The number of shoppers visiting UK High Streets, retail parks and shopping centres fell at its fastest rate ever in April as the lockdown forced people to stay indoors, industry figures show. Footfall fell by more than 80% after all but essential shops closed their doors, according to Springboard. That was almost double the level of March's downturn when there was a 41.3% drop in visits to shopping locations. Springboard said the April slump was a "decline of unprecedented magnitude". Shopping centres were the worst hit by the drop in footfall, as visits fell by 84.8%.
A healthcare firm which employs the prominent Conservative politician Owen Paterson as a paid consultant has been awarded a £133m contract without any other firms being given the opportunity to bid for the work. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has given Randox the contract to produce testing kits to help respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
One of Latin America's largest airlines has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York, saying the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated its business. Avianca Holdings said in a statement that the move is aimed at continuing operations and preserving jobs when it is able to resume normal operations following a global health emergency that has grounded 90 per cent of global air traffic. It said its own consolidated revenues had been slashed by 80 per cent. chief executive Anko van der Werff said” "The effects of the COVID-19 have brought us to face the most challenging crisis of our 100 years history as a company. The airline said it is in conversations about assistance with governments in countries where it operates, particularly Colombia, its home base.
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