise banks for asking business owners to put up personal assets such as property – other than their family home – to secure loans. This is despite government promises to cover 80% of losses if the money is not repaid, up to £5m. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has offered a “special thank you” to those who have volunteered to help the NHS during the outbreak. More than half a million – including 11,000 former medics and 24,000 final-year students – have answered the call. That’s more than double the government’s recruitment target. Meanwhile, the Royal College of General Practitioners has written to Health Secretary Matt Hancock to ask whether family doctors should wear protective equipment to examine all patients, rather than just those showing coronavirus symptoms.


We look at how well prepared the health service is for the anticipated surge in cases. That includes a race to acquire ventilators, with the government ordering 10,000 from Dyson. Insiders at the firm, best known for vacuum cleaners and hand dryers, says it has a prototype “ready to go”, provided it passes stringent medical tests. Find out which companies are desperately seeking staff as they ramp up their roles in helping the country cope.

 
 

 

 
 

You can keep up with all the global developments via our live page, which has been reporting how the number of deaths in the US has topped 1,000.

The number of cases in the US had increased by more than 10,000 in 24 hours. One retired physician, 69-year-old Claudia Bahorik, who documented the frustrations in her quest to get tested for the virus, says her case is an example of Washington’s failure to implement the “trace, test and treat” mantra of global health bodies. Meanwhile, the US Senate has passed a $2tn (£1.7tn) aid bill, including direct payments of $1,200 to most adults and help for small businesses to pay workers. 

Closer to home, our correspondents gauge the mood in Europe’s locked-down capitals. The death toll in Spainhas risen to 3,434 – surpassing that of China. And coronavirus has triggered the downfall of the government in Kosovo .

 
 

 

 
 

As many countries grow accustomed to increasingly stringent lockdowns, personal stories are emerging that demonstrate how dramatically life has changed. For example, the world of dating has got a lot more complicated. One dad tells us how he’s told his daughter he’s gone to Africa when, in reality, he’s self-isolating in a campervan parked in the field next door. And we hear from young gay people forced into isolation with homophobic parents.

 
 
 
 

 

Continuing pictures of empty shelves at UK supermarkets have sparked ongoing worries about food shortages. The supermarkets are confident that they can cope, not least because there is a limit to how much people can sensibly stockpile. So they believe that shopping patterns should return to normal eventually.

But the coronavirus pandemic has awakened wider fears about the security and strength of the hugely complicated supply chains, or logistics systems, that modern societies depend on. The Chinese military theorist Sun Tzu wrote that “the line between disorder and order lies in logistics”. To test that idea, you only have to look in your kitchen cupboard or fridge. Almost certainly nearly everything in there came from a shop that was stocked by a lorry or van.

 
 
 

Jonty Bloom

Business reporter, BBC News

 
 

 

 
 

The Coronavirus Newscast hears from reporters patrolling the country’s parks to find out whether people are following the government’s rules on social distancing. And the Inquiry, on the BBC World Service, asks what lessons can be learned from South Korea, which quickly got to grips with the outbreak and kept mortality rates low.

 
 
 

 
 

There is much praise for the more than 500,000 people who have volunteered to help the NHS deal with the coronavirus outbreak. They make up an “army of kindness”, according to the Daily Express, while they are “kindhearts” in the Daily Mirror’s front-page headline. For the Daily Mail it shows the UK to be “a nation of heroes”. Meanwhile, in a thinly veiled dig at the Prince of Wales, who has tested positive, the Daily Star suggests NHS workers are “not amused” by celebrities and royalty “jumping the queue” to be tested ahead of them. The Financial Times says the government is under pressure to test front-line health workers. The Times and Daily Telegraph say testing kits could be available on a mass scale within weeks, while the Guardian and i suggest the government is to announce financial support for self-employed people.

 
 
   
   
 

 
 

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Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

All new rules and opening hours for Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Lidl, Aldi and Asda

Supermarkets across the UK have introduced a number of new rules and opening hours in response to the UK blockade. Supermarkets are only a handful of…

All new rules and opening hours for Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Lidl, Aldi and Asda

Breaking Business News / Coronavirus News

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

European shares take U-turn on rising virus death toll

European stocks turned choppy again on Wednesday with bourses across the region wiping off most of their early morning gains as a sharp rise in the …

European shares take U-turn on rising virus death toll

Business News and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – For other Business Advice & News see http://mikearmstrong.me & http://mikearmstrong.me/news/

Coronavirus could have ‘already infected HALF the population – and it’s been spreading since January’

Coronavirus could already have infected HALF the British population and has been spreading in the UK since January, a new study claims. Oxford …

Coronavirus could have ‘already infected HALF the population – and it’s been spreading since January’

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Italy sees jump in coronavirus cases to 6,820 as 743 new victims are added to death toll despite recent decline

ITALY’S coronavirus death toll has soared by 743 in a single day to 6,820 – just as the country hoped it had turned the corner. The total number of …

Italy sees jump in coronavirus cases to 6,820 as 743 new victims are added to death toll despite recent decline

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

The New Welsh Inventions inspired by the Global Pandemic…

A new ventilator, a virus-killing snood and a hands-free door pull are just some of the innovations coming out of Wales to tackle coronavirus.

