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28 November 2021

Opinion from Adrian Leopard & Co

News impacting business from Adrian Leopard & Company - Insolvency Practioners & Mediators

Leopard News

Should we be worried that we can catch covid from our pets, and vice versa?

Should we be worried that we can catch covid from our pets, and vice versa?

Knowing that your pets can get covid means you need to add another layer of care within your home and daily life

This is a bit vexing but like everything else to do with this disease, caution has got to be the order of the day. However this could produce some really sad results. Imagine – you catch covid and off you go into self-isolation. Well that could be okay because you can have your “best friend” there to keep you company, can’t you?
Restaurant turnovers drop but take away booms

Restaurant turnovers drop but take away booms

There is a new dining landscape forming out of the new habits developed during the lockdown

It is a rather strange version of the grass always being greener on the other side. The pandemic brought about a significant reduction in restaurant turnover in 2020, albeit not surprising given the lockdown. This deduction has come from data provided by the top 25 UK restaurant groups.
COP26 vying for first position over covid

COP26 vying for first position over covid

Probably never since Noah’s Ark has man faced impending doom as he does now

For a while it maintained its top place; every news cast was about Afghanistan and the terrible issues it was raising. Then the last British and American troops left Kabul and suddenly it was all over. Now we get the odd article about it and some pretty terrible stuff too but even though the problems are probably worse now than they were at the start, covid took back over again.
If there were ever an admission that covid passports were useful, the government’s latest enquiry is it

If there were ever an admission that covid passports were useful, the government’s latest enquiry is it

Essential to keep checking at home so you contain the virus if you have it and keep your friends safe

As the UK weekly new cases hovers consistently and tantalisingly at just under a quarter of a million a week, today it is 243983, the government has launched a consultation requesting evidence on the proposal for mandatory covid passports for use in a Plan B scenario.
Are we really forgetting how dangerous covid-19 is?

Are we really forgetting how dangerous covid-19 is?

Most people have forgotten to worry about covid – no restrictions means it is okay

When you have issues like Afghanistan, exploding volcanoes on La Palma, diplomatic spats like France getting up tight because it loses an order for submarines, fuel queues at petrol stations and of course the other colourful tapestry of our news, perhaps it is easy to forget.

Light pollution – so easy to reduce!

Light pollution – so easy to reduce!

We need to think “little” as well as big; there are things we can all do to help our planet to survive

While there is a pandemic around we spend a lot of time analysing the figures, counting new cases, deaths and hospitalisations and indeed it is one of the most worrying facets of our lives today.

Are we being lulled into a false sense of security by the government attitude to whether we get infected by covid?

Are we being lulled into a false sense of security by the government attitude to whether we get infected by covid?

The message is changing, subtly but leaving no doubt as to its meaning

As cases continue to rise, new cases over the past seven days amounting to 238505 in the UK and deaths to 770, professors and others are saying that we are expected to catch covid a number of times in our lives and that on each occasion the effects of the disease should be milder.
Proms are back and with full audiences

Proms are back and with full audiences

Welcome return of the great British promenade concerts

2020 was a sad year for music lovers who normally throng to the BBC Promenade Concerts which are usually held in one of the country’s most iconic buildings, the Royal Albert Hall.

England dropping restrictions – how must others feel? Has this really been properly thought about?

England dropping restrictions – how must others feel? Has this really been properly thought about?

Government advice is that covid passes should be required for “large events”. What is a large event? Surely any event which pushes people together tightly is going to be risky?

Is the decision of the British government to relax restrictions a selfish act which has little regard for the needs of others or does it herald the way for the rest of the world?

It’s official – restrictions to be relaxed from 19th July

It’s official – restrictions to be relaxed from 19th July

It would be nice to be able to go and out believe you are safe but your safety will shortly be your own responsibility. No good relying on government any more

At the point of writing the precise relaxations are not yet known but we expect to hear from the Prime Minister shortly following the announcement from the Health Secretary in Parliament. By the time you read this probably the announcements will have been made.
Courtesy Nigel Farage we are reminded that asylum seekers continue to make illegal landings in Britain and the government does what?

Courtesy Nigel Farage we are reminded that asylum seekers continue to make illegal landings in Britain and the government does what?

It’s a lovely time of the year for a trip across the English Channel in a nice rubber boat, especially if you know that if there is any difficulty a nice Royal Navy ship will make every effort to come and save you and help you on your way

One thing is certain – probably Nigel Farage will never give up showing us how asylum seekers continue to arrive.

So much in the way of mixed up figures now – deaths today over 22000

So much in the way of mixed up figures now – deaths today over 22000

Case numbers go up and so are restrictions on going to other countries even though vaccinations continue

As our daily cases number now has crept over 22000, we learn that Portugal is stepping up it measures against holiday makers who cannot prove they are double vaccinated. And Portugal is not alone – Malta is to disallow arrivals who are not doubly vaccinated from Wednesday and Spain also needs travellers to show they are doubly vaccinated or produce a negative PCR test.

Spying right at the centre of government. Frightening

Spying right at the centre of government. Frightening

Someone has gone to a lot of trouble to bring about the Hancock revelations; when the dust has settled perhaps people will start to wonder why

What was the true motive for a camera in a government minister’s office, seemingly hidden in a smoke detector? At first we thought Matt Hancock had been rather careless, performing his act of failure to self-distance in front of a security camera!

New national flagship becoming a reality

New national flagship becoming a reality

It’s good to see that Britain is forging ahead with its world wide export boost

More information is emerging about the new national flagship seen as the successor to the Royal Yacht Britannia which was decommissioned as long ago as 1997. It seems like yesterday.

Truth spelt out by former government advisor

Truth spelt out by former government advisor

So do you think you are going to escape getting this virus? It is not actually a slam dunk

Sir David King, a former government chief scientific advisor, confirmed on television today that of those currently being hospitalised with covid-19, one in twenty five have already been double vaccinated.
Rise in UK cases is a real worry

Rise in UK cases is a real worry

We may yet have to batten down the hatches as cases start to increase exponentially

As the holiday and aviation industries get hot under the collar over the removal of Portugal from the green list, the ONS reports a 76.5% increase in cases in the past week in England.

Airships back in the news

Airships back in the news

Just think – noiseless travel in comfort; the ability to stop where you want and perhaps just hover in the sky. The possibilities are huge

Back in January we reported on how airships might become a transport of the future after the disastrous Hindenburg incident 84 years ago.

Britain’s borders going digital – wow!

Britain’s borders going digital – wow!

More form filling in advance but if it speeds things up on the day, that’s no bad thing

For a country which in so many ways spearheads world technology it must come as something of a shock to know that the government has no idea who is or is not in the country at any given time.

Railways – one of our greatest resources to become even greater?

Railways – one of our greatest resources to become even greater?

The new days of Great British Railways announced. The great nationalisation of the twenties – what an anachronism!

Michael Portillo is just one of many television presenters who have brought the railways of the world, let alone this country, into focus over the years with their amusing and sometimes startling documentaries on travel, railway architecture and engineering, and using books like Bradshaw’s guides!

Summer holiday options reduced as online holiday agent cancels bookings until September

Summer holiday options reduced as online holiday agent cancels bookings until September

All sorts of problems about going abroad on holiday and the earliest departure date has not even arrived yet

Is it all just too much of a frenzy? Is this desire to jet off to foreign parts just a reaction again having been stuck at home for so long? Is it really that important to get away that it is worth running the gauntlet with all the different restrictions and hurdles?

New royal yacht at last?

New royal yacht at last?

Now that Brexit has passed, it is a good time to start to promote Britain

It is amazing to think that the Royal Yacht Britannia was decommissioned as long ago as 1997 and that following a decision even earlier in 1994.

Pandemic is really getting out of control

Pandemic is really getting out of control

Not the right time to lower your guard when it comes to covid-19 safety

If you are in the UK it is really easy to begin to think that it is all over, with lockdown restrictions being lifted, life slowly returning to some semblance of normality and everyone crowing about how well the vaccination programme is going.

Wrongful convictions – what could be worse?

Wrongful convictions – what could be worse?

So much is lost in so many ways when this happens

In what has been described as the worst case of miscarriage of justice the UK has ever seen, 39 former postmasters have had their convictions for fraud and false accounting quashed.

Johns Hopkins offers new data

Johns Hopkins offers new data

Easy data calculations to see how coronavirus is trending at home and abroad

There is a lot of scurrying around going on now because of the growing uncertainty as to which way the covid-19 virus is going. Whilst it looks a little more promising from a UK perspective with deaths dropping, new cases have become rather static.
Poll finds hospitality industry expects covid passports to be introduced. What really are the issues?

Poll finds hospitality industry expects covid passports to be introduced. What really are the issues?

What is “covid safe”? Is there a percentage which you can put on “safety” and how will the high risk members of society decide to handle it?

It is perhaps something of a surprise but a new poll finds that hospitality businesses are anticipating that vaccination passports will be required for pubs and restaurants once they have fully opened up.
Al fresco gets your vote! But is there still risk?

Al fresco gets your vote! But is there still risk?

