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Coronavirus LIVE Updates: The latest news from across Gloucestershire on Friday, February 5

The ongoing coronavirus situation is changing by the hour with announcements being made about businesses and services that are being forced to adapt and change.

Punchline is committed to trying to keep you up to date with all the news that matters to you and your business.

Our team will update this story throughout the day, to ensure the latest important developments can be found in one - clickbait free - place.

If you or your business has any news, views or advice to share with the Gloucestershire business community, get in touch with Punchline team at news@moosemarketingandpr.co.uk.

Friday, February 5

Update #8323 - 12.22 Almost a third of January house sales fell through

Rightmove has revealed that 29 per cent of planned house purchases collapsed in January across the UK.

It is thought that the figure is slowly accelerating month-on-month as the March 31 stamp duty holiday deadline gets closer, falling back to £125,000 from its temporary level of £500,000.

But despite this, the property platform said it was a month of record activity, with visits to it's website increasing by almost 40 per cent on January 2020.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove director of property data, said: "It's clear that more people than ever before used the new year as a chance to start thinking about moving home, despite all of the challenges and worries that came with January, but we are seeing the effect of lockdown on the number of properties coming to market." 

Update #8322 - 08.36 Latest coronavirus figures for the UK and Gloucestershire

The latest data for coronavirus cases and deaths of patients with COVID-19 were released yesterday by the Government's department of health and social care and NHS England.

Updated UK figures show the total number of deaths within 28 days of positive test rose to 110,250 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 915 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 20,634 people have tested positive for the virus over the last 24 hours and 3,892,459 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 10,490,487 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of February 3.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county sits at 20,348 as of Thursday afternoon - an increase of 148 on the previous day.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test sits at 883.

Cases are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 5,938 cases (increase of 45)

Cheltenham - 3,397 cases (increase of 16)

Stroud - 3,233 cases (increase of 22)

Tewkesbury - 2,656 cases (increase of 23)

Cotswold - 2,339 cases (increase of 16)

Forest of Dean - 2,785 cases (increase of 26)

Thursday, February 4

Update #8321 - 11.43 Investment into supermarkets surpasses 2019 levels

Demand for UK supermarket property assets has boomed in the face of the soaring sales volumes experienced by UK grocery operators during the pandemic, reports real estate experts Colliers International.

The latest Colliers UK Grocery Real Estate Review reports that £1.83bn of supermarket assets were traded last year as investors targeted the sector for returns underpinned by grocery sector performance.

Last December, the sector saw grocery sales volumes hit £11.7bn - the highest ever monthly level.

Colliers said the trend has been further driven by the challenges facing other commercial property asset types and investors looking for a source of stable rental income.

Tom Edson, head of Retail Capital Markets at Colliers, said: "The pandemic has impacted all areas of commercial property investment, but grocery-backed assets have proved most resilient as they have been underpinned by this unprecedented focus of consumer spending." 

Update #8320 - 10.23 Thousands more added to Emergency Community Fund

Tewkesbury Borough Council has invested a further £50,000 of extra funding to help community groups who are supporting vulnerable people through the coronavius pandemic.

From April to December 2020, 105 grants - totaling £87,165 - have been distributed to 78 organisations across Tewkesbury Borough (with some receiving more than one grant).

Of the grants awarded last year, 56 funded IT equipment and other resources, 28 provided PPE and cleaning equipment, 17 supported ongoing service delivery costs, 15 covered volunteer expenses and nine helped with publicity costs (some grants supported more than one type of cost).

Now that Tewkesbury Borough Council has invested the further funds, it is once again urging community groups to apply. 

Update #8319 - 08.30 Latest coronavirus figures for the UK and Gloucestershire

The latest data for coronavirus cases and deaths of patients with COVID-19 were released yesterday by the Government's department of health and social care and NHS England.

Updated UK figures show the total number of deaths within 28 days of positive test rose to 109,335 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 1,322 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 19,202 people have tested positive for the virus over the last 24 hours and 3,871,825 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 10,021,471 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of February 2.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county sits at 20,200 as of Wednesday afternoon - an increase of 60 on the previous day.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test sits at 879.

Cases are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 5,893 cases (increase of 25)

Cheltenham - 3,381 cases (increase of seven)

Stroud - 3,211 cases (increase of nine)

Tewkesbury - 2,633 cases (increase of nine)

Cotswold - 2,323 cases (increase of 11)

Forest of Dean - 2,759 cases (increase of three)

Wednesday, February 3

Update #8318 - 08.35 Latest coronavirus figures for the UK and Gloucestershire

The latest data for coronavirus cases and deaths of patients with COVID-19 were released yesterday by the Government's department of health and social care and NHS England.

Updated UK figures show the total number of deaths within 28 days of positive test rose to 108,013 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 1449 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 16,840 people have tested positive for the virus over the last 24 hours and 3,852,623 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 9,646,715 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of February 1.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county sits at 20,140 as of Tuesday afternoon - an increase of 80 on the previous day.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test sits at 873.

