Grocery sales rose at the fastest pace since records began in the three months to 12 July, as Britons shifted to making meals at home during the temporary closures of restaurants, cafes and workplaces in the coronavirus lockdown. Sales of groceries, excluding takeaway food and drink, rose 16.9% in the three-month period, with local shops and online services seeing the bulk of that growth. Online grocery sales jumped 92% in the four weeks to 12 July, rising to 13% of the grocery market from just over 7% before the lockdown started. Independent convenience stores increased sales by 59.5% over the three-month period, with the Co-operative and Iceland benefiting from a trend towards shopping closer to home.
The UK government borrowed a record £127.9bn between April and June as tackling the coronavirus pandemic took its toll on the public finances. The figure - the difference between spending and tax income - was more than double the £55.4bn borrowed in the whole of the previous tax year. However, borrowing in June was lower than in May at £35.5bn. The re-opening of more retailers and other firms saw a drop in furlough scheme spending and a rise in tax take. The figure took total government debt to a record £1.98 trillion.
McDonald's has announced it will reopen around 700 dine-in restaurants across the UK from tomorrow but customers will need to leave their contact details and food will be served by table-service only. The fast-food giant confirmed customers would be able to enter hundreds of their UK establishments from July 22 in a move which will also allow some restaurants to take part in the Chancellor's 'Eat Out to Help Out' scheme next month. The move, which follows a successful trial at four UK restaurant sites, comes just weeks after McDonald's reopened its Drive Thru and McDelivery services amid the coronavirus pandemic.
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