It’s great to see that hospitality is not dead! However, make sure while enjoying that you do not end up catching the dreaded lurgy

We are now well into the first week of trading for hospitality businesses in England this year. It was a week we all wondered about – what would happen? Would it do well, badly? Would the weather be with us or against?
The mobile phone – blessing or curse?

The mobile phone – blessing or curse?

It is really hard to imagine life today without your mobile telephone – even Grandma has one

When I was a young man, there was no such thing as a mobile phone. Ordinary people just did not have any form of easy communicator. If we were out and needed to call someone, we stopped at a telephone box
Positive moves to try and make life safer in a post-covid era

Positive moves to try and make life safer in a post-covid era

There really can be nothing more important than public safety when it comes to covid-19

While the press reports that some MPs consider the use of covid passports to be “divisive and discriminatory”, one wonders just to whom they are listening. Are they listening to the public, their constituents or are they listening to business enterprise?
The Union flag – enough is enough

The Union flag – enough is enough

It is time a stop was put to the anarchy we are seeing on a regular basis

Our message today will be short. The Union flag, known colloquially as the Union jack is the national flag of the United Kingdom.

John Lewis – will it survive?

John Lewis – will it survive?

Another nail in the retail coffin

The news that John Lewis has announced that another eight of its stores will not re-open after lockdown has ended is sad indeed and it is obviously very worrying for the 1465 staff whose jobs are at risk.
Third wave now anticipated across Europe – where does the UK stand? What about your foreign summer holidays now?

Third wave now anticipated across Europe – where does the UK stand? What about your foreign summer holidays now?

The sudden deterioration in covid-19 saturation is a major worry likely to bring Europe to its knees again

It can be seen as this week has progressed a heightening concern that Europe is now heading for a third wave – so says Germany in pointing out that even if they get on with their vaccination campaign there is no time to prevent it.
Wrangle over vaccination doses – inevitable?

Wrangle over vaccination doses – inevitable?

There is probably little that could have been done to increase supply. Such a massive rollout for the entire world is unlikely to pass without problems!

There is a always a potential problem when demand for a commodity exceeds supply and never has that been seen to be truer than now with covid-19 vaccines.

Learjet production to cease

Learjet production to cease

Another change in the aviation map – this time from a different angle

In that once the word “hoover” was synonymous with vacuum cleaner, to many at one time any business jet was known as a Learjet.
Europe – ironical as ever

Europe – ironical as ever

Europe announces vaccination certificate to help the poor British!

The news that the European Union is intent on the development of a vaccination certificate, to be known as a “digital green pass” is ironical in the extreme.

Is there no end to the potential uses of personal data? The hospitality industry has huge possibilities here

Is there no end to the potential uses of personal data? The hospitality industry has huge possibilities here

Your experiences of eating and drinking out stand a good chance of improving hugely as we move forward

It is ironical that it has taken a pandemic to bring forward the revolution of the use of personal data. When we think of this, normally our minds turn to identification, bank accounts, in fact just about anything but now your food preferences?

Vaccination passports – now the Prime Minster says they are under consideration. What groups of people may be pressing for these?

Vaccination passports – now the Prime Minster says they are under consideration. What groups of people may be pressing for these?

People are going to want to feel safe before their confidence in returning to normal life is going to be regained

Now that the Prime Minister has outlined the road map out of covid-19 restrictions, the debate has again turned to the issue of vaccination passports which we have mentioned a number of times now.

Windfall tax – is this the right time?

Windfall tax – is this the right time?

Is it unreasonable for exceptional profits made as a result of the misfortunes of others to be subject to an additional tax?

The economy has had some really bad hits during the pandemic; many businesses have gone bust and large numbers of people have lost their jobs. The future looks uncertain because we do not know when things will be able to get back to some semblance of normal working.
Aide memoire on number of coronavirus cases

Aide memoire on number of coronavirus cases

Good to have a catch up and remind ourselves of how coronavirus continues to circulate

As we wait with anticipation for the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday as to how the lockdown might be lifted by reference to data not dates, we thought it would help to have a reminder of how numbers are stacking up.
Vaccination passport – it is inevitable and the UK does not need to be left behind. But hospitality businesses need this

Vaccination passport – it is inevitable and the UK does not need to be left behind. But hospitality businesses need this

We are normally pioneers and yet everyone else is working to get there first!

It is only a few days ago when we raised the question of vaccination passports, who might need them and when. Since then the issue has come up a number of times and passports are going to be needed and the UK runs the risk of being left behind if it does not get on board.

Vaccination passport – this is as inevitable as the day is long!

Vaccination passport – this is as inevitable as the day is long!

It will be essential for people in many different areas of life to be able to prove that they have been vaccinated

The question of a vaccination passport is hotting up and the Health Secretary Matt Hancock has admitted on television that the matter is being discussed with other countries which are likely to require such a passport to allow people to go there.
Shoot the messenger – Britain’s great new game

Shoot the messenger – Britain’s great new game

Everyone is just being too impatient; there is nothing we can do to hurry this matter through

In ancient times, being the messenger was a double whammy – you probably got paid very little and as often as not your career would probably end up with your head being severed from your body, possibly being returned to your boss with compliments.
Multiplicity of vaccines; some may work better than others

Multiplicity of vaccines; some may work better than others

This is now the dominant news topic – which vaccines are going to be safe? Tomorrow it may all be different

There is no doubt that we are moving into a new phase of the Covid-19 crisis, one where no longer is a vaccine seen as the be all and end all, but just one of a number of competitors, some of which may work better than others.
Can employers insist that their employees are vaccinated against Covid-19 or indeed their customers?

Can employers insist that their employees are vaccinated against Covid-19 or indeed their customers?

It will definitely become “those who have and those who haven’t”. And it will become as divisive as everything else during this pandemic

The question as to whether any party has a right to insist that any other party must be vaccinated has been raised before and as yet there are no definitive answers – indeed there are various possibilities.
Following successful court case, insurance companies still reluctant to pay out on Covid-19 business interruption claims

Following successful court case, insurance companies still reluctant to pay out on Covid-19 business interruption claims

It is not unknown for a party to win a case but still feel he has lost it. Covid-19 business interruption claims must surely fall into that category

It is a real blow for some hoteliers and other hospitality operators but although there were insurance claims for business interruption, insurance companies fell over themselves to avoid making payouts, claiming that the cover did not extend to such exceptional circumstances or that the wording did not cover the present situation etc.

Vaccination? Yes please – but who is going to get it first?

Vaccination? Yes please – but who is going to get it first?

We have definitely moved to a new level in our war against Covid-19

The way the news has shifted in recent days over who is actually going to get their vaccinations is startling. The action of the EU on Friday trying to “secure their position” was extraordinary and has done them no good at all. It is a good job that they backed down.

Airships coming back as a serious mode of transport? Are you joking?

Airships coming back as a serious mode of transport? Are you joking?

May be “new norm” won’t be all bad! Definitely aviation with a twist

When the word “airship” is used, no doubt it conjures up in our minds that dreadful accident in 1937 in New Jersey when the Hindenberg caught fire. It was probably the most famous aviation disaster ever caught on camera and basically brought about the end of airships as a realistic form of transport. Airships, also known as “blimps” have continued to exist but are a relative rarity.
Night time businesses under imminent threat of closure

Night time businesses under imminent threat of closure

This is really high risk stuff so no chance it is going to open up again any time soon!

Time marches on and some businesses are now getting sufficiently weighed down with debt that they are just going to close and I am referring in particular to night time businesses, bars and clubs with live music which by their nature involve their patrons in close contact. We are talking of the Night Time Industries Association members.

Debenhams – another household name leaves on-street retail

Debenhams – another household name leaves on-street retail

Change is our society just keeps romping on. Another chain store closing its retail outlets is just another nail in the coffin

The announcement today that Debenhams has been sold comes as no surprise as we knew it was insolvent. However, the rub is that the name and website has been bought, but not the bricks and mortar in the various high street shops up and down the country. This is not the first name to go this way and certainly will not be the last.

Shock new covid cases in Guernsey

Shock new covid cases in Guernsey

It shows that even a location with the all clear can easily become reinfected

Guernsey on Saturday announced four new covid-19 cases after seven months of being virtually clear of the disease and implemented an immediate lockdown.

End of an era – Mr Marmite departs for Florida

End of an era – Mr Marmite departs for Florida

Whether you are furious or heaving a sigh of relief, things are certainly going to be different for a while

Well he has now gone – whether you like him or hate him, Donald Trump has certainly been an influence on all of our lives and no one could possibly have failed to be aware of his presence in the White House.
Christmas and New Year are over. Now into the bleak mid-winter?

Christmas and New Year are over. Now into the bleak mid-winter?

2021 is going to be a very hard year for the hospitality industry; there is just no indication of when things could start to improve

As we all know, December is generally one of the best months of the year for trade in the hospitality industry. People all have their office Christmas parties and over Christmas families go out drinking and eating and at new year, yes getting well oiled is definitely the order of the day.
As the vaccinations proceed everyone wants to know when the lockdown will be over

As the vaccinations proceed everyone wants to know when the lockdown will be over

News is full of vaccines so everyone thinks they can go back to normal. They are going to be disappointed

Last week ended with a pot pourri of different matters coming to the top but the predominant news is all about vaccinating the people, both in the UK and world wide. And it does sound both exciting and encouraging. The spin doctors are in their element.
Should the NHS be liable for deaths of patients?

