Coronavirus latest: New York City mayor rules out mask mandate


The US recession stemming from the coronavirus pandemic lasted two months, making it the shortest downturn on record. The National Bureau of Economic Research, which is considered the official judge of when and how long recessions occurred, said on Monday that the economy bottomed out in April 2020. 

Andrew Lloyd Webber has cancelled the opening of his new West End musical Cinderella to full audiences, blaming the “blunt instrument” of government self-isolation rules. The show’s Monday evening performance, on the day all distancing restrictions were lifted in England, was cancelled after a cast member tested positive

Florida congressman Vern Buchanan announced he has tested positive for Covid-19, despite being fully vaccinated. The diagnosis comes against a backdrop of rising coronavirus infections in Florida, which has accounted for one in five new cases reported across the US over the past week. 

Iran will this week shut down two of its most important provinces, including its capital, as authorities intensify travelling restrictions in most of the country. The six-day shutdown from Tuesday centres on Tehran and its neighbour Alborz and will close banks and state institutions, adding to travel bans in most of Iran’s provinces.

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Fans pose at a Black Widow screening in Los Angeles
Fans pose at a Black Widow screening in Los Angeles © Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Cinema owners in the US have hit out at Disney for making Marvel’s Black Widow available simultaneously on the silver screen and its streaming platform. The National Association of Theatre Owners attributed the “stunning second weekend collapse in theatrical revenues” to Disney’s decision to stream the movie.

Executives at mid-sized American companies have turned sharply optimistic about the prospects for the US economy and their own businesses, according to a JPMorgan Chase survey that also cast doubt on predictions of a rout in the office property market. Business confidence is at its highest level in a decade.

Stonegate, the UK’s largest pub group, is suing for losses it suffered during the pandemic, in a bitter dispute between the hospitality and insurance industries. The company, backed by private equity group TDR Capital, is seeking £845m from MS Amlin, Liberty Mutual Insurance Europe and Zurich.

Taiwan on Monday approved its first domestic Covid-19 vaccine, boosting the country’s efforts to inoculate its 23.6m population. A committee of health officials and scientists granted emergency use authorisation to MVC-COV1901, a vaccine developed by Medigen, a Taiwanese pharmaceutical company.

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