Since the outbreak, doctors, scientists and designers have been working on ideas to stop the virus spreading.

The ventilator has already successfully treated a Covid-19 patient and has been backed by the Welsh Government.

Mass production of the snood-type mask is under way while a 3D design of the handle has been widely circulated.

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price, who was part of the impetus to get the ventilator into mass production, said the innovations put Wales “on the front foot” in the battle against the pandemic.

“It shows that Wales, as a small nation, can get things done quickly as we face the biggest challenge of our generation,” he said.

The Covid Emergency Ventilator

It took just three days to design but the senior doctor involved believes the easy-to-build device could dramatically ease the strain on NHS staff.

ventilator

Image caption“The patient can self-care, releasing specialist nurses for other duties,” said Dr Rhys Thomas

Dr Rhys Thomas, from Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen, was “desperately concerned” at the lack of intensive care unit (ICU) ventilators to deal with the expected influx of patients.

Along with engineering company CR Clark & Co of Ammanford, he created a machine that not only helps patients to breath but cleans the room of viral particles.

“It’s simple and robust and specifically designed to work against Covid virus in a contagious environment,” said Dr Thomas.

“Although it won’t replace an ICU ventilator, the majority of patients won’t need intensive care if they are treated with this ventilator first.

“The machine will [also] clean the room of viral particles and only supply purified air to the patient. The patient can self-care, releasing specialist nurses for other duties.”

Dr Rhys Thomas

Image copyrightPLAID CYMRU

Image captionDr Rhys Thomas served for 17 years with the British Army, including seven tours of Afghanistan

He said a patient in Llanelli who was treated with the machine at the weekend was now “recovering well”.

Welsh ministers have given the go-ahead for production of up to 100 ventilators a day.

The ‘virus-killing’ snood

Designers claim the mask kills more than 95% of any viruses – including Covid-19.

woman wearing snood mask

Image captionThe snood has been developed in response to the pandemic

The company hopes to make as many as a million-a-week and plans to reserve part of that stock for the NHS.

“We have been working on the anti-viral coating since 2011 but it’s only in the last five weeks that we have developed the snood in response to the current pandemic,” said Anna Roberts, of Virustatic Shield.

The hands-free door handle

Wyn Griffiths came up with the idea after his wife visited a local hospital last week and had to touch door handles after sanitising her hands. 

door pull being made

Image captionAnyone with a 3D printer can now make the door pull

That evening he had designed a prototype ‘arm’ which attaches to an existing door handle, with a crook to open the door. 

He has now distributed the 3D design online for anyone to download it for free.

Mr Griffiths said: “Hopefully people who have a 3D printer can help out their local hospital or anywhere the public visits by distributing these around the country.”

Menai Science Park

Image captionM-Sparc in Gaerwen is supported by Bangor University

The innovation centre

The handle and snood were both designed at the Menai Science Park in Gaerwen on Anglesey, a hub for small start-up companies and scientific research.

Pryderi ap Rhisiart, managing director of M-Sparc, said it was “vital” the park plays its part in coming up with innovative ideas.

Pryderi ap Rhisiart

Image captionMr Rhisiart praised small companies developing “new innovative solutions”

“In the middle of all the doom and gloom it’s good to see small companies developing new innovative solutions,” he said.

“It’s just a glimpse. We’re not saying it’s the answer but it’s something.”

For more Welsh News, Business News, Welsh Business News, UK Business News, Tech News or Coronavirus News please follow the links.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Latest update on Coronavirus from The PM as UK goes in to lockdown!

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that the UK is going into lockdown in a televised address to the nation last evening.

The PM made the announcement from 10 Downing Street amid widespread calls for tougher measures to slow the spread of Covid-19 / Coronavirus.

He ordered the immediate closure of all shops selling non-essentials items on Monday evening.

He told people to only leave the house to shop for basic necessities “as infrequently as possible” and to perform one form of exercise a day.

“If you don’t follow the rules the police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.”

To ensure people follow the rules, Mr Johnson ordered the immediate closure of non-essential stores including those selling electronics and clothing.

All public gatherings of more than two people – other than those you live with – will be banned, the PM said.

Other premises being shuttered are libraries, playgrounds, outdoor gyms and places of worship.

The UK coronavirus lockdown rules you must now comply with, or face police action, are as follows:

Coronavirus: Boris Johnson orders lockdown of the UK and orders people to stay at home

And, while parks will remain open for exercise, all social events including weddings and baptisms will be stopped.

