In Jersey every adult will be offered a first dose of Covid vaccine by the end of May and a second by the end of August, Health officials said as they released details of phase two of the vaccination programme. Islanders in their 40s should be able to book their Jabs from the start of next month with those in their 30s set to be offered a first dose in early May and 18 to 29 year olds by the end of the month. The Vaccination centre at Fort Regent administered 1,300 daily jabs last weekend- and this could be a new ‘benchmark’ for the coming months officials said. Yesterday the European Health Agency confirmed that there was no evidence of Additional risk of blood-clots among those receiving the Astra Zeneca vaccine as the UK’s Prime Minister announced that today was his turn to be vaccinated and he was excited to be taking the Astra Zeneca vaccination.
As the Isle of man revealed that 23 people are in in hospital, 4 in intensive care and 886 cases island wide and Paris reporting a 26% increase in daily cases to over 35,000 yesterday it is about to enter a month long lockdown to help control a 3rd wave of the pandemic. Meanwhile (with only 1 known case) Guernsey has announced that all restrictions, including distancing will be removed as of Monday 22 March and mask wearing will become optional even in public places. As of today Jersey had just 3 cases of Covid with one person remaining in hospital.
In a Government Press conference at 4 pm this afternoon The Chief Minister John Le Fondre announced the reintroduction of a ‘Safer Travel Policy’ which he said ‘will enable the Island to re connect with the rest of the world, through a phased approach’. The first stage is to reinstate the red, amber and green classifications for the UK and the other Crown Dependencies. From 26 April, anyone arriving in Jersey from the UK or the other Crown Dependencies, will have to provide their travel history in advance, through the online portal, and undertake PCR tests on arrival and on days 5 and 10 after arriving.
Those entering the Island from green zones will have to isolate until they have a negative result from their arrival test. Those arriving from amber zones will have to isolate until they have received a Day 5 negative test result, and those arriving from red zones will need to isolate until they have a Day 10 negative test result. Anyone whose test result is positive will have to isolate for 14 days, in line with Public Health guidance.
The red, amber, green classifications will be reintroduced for travel to Jersey from all other destinations no earlier than Monday 17 May, when the United Kingdom reintroduces international travel.
A number of changes to public health measures have also been made to ensure parity between different groups.
From Friday 26 March there will be no restrictions on the number of people meeting indoors for worship, as long as they observe 2 metres physical distancing, their details are taken for contact tracing, and they wear masks. This means all faith communities can take part in the upcoming festivities of Easter and the feast of Passover.
Also from Friday 26 March all children’s indoor activities can allow either up to 10 children without physical distancing or collection of contact details; or an unlimited number of children are permitted, as long as 2 metres physical distancing is observed, and contact details are taken for tracing purposes.
The outlook for the UK economy remains “unusually uncertain” despite the rapid rollout of the vaccine programme, the Bank of England has said. The bank expects an economic rebound this year, as lockdown measures are eased and government support for jobs continues. The bank spokesperson went on to say that recovery still depended on the “evolution of the pandemic” and measures to protect public health. The news came as the Bank held interest rates at historic lows of 0.1%.
Despite concerns about Vaccine supply, everyone above the age of 50 and all adults in risk groups are set to have their first jab by the end of May, followed by all adults by the end of July. The Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey said he expected the economy to “get back at the end of this year to where it was at the end of 2019”.
Meanwhile, the government’s fiscal watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility, forecasts that unemployment will peak at 6.5% instead of the 11.9% predicted last July.
UK Tech Investment hits record High
While the pandemic and Brexit have had a negative impact on many sectors of the economy, the UK’s technology industry is growing despite the challenging conditions. According to a report this week by Tech Nation, venture capital investment in UK technology hit a record high of $15bn (£10.8bn) in 2020. A contributing factor was 63% of investment into UK tech coming from overseas last year, up from 50% in 2016.
Tech Nation CEO Gerard Grech says the UK’s success “is the result of foresight, drive and dynamism”. He believes that this is “just the beginning of what the UK can achieve”. The study also found that the UK tech start-up and scale-up ecosystem was valued at $585bn (£418.7bn) last year – a 120% increase from 2017.
European equities are higher this week amid positive global sentiment after the Federal Reserve concluded its monetary policy meeting yesterday saying that it does not expect rates
to rise much until 2023. Despite the Uk holding Rates a spike in interest rates globally has put central banks around the world in focus, with market participants questioning how long quantitive easing policies will remain in place.
Many will be familiar with the terms Bull and Bear markets, well some commentators are referring to the current situation as “Bunny” Market, due to a variety of clashing factors affecting stock markets including worries over rising interest rates countered by the confidence seen in booming business investment, and robust M&A activity.
The so-called ‘bunny market’ is expected to continue hopping around in the weeks ahead, as it reacts to these factors.
This week The Euro and Sterling traded lower versus the U.S. Dollar. Bond yields in the Eurozone and the U.K. were higher.
The FTSE 100 Index, Spain’s IBEX 35 Index and Italy’s FTSE MIB Index all increased 0.3%, France’s CAC-40 Index moved 0.1% to the upside, Germany’s DAX Index was up 1.2%, and Switzerland’s Swiss Market Index advanced 0.5%.
Stocks in Asia finished mostly higher, as investors cheered yesterday’s decision by the Federal Reserve in the U.S. to maintain its monetary policy stance and indicated that rates would remain stable through to 2023.
Geopolitical tensions heightened, as the U.S. announced another round of sanctions on officials in China and Hong Kong on the eve of scheduled talks between the U.S. and China in Alaska, where the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Asian nation is expected to ask the U.S. to roll back sanctions and restrictions implemented during the Trump administration.
China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.5% and the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index gained 1.3%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index advanced 1.0% amid some weakness in the yen, and following a report in The Nikkei newspaper that the Bank of Japan is looking at measures to allow long-term interest rates to move in a slightly larger range ahead of its monetary policy decision scheduled for today. Meanwhile, South Korea’s Kospi Index gained 0.6%, but Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index moved 0.7% lower and India’s S&P BSE Sensex 30 Index dropped 1.2%.
If you want to scream it all out you won’t be doing it on a big ride at Disney any time soon…
After more than a year of being closed, Disney has announced that its two theme parks in California will reopen at the end of next month. Although visitors will be pleased to see Mickey Mouse and Co, they will still “feel the impact of the pandemic”, As well as a limit on numbers, face masks and temperature checks there are a number of new rules specifically “no scream, no shouting, no letting it all out”, says Mickey mouse.