Israel will start easing lockdown restrictions, opening stores and cultural venues, after a rapid drop in new infections among its vaccinated elderly population. A coronavirus cabinet voted to reopen some venues such as malls to the general public, while restricting access to gyms, hotels and movie theatres to those who can show proof of vaccination.
Boris Johnson, UK prime minister, has said he did not rule out the possibility that people could be given domestic “vaccine passports”. “We will look at everything,” he said when asked about the possible use of documentation. Johnson said his preference was to use a combination of vaccinations and rapid turnround lateral flow tests.
A woman in quarantine gestures from her room at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel, near Heathrow Airport
The first passengers arrived in airport hotels in the UK to begin 10 days of isolation as tougher quarantine measures came into force aimed at limiting the spread of more dangerous coronavirus variants. The Radisson Blu at Heathrow was among hotels to take in a small number of travellers coming from high-risk countries on Monday morning.
The EU’s anti-fraud office has cautioned governments to be alert to schemes to sell fake Covid-19 vaccines as its member states attempt to make up for an initially slow vaccine rollout. “We are hearing reports of fraudsters offering to sell vaccines to governments across the EU,” said Ville Itälä, director-general of the European Anti-Fraud office.
Mitchells & Butlers, the UK’s largest listed pub company, plans to raise £350m through a share placing as the hard-hit industry presses the government to set out when venues will be able to reopen. The group, which owns the Harvester and All Bar One brands, said it would offer 167m new shares at a 36 per cent discount to its closing price on Friday.
Pascal Soriot, AstraZeneca’s chief executive, has been handed the same pay rise as staff across the company, in which he oversaw the launch of one of the world’s most promising coronavirus vaccines. Soriot received a base salary of £1.29m, annual bonus of £2.3m and payouts under a long-term incentive scheme worth £11.1m for 2020.
Dr Stephaun Wallace of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle receives a Novavax jab from Dr Tia Babu during clinical trials
Novavax, one of the unexpected success stories of the Covid-19 vaccine race, is about to finish enrolling its US trial in record time, bringing it another step closer to fulfilling orders to inoculate 50m Americans. The 30-year-old biotech — which has never before successfully brought a drug to market — has almost enrolled the 30,000 participants in its US trial.
PensionBee, the UK financial technology start-up, will enable customers to become shareholders under plans to list on the London Stock Exchange. In 2020, PensionBee reported a 77 per cent increase in revenue to £6.3m, with growth boosted as more people relied on online channels to manage their money during the pandemic.