Funerals, however, can continue.

Mr Johnson said the measures will be “under constant review” and will be considered for relaxation in three weeks’ time if the evidence allows.

Earlier in the day all Britons travelling abroad were told to return to the UK “while you still can”.

The Welsh Government has also announced the closure of all caravan parks, campsites and tourist hotspots after people flocked to Welsh landmarks on the weekend.

The First Minister will also take additional powers over licensing because some pubs didn’t close over the weekend.

The measures come after it was announced four more people have died after contracting the coronavirus in Wales.

There are now 418 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Wales and there have so far been 16 deaths.

But Dr Giri Shankar, Incident Director for the Covid-19 outbreak response at Public Health Wales, said the “the true number of cases is likely to be higher” as the virus continues to circulate in every part of Wales.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

BBC News Daily

 

 
   
 

 
 

 
 
 

 

No school for the “foreseeable” future. Exams off. Clubs closed. Millions of children will be looking forward to a spring, and possibly a summer, free of responsibility and routine. But these are not normal times – they’re likely to have to spend days and nights indoors with parents or guardians. They won’t get much personal contact with friends and, for teenagers, the cancellation of exams will make a difficult time of year even more worrying. “It’s the perfect storm for parents and children,” says Sam Cartwright-Hatton, professor of clinical child psychology at the University of Sussex.  

 
 
 

Justin Parkinson

BBC News

 
 
 
 

 
 

Several of the newspapers have pictures of crowds taking advantage of the spring sunshine to get outdoors – in spite of the guidelines on social distancing. “Madness” is the Daily Mirror’s headline. “Stay home or face lockdown”, warns the Sun, while for the Daily Mail, the headline states starkly, “Obey the virus rules – or else”. The Daily Telegraph says there’s been deep concern within Whitehall as it emerged over the weekend that public messages urging people to stay at home and avoid socialising were apparently being ignored. According to the Times, Boris Johnson is facing calls from his cabinet and senior advisers to impose a full lockdown in London. A senior government source tells the paper: “It is inevitable – you just have to look at other countries.” Elsewhere, on the issue of the Olympics, the Financial Times reports that talks in recent days have focused on the length of a delay, possibly even to 2022.

 
 
   
   
 

 
 

As we said, those deemed most vulnerable are being encouraged to adopt a policy of total isolation, but what is it really like to do that? Listen to the latest episode of BBC Ouch’s podcast in which some of those in that position – those with health conditions or disabilities – share the emotional and practical challenges.

 
 
 

 

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

My First Online Business Networking Event with Introbiz…

Online Zoom Networking

Yesterday I took part in my first Online / Virtual Webinar based Networking Event, where Introbiz Business Network, innovated and adapted to switch their cancelled real world business networking event online, after their networking event in Cardiff, was one of the many event victims pulled, due to Coronavirus.

30 members of the Introbiz Business Network attended this first online / virtual networking event and the majority seemed happy and positive with the event and the way it was conducted.

The usual power networking format of everyone getting a few minutes to talk about their business was still followed online and the web system of choice for the virtual / online business networking event was the Zoom platform.

Other than a few technical issues here and there the event went well and was really useful for those in attendance to continue to network and build relationships even under the current self isolation restrictions.

Lessons will be learnt and the online / virtual events will get slicker, but all in all the event went really well.

As well as local South Wales members, the online networking event was also joined by wider network contacts and Entrepreneurs from further afield such as England, Ireland & Sweden and I’m sure the spread of networkers will continue to grow as this online networking event format gets repeated several times whilst Coronavirus Measures continue to strike the usual networking event format.

In addition to joining the Introbiz network for attending real world events, new virtual networking members from around the world can now join the Introbiz network and attend the online / virtual networking events for just £99 a year.

See https://www.introbiz.co.uk for more pictures from the event and details how to get involved.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Europe & Global Coronavirus Update…

The European Union will ban travellers from outside from the bloc for 30 days in an unprecedented move to seal its borders amid the coronavirus crisis.

The measure is expected to apply to 26 EU states as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. UK citizens will be unaffected.

The ban came as deaths continued to soar in Italy and Spain, and France began a strict lockdown.

Europe has been badly hit by the virus, which has killed 7,500 globally.

Meanwhile, the Euro 2020 football competition has been postponed by a year.

The virus has infected more than 185,000 people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

What are the EU measures?

The travel ban will affect all non-EU nationals from visiting the bloc, except long-term residents, family members of EU nationals and diplomats, cross-border and healthcare workers, and people transporting goods.

Free travel is a cherished principle within the European border-free Schengen area. But in recent days many countries have unilaterally imposed full or partial border shutdowns in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

This prompted the commission to propose that the bloc act in a more unified fashion and restrict entry to the union as a whole, at the urging of French President Emmanuel Macron.

