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Gloucestershire Business News

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: The latest news from across Gloucestershire on Friday, July 23

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, July 23

Update #8829 - 08.50 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 128,980 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 84 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 39,906 people have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hour period and 5,602,321 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 46,433,845 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of July 22 and 36,587,904 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 32,006, as of Thursday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test remained at 925 - the same as the day before.

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

Gloucester - 8,978 cases (increase of 89)

Cheltenham - 5,661 cases (increase of 65)

Stroud - 5,276 cases (increase of 80)

Tewkesbury - 4,370 cases (increase of 39)

Forest of Dean - 4,137 cases (increase of 45)

Cotswold - 3,584 cases (increase of 49)

Thursday, July 22

Update #8828 - 12.10 Property sales at record levels

Home sales hit a new peak last month with more than 213,000 completions, more than twice the number in May and three times the number last year when sales were severely affected by the Covid crisis.

Experts say there was a rush before stamp duty concessions were withdrawn.

The provisional estimate from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for UK residential transactions in the second quarter of 2021 was 428,620.

This is the highest second quarter total since the introduction of these statistics in April 2005, and the highest quarterly total since the third quarter of 2007 (442,930).

Update #8828 - 10.52 Easing of restrictions sees non-essential spending soar

Easing of Covid restrictions has coincided with a loosening off people's purse strings, according to data from Nationwide that shows both essential and non-essential spend have soared.

The amount spent on non-essential items, such as holidays, leisure, gardening, eating out and even charity soared during the second quarter of the year as people enjoy their new-found freedoms by spending more on both themselves and others.

According to Nationwide's quarterly Spending Report, more than £22 billion was spent by its members during the second quarter of the year as inflation jumped to 2.5 per cent in June.

The building society said essential household spending increased by 13 per cent compared the first quarter of the year, while non-essential spending in Q2 grew by 60 per cent.

Mark Nalder, Nationwide's head of Payments, said: "This yearning for a sense of normality, combined with a successful vaccination programme, is perhaps what is driving spend upwards - with a significant increase in holiday spend a prime example of this." 

Update #8827 - 10.45 Simpler tests proposed as lorry driver crisis worsens

Driver qualification requirements may be eased, as a way to tackle the mounting lorry driver crisis, the Government has indicated.

Drivers would be allowed to take one test to drive both articulated and rigid lorries as part of a package of measures. The logistics industry faces an estimated 100,000 shortage of lorry drivers.

But the Road Haulage Association (RHA) says it doesn't address the critical short-term issues and is calling for short-term visas for foreign drivers.

Meanwhile, supermarkets warn of empty shelves because of ongoing supply issues and the 'pingdemic' of self-isolating workers.

Iceland boss Richard Walker warned that Britain's food supply chains are on the brink of collapse with 1,000 of his staff - almost one in 20 - at home because of Covid alerts.

Update #8826 - 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 128,896 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 73 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 44,104 people have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hour period and 5,563,006 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 46,388,744 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of July 20 and 36,404,566 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 31,639, as of Wednesday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test rose to 925 - an increase of one on the day before.

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

Gloucester - 8,889 cases (increase of 74)

Cheltenham - 5,596 cases (increase of 67)

Stroud - 5,196 cases (increase of 80)

Tewkesbury - 4,331 cases (increase of 26)

Forest of Dean - 4,092 cases (increase of 60)

Cotswold - 3,535 cases (increase of 38)

Wednesday, July 21

Update #8825 - 11.15 Figures reveal UK Government borrowing

The state of Government finances is laid bare by the latest figures published by the ONS.

The Office for National Statistics reveals that government debt was £2.2 trillion at the end of June this year, that's around 99.7% of gross domestic product (GDP), figures for the ONS reveal.

That's the highest ratio since the 102.5% recorded in March 1961.

Overall public sector borrowing for the financial year ending March 2021 was estimated to have been the highest since financial year records began in March 1946, just after the Second World War.

Public sector borrowing was estimated to have been £22.8 billion in June 2021, the second-highest June borrowing since monthly records began in 1993, but £5.5 billion less than in June 2020.