Should the NHS be liable for deaths of patients?

The trouble is that everyone wants someone to be responsible no matter what the problem is

The increase in fatalities in the NHS has raised the question about whether members of the NHS staff should be liable for deaths when they have to make what are potentially life and death decisions about who to treat, for example if there are two patients and only one ventilator.

Covid variants – panic building so why let them in?

Covid variants – panic building so why let them in?

The trouble is too many people are too impatient. They want predictions it is impossible to give accurately

It’s all about Covid-19 at the moment. Hospitals bulging to overflowing, patients being examined in corridors and ambulances and doctors tearing their hair out because of insufficient resources. How did we allow this to creep up on us without realising what was about to happen?

Food parcels for children short measured. Who is getting the benefit?

Food parcels for children short measured. Who is getting the benefit?

All we have seen so far is what is on the surface. Drill down and you may get a shock

I was brought up to learn that one man’s profit was another man’s loss and indeed so it must be. For all the swirls of cash in an economy, that is just circulating money between people and creates nothing. The only real profit which can be made is something like growth of plants or animals brought on by nature or the mining of minerals etc.
Avatar Airlines’ fantastic plan for the future. Do you know about this?

Avatar Airlines’ fantastic plan for the future. Do you know about this?

An interesting plan. Can it possibly succeed?

A little while ago we reported the arrival of British Airways’ final 747 ‘Queen of the Skies’ at Cotswold Aerodrome where she, and her cohorts already awaiting their fate, would most likely be ‘parted out’ (scrapped). In fact that particular 747 has been acquired by the aerodrome authority for development as a (static) conference and learning facility, but the fact remains that there is simply no second hand market for these aeroplanes; long haul super-large four engine airliners have had their day. The long haul skies today belong to the new generation of twin-engined jets.
Isn’t it time we took steps to help ourselves, both at national and personal levels?

Isn’t it time we took steps to help ourselves, both at national and personal levels?

Crisis deepens and there appears to be no real end in sight

Anyone who follows the news will surely now be getting the feelings of panic which are beginning to pervade our medical services and government at this time. The issue of hospitals running out of places is what was intended to be avoided at all costs at the beginning of this pandemic; the strategy worked back in the first lockdown but has now clearly failed.

The USA – who would have believed it?

The USA – who would have believed it?

Is democracy going down the slippery slope?

Worldwide people sat inter alia with jaws dropped as the country probably regarded as the most free and democratic of the world televised the invasion of their capitol building by angry protestors as the house was proceeding to meet to conduct what was simply a procedural matter, namely to record the votes for the next president and declare him duly elected.

Covid restrictions likely to get tighter

Covid restrictions likely to get tighter

Children may be safe in schools but is it right to ask staff to take the risk?

The Prime Minister has let it be known that there is a prospect of Covid-19 restrictions getting tighter. I suspect this news will come as something of a relief to many as the country enters into a new debate – should schools open or remain closed?
When do you think you are going to get your vaccination?

When do you think you are going to get your vaccination?

It’s time that the government started to tighten up on everything to do with this pandemic before it gets too late

If you are one of the half a million British to have had a vaccination, count yourself lucky. But you may be waiting for your second dose much longer than you thought. The fact is that it seems like the UK is making itself look really stupid over the manner in which it is handling the vaccination programme.

It’s Christmas – time of good cheer - hopefully!

It’s Christmas – time of good cheer - hopefully!

For each of us perhaps Christmas means something different but in the UK it is important.

I remember many years ago in the nineties when I was in the USA doing my flight training, it was November and one day I went into a big shopping mall – I think it was in Memphis. Everywhere hanging from the ceiling were great big posters with the words “Christmas is all about giving”.
Brexit – will we, won’t we? Whoops – behind you!

Brexit – will we, won’t we? Whoops – behind you!

If the politicians come to an accord, we still have to get the parliaments to agree – that has previously proved more than difficult!

Whether you are a deal or no deal person, I do not think anyone can deny that they are excited by the prospect of a finalised deal and to read the small print. Of course as they always say, the devil is in the detail and with 2000 pages to read between now and, oh yes, about 29th December, this should afford some excellent bed time reading over the forthcoming holiday, perfect in fact for a lockdown.

Christmas is now paling into insignificance against the competing claims to fame of Brexit and a more easily transmissible variety of Covid-19.

Christmas is now paling into insignificance against the competing claims to fame of Brexit and a more easily transmissible variety of Covid-19.

As visitors from the UK are banned by more and more countries across the world, the problem really is deteriorating fast.

What a weekend it has been; hardly anything said in relation to Brexit where the government continues what must be the most turgid of negotiations ever held by anyone but all eyes have suddenly turned to the new variant of Covid-19 which they tell us is 70% more likely to get caught than the first variety.
What is a Prime Minister to do? Damned either way.

What is a Prime Minister to do? Damned either way.

New restrictions and removal of relaxations for Christmas will disappoint a lot of people.

There is no doubt that there will be many people very unhappy with the announcement which has been made by the Prime Minister more or less cancelling Christmas unless you live locally. People have certainly been looking forward to getting with families, in some cases for the first time for months.

More news about Long Covid – do you realise how serious this can be? This is a must read.

More news about Long Covid – do you realise how serious this can be? This is a must read.

Whatever you think about how good or bad it will be to get Covid-19, you really do not want Long Covid

News is beginning to percolate through again about the effects of what has been styled “Long Covid” or also known as post-Covid Syndrome. In bad cases the symptoms of this can last for many weeks or possibly months and there are patients who are finding serious breathing difficulties and who find it hard to walk even 100 yards before running out of breath.
Why an immunity certificate will be essential for clubs and societies as well as the hospitality industry

Why an immunity certificate will be essential for clubs and societies as well as the hospitality industry

In order to be reintegrated we shall all need to prove we have taken the necessary steps to protect ourselves and those around us

It does appear that we are approaching a crisis point with regard to coronavirus cases. After having another complete lockdown, it does appear as if that did not do the trick beyond a certain levelling off of cases but now it is over, it looks like the transmission of Covid-19 has gone into overdrive
Repetition. Is it boring? Not always!

Repetition. Is it boring? Not always!

Looking back at history can sometimes be most enlightening.

My readers will know that we had something of a catastrophe a month ago when the ISP holding all our website data and our e mail data was hacked in a concerted ransomeware attack. Even their backup data was compromised, such that their clients lost everything – or certainly this client did.
Deal or no deal – that is the question!

Deal or no deal – that is the question!

Up and down and round and about. I just feel dizzy this week with the Brexit comings and goings.

It has been a strange week and the public probably feels like it has been a real rollercoaster period. Even now, we do not know if there is going to be a deal when Brexit clicks in fully at the end of this month.
No Vaccination certificates? This is incredibly short-sighted and naïve in the extreme!

No Vaccination certificates? This is incredibly short-sighted and naïve in the extreme!

Proving you have had the vaccination is bound to become essential if you want full access to services in due course.

As the excitement of getting first vaccinations done romps on, thoughts are already being turned to the future. As we surmised yesterday, comments are already being made about the less well-off countries which may not get the vaccines because the wealthy countries decide to hoard them.
Is this just the “shot in the arm” we need? First vaccinations at last.

Is this just the “shot in the arm” we need? First vaccinations at last.

We need something to be happy about. The first vaccinations are a milestone in the present pandemic.

It would be most remiss of us not to mark the day of the first vaccinations against Covid-19 in the UK with the Pfizer vaccine. Noting all the television interviews, there is no doubt that everyone seems to have a spring in their step today as the first aged pensioners are given their vaccinations across the country.
Plant a tree year! Something we can all share in.

Plant a tree year! Something we can all share in.

Plant Britain. A great new initiative to make our country nicer and help with the carbon emissions problem.

There does seem to be a real impetus growing in terms of wanting to do something about our climate change problems. It’s taken its time, mind you, but there are now various ideas which are being floated which people can adopt to help.
Up up and away! 737 MAX takes to the skies again.

Up up and away! 737 MAX takes to the skies again.

As the 737 retires it looks like the 737 MAX will be the start of a new era in aviation.

Wednesday 3rd December marked the beginning of the end of the Boeing Commercial Airplane Company’s 19-month nightmare that is the model 737 MAX. It began a series of passenger carrying flights with its hitherto grounded and recently re-certified fleet aimed at restoring public confidence in the type.
As we see light at the end of the tunnel, society will start to re-evaluate itself.

As we see light at the end of the tunnel, society will start to re-evaluate itself.

When we go outside and the real light dawns when the pandemic is over, we are in for a big shock.

Since the beginning of the restrictions and the first lockdown, huge amounts of things have changed in the economic field. Many businesses have suffered terribly by being closed, most especially the hospitality industry and of course some businesses have done very well and others have even prospered beyond belief because of Covid-19.
Fauci – hasty withdrawal as anger mounts!

