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Gloucestershire Business News

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: The latest news from across Gloucestershire on Friday, May 28

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, May 28

Update #8718 - 10.35 Covid-19 mobile testing unit locations this week

An important part of minimising and managing any future spread of Covid-19 is the speed at which people can be tested and isolation measures put in place, should an outbreak occur.

Mobile testing units are available at locations across the county. Please see the planned locations below.

Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 can have a test. You must book a test in advance. Please do not turn up to one of the locations without booking - anyone without a booking risks being turned away.

To book a test or for more information on testing, go to the NHS website or call 119.

Latest locations and dates:

These dates are subject to change. Please check the GCC website for changes.

Update #8717 - 10.20 Asda owner's profits hit £76m

Owners of supermarket giant Asda, EG Group has reported growth in its foodservice business in the first quarter of 2021.

The petrol station business said in the first three months to March 31, it reported a 5.8 per cent increase in group EBITDA to £186.9m.

Growth was fuelled by its foodservice division, with gross profits reaching £76.9million.

Revenues across the group fell 7.1 per cent for the period, to £3.7bn. Fuel sales were also badly affected by the coronavirus restrictions, dropping 5.3 per cent to £292.8m.

A statement read: "We are pleased to report a resilient performance in Q1 2021, which is testament to the ongoing dedication of our colleagues around the world and underscores the benefits of our scale and diversified business model." 

Update #8716 - 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 127,758 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 10 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 3,542 people have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hour period and 4,473,677 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 38,614,683 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of May 26 and 24,043,956 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 22,689, as of Thursday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test remains at 951.

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

Gloucester - 6,451 cases (increase of three)

Cheltenham - 3,780 cases (increase of one)

Stroud - 3,813 cases (increase of one)

Tewkesbury - 2,939 cases (increase of two)

Forest of Dean - 3,106 cases (no change)

Cotswold - 2,600 cases (increase of four)

Thursday, May 27

Update #8715 - 12.10 Amazon takes over MGM studios

Amazon has successfully taken over Hollywood film studios MGM in a deal worth nearly £6billion.

The online retail giant wants to compete for video streaming services like Netflix and Disney with its Prime subscription service.

The deal gives the company access to a back catalogue of film classics and the James Bond franchise.

MGM, like other film studios, has had a difficult time during the pandemic with cinemas closed. The release date for new Bond film No Time To Die was repeatedly delayed.

A joint statement from the companies said: "Amazon will help preserve MGM's heritage and catalogue of films and provide customers with greater access to these existing works."

As well as film classics like Rocky, Basic Instinct, Legally Blonde, Silence of the Lambs and The Pink Panther, the back catalogue also includes reality TV staples such as The Real Housewives of Beverley Hills.

Update #8714 - 11.37 TikTok sees 553 per cent growth in e-commerce

Social media platform TikTok has seen shopping on its app rise 553 per cent during the coronavirus pandemic, as reported by Bazaarvoice.

Although Instagram and Facebook also saw healthy growth of 189 and 160 per cent respectively, TikTok's shopping platform grew exponentially over the last year.

Findings by Bazaarvoice also said that 70 per cent of shoppers said they had used social media to purchase a new product in 2020.

Bazaarvoice's senior vice president Ed Hill told retail news website Charged: "Since video content first took off a few years ago, its use in e-commerce is no longer just an option but a necessity.

"TikTok's recent launch of in-app shopping will not only drive conversion with users but be an encouragement for brands to invest in advertising spend - a win-win for any social media platform. The brands that succeed in the coming decade will be the ones that take advantage of social media as emerging revenue channels, allowing them to engage and get closer to their customers." 

Update #8713 - 11.14 UK lifeguards set for busiest summer

Lifeguards on UK beaches are gearing up for the busiest summer as good weather and international travel bans will force Brits to holiday in the UK.

More than 30 million people are expected to flock to UK beaches this summer, as the RNLI and HM Coastguard urge visitors to choose beaches patrolled by lifeguards.

The RNLI's head of water safety, Gareth Morrison said: "We are expecting this summer to be the busiest ever for our lifeguards and volunteer lifeboat crews.

"It is a daunting prospect. We want people to enjoy the coast but urge everyone to respect the water, think about their own safety and know what to do in an emergency."

Update #8712 - 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 127,748 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

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

Across the UK, 3,180 people have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hour period and 4,470,297 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 38,378,564 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of May 25 and 23,616,498 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 22,678, as of Thursday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test remains at 952.

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

Gloucester - 6,448 cases (increase of six)

Cheltenham - 3,779 cases (no change)

Stroud - 3,812 cases (increase of one)

Tewkesbury - 2,937 cases (no change)

Forest of Dean - 3,106 cases (no change)

Cotswold - 2,596 cases (increase of one)

Wednesday, May 26

Update #8711 - 11.15 Ted Baker extends credit

Fashion retailer Ted Baker has secured an extension to its credit facility with its existing lending banks.

Securing £90 million, to replace previous agreements, will give financial flexibility to the retailer, which has a store in Gloucester Quays, as reported by Retail Gazette.

