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Heathrow says airport border queues at ‘unacceptable level’

Heathrow says airport border queues at ‘unacceptable level’

Business
Yury BabinHeathrow Airport regularly sees queues of three hours and sometimes six hours at border control, according to Emma Gilthorpe, its chief operating officer. Earlier this month, passengers complained of waiting up to seven hours, which one said was "inhumane".But Border Force said many passengers were arriving without having bought mandatory Covid testing packages.The enforcement body added that people should only be travelling for limited reasons.Separately, hundreds of Heathrow passport control are set to take industrial action.Queue issuesUnions representing Border Force officials said the delays were partly caused by Covid restrictions requiring immigration officials to work in a bubble of 10.They said this prevented more staff being deployed if the border was particularly busy....
Chancellor hints at furlough extension but says he must ‘level’ with public over pandemic toll

Chancellor hints at furlough extension but says he must ‘level’ with public over pandemic toll

Business
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has hinted at an extension to the furlough scheme but warned he will "level" with the public over the economic toll of the pandemic.Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Mr Sunak insisted he will do whatever it takes to support business in the UK as it recovers from coronavirus lockdown measures. Asked whether furlough would be extended, he said: "I said at the beginning of this crisis that I would do whatever it took to protect people, families and business through this crisis and I remain completely committed to that."The prime minister, in the roadmap, set out a path for us to recover and reopen and I want to support people and businesses along that path."He added: "This is about appreciating the damage that coronavirus has done to our economy, ensuring that we prote...
Wage growth at highest level since 2008 and payrolls show signs of recovery

Wage growth at highest level since 2008 and payrolls show signs of recovery

Business
Rates of pay growth are running at their highest level since 2008, according to official figures which also show "early signs" of stabilisation for payrolled employment despite the continuing coronavirus pandemic.The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported average weekly earnings were up by 4.7% on an annual basis during the three months to December. It suggests that many of those in work were being rewarded for their performances during the crisis as, when the effects of bonuses are stripped out, the rate of growth slows to 4.1%.Live COVID news from UK and around the world However, experts said they also reflected the fact that many of those to have lost work - stripping them from the wage figures - were more likely to have been in lower-paid jobs. ...
Shop closures hit record level as ‘golden quarter’ lost to COVID

Shop closures hit record level as ‘golden quarter’ lost to COVID

Business
A record percentage of retail space is lying empty as the coronavirus crisis places intolerable pressure on businesses, according to industry data.The latest BRC-LDC vacancy monitor, which excludes stores forced to shut their doors because of COVID-19 restrictions, found 13.7% of all shops were empty in the final quarter of 2020. Store vacancies had stood at 13.2% in the previous three months to September - a time when the sector had hoped to be in a position to recover lost sales in the run-up to the so-called golden quarter of Christmas. But a renewed tightening of restrictions UK-wide to control the spread of the virus, including lockdowns, since has meant that many retail businesses missed out on the chance to fully cash in.Retail parks fared best with no change at 10% though shopp...
Australia v India: Tourists win second Test by eight wickets to level series

Australia v India: Tourists win second Test by eight wickets to level series

Sports
Second Test, Melbourne Cricket Ground (day four)Australia 195 (Labuschagne 48, Bumrah 4-56) & 200 (Green 45, Siraj 3-37)India 326 (Rahane 112, Jadeja 57) & 70-2India won by eight wicketsScorecardIndia beat Australia by eight wickets with a day to spare in the second Test in Melbourne to level the series.The hosts were bowled out for 200 early on the fourth day, leaving India needing only 70 to win at the MCG.Debutant Mohammed Siraj took 3-37, including Cameron Green, who offered some resistance in making 45 for Australia.India slipped to 19-2 before Shubman Gill, another debutant, and stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane saw them home.Gill, who made 45 in the first innings, finished unbeaten on 35 and man of the match Rahane followed up his first-innings century with 27 not out.It was a...