Fauci – hasty withdrawal as anger mounts!

We need some good news, don’t we? The cavalry is coming!

When Dr Fauci made his unforgivable remarks yesterday about how the US uses the gold standard while the UK had not carried out the task of vetting the new vaccine by Pfizer properly, this not surprisingly caused such anger that he was later forced to apologise.

How will our divided society deal with post-Covid?

How will our divided society deal with post-Covid?

As the Covid-19 crisis moves on, so do the arguments and differences of opinion and gradually people take more and more entrenched positions. No discussions then.

With all the present rows about whether we should favour greater lockdowns or greater if not complete relaxations of controls, our minds have not turned to a great extent towards the future and what that will look like. Do we think that the day we get a vaccine against Covid-19 will be the day we all kiss and make up and put our differences behind us?
Country awash with dissatisfaction over further lockdown proposals. Isn’t the problem not enough transparency?

Country awash with dissatisfaction over further lockdown proposals. Isn’t the problem not enough transparency?

When people have the facts put to them in a straightforward and matter of fact manner, they usually understand the ramifications. That is what we need.

The prospect of a government losing a major plank of its Covid-19 protection measures because up to 100 of its own backbenchers voting against them is bizarre in the extreme. We have talked a great deal about a divided country but a division of this nature makes absolutely no sense at all.
Advertising – sometimes it all seems so illogical. High in fat, sugar and salt – HFSS.

Advertising – sometimes it all seems so illogical. High in fat, sugar and salt – HFSS.

Covid-19 and the US elections are happily not the only issues in our news these days. Obesity is still a big problem.

Probably the greatest paradox between product and advertising came with cigarettes. For decades harvesting tobacco to make cigarettes was big busines worldwide – UK companies even sent employees abroad to manage their tobacco plants in countries like Argentina and India – livelihoods were sustained and children even sent back to Britain to attend boarding school – and there are still plenty of people alive today who were amongst them!
Covid-19 – a vaccine? How exciting!

Covid-19 – a vaccine? How exciting!

Before we all go around saying “it’s over”, hold on a mo’.

There is no doubt that the announcement of a vaccine which is effective against Covid-19 is really exciting news. It is just what we need to hear. However we also need to avoid getting over-excited about it as there is still a long way to go.
Restaurants to remain takeaways for the time being at least but big rent bills looming and no money to pay them.

Restaurants to remain takeaways for the time being at least but big rent bills looming and no money to pay them.

A positive development which may be part of the new norm but only if these outlets can remain in business.

One of the changes in rules which was made in March at the beginning of the pandemic was that restaurants and pubs could operate as takeaways as well. This was not previously permitted as operating a takeaway required separate planning permission.
Marston’s and Carlsberg merge

Marston’s and Carlsberg merge

Two iconic brands get together but let’s hope their respective products retain their identity!

Business is business and brands can get together in what can seem confusing unions. The merger of Marston’s with Carlsberg seems like mixing two incompatible words in one sentence. Looking at it from the point of view of a traditional English ale drinker, it is like pouring the amber nectar into fizzy pop!
Hospitality industry in trouble again – businesses beginning to count the cost.

Hospitality industry in trouble again – businesses beginning to count the cost.

The harder we work to make the lockdown successful, the sooner we shall all come out the other side.

Whether or not you are in favour of another lockdown, what is certain is that our hospitality industry really is taking a beating with this terrible virus. After the chancellor of the exchequer introduced his remarkable scheme of eat out to help out, sadly there is now a school of thought propagating the view that this was a false economy

Let’s pile on the restrictions and is there a face mask fashion in the making?

Let’s pile on the restrictions and is there a face mask fashion in the making?

Things are really getting serious as the UK government changes its position dramatically over the virus.

Clearly on Friday I was not the only one who was depressed about the way the Covid-19 pandemic is going. As yesterday the number of world cases passed 46 million and declared deaths passed 1.2 million, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been persuaded by his scientific experts that we were not doing enough to stop the spread of the disease. Moreover the UK yesterday has passed the milestone of 1 million cases according to Johns Hopkins.
Is Covid-19 the nemesis of our ultimate downfall?

Is Covid-19 the nemesis of our ultimate downfall?

As more people go into high states of lockdown, will the people obey?

As October draws to a close this weekend I cannot help but feel that this has been a depressing month so far as Covid-19 news is concerned and I do not cease to amaze at the attitude of some people, mostly younger but not all, whose approach is that they cannot cope with more restrictions and therefore they are going to ignore them.
Going to France? This is how it looks now. Compare that with the UK.

Going to France? This is how it looks now. Compare that with the UK.

How many other countries in Europe will be following this example? Probably loads. Britain too?

Last night at 8pm Central European Time we gathered around the TV to listen to the President of the Republic address the nation, and deliver perhaps one of the worst kept secrets so far this year. We are back in lockdown, a decision taken in conjunction with the opposition parties and trade unions, in other words all those in responsibility.

What is essential expenditure and who is responsible for school meals?

What is essential expenditure and who is responsible for school meals?

It looks like lockdowns are only acceptable if they suit the populace. Can that actually work?

The Covid-19 crisis really has descended into a state of farce in Wales with the requirement that shops which normally sell “non-essential” goods alongside essential goods are not allowed to. I think that whoever came up with this was was “havin’ a larf”, wasn’t he???
Why do our leaders let us down?

Why do our leaders let us down?

Lots of confusing situations to keep us busy this weekend!

There is no doubt that it makes it a lot more difficult for the general pubic to follow difficult instructions when we so often see those in society elevated to lead us ignoring the very instructions they have given to us.
Covid-19 is just a mild form of flu so a day or so with hot whiskey and lemon and I’ll be right as rain. Right?

Covid-19 is just a mild form of flu so a day or so with hot whiskey and lemon and I’ll be right as rain. Right?

A darker shadow is being cast by Covid-19 now and is not to be under-estimated.

Since Covid-19 first emerged many thousands of doctors, specialists, virologists and other experts around the world have worked tirelessly to find out what it is and how it affects us. It is a tribute to modern medicine that there is so much expertise out there and that people are able to diagnose problems.
Alas alack – hopefully playing with people’s lives is over now

Alas alack – hopefully playing with people’s lives is over now

I am sure that most of the country want to see these high tier restrictions avoided so there really is a job to do to get this virus stopped.

It is very sad indeed that the parties allowed the question of saving lives to get mixed up with how much money we are going to get out of it, because that is what we have witnessed over recent days with the row between Great Manchester mayor and the government.
Flybe’s resurrection has been announced!

Flybe’s resurrection has been announced!

Will the stress of flying be removed as long as there is a risk of Covid-19?

It is no doubt a surprise to many that Flybe, the airline which went into administration back in March has been bought and is expected to get started up again. The purchaser is Thyme Opco who are linked to Cyrus Capital, a company which was part of a Virgin-led rescue attempt for the airline last year.
Anger increasing; differences widening. How do we come to a consensus?

Anger increasing; differences widening. How do we come to a consensus?

As the country closes down bit by bit, arguments rage on. How are they going to be resolved?

Ever heard of the expression “ever decreasing circles”? Well if there were ever a time when that applied it is now. As if we did not have enough trouble fighting a hidden virus which is over-taking our society, people are now getting more and more angry and starting to argue. And what is it about? Not the virus really but money.
The UK enters a new phase of approach to Covid-19

The UK enters a new phase of approach to Covid-19

The long awaited new restrictions have been announced but little in the way of surprises.

With the complications of a number of different systems in operation at once and with additional restrictions being imposed in some locations on top, it is going to be necessary for everyone to concentrate on what the restrictions are in all areas and for the people to take full responsibility in trying to make the new measures actually work.
As the situation deteriorates the hospitality industry must feel it is fighting a losing battle now. What? Dinner without a decent drink?

As the situation deteriorates the hospitality industry must feel it is fighting a losing battle now. What? Dinner without a decent drink?

Alcohol consumption clearly seen as a serious threat in relation to the spread of Covid-19.

The Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, took a bold step and announced the closure of pubs and the banning of alcohol sales on a vast scale, as well as greatly reduced hours for hospitality businesses in Scotland as the number of new cases continues to get worse.
At last Home Office looks like getting to grips with asylum seekers

At last Home Office looks like getting to grips with asylum seekers

It is time to turn a real problem into a major opportunity. The British could lead the way.

It has been reported that the Home Office is looking to purchase not one but two disused ferries to house asylum seekers while they wait for their applications to be considered. The Times newspaper has apparently reported that a disused ferry can be bought from Italy for £6 million. Such a vessel could apparently house 1400 asylum seekers across 141 cabins.
What will be the ramifications of working from home?

What will be the ramifications of working from home?

Will society become less “social” or is this just a relatively short term aberration?

A lot of people have grumbled about the U turn by the government concerning going back to work. Having been told to work from home if at possible, the government then decided to try and get people back to work if at all possible. Then the spread of the virus got worse and the instruction was reversed.
What can be done for university students? A mad proposal?

What can be done for university students? A mad proposal?