Cases are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 5,868 cases (increase of 34)

Cheltenham - 3,374 cases (increase of 12)

Stroud - 3,202 cases (increase of 10)

Tewkesbury - 2,624 cases (increase of seven)

Cotswold - 2,316 cases (increase of five)

Forest of Dean - 2,756 cases (increase of 12) 

Tuesday, February 2

Update #8317 - 12.37 Hospitality "staring into the abyss" without help

The hospitality industry has repeated calls for Government help after being floored by the coronavirus pandemic.

Giving evidence to the Treasury Select Committee inquiry into the economic impact of coronavirus, UKHospitality said four in 10 businesses in the sector believed they would fail by the middle of the year.

And only one in five have enough cashflow to survive beyond the end of this month under existing levels of support.

Figures the trade body's latest quarterly sales tracker said the industry had seen a loss in revenue of £72billion over the past 12 months - more than 10 times worse than the impact of the 2008 financial crisis.

SEE MORE 

Update #8316 - 11.30 Aldi calls for Arcadia and Debenhams staff to apply for 4,000 new jobs

Aldi is calling for those affected by the collapse of the Arcadia and Debenhams retail empires to apply as it aims to create 4,000 jobs across the UK this year.

The German supermarket chain, which announced recently that it would create the jobs as part of a two-year £1.3bn investment in new and upgraded stores and distribution centres, said today that it would very much welcome applications from those recently employed by Arcadia and Debenhams.

In doing so, it hopes to offer long-term retail roles to thousands of people who have lost their jobs as a result of the two high street giants who have recently collapsed.

Kelly Stokes, recruitment director at Aldi UK, said: "We are currently opening an average of one new store a week as we continue to try to meet the huge demand for amazing quality food at unbeatable prices that shoppers can only get at Aldi.

"That means finding around 4,000 new Aldi colleagues this year and, if we can do that while also helping those who have recently lost out due to closures elsewhere, we will do." 

Update #8315 - 11.17 Scams hit new high during pandemic

Fraudsters targeting uncertainty during the coronavirus pandemic pushed the number of scams to a new high last year, according to research from Barclays.

The report said investment scams, mainly involving cloned websites, and impersonation scams informing people an account was at risk both made up 29 per cent of cases.

And the rates are likely to be higher with 54 per cent of those surveyed saying they would be too embarrassed to report falling victim.

Barclays head of fraud Jim Winters said: "Don't be afraid to admit being duped into a scam, when you receive a suspicious email, phone call or text message, never assume it's who you think."

Police visit vaccine sites to raise awareness of courier fraud

Update #8314 - 08.35 Latest coronavirus figures for the UK and Gloucestershire

The latest data for coronavirus cases and deaths of patients with COVID-19 were released yesterday by the Government's department of health and social care and NHS England.

Updated UK figures show the total number of deaths within 28 days of positive test rose to 106,564 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 406 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 18,607 people have tested positive for the virus over the last 24 hours and 3,835,783 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 9,296,367 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of January 31.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county sits at 20,060 as of Monday afternoon - an increase of 107 on the previous day.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test sits at 866.

Cases are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 5,834 cases (increase of 30)

Cheltenham - 3,362 cases (increase of 18)

Stroud - 3,192 cases (increase of 26)

Tewkesbury - 2,617 cases (increase of 15)

Cotswold - 2,311 cases (increase of five)

Forest of Dean - 2,744 cases (increase of 13)

Monday, February 1

Update #8313 - 11.55 Ryanair calls for quicker vaccinations to help recovery

Ryanair posted a loss of £279million for the final quarter of 2020 and has called on the EU to increase the rate of coronavirus vaccinations.

The budget airline said passenger numbers fell by 83 per cent in December to 1.9 million as lockdown restrictions were tightened.

The loss for the quarter compared to a £76million profit for the same period 12 months earlier with a projected full-year loss of up to £827million.

Chief executive Michael O'Leary predicted traffic would accelerate from July to September as vaccination numbers rise and reach 70-90 per cent of pre-pandemic levels between October and March.

A company statement said: "The EU needs to step up the slow pace of its rollout programme to match the UK's performance."

Update #8312 - 11.52 Shell close in on Post Office deal

Oil giant Shell is thought to be close to seal a deal to buy the broadband arm of the Post Office.

According to Sky News, the deal would be worth around £80million and is close to completion after weeks of talks.

Shell entered the broadband market in 2018 when it bought First Utility, which is now Shell Energy Retail.

Update #8311 - 08.35 Latest coronavirus figures for the UK and Gloucestershire

The latest data for coronavirus cases and deaths of patients with COVID-19 were released yesterday by the Government's department of health and social care and NHS England.

Updated UK figures show the total number of deaths within 28 days of positive test rose to 106,158 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 587 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 21,088 people have tested positive for the virus over the last 24 hours and 3,817,176 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 8,977,329 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of January 30.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county since the start of the pandemic sits at 19,953, as of Sunday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test sits at 863.

Cases are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 5,804 cases

Cheltenham - 3,344 cases

Stroud - 3,166 cases

Tewkesbury - 2,602 cases

Cotswold - 2,306 cases

Forest of Dean - 2,731 cases

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