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Gloucestershire Business News

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: The latest news from across Gloucestershire on Friday, August 27

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, August 27

Update #8925 - 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 132,143 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 140 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 38,281 people have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hour period and 6,628,709 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 47,860,628 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of August 25 and 42,234,417 have received their second dose.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county since the start of the pandemic sits at 41,527, as of Thursday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test has risen to 940, an increase of one on the day before.

Cases for the latest 24 hour period are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 11,262 cases (increase of 66)

Cheltenham - 7,728 cases (increase of 83)

Stroud - 7,132 cases (increase of 57)

Tewkesbury - 5,692 cases (increase of 55)

Forest of Dean - 5,098 cases (increase of 51)

Cotswold - 4,615 cases (increase of 49)

Thursday, August 26

Update #8924 - 11.54 Retail sales soar but supply issues mount

Retail sales grew at the sharpest pace since December 2014 in the year to August, while orders growth hit a survey record high, according to the latest CBI quarterly Distributive Trades Survey.

The survey of 104 companies, of which 42 were retailers, found that while firms expect orders and sales growth to slow next month, both are ultimately set to remain strong.

Meanwhile, stock levels in relation to expected sales hit a survey record low across retail and the distribution sector as a whole - marking the fifth consecutive month in which a record low has been reached in distribution sector stock levels.

Within retail, the proportion of deliveries from suppliers accounted for by imports also fell sharply, at one of the fastest rates in the survey's history.

Alpesh Paleja, CBI lead economist, said: "A ramping-up in retail sales growth in the year to August shows just how much consumer demand continues to spur economic recovery. While sales growth is set to remain strong, a more definitive shift in household spending towards consumer services is anticipated later in the year - leading to greater normalisation of growth in the retail sector."

Update #8923 - 11.30 Covid call staff told to limit toilet breaks

Answering calls for the government's Covid test and trace number is one thing - but answering the call of nature is quite another.

Private call centre staff working for the NHS service have apparently been told to limit toilet breaks to ten minutes in a six-hour shift, the Guardian reveals.

The staff, contracted by a French company, are also told to minimise time spent on getting food or drink or even praying. They were also told they would not be paid for breaks.

Other staff answering calls for the 119 service were not subject to these rules.

Update #8922 - 10.55 Blood tests halted after test tube shortage

The NHS has halted some blood testing because of a shortage of the test tubes used to collect samples.

There are supply chain issues across the UK because many of the vials have been redirected to testing people for Covid-19.

Leading manufacturer, Becton Dickinson, which makes its tubes in the US, said testing for routine procedures delayed because of the Covid crisis have also increased demand.

NHS England has temporarily stopped testing for Vitamin D levels, wellness testing - for example screening for diabetes, allergy testing and fertility testing. NHS Wales has issued similar guidance.

The NHS is urging doctors to review practice "with a view to reducing the number of tests".

Update #8921 - 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 132,003 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 149 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 35,847 people have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hour period and 6,590,747 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 47,792,552 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of August 24 and 42,072,712 have received their second dose.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county since the start of the pandemic sits at 41,166, as of Wednesday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test has risen to 939, an increase of one on the day before.

Cases for the latest 24 hour period are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 11,196 cases (increase of 74)

Cheltenham - 7,645 cases (increase of 54)

Stroud - 7,075 cases (increase of 81)

Tewkesbury - 5,637 cases (increase of 69)

Forest of Dean - 5,047 cases (increase of 42)

Cotswold - 4,566 cases (increase of 36)

Wednesday, August 25

Update #8920 - 10.02  Macy's to stock Toys R Us in America

New life is being breathed into Toys R Us in America after its collapse in 2017.

Brand management company WHP Global has bought a controlling stake in the toy retailer. With this it is opening shop-in-shops in 400 Macy's stores in the next 18 months.

When the company went under in 2017, a number of private equity groups bought intellectual property of the brand. This includes now parent company TRU kids who sold the stake to WHP Global.

Update #8919 - 9.30 Microsoft Office prices to go up in 2022

Microsoft Office, which has products including Word, Excel and Powerpoint will be increasing its prices slightly in 2022 to increase revenue. Prices are written in USD.