Time to come up with grand ideas – as they say “everything is possible”

Education is one of the principal planks of our modern-day society. In no circumstances can it be neglected, whether the students are small children or mature adults finding a new start in life. Britain is noted as one of the top educational countries in the world and Britain is rightfully proud of it.

Differences of opinion are easier to resolve when dignity and courtesy are maintained

Differences of opinion are easier to resolve when dignity and courtesy are maintained

We have a growing national dispute where everyone actually wants the same result. Let the parties concentrate on their common interests to resolve the matter

The problem with the ever-dividing opinions of the nation is that the language used tends to be so intemperate and uncompromising. So hat off to Sophie Ridge of Sky today because she brought two distinguished professors on to her news programme to discuss the pandemic.
As the week has moved forward, tempers have become frayed and differences of opinion have been getting more divided

As the week has moved forward, tempers have become frayed and differences of opinion have been getting more divided

It was all so much easier when we were in full lockdown; now order out of chaos has been reversed – chaos out of order

As the week has gone forward we have heard more and more howls of anguish from the hospitality trade over the 10pm curfew and now it appears that the Conservative party is splitting over the government’s controls with some 40 MPs threatening to vote against the rule of 6.
Chancellor does it again – some targeted relief for business. But are sandwich shops worth more than human lives?

Chancellor does it again – some targeted relief for business. But are sandwich shops worth more than human lives?

Government moves to show a way forward for businesses to start making hard decisions

A week ago we commented on whether the time had come to start to let inevitable failures fail. It is a hard decision to make but with life changing so very dramatically, it certainly is inevitable that some businesses will not recover in the way that we knew them.

Restrictions – good or bad? Let’s look again in the cold light of day

Restrictions – good or bad? Let’s look again in the cold light of day

The long haul would be made a lot easier if people could try and come together instead of just arguing all of the time

I find myself ever more surprised at the extraordinary diversity of views following the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday when we were advised that the government was increasing the restrictions consequent on the spread of Covid-19. What is becoming clear is that the country is dividing itself down the middle with ever increasing contradictory statements delivered with such feeling.
News for hospitality industry is rather depressing

News for hospitality industry is rather depressing

Let us hope that the deterioration has not gone too far already

When the chancellor’s eat out to help out scheme was in full swing, pubs and restaurants did amazingly well. 100 million meals were sold. Not bad, eh? And then when hotels were able to re-open, many hotels did absolutely bumper business in August – indeed some hoteliers said that they made up for all the months of closure with the influx of business, and all of that without foreign business as the foreigners were not here.
What will a new lockdown look like?

What will a new lockdown look like?

Weekend – a good time for reflection

Matters are moving on apace as the public begins to experience the new restrictions as they come into force bit by bit. But one of the more significant bits of news is Prime Minister’s intention to have talks to consider whether further restrictions should be imposed on the whole country.
A portent of things to come for the whole of the UK? Restrictions reflect the panic in the government’s eye

A portent of things to come for the whole of the UK? Restrictions reflect the panic in the government’s eye

Once again the people need to realise that matters are going to get a lot worse before they get any better

It is almost like comparing the haves to the have nots. Now virtually the whole of the north of England is being subjected to new restrictions, that is except for Blackpool and so far no one has explained why Blackpool is being given preferential treatment!

Booking.com to close a number of its world offices including two in the UK. Will this affect you?

Booking.com to close a number of its world offices including two in the UK. Will this affect you?

Worldwide travel industry is facing an immense reduction in size. This is more than just a short term glitch

Just about everyone who stays at a hotel at any time knows about Booking.com. As online travel agents, OTAs, go, it is probably just about the best known. Their site is comprehensive and they include loads of photographs of proposed destinations and provide a fairly good amount of information about venues to enable people to make their selections.

Some good news for businesses today. You may be insured after all says High Court

Some good news for businesses today. You may be insured after all says High Court

It is not normal for English civil courts to be quick but today they have excelled themselves!

They say that sometimes good things come in small parcels. Whether a High Court judgement running to some 162 pages is a small parcel or not, the outcome of the trial held to determine whether  insurance companies could avoid business interruption liability due to Covid-19 will be music to the ears of some. This trial has been something of a remarkable matter – the whole thing thus far has taken merely a matter of months to be set down and heard at first level and a lengthy judgement given.
Possession proceedings for commercial premises – there are two sides to every story – and there could be quite a few sides

Possession proceedings for commercial premises – there are two sides to every story – and there could be quite a few sides

Perhaps landlords and tenants should think about mediation before embarking on the litigation route to resolve their differences

As the pandemic rolls on, the cries are getting louder for the government to extend the moratorium in respect of possession proceedings for commercial premises where rents are in arrears due to coronavirus. One hospitality business association is now saying that if the moratorium is not extended the government will face a “bloodbath” of business failures.
Latest Covid-19 statistics are an eye-opener for those over 50

Latest Covid-19 statistics are an eye-opener for those over 50

With numbers rising again, it is bad news for those over 50

We can be forgiven for thinking that the government is in a state of panic – that is because it is. Hark back to President Trump who said he down-played the pandemic so as not to cause panic. Whether you believe that to be the case or not, I for one am one of those people who would rather hear it told as it is – warts and all. Surely the majority of thinking people are capable of making up their own minds as to the relative dangers of the situation we are in. Would we not rather just hear the truth?
Crystal balls sadly in short supply so is it time for serious scientific attempts to try and foresee the future?

Crystal balls sadly in short supply so is it time for serious scientific attempts to try and foresee the future?

We can only plan for the future if we can make some pretty good guesses about how it could look. What will “new norm” be?

Who could have foreseen it all? Did anyone think that in 2020 the world would be brought to its knees by a pandemic? If anyone had suggested it, there would have been comments like “what do you know that we don’t?”.
Financial pressures are going to start to build up, notably in hospitality

Financial pressures are going to start to build up, notably in hospitality

The shock of battening down the hatches has not yet dawned

The hospitality industry is likely to be facing increased financial pressure over the forthcoming weeks. The industry has found itself in a unique position having been more or less closed down in March. We are now beginning to see the premises which have not re-opened since the lockdown was relaxed and which are beginning to announce that they will not re-open, at least under the same ownership.
New cases means greater restrictions

New cases means greater restrictions

It’s all in the hands of the people – but the enforcement authorities are being given more powers

It cannot be denied that anxiety is on the increase. Numbers of new cases are growing at an alarming rate and already we are on notice that groups of more than six people are going to be outlawed in England, whether in or outside, subject to a few exemptions, details of which are awaited but include weddings and funerals.

2 metre social-distancing is just fine, isn’t it?

2 metre social-distancing is just fine, isn’t it?

Meetings of any length in groups is really a no-no, even outside

The temperature is rising, possibly literally, as the number of new Covid-19 cases rises sharply and the government is clearly getting worried, very worried indeed in fact. And all of this comes at the time when children are going back to school – something regarded as an absolute necessity if we to avoid a generation of children coming out of school under-educated.
Yet more circles to go around with quarantine rules

Yet more circles to go around with quarantine rules

It’s time the media stopped hyping up quarantine issues. Those who get caught out simply took a gamble and lost

Have you noticed that it is getting rather frenetic on television over the changes to the quarantine rules? And then when they tell us what the travellers say, most of them admit that they knew they were taking a risk
Digital ID cards – looks like they really could be on the way

Digital ID cards – looks like they really could be on the way

Impersonation of others is so easy these days – trouble is we are too trusting!

Over the years the idea of carrying an identity card in the UK has been a source of great controversy. The reasons why there are objections seem to revolve around the fact that it is yet a further encroachment into personal liberty but perhaps the time really has come when personal freedoms are less important than the needs of society to ensure that personal identity is always verifiable.
To discount or not to discount – that is the question

To discount or not to discount – that is the question

Eating out always has been a caveat emptor issue but more so than ever at the moment!

The chancellor’s eat out to help out scheme is now closed. Considering the novelty of the idea when it was announced, it does appear to have been an incredible success with some restaurants saying they have never had a busier August than this one. The scheme has cost a great deal of money with well over 64 million meals being sold.

Discount meal scheme to be continued by some venues into September

Discount meal scheme to be continued by some venues into September

Enjoy cheaper food while it lasts – September probably heralds something different

The chancellor’s eat out to help out scheme has one further day to run after today, next Monday which is a bank holiday. Although there have been calls for the chancellor to extend his scheme this has not been done and it would be surprising if it were given that the ball is being picked up by others.

Where have all the people gone? Do we have a long-lasting shift in attitudes on the way?

Where have all the people gone? Do we have a long-lasting shift in attitudes on the way?

Although the lockdown has been relaxed, society just does not seem to be out and about like it used to be

It seems a strange thing but it is really difficult to know just what the British people think about their present situation. On the one hand we have the Prime Minister urging people where possible to go back to work. And yet the bigger cities are still relatively deserted, notably London where some are beginning to predict the on-set of a real problem – a city without workers and where basic shops and restaurants are going to start to go out of business because of lack of trade.

Time to look at the numbers again – why are more countries being added to the quarantine list?

Time to look at the numbers again – why are more countries being added to the quarantine list?

