The Lions are coming!
Jersey looks to have pulled off a huge sporting coup, with some of the world’s leading rugby players poised to visit the island as part of preparations by the British & Irish lions for their summer tour to South Africa.
Head coach Warren Gatland confirmed his plans for this summer’s international tour, in a press briefing at the Lion’s London base this week. It is understood that the lions, who will arrive on or just after 13 June, will fly direct from Jersey to Edinburgh at the end of their 10 day stay to play a pre -tour friendly against Japan at Murrayfield on 26 June. Gatland said ‘We understand we may need to quarantine for a certain amount of time but there’s a potential for almost normality in Jersey in preparation for that first game against Japan, before we go into a secure bubble for South Africa, that’s definitely a major factor that we considered for Jersey’.
Jersey could also be a world leader with their plans to bring in Covid-19 certificates which could be introduced from as early as the middle of May a senior Minister has announced. With Covid-19 vaccination programmes proceeding rapidly in both Jersey and the UK, Economic Development Minister Lyndon Farnum is pushing to see Jersey bring in a certification scheme that would see arriving passengers given a low risk status if they have been fully vaccinated. More than 25,000 islanders have already had two doses of the vaccine whilst approximately 8 million Britons have also had both their jabs.
Jersey’s border restrictions are due to be eased on 26 April, and Senator Farnham said he hoped that bringing in Covid safety certificates would help to revive travel in a safe fashion. It would be really helpful for islanders to be able to leave Jersey to see their friends and family, or to go on holiday and be treated as green arrivals, as a result of their vaccination status, when they return, he said. Current indicative maps published by the Government show that a large majority of regions in the UK are likely to be classed as either green or amber by the time restrictions ease on 26 April. Visit Jersey has launched a marketing drive designed to promote the Island as a destination for Britons who’s freedom to travel outside the Common Travel Area, of which Jersey is a part, looks as though it will be severely limited until the end of June or July.
In Jersey the number of known Covid cases has dropped to 2 and there have been no community cases discovered in more than two weeks.
England’s main focus this week has been on the preparations for the Royal funeral to be held for Prince Philip tomorrow afternoon at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. It will be televised at 15:00 BST, for those who would like to watch the proceedings.
At the other end of the UK, Scotland is getting excited about the new relaxed lockdown restrictions which will see people being able to travel between council areas for non-essential reasons and meet with up to 6 friends and family in outdoor areas. The Scottish government felt these changes would boost mental health and wellbeing. One could argue that after a year of lockdown, meeting up with friends and family is an essential reason to travel!
Following suit, ministers in Northern Ireland agreed last night, that outdoor hospitality businesses will be allowed to open on the 30th of April, whilst indoor venues will have to wait a bit longer until the 24th of May.
It’s not often you hear of a head honcho owning up so openly about areas in his business that need improvement, but Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon, has promised to make improvements for the sake of his workers. This comes after a union battle at one of Amazon’s warehouses in Alabama, USA. The results of a voting exercise showed that although some things were going right at the company, other things were going very wrong as employees were not happy with the workplace, with Bezos saying that they “need a better vision for how we create value for employees”.
Although the above is refreshing, it is more common to hear of people like UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock. Hancock has been accused of cronyism by Labour. This comes after it was revealed that he has been given shares in a waste disposal company, Topwood Ltd, owned by his sister and other family members. This family company has previously been given two contracts by NHS Wales at the value of £300,000. The HSJ also claims Hancock failed to declare his connection to the company in the relevant register of interests. This accusation was rejected by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). David Cameron is in hot water too but more about that next week as a commons committee convened to decide if any inappropriate action occurred in relation to the former prime Minister’s involvement with Greensill Capital whilst he was in office.
Stock and Markets & Currencies
Britain’s economy as a whole is doing well however, showing growth in February as businesses adapted to lockdown restrictions and the hope of a recovery in trade with the European Union. GDP rose by 0.4% after a 2.2% decline in January, revised upwards from a 2.9% fall, official figures showed. More growth was evident with exports to the EU rising by 47% during the month to £11.6 billion after a record 40% fall at the start of the year, coinciding with the end of the Brexit transition period.
Stock prices in London were predicted to open higher today, with the FTSE 100 close to the 7,000-point mark, following high economic growth figures from China. IG futures indicate the FTSE 100 index is set to open 14.90 points higher at 6,998.40. While the blue-chip index closed up 43.92 points, or 0.6%, at 6,983.50 Thursday.
In the US yesterday, Wall Street ended higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.9%, S&P 500 up 1.1% and Nasdaq Composite up 1.3%. On the currency markets the pound found a new high at USD1.3788 to the UK Pound. The euro was priced at USD1.1966, and against the Japanese yen, the dollar was at JPY108.80, And finally, Brent oil was trading at USD67.08 a barrel this morning, up sharply from USD66.58 late yesterday. Gold was quoted at USD1,765.70 an ounce, down from USD1,766.35.
And Finally Busch beer offers $20,000 for a canine ‘chief tasting officer’ to sample Dog Brew
The makers of Busch beer announced they are seeking a very good boy or girl to make $20,000 by serving as “chief tasting officer” for Dog Brew, a “beer” made for dogs. Anheuser-Busch said its inaugural batch of Dog Brew, an alcohol-free “beer” actually made from bone broth, sold out within 24 hours last year, and it is now looking for a canine “chief tasting officer” to help expand the line of offerings.
The dog will be paid $20,000 for the role and will be responsible for “taste-testing, quality control, and fulfilling duties as an ambassador for the product.” The dog will also become a “featured creator” for Busch’s social media channels. Perks of the position include pet insurance and a free supply of Dog Brew.
“The reaction to Busch Dog Brew’s release last year was so overwhelmingly positive that we knew we had a big challenge in Year 2 to keep the momentum going. So to expand the brand this year, we needed a true expert in the space on our team,” said Daniel Blake, vice president of value brands at Anheuser-Busch. “We’re excited to give one qualified canine a real, paying job and to tap into their insider knowledge of our target consumer to expand Busch Dog Brew in 2021.”
So, if you are in the habit of using the excuse of “taking the dog out for a walk” in order to visit your local pub, now you have the perfect excuse and you could even make money out of your dog too. Interested? then post photos of your dogs on social media along with a description of their qualifications and the hashtag “#BuschCTOcontest.” Good luck.