The measures were agreed in a video-summit between EU leaders on Tuesday afternoon and will now have to be implemented by member states.

“They said they will immediately do that,” said EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen at a press conference. “This is good, so that we have a unanimous and united approach [where] the external borders are concerned.”

The UK and the Republic of Ireland – which is part of the EU but not Schengen – will be invited to join the measure.

It was also crucial that the EU “unblocks the situation” with regards to closed internal borders, Mrs Von der Leyen said, because “too many people are stranded”.

What are the latest updates in Europe?

In France , citizens who leave home must now carry a document detailing the reasons why, with fines for transgressors to be set at €135 ($150; £123).

It comes after President Macron put the country on a war-footing, ordering the population to stay at home and only go out for essential trips.

The number of confirmed cases in France grew by more than 16% on Tuesday, reaching 7,730, The death toll rose to 175, with 7% of the dead aged under 65.

More than 2,500 people are being treated in hospital, including 699 in intensive care.

Boris Johnson:

In Britain , where the death toll is 71, people have been told to avoid social contact, work from home if they can and avoid all non-essential foreign travel. 

The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has unveiled a financial package worth £330bn ($400bn) to ease the burden caused by the virus , after Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday urged people to avoid pubs, clubs and cafes.

Meanwhile, the government’s chief scientific adviser said it would be a “good outcome” if 20,000 or fewer people died of the virus in the UK.

The latest set of Brexit talks has also been delayed.

The number of confirmed cases in Spainhas soared by 2,000 to 11,178. Authorities there are maintaining a partial lockdown on 47 million people.

It is now the European country worst-affected after Italy.

At midnight Spain began stopping cars crossing its borders from France and Portugal. Only Spanish nationals, residents and cross-border workers were being allowed to the country.

Everything you need to know about the coronavirus – explained in one minute by the BBC's Laura Foster

Italy , which has registered the most cases outside China at more than 26,000, announced another surge in deaths on Tuesday, from 2,150 to 2,503. The country remains in lockdown.

The government meanwhile is set to renationalise flag carrier airline Alitalia with a rescue package worth $670m (£550m).

Germany , which has had more than 6,000 cases and 13 deaths, banned religious services and told people to cancel any domestic or foreign holiday travel. 

Venues including clubs, bars, leisure facilities, zoos and playgrounds will be closed. Schools are already shut.

Elsewhere in Europe:

  • Belgium’s death toll doubled from five to 10 on on Tuesday
  • Sweden is to close all high schools and universities from Wednesday
  • Orthodox priests in Georgia have started blessing the streets of the capital Tbilisi with holy water

What is the latest elsewhere?

Iran remains the world’s third-worst-affected nation, after China and Italy.

More than 16,000 people are confirmed as infected and 988 have died, although some analysts believe the figures are far higher than officially reported.

A spokesman for the judiciary said on Tuesday that 85,000 prisoners, including political prisoners, had been temporarily released to try to combat the spread.

Gholamhossein Esmaili did not say when or how those freed would be returned to prison, but stressed that only prisoners serving five years or less had been released.

Most shops and restaurants remain open but the health ministry has urged people to stay at home.

In the US , the White House is working on a economic stimulus package reported to be worth some $850bn, with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin saying the administration was “looking at sending cheques to Americans immediately”.

The total number of cases has risen to above 4,200, with 75 deaths, said the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most cases are in the states of New York (669), Washington (708) and California (369),

The pandemic has disrupted the Democratic primary election season .

In other developments:

  • China reported just one new domestic infection on Tuesday – but 20 more from people arriving from abroad. It also said it “strongly opposed” Mr Trump’s reference in a tweet to the “Chinese virus”
  • The Philippines became the first nation to shut its stock exchange indefinitely
  • Malaysia is barring people crossing the border with Singapore from Wednesday, sparking a rush on food stores in the city state, which depends on Malaysia for supplies
  • India’s iconic Taj Mahal monument has shut down
  • Scientists in Australia say they have identified how the body’s immune system fights the Covid-19 virus

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European Business News / EuropeanBiz – Will European Banks be able to cope with this Global Pandemic – Interesting FT Article…

More than a decade on from the financial crisis, Europe’s banks are facing the first major test of their resilience.

This week growing fears about the coronavirus pandemic and an oil price war prompted a widespread market sell-off. Companies have spent a decade gorging on cheap debt in an ultra-low interest rate environment. A wave of defaults is now likely, and rising loan impairments will hit banks’ already anaemic earnings.

Since their recent peak almost a month ago, European banks indices have plunged 40 per cent in an indiscriminate sell off of financial stocks. This outpaces the 25 per cent fall over the whole of 2018  during the peak of the financial crisis. European bank shares now trade at the lowest level since the 1990s.