With the information in this article, you will have all the tools you need to determine the level of risk of having to quarantine when you return to the UK

The World Health Organisation today said that they hoped the Covid-19 pandemic would be over in “under two years”. This seems to be putting down a clear marker for the world to ruminate over – another two years of what we are going through?

Boeing 737MAX getting closer to re-entering service. Is that something to worry about?

Boeing 737MAX getting closer to re-entering service. Is that something to worry about?

New aeroplanes coming into service may be a little superfluous to requirements at the moment until business builds back up

In a previous post via this forum I discussed the withdrawal around the globe of the Boeing 737MAX-8 and MAX-9 airliners, and the technical reasons for that decision. I concluded by speculating whether the type would ever return to service, and if it did, whether it would be promoted under the same name, and what the passenger reaction might be once they realised that they were about to travel on a MAX?
Asylum seekers not satisfied with all the free handouts. They want more!

Asylum seekers not satisfied with all the free handouts. They want more!

This affair promises to get more heated as the days go by

If you have been following our news feeds, you will recall that we have highlighted the issue of asylum seekers arriving in Britain and being given the 4 star treatment, transported on posh coaches, accommodated with three square meals a day in 4 star hotels and even getting jollies to places like Anfield, and a cash handout as well.
Turnover based rents – could this be the way forward for the future in hospitality? Could it herald the difference between survival or insolvency?

Turnover based rents – could this be the way forward for the future in hospitality? Could it herald the difference between survival or insolvency?

Whatever else Covid-19 has done, it has taught us significant lessons in relation to business matters. We need to be ready in case it happens again in the future

As things stand, a lease is not an asset – it is a liability other than in very limited circumstances. This fact has never been better known than it has during the pandemic lockdown. Businesses have had to close by government order but their rents continue to accrue and become due.
Why are UK Covid-19 cases on the increase? Off to your country house hotel stay?

Why are UK Covid-19 cases on the increase? Off to your country house hotel stay?

As we said previously, putting a stop to the spread of Covid-19 is really in the hands of the people

There is no getting away from it – the gentle drop in new cases in the UK has suffered a quite clear reverse over the past couple of weeks. New cases have now been back in four figures for several days after what might have been seen as an encouraging reduction down to the mid-hundreds.
Technology in the hospitality industry – this is going to grow a lot

Technology in the hospitality industry – this is going to grow a lot

One sector of the economy is booming – hospitality technology!

If there is one thing which has moved forward apace during the coronavirus pandemic it is the development of technology to make the hospitality business more “Covid-19 friendly”. People using restaurants and hotels are already beginning to see these developments in operation but perhaps they are not aware of the extent of where things are moving to.

Asylum seekers – there must be another way

Asylum seekers – there must be another way

Free jollies to football stadium for asylum seekers? Has the British government gone nuts?

The granting of asylum to persecuted people has always been a corner-stone of British life; we only have to go back to the world wars to know how our compatriots responded to the call of duty to bring freedom to other peoples. And I am the first to say that I have no problem whatsoever with peoples of other races settling into our society, as so many have over so long.
A little reminder – eat out to help out

A little reminder – eat out to help out

Nice weather coming up – a great opportunity to take advantage of the government scheme for contributing to your meals

Tomorrow Monday 10th sees the second “batch” of days when you can get a helping hand with your dinner costs from the Chancellor of the Exchequer. This is his scheme “eat out to help out” where he will contribute 50% of your food and soft drinks costs up to £10 per person.
Andorra? Hardly a major hive of coronavirus new cases!

Andorra? Hardly a major hive of coronavirus new cases!

Expect the list of countries added to the quarantine list to increase as numbers rise

It is creeping up on us and we are not supposed to notice! Quarantining incoming personnel into the country is going to be around for a very long time – that is becoming clear. With three countries in the world now reporting new cases in the millions, USA 5.0, Brazil 2.9 and India 2.0, with a host of other countries reporting significant numbers of new cases, the incidence of Covid-19 is definitely on the increase.
Hospitality – terrible contortions in the market. Plenty of empty hotels

Hospitality – terrible contortions in the market. Plenty of empty hotels

As the country moves towards the opening up of trading, business pressures will pile up. What will the new normal be?

Little cheer is gained by noting that only about 50% of central London offices are expecting to re-open in full this side of the new year. That may be good for employers and employees but will bring no optimism to the tens of thousands of hospitality businesses in London, ranging from take-away sandwich shops to posh restaurants and hotels. It has been well known for a couple of months now that major hotel groups are looking at mass redundancies over the next month or so.
Is a choice between education and hospitality a realistic one?

Is a choice between education and hospitality a realistic one?

As second wave becomes more likely, difficult decisions are going to have to be made

The recent discussions over the choice of re-opening the schools or keeping pubs and restaurants open seem to show that perhaps we are beginning to lose our marbles. Both of these issues are of extreme importance in relation to the future handling of the pandemic but to say that a decision should be taken to have one or the other can only be an emotive one and the author of the suggestion could not have considered all the points involved.

Could closing the borders get rid of Covid-19?

Could closing the borders get rid of Covid-19?

How would the people respond to a really aggressive approach to getting Covid-19 out of Britain?

It is perhaps a little known fact that there are areas which belong to Britain which are clear of coronavirus. You cannot tell this from looking at Johns Hopkins as their table brackets the “Channel Islands” as one territory but in fact the Bailiwick of Guernsey is Covid-19 free and life has gone back to normal, even down to kissing and hugging!

Half price meals on the government starts today – is this too good to be true?

Half price meals on the government starts today – is this too good to be true?

If you want to take advantage of the government hand-out don’t delay – it won’t be around for long

It is an old adage that there is no such thing as a free lunch but now for the first time ever there is such a thing as a half price lunch! This is the remarkable “eat out to help out” initiative announced a month ago by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and today, 3rd August is the first day on which it applies.

What price a foreign holiday now?

What price a foreign holiday now?

The education in how the spread of the virus affects people is sadly deficient as the people do not seem to be taking it on board

I cannot help but wonder just how seriously the people are taking the Covid-19 pandemic. We see social-distancing as a concept largely ignored by large swathes of the population, usually at a rally or something similar or more particularly in the street outside the pub.
Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat, where have you been?

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat, where have you been?

How new London looks with Covid-19

Yes, I have been to London, but on this occasion not to see the Queen but in fact to attend a four day court case in the High Court. This trip has been illuminating, frighteningly so given the different ways in which the Covid-19 is having an effect.

The Rise & Fall of the Jumbo

The Rise & Fall of the Jumbo

This iconic aircraft is reaching the end of its days

The reign of both British Airways’ & Virgin’s “Queen of the Skies” having come to an abrupt end, it may be a good time to stand back and examine how present day long haul flying has changed, even before the advent of SARS.CoV.2., which has merely hastened the 747’s inevitable fall from grace
Was it really such a shock decision to re-introduce quarantine for those coming from Spain?

Was it really such a shock decision to re-introduce quarantine for those coming from Spain?

It’s easy to blame the government but the writing was on the wall for some time

There remains in the country a huge body of opinion which feels that the lockdown has been relaxed too fast in some ways. This is clearly evidenced by the fact that people still prefer to stay at home, pubs and restaurants are nowhere near as busy as they could be, even with social distancing, and shopping is down as well.
Airport safety measures – do you feel safer?

Airport safety measures – do you feel safer?

As time goes by there will be all sorts of new measures introduced to enhance your safety so life can return to normal

We floated the issue of safety while flying a week ago and now some of the measures which have been introduced at London Heathrow have been made public.

Food supply has had a real shock to the system. Can we learn from this? How about a tax-free home production regime?

Food supply has had a real shock to the system. Can we learn from this? How about a tax-free home production regime?

One thing we cannot do without is food. We do not want to suffer the same shock again as we have just had to endure

We take it for granted, don’t we? We need some groceries so off we trot to the supermarket and in this day and age they are so well stocked that you can get just about anything you want including unusual foods and ingredients for foreign style cooking. It’s marvellous, isn’t it?
Aviation starts to be innovative

Aviation starts to be innovative

It’s good that there is some positivity around during these troubled times

In order to try to allay the fear of air travel which a lot of people seem to have at the moment, a few innovations are emerging. United Airlines is trying a new technique to keep passengers safe and reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Non-smokers not forgotten in new dining regime while case numbers escalate

Non-smokers not forgotten in new dining regime while case numbers escalate

It’s the unintended consequences which tend to trip people up!

