In the news this week…

Everyone in England is now eligible for free rapid COVID-19 tests, twice a week. Alongside the roll-out of the vaccine, regular testing is an essential part of the easing of restrictions, helping identify new variants and stop-ping individual cases from becoming outbreaks. Anyone can now access free, rapid lateral flow tests for themselves and their families to use twice a week. Rapid lateral flow tests show results in under 30 minutes, and peo-ple can fit these tests into their morning routine to help create the new testing habit that will help to get us back to normal life.

Our high streets may be saved as shoppers rushed back to them on Mon-day, when non-essential retailers in England and Wales reopened after more than three months. Footfall had nearly doubled from a week earlier, as queues formed outside branches of Primark, JD Sports and TK Maxx. Retailers have also extended their opening hours in order to accommo-date this. Beauty salons, hairdressers/barbers and pub gardens also re-ported a surge in bookings. But it is unclear if the demand will last as shops try to the recoup lost sales from over the past months. Hospitality venues, including restaurants, museums, theme parks and zoos, have al-so been welcoming people back, as well as gyms, swimming pools and spas.

The Greensill Scandal: David Cameron and Rishi Sunak will be among senior politicians called to give evidence at a growing number of inquiries into the Greensill lobbying scandal, after two committees of MPs said they would begin their own investigations. Ministers are struggling to contain the most serious crisis over political ethics for years, and there will now be a number of enquiries into this launched by the Treasury select committee and constitutional affairs committee, alongside an independent inquiry or-dered by No 10. The scandal grew after it emerged that Cameron had personally lobbied Sunak on its behalf of the now-collapsed company, in order to gain access to coronavirus loan schemes.


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