Coronavirus latest: UK and US prisons overlooked in vaccine priority decisions, say experts

UK business leaders expressed frustration on Sunday that companies still did not know the terms of trade with the EU on January 1, as retailers warned the public against stockpiling food. They also want financial support to help industries that have already been hit hard during the coronavirus pandemic.

US doctors could administer the first authorised coronavirus vaccine as soon as Monday, after millions of doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech inoculation were shipped to hospitals over the weekend. Super-cooled trucks and aeroplanes crossed the country on Sunday carrying the first doses to all 50 states.

Health experts have urged UK prime minister Boris Johnson to tighten restrictions in England where needed “without delay” or risk hospitals being overwhelmed by a third wave of Covid-19 infections. NHS providers urged the government to exercise “extreme caution” if moving any area to a lower tier.

Financial regulators are putting the finishing touches to new recommendations allowing Europe’s strongest banks to restart dividend payments within strict limits, ending a nine-month hiatus imposed due to the coronavirus crisis. The European Central Bank supervisory board plans to announce conditions on Tuesday.

Lando Norris of the UK drives a McLaren during the qualifying session of the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit on Saturday

McLaren will sell a stake in its Formula One motor racing business to an alliance led by sports investment group MSP Sports Capital, in a deal that values the historic team at £560m. MSP said on its website it expected to build more stakes in sports businesses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Anglo-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca has agreed to buy US biotechnology group Alexion in a $39bn deal, marking the biggest agreement struck by a pharmaceutical company since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The cash-and-stock takeover will deepen AstraZeneca’s core focus on immunology.

Uruguayan software company GeneXus was given just a week to create an app that could give advice to patients worried they might have coronavirus. Founder Nicolás Jodal found himself coordinating a team of about 150 people. “On Friday March 13 we had nothing, and on Friday March 20 we had the app delivered.”

Small businesses in the UK occupying railway arches owned by Blackstone and developer Telereal Trillium say they are facing potential ruin as a result of rent rises imposed on them by their landlords. Tenants are facing rent increases of as much as three times, despite incomes having been hard hit by the coronavirus crisis.

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