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European Business News / EuropeanBiz – Latest European Economic News After Coronavirus Impact…

Europe’s economy was meant to have a decent year in 2020. Factory production in the 19-country eurozone rose strongly in January, after a tentative truce in the US-China trade war. Consumer confidence was strong. Housebuilders’ order books were full.

The stage was set for a solid, albeit unspectacular year. The European economy would see “steady and moderate growth”, predicted the European commission’s economic forecast on 13 February. It also warned of clouds on the horizon, including a new virus. Noting mounting concern about coronavirus, as well as “downside” risks, the Brussels forecast concluded the outbreak would peak in the first three months of the year, with “relatively limited global spillovers”.

That was then. One month later the global economy is heading for recession, markets have taken a hammering, investors are panicking. Across the continent, shops, restaurants and bars are shuttered, supply chains frozen, football matches cancelled, theatres, cinemas and hairdressers closed. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index had its worst-ever day on Thursday, plunging 11.5%, after a blunt message from the European Central Bank president, Christine Lagarde, that it was the job of governments – not the ECB – to protect indebted countries.

The head of the European commission, Ursula von der Leyen, described the pandemic as “a major shock” to Europe’s economies, as she promised a €37bn (£33bn) fund to handle the fallout.

Attention is turning to eurozone finance ministers, who will meet on Monday, after the ECB disappointed markets by declining to cut interest rates as part of a stimulus package announced last week.

Having fumbled the eurozone debt crisis, can EU leaders now protect their economies from the worst pandemic in more than 100 years?

Italy, the hardest-hit country in Europe, is heading for rocky times. “Italy has gone through many crises, unfortunately,” said Lorenzo Codogno, a visiting professor at the London School of Economics. “The problem is that, coming from all these crises in the past, the Italian government is weak right now and the public finances situation is even more fragile, so it’s particularly dangerous.”

He is forecasting a 3.1% slump in economic output in 2020, or even 6.5% in a worst-case scenario – “given how the situation is unfolding, [the latter] might become the baseline scenario pretty soon”. The Italian government, which has said it is ready to spend €25bn to protect its economy from the fallout, has chided other Europeans for “beggar-thy-neighbour” policies, such as Germany’s export ban on surgical masks.

Italy’s banks are in a healthier position than 2011, when they were creaking under bad loans, but things could still turn nasty. To avoid a return to the “doom loop” – where potential bank failure risks the bankruptcy of the state – Codogno is advocating support for Italy in the form of an EU precautionary credit line.

Disinfection in process outside the Centrale railway station in Milan.

Disinfection in process outside the Centrale train station in Milan. Photograph: Claudio Furlan/AP

In France, the next-worst-affected European country, the government is warning of “severe” consequences for the economy. The outbreak is another blow, after a wave of strikes in 2019 chipped away at economic growth. France’s central bank has cut its growth forecast for the first quarter to 0.1%, down from a previous estimate of 0.3%, warning of a “severe but temporary” slowdown.

Germany is not as badly affected by the virus as Italy or France, but its export-led economy was the first to feel the chill of China’s slowdown. A survey for the ifo Institut last week revealed that 56% of German companies had reported “negative effects”, with a 44% slump in demand and 52% of manufacturers saying they were experiencing difficulties with supply. In response to the pressure on the economy, the chancellor, Angela Merkel, even suggested that she was ready to reverse the rule of maintaining a balanced budget – the black zero or schwarze Null – that has proved an unbreakable political orthodoxy for the government in recent years.

Speaking before the German government announced “unlimited” credit to keep companies afloat, the influential president of the ifo, Clemens Fuest, said that Berlin was “moving in the right direction”. He supports a temporary relaxation of the schwarze Null, noting that the black zero was a very good policy in good times, but it shouldn’t stand in the way of taking decisive measures”.

The German economist thinks EU measures need to be similarly targeted and “we have not reached that point” of needing precautionary credit lines for indebted countries.

The coronavirus fallout is likely to be uneven. “The producers of toilet paper don’t have a recession at all, and the restaurants and hotels have a very deep one,” said Christian Odendahl, chief economist at the Centre for European Reform, based in Berlin. Manufacturers, he said, have more hope of a “V-shaped” recovery – that is, an economic bounce-back as rapid as the descent – because they will benefit from pent-up demand.

Odendahl observed: “If you want to buy glasses now but you can’t because of supply chain disruptions, you will do so later, whereas a restaurant or a trip you just have to cancel.” For that reason, he thinks Germany could see a more rapid rebound compared with countries more reliant on tourism, such as Spain.

An opera is performed to an empty auditorium in Berlin, where all theatres are closed.

