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San Francisco will use the proceeds of a tax on sugary drinks to provide emergency food relief to those struggling from the impact of the pandemic. Mayor London Breed said about $1.65m in soda taxes would be used by the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market to buy produce and non-perishable food for community groups distributing meals to the needy.
Insurers are bracing for rusty drivers returning to UK roads. Companies such as Direct Line, Hastings and Admiral have benefited from a big drop in claims because traffic volumes fell by about three-quarters between mid-March and mid-April, according to government data, while Direct Line reported last month that the number of claims plunged 70 per cent in April.
Public discontent at the UK government’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis reached its highest level to date last week, according to Opinium’s latest political poll. Nearly half – 48 per cent – of the UK population disapprove of the government’s handling of coronavirus, with only 30 per cent approving. The poll found 51 per cent of people believe the UK is coming out of lockdown too fast.
The owners of Italy’s AS Roma football club are searching for new buyers after a planned €750m sale collapsed due to the pandemic. The Serie A team’s existing ownership group are working with bankers at Goldman Sachs as they seek fresh bids. The search comes after a deal clinched late last year with Texas-based billionaire Daniel Friedkin fell apart.
Swedish furniture retailer Ikea is in talks over returning money to all nine countries that provided government support as it has suffered less than expected from the Covid-19 crisis. Tolga Oncu, retail operations manager at Ingka Group, the main Ikea retailer, said it was negotiating with Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ireland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain and the US.
Researchers at the University of Hong Kong have developed what they believe to be the first portable thermography scanner, which can be used to detect fevers in Covid-19 patients. Most thermal imaging scanners require a connection to a computer system and a professional set-up. The HKU team said its freestanding system, pictured, is ideal for public transport such as taxis and minibuses. A unit is expected to cost about HK$3,000 (US$387).
The UK’s fruit and vegetable growers face a steep increase in costs and are struggling to retain hastily recruited local pickers after the coronavirus lockdown prevented arrival of the usual seasonal workforce. Fruit and vegetables are normally picked by 70,000 to 80,000 migrant workers, mainly from eastern Europe, who are recruited in winter, travel to the UK in spring and return home once the season ends.
Ryanair, the budget European airline, said it would resume flights between the UK and Poland, and Ireland and Poland, from June 21. A company spokeswoman, Alejandra Ruiz, said the airline welcomed the Polish government’s decision on Friday to remove all quarantine restrictions for visitors and would reinstate 79 routes.
Hong Kong’s international airport saw cargo throughput of 1.7m tonnes in the first five months of 2020, a drop of 10.7 per cent compared with the same period last year, the city’s Airport Authority announced. On a 12-month rolling basis, throughput totalled 4.6m tonnes, a decrease of 7.7 per cent year on year. Hong Kong has been the world’s busiest cargo hub for a decade, according to Airports Council International.