The arrangement, along with a "strong net cash position" of £66.7 million, means Ted Baker now has the cash to continue its transformation plan, including investing £6 million in changes to its ecommerce site in the next two years.

Update #8710 - 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 127,739 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 15 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 2,493 people have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hour period and 4,467,310 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 38,192,417 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of May 24 and 23,228,511 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 22,670, as of Tuesday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test remains at 952.

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

Gloucester - 6,442 cases (increase of four)

Cheltenham - 3,779 cases (increase of three)

Stroud - 3,811 cases (no change)

Tewkesbury - 2,937 cases (increase of two)

Forest of Dean - 3,106 cases (no change)

Cotswold - 2,595 cases (no change)

Tuesday, May 25

Update #8709 - 11.32 Slow recovery for UK tourism

Spending by holidaymakers this year is expected to be just half the level of 2019, as UK tourism is set for a slow recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Predictions by VisitBritain indicate that domestic tourism will be worth just £51.4bn in 2021, down from £91.6bn two years ago.

Spending by foreign tourists in the UK is forecast to be £6.2bn, less than a quarter of the £28.4bn in 2019.

But despite the negative predictions, tourism analysts are still predicting that demand is likely to outstrip supply this summer for UK holidays. 

Update #8708 - 11.06 Shopper numbers remain 28.7 per cent below pre-pandemic levels

Analyst Springboard has revealed shopper numbers to still be far below pre-pandemic levels, as Brits stage a cautious return to the High Street.

Footfall across all UK shopping destinations rose just 1.1 per cent week-on-week, but it remained 28.7 per cent lower than the same period in 2019.

Springboard said: "Footfall increased across the majority of the different town types, ranging from +2.3 per cent in coastal towns to +11.8 per cent in central London.

"However, in more local high streets, footfall declined as consumers gravitated towards larger destinations which have a more substantial dining offer." 

Update #8707 - 10.30 Mobile testing unit locations this week (25 May 2021 - 1st June 2021)

An important part of minimising and managing any future spread of Covid-19 is the speed at which people can be tested and isolation measures put in place, should an outbreak occur.

Mobile testing units are available at locations across the county. Please see the planned locations below.

Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 can have a test. You must book a test in advance. Please do not turn up to one of the locations without booking - anyone without a booking risks being turned away.

To book a test or for more information on testing, go to the NHS website or call 119.

Latest locations and dates:

These dates are subject to change. Please check the GCC website for changes.

Update #8706 - 10.00 32 and 33-year-olds invited for jab

Around a million people in England aged 32 or 33 received a text from the NHS over the weekend, inviting them to book their Covid-19 vaccination through the national booking system.

In Gloucestershire, most Covid jabs are delivered through a network of 10 GP led Primary Care Network vaccination services. These centres are not on the national booking system.

Local GPs will be in touch soon offering first dose appointments locally to people aged 32 or 33 at one of these centres. People shouldn't call their GP about their first appointment, as the surgery will be in touch.

Read all the latest information about the community vaccination programme in Gloucestershire on the NHS Gloucestershire COVID-19 website. 

Update #8705 - 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 127,724 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

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

Across the UK, 2,439 people have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hour period and 4,464,900 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 38,070,038 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of May 23 and 22,895,556 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 22,662, as of Monday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test remains at 952.

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

Gloucester - 6,438 cases (increase of six)

Cheltenham - 3,776 cases (increase of one)

Stroud - 3,811 cases (no change)

Tewkesbury - 2,935 cases (no change)

Forest of Dean - 3,107 cases (increase of one)

Cotswold - 2,595 cases (increase of one)

Monday, May 24

Update #8704 - 12.57 CBI calls for transformation of UK economy

This year offers a unique opportunity to transform the UK's economic policy after the twin shocks of Covid-19 and Brexit, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) says.

Tony Danker, CBI Director-General, has outlined findings from a new, landmark economic plan called 'Seize the moment: how can business transform the UK economy?'

These include a 'decarbonised' economy and greater use of artificial intelligence (AI).

READ MORE  

Update #8703 - 10.39 Sniffer dogs could be the answer to Covid-19 screening

Scientists say that sniffer dogs could contribute to preventing the spread of coronavirus as countries reopen.

As part of a trial, dogs were trained to recognise a specific odour produced by people with the virus, which is undetectable to humans.

It is thought this could come in handy for screening at airports or mass gatherings and events.

Results concluded that although dogs detected 88 per cent of coronavirus cases, they also incorrectly flagged 14 per cent of people who weren't infected.

Dr Claire Guest, chief scientific officer at Medical Detection Dogs, said: "These fantastic results are further evidence that dogs are one of the most reliable biosensors for detecting the odour of human disease. Our robust study shows the huge potential for dogs to help in the fight against COVID-19."

Update #8702 - 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 127,721 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

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

Across the UK, 2,235 people have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hour period and 4,462,538 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 37,943,681 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of May 22 and 22,643,417 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 22,653, as of Sunday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test remains at 952.

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

Gloucester - 6,432 cases

Cheltenham - 3,775 cases

Stroud - 3,811 cases

Tewkesbury - 2,935 cases

Forest of Dean - 3,106 cases

Cotswold - 2,594 cases

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