I wonder if they forgot all about non-smokers when the government said that they were going to facilitate restaurants and pubs being able to make more use of outside space in its bid to keep the transmission of the Covid-19 disease down. There is no general ban on smoking outdoors in the UK which means that under the original proposals to extend external dining the no smoking in restaurants rule would have been conveniently forgotten – to the horror of many probably
End of an era as British Airways decide to withdraw their entire fleet of Boeing 747s and half price meals in August may be difficult to find

End of an era as British Airways decide to withdraw their entire fleet of Boeing 747s and half price meals in August may be difficult to find

As the world tries to give itself a kick-start economic problems continue to emerge

Time for retirement – British Airways has brought forward the withdrawal of its entire fleet of 31 jumbo jets. This was originally scheduled for 2024 but the reduction in business due to the pandemic has caused the decision to be taken now, according to announcements made by BA.
Even how we say our final goodbyes has been changed by Covid-19

Even how we say our final goodbyes has been changed by Covid-19

Our lives change in ways we would not normally have envisaged

I am not sure what inspired me to start writing daily news blogs just after the lockdown had started. I suppose it was because I saw that the changes in our lives were going to be so startling that people needed to take stock and think about them, especially as the populace seemed to be rushing around like headless chickens with no very specific aim in mind
Chancellor’s give-aways. Amazing how parties can find a way to disagree! Beware the racketeers

Chancellor’s give-aways. Amazing how parties can find a way to disagree! Beware the racketeers

Disputes now over even how help is supposed to be managed

When the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced his mini-statement a week ago, generally public opinion seemed to be almost wholly in favour. We were being offered £10 a head to eat out on certain days in August and a reduction in VAT for the hospitality industry for six months to January – all to give the industry a well-needed shot in the arm for its very survival.

Do you feel safe going to the great outdoors? Where do you draw the line?

Do you feel safe going to the great outdoors? Where do you draw the line?

Is it practicable to stay at home for the rest of our lives? You will have to decide where you feel safe

I suppose we might have guessed that sooner or later we would be facing the question of whether you feel safe going out again or not. The answers to this question will be as numerous as the number of people asked but as we learn more about Covid-19 we can see how different groups of people come into being with their own particular and no doubt valid point of view.

How long until tourism gets back to pre-Covid-19 levels?

How long until tourism gets back to pre-Covid-19 levels?

Are people getting out and about or does there remain a significant concern over catching the virus?

It is now a week since bars and restaurants opened and gradually it becomes a little clearer what operators are thinking about the prospects for the future.

Optimistic operators are talking about two years before they get back to former levels while many others are talking about three years

Reservation deposits – blessing or curse? But what about the empty chairs and empty tables? And how would you feel if you discovered your pilot did not have a licence to fly the aircraft?

Reservation deposits – blessing or curse? But what about the empty chairs and empty tables? And how would you feel if you discovered your pilot did not have a licence to fly the aircraft?

Is the trust we place in our regulators justified? Pakistan CAA clearly has egg on its face

It is probable that the general public have little clue about the damage that no-shows can cause to restaurants and hotels. Unfortunately, this is not just an occasional problem but might almost be said to be endemic. What is difficult to know for certain in why no-shows take place and probably everyone has done it at some time or another, even if only because one of the party does not feel very well
Unprecedented move - £10 a head towards your dinner Monday through Wednesday in August from generous chancellor

Unprecedented move - £10 a head towards your dinner Monday through Wednesday in August from generous chancellor

The hospitality industry needs a shot in the arm and without doubt it has got it

Today’s announcement from the Chancellor of the Exchequer has been eagerly awaited; many different organisations have made representations as to the sort of help they would like to see to get the economy back up and running again and now they have the result.

Are you at risk of getting Covid-19? At last a table you can refer to to find out. Pretty startling findings and a must for every household! And can restaurants make a service charge compulsory?

Are you at risk of getting Covid-19? At last a table you can refer to to find out. Pretty startling findings and a must for every household! And can restaurants make a service charge compulsory?

Some very helpful guidance has been published about Covid-19 risk. This is a “must read”

If you have had Covid-19 then you are not going to be worried about getting it again – almost certainly as you will consider yourself to be protected by antibodies. This is not proven but certainly the expectation because people who have had it have got better. You may still transfer it to others if you pick it up from a hard surface.

Hospitality hopes for VAT reduction

Hospitality hopes for VAT reduction

Is a shot in the arm going to come for hospitality?

Hospitality seems to be in the news all the time and most of it seems to be bad news with closures being announced. As was announced last week Pret a Manger are to close 30 of its shops and there are rumours it could be as many as 45. The company’s business has dropped by an amazing 74% but is that surprising considering that the Covid-19 pandemic means that people have been staying at home?
Super Saturday. Really? Reality shows that we have a divided country

Super Saturday. Really? Reality shows that we have a divided country

For the majority Super Saturday weekend seems to have gone down like a damp squib

It all goes to prove that things can be hyped up as much you want but reality is not always the same. We were told to expect the roads on Super Saturday to be absolutely packed while 10.5 million people were going to go out to their caravans, second homes, holidays etc. We were told that the people could not wait to get out to the pubs and restaurants and that there would be great queues everywhere and you would not be able to go into a pub or restaurant without a booking. We were told that everyone would want a haircut.
Week started badly for business and gets no better, especially in aviation and hospitality

Week started badly for business and gets no better, especially in aviation and hospitality

Of course airlines may be closed down again if virus continues to spread at current rate

Today is the day that Ryanair has started its 1000 flights a day. That plan suffered a minor blow when Greece said not yet please but nevertheless Mr O’Leary claims that their flights to other destinations are 70% full. By clicking on this link you can see what flights are in the air and the Ryanair flights have RYR at the beginning of the ID.
Unsure whether to fly? This is what you need to know about air conditioning

Unsure whether to fly? This is what you need to know about air conditioning

Is social-distancing when flying actually possible?

As the world’s airlines gird their loins in preparation to get flying again it may be worth considering the measures being proposed by the carriers to mitigate possible viral cross-infection between passengers. At one point during the lockdown the suggestion of blocking middle seats was mooted. easyJet at first suggested they might adopt such a measure, but then seemed to talk themselves out of it.
Why Leicester? Now we move towards relaxation we see new cases arise in local areas. But why? Will we be able to get married now?

Why Leicester? Now we move towards relaxation we see new cases arise in local areas. But why? Will we be able to get married now?

New normal is not going to look anything like normal at all. Our society is going to be very different for a long time

Leicester is a sizeable city of about 330000 people. Its population includes a large number of BAME inhabitants and it has recorded a resurgence of some 800+ new cases so now there is a debate as to whether it should be locked down for a further two weeks and, just like everything else with this pandemic, the authorities cannot agree.

Are you afraid of a second wave? You probably should be. Get that face mask on

Are you afraid of a second wave? You probably should be. Get that face mask on

As new cases exceed 10 million this pandemic is on the increase!

By the end of the coming week, we shall have seen major new relaxations of the social-distancing requirements. Pubs and hotels are re-opening and we shall see a further week of unlimited shopping. The following week travel opens up again and we hear talk of the quarantine measures being relaxed for certain low-risk countries.

Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 is now law – and Lufthansa update

Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 is now law – and Lufthansa update

New insolvency law now in operation and Lufthansa hanging in there!

The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 completed its whistle-stop tour through Parliament yesterday, notwithstanding a number of amendments in the House of Lords, and received the Royal Assent yesterday evening, 25th June, and therefore became law at midnight last night.
More airline redundancies and other problems

More airline redundancies and other problems

The truth on airline contraction is becoming clearer

The latest round of redundancies appears to be from Jet2. It would appear that 102 captains and first officers are to be made redundant, the leavers being those who joined the company most recently. Another report states that 380 cabin crew will be made redundant; it is not entirely clear whether this figure includes the pilots or not but the inference is that it does not.

PM brightens everyone’s day with relaxations in the lockdown but bar stools a no-no!

PM brightens everyone’s day with relaxations in the lockdown but bar stools a no-no!

As we get more freedoms, it gets more and more difficult to understand what they actually are!

There can hardly be a soul in the land who will not be pleased with some parts at least of the Prime Minister’s announcements in Parliament today, even if it is just “I can go and have a hair cut”! Additional measures such as two households at a time getting together indoors will also enable friends to meet again and for reciprocal dinner parties to get started again.

Will your local pub re-open as a going concern? What if it doesn’t?

Will your local pub re-open as a going concern? What if it doesn’t?

Opening up again after the relaxation of the lockdown is very much a two sided exercise

Crunch time looks like being upon us in the next fortnight. Pub landlords will be now be assessing what they can and cannot achieve. Probably the public will think mainly in terms of what matters to them, things like will there be adequate space for social-distancing
Change begins to accelerate so perhaps grounds for hope

Change begins to accelerate so perhaps grounds for hope

As restrictions are lowered, so the health of our economy comes more into focus.

The reduction of the alert level today from 4 to 3 came as a surprise to most and the reasons given seem a little strange, including that the virus is no longer spreading. That point must be relative since there are consistently over 1000 new recorded cases per day.
Corporate Insolvency & Governance Bill – a quick update. Can it help you?

Corporate Insolvency & Governance Bill – a quick update. Can it help you?

Daily we hear about more insolvency in business, notably in the hospitality industry. Now is the time to think about whether you may be in trouble.

This bill is due to have its committee stage in the House of Lords today, 16th June. It is understood that there will be some debate and if amendments are made it will have to go back to the House of Commons. Otherwise it can be expected to move forward to Royal Assent pretty quickly.

France freed of restrictions. Are they really?

France freed of restrictions. Are they really?

With further lifting of restrictions we slowly approach the need for voluntary control.