Update #8824 - 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 128,823 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 96 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 46,558 people have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hour period and 5,519,602 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 46,349,709 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of July 19 and 36,243,287 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 31,294, as of Tuesday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test rose to 924 - an increase of two on the day before.

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

Gloucester - 8,815 cases (increase of 116)

Cheltenham - 5,529 cases (increase of 60)

Stroud - 5,116 cases (increase of 86)

Tewkesbury - 4,305 cases (increase of 46)

Forest of Dean - 4,032 cases (increase of 37)

Cotswold - 3,497 cases (increase of 36)

Tuesday, July 20

Update #8823 - 12.55 PM plans full vaccination for nightclub entry

The Prime Minister says nightclubs need to 'do the socially responsible thing' as he indicated that by the end of September the government could make 'full vaccination the condition of entry'.

Nightclubs and other large venues are only 'encouraged' to ask clubbers to show proof of vaccination, a negative test result or immunity.

But Boris Johnson told a press conference: "I don't want to have to close nightclubs again as they have elsewhere. But it does mean nightclubs need to do the socially responsible thing.

"As we said last week, we do reserve the right to mandate certification at any point if it's necessary to reduce transmission.

"And I should serve notice now that by the end of September, when all over 18s have had their chance to be double jabbed, we're planning to make full vaccination the condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather."

Update #8822 - 12.42 Retail footfall only rose 0.9 per cent last week

Data from Springboard shows footfall across UK retail destinations increased by 0.9 per cent week on week in the seven days to July 17.

Figures show that high street footfall increased by 3.3 per cent, but retail parks and shopping centres saw drops of 0.8 per cent and 2.2 per cent respectively.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: "Last week footfall across UK retail destinations stagnated in overall terms, with very little uplift from the week before.

"Despite this, there was a glimmer of hope for the hospitality industry, as the most gains in footfall were made post 5pm as shoppers took the opportunity provided by hot weather to enjoy hospitality venues."

Update #8821 - 10.23 Easyjet says less than half of summer trips remain unsold

Budget airline Easyjet has revealed that customers are "currently booking much closer to departure due to market conditions", meaning fewer than half of this summer's UK flights have been booked.

The business said that capacity for the July-September summer period is just 44 per cent sold, down from 69 per cent for the same period in 2019.

In a statement, it said: "As a result of the current divergence in government travel policies, easyJet's bookings for this summer are heavily skewed towards continental Europe.

"Easyjet expect this to improve quickly as restrictions are lifted over the coming period."

Update #8820 - 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 128,727 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 19 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 39,950 people have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hour period and 5,473,477 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 46,314,039 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of July 18 and 36,099,727 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 30,913, as of Monday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test remains at 922.

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

Gloucester - 8,699 cases (increase of 84)

Cheltenham - 5,469 cases (increase of 49)

Stroud - 5,030 cases (increase of 70)

Tewkesbury - 4,259 cases (increase of 40)

Forest of Dean - 3,995 cases (increase of 37)

Cotswold - 3,461 cases (increase of 28)

Monday, July 19

Update #8819 - 13.10 Pub group Greene King closes pubs over self-isolation rules

Greene King, the country's leading pub retailer, says it's had to shut pubs due to staff shortages caused by people being forced to self-isolate by the NHS Covid app.

Greene King has closed 33 pubs in the past week due to staff self-isolating.

Nick Mackenzie, chief executive, said the pub and restuarant group has also had to shorten opening hours at some sites.

He told the BBC: "I think this is a problem. It could get worse."

Recent figures showed more than 500,000 people in England and Wales were "pinged" by the app in the week to 7 July, up 46% on the previous week.

Update #8818 - 08.25 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 128,708 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 25 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 48,161 people have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hour period and 5,433,939 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 46,295,853 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of July 17 and 35,970,849 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 30,605, as of Sunday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test remains at 922.

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

Gloucester - 8,615 cases

Cheltenham - 5,420 cases

Stroud - 4,960 cases

Tewkesbury - 4,219 cases

Forest of Dean - 3,958 cases

Cotswold - 3,433 cases

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