An opera is performed to an empty auditorium in Berlin, where all theatres are closed. Photograph: Peter Adamik/AP

But that should not stop European policymakers from taking “bold” action, Odendahl said. All companies “need liquidity help to make sure they survive this long pause of economic activity intact”. He also wants to see a European approach to help indebted countries: “If there was a time for risk-sharing, then this would be it. This is a situation where there is no moral hazard.” Here he is referring to the debate that raged during the eurozone debt crisis, when creditor countries declined to pool risk for fear of “rewarding” debtors.

Mário Centeno, the head of the Eurogroup – made up of the finance ministers of the eurozone – said that his members would come up with “a very large policy response” to address the crisis – greater than the €27bn Lagarde suggested was needed. Centeno expects ministers to agree fiscal measures that will ensure liquidity for companies, support unemployment benefits and help reduce hours for workers.

But it is not clear whether these measures add up to the “massive” economic stimulus plan that France is looking for – a measure EU leaders failed to agree to on a telephone conference summit last week.

Pascal Canfin, a French MEP and ally of President Emmanuel Macron, has called for a “European stimulus package” to be announced by the EU leaders’ summit at the end of this month (26-27 March). Canfin, who chairs the European parliament’s environment and public health committee, argues that this package must be aligned with the European Green Deal, a plan to transform the economy to meet the demands of the climate emergency.

In addition to using flexibilities in EU budget rules, the MEP said that a European stimulus package agreed on 27 March “would be a real answer to the problem right on the scale and right on the time”. It would “make sure the green deal is alive”, with spending to promote electric vehicles and energy-efficient housing.

But some EU countries think it’s premature to discuss this kind of stimulus. The European commission’s vice-president in charge of the economy, Valdis Dombrovskis, has sounded a cautious note: “In current circumstances, I wouldn’t be talking so much about fiscal stimulus, rather about crisis response.”

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Irish Business News / IrishBiz – Business Reactions to Governments Coronavirus Measures…

Business and worker representative bodies have been reacting to the Government’s decision to close schools and cultural institutions, as well as limit large gatherings of people.

There has been broad support for the move – though some have raised questions about the finer detail of the implementation.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unionssaid it was essential that workers and employers comply with the public health advice issued.

However it also said that front-line workers – including medical staff – cannot work from home.

It also noted that the closure of schools and crèches will raise questions around childcare.

Business group Ibec said that firms will support the new measures, and called on employers to do their part to deal the spread of Covid-19 – including the use of remote working where possible.

Ibec CEO Danny McCoy also called on the Government to support businesses, saying there would be “severe disruption to enterprise and the State needs to be flexible in supporting the cash flow needs of businesses to avoid large scale job losses.”

Under the measures announced today cafés and restaurants can stay open, however they are being encouraged to take ‘social distancing’ practices to protect staff and the public.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland urged its members to comply with the announcement – saying that the “safety of the public is the number one concern right now”.

RAI CEO Adrian Cummins said every business owner should “step up to the plate in this moment of national solidarity” and “do the right thing”.

The Health Products Regulatory Authority said it was continuing to monitor the situation, but at present there had been no reports of shortages or supply disruptions across Europe.

“Biopharmaceutical companies, as a matter of routine, build resilience into their supply chains,” it said in a statement – adding that it was satisfied the industry was “doing all it can to minimise and manage the risk of disruption to the supply of medicines.”

Insurance Ireland said it was working to ensure the sector was prepared for the “current and potential future developments” around Covid-19.

It said the body, and its members, were working with the Government to ensure the industry could continue to work effectively – and maintain access for customers.

Retail Ireland, which represents large retailers here, has said that all supply chains are operating as normal.

It has assured consumers that there is no need to stockpile foods or other products. 

The organisation said that it has consulted its members and detailed contingency plans are in place to ensure that supermarket shelve remains stocked.

A spokesperson for Retail Ireland said its members are working closely with Government.

The Licensed Vintners Association, which represents pubs in Dublin, has called for clarity around how its members can implement the measures announced today.

Pubs are permitted to remain open, however it says it would like further guidance on how they can implement social distancing, as well as the 100-person limit on indoor gatherings.

It is also looking for details on how the Government will mitigate against the financial impact the sector is facing.

Meanwhile, the biopharmaceutical industry has said no reports of shortages or supply disruptions of medicines marketed in the EU due to coronavirus have so far been received. 

A spokesman for the industry said that biopharmaceutical companies, as a matter of routine, build resilience into their supply chains. 

He said the industry continues to monitor the situation closely. 

“It is satisfied that it is doing all it can to minimise and manage the risk of disruption to the supply of medicines,” the spokesman said. 

“The industry, in Europe and globally, is fast-tracking collaborative research to develop vaccines and treatments in the fight against the virus. Irish scientists are contributing to the global search for vaccines and treatments,” he added.

