Published: 06 January 2022
Location: London, UK
The government has changed the rules for travellers arriving into England from overseas. From 04:00 GMT tomorrow, people who are fully vaccinated and those aged under-18 will no longer need to take a test two days before travelling. On arrival, they will have to take a PCR test but will no longer have to self-isolate while awaiting the result. From 04:00 GMT on Sunday 9 January they will only have to take a lateral flow test instead of a PCR test on day two. This test must be bought from a private test provider - free NHS tests are still not allowed. Unvaccinated passengers will need to continue to take a pre-departure test, PCR tests on day two and day eight, and self-isolate for 10 days.
The Labour Party has reiterated its call for the 5% VAT rate on energy bills to be scrapped, demanding "serious solutions" for the rising cost of living. Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions yesterday, Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner MP said working families were "picking up the tab" for Boris Johnson's "incompetence" over the issue. However, the PM insists the government is providing several other schemes to help, including the Warm Homes Discount. A spike in wholesale gas prices has led to soaring energy bills in the UK and to date 27 energy companies have gone bust. Labour has been calling for the government to slash the 5% VAT rate on energy bills to zero since October.
Together Energy, which is 50%-owned by Warrington Borough Council and has 170,000 customers faces collapse. Sky News says the energy supplier is likely to run out of money later in January without an emergency capital injection, and that a last-ditch search for new funding is unlikely to come to fruition. The broadcaster quotes a source close to a process run by advisers to Together Energy as saying that Alvarez & Marsal, the professional services firm, was close to concluding its hunt for new funding for the business and that the prospect of a solvent deal was now remote. However, a spokeswoman for the company insisted on Wednesday that it was "still in active conversations".
Meta has lodged an appeal against the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), after the regulator decided to block its 2020 acquisition of animated image sharing platform Giphy. Last year, the CMA ruled last year that Meta – then known as Facebook - needed to sell Giphy after ruling that the $400m acquisition would reduce competition in the display advertising market. Yesterday however, the Competition Appeal Tribunal released a summary of Meta's application to appeal which claims the CMA had not properly considered its offer to ensure Giphy would continue to provide service to competitors on the same terms; that the CMA's procedure in reaching its decision to block the transaction was flawed; that Meta seeks an order to quash the CMA's decision entirely; and is also seeking costs from the regulator.
The Competition and Markets Authority said yesterday it has served an initial enforcement order over Capita's planned £62m sale of its emergency services business to NEC Software Solutions. The move means NEC and Capita cannot push ahead with the deal while the competition watchdog is deciding whether to refer it for an investigation. Capita agreed to sell its Secure Solutions and Services business to NEC in October last year.
The Ministry of Defence has announced a new five-year £460m logistics contract with Boeing Defence UK which it says will deliver £54m in efficiency savings and sustain 675 jobs across the Armed Forces supply chain. Around 300 jobs would be sustained at Boeing's sites in Milton Keynes and Bristol, as well 375 roles in the wider UK supply chain including at IBM, Fujitsu, SopraSteria and BAE Systems.
BAE Systems is set to recruit almost 1,700 apprentices and graduates this year - a record number. The British engineering giant invests £100 million in education, skills and early careers activities in the UK annually.
The RAC has accused petrol retailers of ripping off motorists by refusing to pass on wholesale price cuts, the BBC reports. The motoring organisation said unleaded petrol fell by 2p a litre, but should have come down by 12p. It estimated drivers were overcharged by £5m a day in December as retailers made an average of 16p a litre on petrol instead of the normal 6p. However, Gordon Balmer, executive director of the Petrol Retailers Association, hit back, saying: "December's pump price data is less reliable because it is taken from fuel card transactions, and there have been far fewer of these transactions because of the reduction in business activity between Christmas and New Year." He said the retail fuel market remained "extremely competitive" and said supermarkets did not use artificially low fuel prices to lure shoppers into their stores at Christmas. "The costs of running petrol stations rose all year, with electricity up 19%, vastly reduced margins from fuel cards, increased national insurance and wage inflation," he added.
Teneo, the strategic consulting firm which last year led the buyout of Deloitte's UK restructuring operations is close to announcing the acquisition of KPMG's Cayman and British Virgin Islands restructuring division, Sky News understands. The broadcaster says the move will give Teneo a foothold in key global markets for offshore insolvency.
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