The French president appeared on TV yesterday and basically told the nation that all restrictions are now lifted, more or less at least. French people can get together in whatever size groups they want, wherever they want and can travel throughout Europe without restrictions, except for Sweden and the UK.
Is British Airways really not allowed to manage its affairs to its advantage? Who next?

Is British Airways really not allowed to manage its affairs to its advantage? Who next?

Businesses are now fighting for their very survival. Without them there will be no jobs.

“No man in the country is under the smallest obligation, moral or other, so to arrange his legal relations to his business or property as to enable the Inland Revenue to put the largest possible shovel in his stores…..” So said
Fraternal societies and other “talk groups” – how are they affected by the pandemic?

Fraternal societies and other “talk groups” – how are they affected by the pandemic?

A short look at a huge group which has had little or no mention so far.

We have talked a great deal about damage to business, the economy, charities, the arts, the church and many others. But there is a sector of our society about which little has been said and which deserves a mention. Fraternal societies and groups such as Round Table,
Zoos and safaris – just social distancing collateral damage while radical protestors get away with it?

Zoos and safaris – just social distancing collateral damage while radical protestors get away with it?

There seems to be a lack of rational thinking in the way social distancing is imposed.

In a world where we have become more aware of the need to protect endangered species, our zoos have become really important centres which can do so much to assist in this endeavour. It is always encouraging to hear of the births of rare creatures in zoos and to know that animals that are endangered in the wild still have cousins in captivity – and captivity also means safety and protection.
France – new infections up. Will we follow? Is a second wave inevitable?

France – new infections up. Will we follow? Is a second wave inevitable?

Everyone is too eager to lift lockdown. Holidays beckon…

I am not normally one to say “I told you so” but lifting the lockdown is going to be a real problem. Looking at the infamous Johns Hopkins University table, I am afraid that yesterday France declared 3325 new cases of Covid-19, that is for 27th May. I am sorry to say that this is a big deal because new cases seem to have paled away in recent days – until now.
Pubs and restaurants – does 1 metre distancing work for you and is it fair?

Pubs and restaurants – does 1 metre distancing work for you and is it fair?

Businesses desperate to find solutions to operate

As the days towards the end of the more general lockdown pass en route to 4th July, more and more people are wondering how pubs and restaurants can “manage”. The latest utterings from leading operators is that a 1 metre distancing requirement would enable many outlets to open and restore literally thousands of jobs. Indeed they cite the fact that the WHO rules specify 1 metre.
Specialist Leisure Group goes into administration including some well-known names.

Specialist Leisure Group goes into administration including some well-known names.

Names like Shearings, National Holidays, Bay Holidays and many others included.

On 22nd May the Specialist Leisure Group entered into administration. It was reported on television but certainly the impact of this collapse was not evident. One of its subsidiaries is Shearings the coach company and that broadly is all that was reported.
New insolvency legislation now laid before Parliament. If you have an ailing business this could be very important for you.

New insolvency legislation now laid before Parliament. If you have an ailing business this could be very important for you.

The Corporate Insolvency & Governance Bill has now hit the Commons with more than was expected.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced early in April that there would be temporary relaxations to the current insolvency legislation specifically over the issue of wrongful trading. Since that announcement all sorts of other pressures have surfaced and the government has taken the opportunity of trying to address some of them.
How much do you really know about the 737-MAX?

How much do you really know about the 737-MAX?

There is a lot of technical stuff here but it makes one wonder how these decisions are made.

Both Airbus and Boeing have recently posted eye watering first quarter losses of €481m and $641m respectively. The CEO of Airbus, Guillaume Faury, warned earlier this month that it may take up to five years for passenger figures to be back at their pre-Covid numbers.
I like fish. Finding it difficult to buy, though.

I like fish. Finding it difficult to buy, though.

Resolving our fishing industry difficulties is a very important long term issue.

As an island nation, one of our greatest resources is, or should I say, should be our fishing industry. There are very few countries in the world with no land borders – indeed even the UK is not one because there is a land border with Ireland. However, in principle we enjoy one of the largest coastal borders relative to our size, and certainly within Europe.

Crime down during the lockdown – right?

Crime down during the lockdown – right?

Have the police made the best of it?

One of the results of the lockdown was that certain petty crime like shoplifting appears to have dropped. Surprise, surprise, given that most shops were closed. Theft too from private houses seems to have been contained but then it is quite risky to go in and help yourself when the chances of the owners being at home are somewhat high.

My kingdom for a hair cut. Can you now do just what you want?

My kingdom for a hair cut. Can you now do just what you want?

New rules but what exactly are they?

When I heard the Prime Minister on TV at 7pm on Sunday, I thought I understood exactly what the new rules were. However, the media and others have done an excellent job of completely confusing the issue for everyone in the short time since. The government, by contrast, have produced a lengthy document setting out the requirements in far greater detail. In the meanwhile the Prime Minister has made the same statement to Parliament.
Who does Heathrow really belong to? CO2 lobbyists back on the job!

Who does Heathrow really belong to? CO2 lobbyists back on the job!

As we move towards relaxing the restrictions, parties begin to think of the future.

Whether you like it or not, Covid-19 is being seen by climate change lobbyists as their “opportunity”. In a previous post, I looked at the effect several factors might play in deciding whether Heathrow Airport (LHR) would get its controversial third runway in the foreseeable future.
Is the real crisis going to be how we get out of it?

Is the real crisis going to be how we get out of it?

As deaths and new cases fall a bit, people are getting itchy feet.

New cases and deaths continue to drop which is of course good news but there looks like being a new problem on its way, namely that there are competing views on how we move forward. Is this all going to create a new crisis, one which is fuelled by opposing views?
Is there still a case for the third runway at Heathrow?

Is there still a case for the third runway at Heathrow?

Now aviation has dropped like a stone, when will it build up again?

In one of our earlier postings it was stated quite reasonably in an earlier posting that given the dire position in which civil aviation now finds itself (and frankly it has never been the most stable of industries), is it likely that we will see a third runway at Heathrow (LHR) within the next decade?
Exactly who are the NHS heroes?

Exactly who are the NHS heroes?

NHS employee setting up a PPE supply company more than a disappointment

The word “hero” has been on everyone’s lips now for some weeks and has been universally applied to the “NHS” or by implication its employees.

Aviation in dire trouble – will it ever be the same again? And what about your holidays this year?

Aviation in dire trouble – will it ever be the same again? And what about your holidays this year?

Do people have a clue just how bad it is?

Current news on aviation is dire. British Airways have announced a possible 12000 redundancies will be taking place and now it is looking like Gatwick will lose all BA activity and BA are telling us that it may not start up again. The job reductions include significant numbers of pilots and co-pilots.
Is ending the lockdown going to divide us?

Is ending the lockdown going to divide us?

Are we so different from other European countries?

The lockdown has been with us for some weeks now; indeed there are some amongst us of higher risk who have been in lockdown for almost two months now so all in all, it is not surprising that some are beginning to tire of it. Fortunately, those who are keen to see it over soon are not in the majority – yet at least.
A watershed day, today?

A watershed day, today?

Matters now get more confused rather than less

Today’s deaths in hospital now top that magic figure of 20000. Do you remember – when this was starting it was considered that getting through this without exceeding this figure would be a result. Now the punters are pointing out that yet more deaths will occur. Will we be able to contain it within 40000? The NHS says it expects 30000 by the end of May – a vastly increased prognosis.
As deaths drop a little thoughts turn to how we come out of lockdown.

As deaths drop a little thoughts turn to how we come out of lockdown.

There’s a policy decision to be taken – continue to try and slow the virus or open the doors for a free for all.

If the present slight drop in deaths continues, no doubt many will give sighs of relief. Of course what is needed as much is a drop in the number of new cases. As we have come to realise over recent days a drop in hospital deaths does not necessarily mean the virus is in recession. The government advisers keep saying that this is the beginning of the drop but it is certainly taking its time.

I have paid a deposit for my daughter’s wedding reception. It’s safe – right?

I have paid a deposit for my daughter’s wedding reception. It’s safe – right?

No obligation to hold deposits in ring-fenced accounts.

One of the worries which is emerging as a result of the lockdown is a complex area of business which many people find catches them out. That is the payment of advance deposits to make bookings and this is not just for wedding receptions but throughout modern life, and most notably with your deposits for package holidays and airline tickets.
South African Airways – just furloughing or closing? For airlines will it be like escape from Alcatraz?

South African Airways – just furloughing or closing? For airlines will it be like escape from Alcatraz?

Government not giving financial aid

South African Airways joins the ranks of airlines with a doubtful future in announcing that it is laying off all of its 4700 employees at the end of April. However it sounds a bit more than furloughing with the employees being given a severance package roughly equivalent to one week’s pay for each year of service although even that is conditional on a successful disposal of certain other assets.
We have a mortgage moratorium; what about business rents?

We have a mortgage moratorium; what about business rents?

The big question is where will the buck stop?

Managing the cash crisis during the lockdown is certainly no easy task. Government funding to pay people’s wages and salaries, rates holidays, a moratorium to block commercial evictions and so forth are all welcome shots in the arm. However, what has not yet become protected is what will happen to businesses which cannot pay their rents.
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