Coronavirus latest: UK business confidence hits the highest level in five years as restrictions are eased


California governor Gavin Newsom has revealed the most generous state vaccine lottery in the US, with more than $116m in cash prizes for vaccinated Californians in an effort to encourage more residents to sign up for a jab.

The annual central bankers’ pow-wow held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming — one of the biggest events in the monetary policy calendar — is set to return as an in-person gathering this year. The event, like many others, was held virtually in 2020 because of the pandemic.

Two in five Americans are now fully vaccinated for Covid-19, according to the latest data from the top US public health agency. For almost 132.8m residents, or 40 per cent of the US population, at least two weeks have passed since their final Covid-19 vaccine dose, Centers for Disease Prevention and Control figures showed on Thursday.

Germany has said it will open up vaccinations to children aged 12 and over once vaccine prioritisation is removed in the country next month and jabs for adolescents are approved by the European Medicines Agency.

Spain has extended its furlough scheme for a further four months, after a belated deal with unions and business. The ERTEs programme had been due to expire on Monday, but negotiations were protracted as the sides haggled over incentives to return furloughed workers to the labour force.

UK health secretary Matt Hancock today said as many as three-quarters of all new coronavirus infections across the UK involved the variant first identified in India. Hancock said 3,542 new cases were identified on Wednesday, the highest number since April 12.

English football fans travelling to Porto for the final of the Uefa Champions League between Manchester City and Chelsea on Saturday will be given as much freedom of movement as possible, but police vigilance will be “robust”, Portuguese police have said.

Ireland may miss its target to vaccinate four-fifths of adults by the end of June after manufacturer Johnson & Johnson revised down the number of jabs it plans to send to the country.

Boris Johnson has sounded a note of caution on whether all remaining Covid-19 restrictions in England will be removed on June 21, the fourth and final date on the government’s “roadmap”.



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