The Irish Farmers’ Association has said it supports the Government’s measures, adding that a “collective effort” will be required to deal with the challenge of Covid-19.

Its president Tim Cullinan said the agricultural industry will “play its part, as it always has, with others to keep the supply chain operating.”

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Spain to become 2nd European Country to issue a Nationwide ban and UK and Ireland added to US Travel Ban List…

Spain is set to join Italy by becoming the second country in Europe to impose a nationwide lockdown as part of its effort to slow the spread of the Covid-19pandemic.

The news came as the UK’s death toll from coronavirus nearly doubled, by rising from 11 to 21, and the UK government was reportedly preparing to ban mass gatherings from next week

Boris Johnson has faced criticism for not taking tougher action against the outbreak and his government’s plan to build up immunity within the population to fight the virus over a prolonged period, rather than introducing mass lockdowns, has been questioned by health experts.

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Coronavirus deaths in Spain rise to 193

Spain’s public broadcaster TVE has reported that the death toll from coronavirus reached 193 on Saturday, up from 120 on Friday.

Health authorities said earlier today that the total number of infections had passed 5,750, with half of them in the capital Madrid.It follows reports that the Spanish government is to put the country under lockdown as part of its state of emergency measures.

According to a draft decree, Spaniards will be ordered to stay at home except to buy food or drugs, go to the hospital, go to work or other emergencies.

Here’s the full story on the US decision to add the UK and Ireland to its travel ban.

onald Trump appeared not to be aware of the measure when asked during the press conference, but minutes later it was confirmed by vice president Mike Pence.
 

Norway to close all airports

Norway’s prime minister Erna Solberg has announced that all airports will close on Monday to try and prevent the spread of coronavirus, Reuters has reported.

However there are no plans to introduce a curfew and Norwegians will be allowed to return home from abroad, she added.

In a statement posed on the government website, Ms Solberg said: “We are in a serious and increasingly unpredictable situation.

“Our priority is to safeguard life and health. That requires extraordinary steps. The situation is changing rapidly in many countries, which is why we are advising against travel that is not strictly necessary to all countries.

“Norwegian citizens already travelling abroad should consider returning as soon as possible, in a calm and safe manner, and in dialogue with their travel agency or airline.”

According to the Independent. You can see the original story and more by following the link.

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Pro 14 Suspended Indefinitely due to Coronavirus…

The current Guinness PRO14 season has been suspended in response to the evolving Coronavirus / COVID-19 outbreak.

The PRO14 is an international league. Cross border travel is inevitable and that brings with it unique challenges. With governments in Italy and Ireland already putting in place clear directives and restrictions around public activities and travel, the decision to suspend the competition is appropriate.

It is in the best interests of everyone that games are not played at this time. The suspension has been directed by the board of Celtic Rugby DAC and the decision will remain under constant review.

David Jordan, Tournament Director PRO14 Rugby, said: “We have made this decision with everyone’s welfare foremost in our minds. With an evolving situation in the five countries that take part in Guinness PRO14 it is important to make a clear decision that is in keeping with the advice of the various governments involved.”

Resumption of the 2019/20 season will now become a matter of constant review. To this point PRO14 Rugby has ensured that it has the latest information and guidance made available by the local and national authorities via our participating unions in the UK, Ireland, Italy and South Africa.

This will remain the case for the duration of the suspension. This is an unprecedented action for the tournament and as such no end date to the suspension can be provided at this time.

In keeping with our practice during the outbreak, PRO14 Rugby will provide updates on the suspension when more information is available.

ITALIANO

La stagione corrente di Guinness Pro14 è stata sospesa in risposta all’evoluzione del diffondersi di COVID-19.

PRO14 è una manifestazione internazionale, i viaggi oltre confine sono inevitabili e questo comporta delle situazioni uniche e sfidanti. I Governi di federazioni coinvolte nel torneo hanno già posto in essere chiare direttive e restrizioni circa attività pubbliche e, di conseguenza, la decisione di sospendere la competizione risulta appropriato. E’ nel migliore interesse di tutti che in questo momento le partite non vengano disputate.

La salute e la sicurezza di tutti i nostri giocatori, squadre, staff e tifosi è cruciale ed è nel miglior interesse di tutti che non si disputino partite in questo momento. La sospensione è stata determinata dal board di Celtic Rugby DAC e rimarrà oggetto di costante revisione.

Il Direttore del Torneo PRO14 David Jordan ha dichiarato: “Abbiamo preso questa decisione con il welfare dei giocatori e la sicurezza dei nostri tifosi quali imprescindibili priorità. Con una situazione in evoluzione in cinque nazioni che prendono parte al Guinness Pro14 è importante prendere una decisione chiara, coerente con le indicazioni dei vari Governi coinvolti”.