Microsoft 365 Business Basic will be increased from $5 to $6.

Microsoft 365 Business Premium will go up from $20 to $22.

Office 365 E1 is changing from $8 to $10

Office 365 E3 is going from $20 to $23

Office 365 E5 is increasing from $35 to $38

Microsoft 365 E3 is upping from $32 to $36

There are currently no plans for educational and consumer products to go up in price too. 

Update #8918 - 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 131,854 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 174 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 30,838 people have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hour period and 6,555,200 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 47,737,142 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of August 23 and 41,942,036 have received their second dose.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county since the start of the pandemic sits at 40,840, as of Tuesday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test has risen to 938, an increase of one on the day before.

Cases for the latest 24 hour period are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 11,122 cases (increase of 50)

Cheltenham - 7,591 cases (increase of 53)

Stroud - 6,994 cases (increase of 43)

Tewkesbury - 5,598 cases (increase of 41)

Forest of Dean - 5,005 cases (increase of 21)

Cotswold - 4,530 cases (increase of 32)

Tuesday, August 24

Update #8917 - 10.35 Poor weather dampens UK retail footfall

Footfall across UK retail destinations is said to have fallen 1.7 per cent last week, when compared to the previous week.

Analyists at Springboard said that footfall on high streets dropped 2.2 per cent, with shopping centres and retail parks seeing smaller declines of 1.3 and one per cent respectively.

In contrast, for the same week in 2020 when the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme was in its final weeks, footfall jumped 4.1 per cent across all areas.

Diane Wehrle, Springboard insights director, said: "The penultimate week of the school summer holiday period was something of a damp squib. Rain most days across all areas of the UK accompanied by cool temperatures led to footfall across UK retail destinations dropping from the week before, eradicating all of the uplift gained in the previous week."

Update #8916 - 08.28 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 131,680 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 40 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 31,914 people have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hour period and 6,524,581 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 47,690,741 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of August 22 and 41,810,753 have received their second dose.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county since the start of the pandemic sits at 40,600, as of Monday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test remains at 937.

Cases for the latest 24 hour period are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 11,072 cases (increase of 38)

Cheltenham - 7,538 cases (increase of 52)

Stroud - 6,951 cases (increase of 54)

Tewkesbury - 5,557 cases (increase of 28)

Forest of Dean - 4,984 cases (increase of 32)

Cotswold - 4,498 cases (increase of 24)

Monday, August 23

Update #8915 - 10.09 Sainsburys may follow Morrisons in attracting investors

Since Morrisons has been subject to an investor bidding war, private equity firms have seen the attractiveness of buying into British supermarkets.

The board at Morrisons backed a buyout from Clayton, Dubilier and Rice for a £7bn sum.

US buyout firm Apollo is "exploring" the company, as reported by The Sunday Times. The company was outbid last year for Asda.

Sainsburys shares have gone up 30 per cent this year after bid speculation.

Update #8914 - 10.05 Covid testing providers issued warnings over misleading prices

More than 80 private travel testing companies will be issued a 2-strike warning and could be removed from GOV.UK for misleading prices, the Health and Social Care Secretary has announced today.

Following a rapid review of the pricing and service standards of day two and day eight testing providers listed on GOV.UK, 82 providers - making up around 18 per cent listed - have been identified as displaying lower prices on GOV.UK than are available on their website at the point of checkout.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: "It is absolutely unacceptable for any private testing company to be taking advantage of holidaymakers and today's action clamps down on this cowboy behaviour.

"57 firms will be removed from the GOV.UK list and a further 82 will be given a 2-strike warning - if they advertise misleading prices ever again, they're off.

"We are also introducing regular spot checks this week to make sure all private providers follow the rules and meet our high standards of transparency."

Update #8913 - 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 131,640 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 49 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 32,253 people have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hour period and 6,492,906 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 47,643,064 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of August 21 and 41,688,636 have received their second dose.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county since the start of the pandemic sits at 40,372, as of Sunday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test is 937.

Cases for the latest 24 hour period are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 11,034 cases

Cheltenham - 7,486 cases

Stroud - 6,897 cases

Tewkesbury - 5,529 cases

Forest of Dean - 4,952 cases

Cotswold - 4,474 cases

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