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Coronavirus: Westminster postpones Saturday’s reopenings, enforces new restrictions for 4mln people in England; US allocates US$2.1bn for GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi vaccine

A round-up of Friday's major news regarding the pandemic

GlaxoSmithKline PLC - Coronavirus: Westminster postpones Saturday’s reopenings, enforces new restrictions for 4mln people in England; US allocates US$2.1bn for GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi vaccine

Westminster has taken a U-turn on plans to reopen leisure businesses such as casinos and bowling alleys scheduled for Saturday.

The easing of restrictions, which included beauty salons to carry out close-up treatments, was postponed to mid-August.

However, office workers will still be encouraged to go back to work as of next week in a bid to aid businesses benefitting from daytime commuters.

Boris Johnson also said face coverings will be mandatory in indoor locations such as museums and cinemas as of August 8.

The news came a few hours after over 4mln people in selected areas of northern England were slapped with a new round of restrictions announced on Twitter by health secretary Matt Hancock.

People living in areas such as Greater Manchester will not be able to meet in private homes with those outside of their ‘bubble’.

Pubs, restaurants, cafes and gyms can stay open but customers will not be able to meet with people outside of their household in those locations.

Fresh funding for Glaxo’s vaccine

The US government has allocated up to US$2.1bn for development including clinical trials, manufacturing, scale-up and delivery of an initial 100mln doses of the vaccine developed by GlaxoSmithKline PLC (LON:GSK) and Sanofi.

The pair are also discussing with global organisations and with the EU Commission, with France and Italy on the negotiation team on supplying EU countries.

UK on a shopping spree

Earlier this week, the UK government signed a £500mln deal to buy 60mln doses of the inoculation, which came after an agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech for 90mln doses of their jab.

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) and the University of Oxford are expected to make 30mln doses of their fledging treatment available as soon as this autumn.

Business secretary Alok Sharma said it was important the UK secured early access to “a diverse range of promising vaccine candidates, like GSK and Sanofi, to increase our chances of finding one that works so we can protect the public and save lives”.

Quarantine damage

Following the renewed mandatory two-week quarantine for travellers coming from Spain, TUI AG (LON:TUI) extended its cancellations to the European country.

All holidays to the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands were cancelled until 10 August while all those to the mainland of Spain are off until 17 August.

The travel agent is adding extra flights to Greece and Turkey.

Quick facts: GlaxoSmithKline PLC

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