La ripresa della stagione 2019/20 sarà oggetto di costante revisione. Ad oggi PRO14 Rugby si è assicurato un flusso di informazioni e indicazioni costantemente aggiornato da parte delle autorità locali e nazionali attraverso le federazioni membre del Regno Unito, Irlanda, Italia e Sudafrica.

Questo costante monitoraggio si protrarrà per l’intera durata della sospensione. Questa è un’azione senza precedenti per il torneo e ad oggi non è possibile fornire una data certa per la conclusione della manifestazione.

In linea con le nostre disposizioni durante l’epidemia, PRO14 Rugby fornirà ulteriori aggiornamenti sulla sospensione quando nuove informazioni saranno disponibili.

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Six Nations News – Wales v Scotland off due to Coronavirus

Wales’ Six Nations match at home to Scotland on Saturday has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The two other scheduled games in round five had already been postponed and no dates have been confirmed for completing the 2020 Championship.

The Welsh Rugby Union, which had insisted earlier on Friday the game would go ahead, said it was “in the best interests of supporters, players and staff to fall in line with recent measures taken across the UK and global sports industries”.

Several sports have been severely disrupted, with all Premier League and EFL football matches suspended until 3 April.

A WRU statement read: “The Welsh Rugby Union has maintained an open dialogue with, and continued to seek advice and direction from, the Welsh government and other stakeholders, including the Six Nations, on this fast-moving issue. 

“Every effort has been made to stage this game and we appreciate that individuals will have been inconvenienced. Given the fluid and unprecedented nature of this issue a postponement became the only viable option.”

It added that there would be an announcement on rescheduling the fixture “in the coming days”. 

Friday’s Under-20 Six Nations match between Wales and Scotland in Colwyn Bay will go ahead but will be played behind closed doors.

Meanwhile, Scottish Rugby has suspended all rugby in Scotland for the remainder of March.

A Scottish Rugby spokesperson said: “We have taken on board all expert medical advice before now and we are taking a precautionary approach to give time to assess what the impact of coronavirus will be on Scottish society in the coming weeks before deciding on next steps.

“This decision has been taken with the best interest of everyone involved in the game and in support of the country’s work to address the impact of Coronavirus.”

News of the Wales-Scotland postponement comes on a day of widespread sporting postponements worldwide.

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Welsh Businesses to get Coronavirus Support from Welsh Government

First minister Mark Drakeford has promised to put every penny it receives from Budget announcement into helping firms on rates.

Welsh Government has vowed that every penny of extra funding for Wales that stems from the UK chancellor’s decision to scrap business rates for thousands of English firms will go into supporting companies in Wales.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Wednesday announced that the UK Government is scrapping business rates for small venues and shops this year in response to the coronavirus crisis.

In his Budget speech, he said other venues, such as bed and breakfasts, gyms and leisure centres, with a rateable value below £51,000 would pay no business rates.

He said the measure would save each business up to around £21,000.

Business rates are devolved but Wales will now get additional funding through the Barnett Formula.

Welsh Government has been pressed to respond rapidly as businesses are already seeing the economic impact of the virus – particularly the tourism and hospitality sectors as bookings fall and cancellations increase. It comes after an already difficult few weeks with Wales hit by storms and flooding

Now First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford said that plans are already underway to invest all of this funding into businesses in the nation.

He claimed delays on exact confirmation of the funding figure was delaying action.

He said: “All funding that comes to Wales as a result of the UK Government’s Budget announcement on non-domestic rates will be used to support Welsh businesses.

“We want to roll-out a support package as quickly as possible to help businesses deal with the impact of coronavirus.

“Plans are underway, but confirmation from the UK Treasury is holding us back.”

They added throughout this Assembly term, each time new money has been made available to extend non-domestic rates support in Wales, the Welsh Government has matched – or exceeded – the funding provided to deliver the “most suitable” support for Welsh businesses.

Ben Francis, FSB Wales Policy Chair, said: “We are pleased to welcome the news that Welsh Government has taken steps to protect the economy and provide a safety net for those businesses facing disruption from coronavirus with money from yesterday’s budget. It is important that businesses in Wales have the same level of support to those over the border.

“Welsh Government has listened to the case made by FSB Wales in our letter to the First Minister earlier today as well as individual businesses across the country, and as with UK Government, has taken positive action to provide reassurance for those businesses facing significant uncertainty in the coming weeks.

“We’ve heard from businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector who are already seeing a slow-down, as well as businesses with supply chains that are feeling the effects. We hope that by ensuring that there is support for these businesses that they can be somewhat protected from what we hope is a very temporary challenge.

“We look forward to more detail as to the level of support and to working with Ministers on this and other measures to support the economy as we move forward.”

The UK Treasury has been asked to comment.

This article is from the Daily Post North Wales and you can find more North Wales News by clicking the link.

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