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March 19, 2020updated 18 Mar 2020 11:19pm

UK and Ireland publish coronavirus bills / Volkswagen and Ford suspend production / Ocado publishes Q1 results

By Robert Scammell


Good morning, here’s your Thursday morning briefing. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

UK and Ireland publish coronavirus bills

The UK and Ireland both publish emergency legislation to support responses to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ireland’s bill provides income support for those affected by COVID-19, and gives extra police powers to prevent public events and travel that pose a risk to human life.

The UK’s bill will include similar measures aimed at halting the spread of the virus, such as removing barriers for recently retired health workers to return to work.

More than 2,600 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK and 104 people have died from the disease.

Volkswagen and Ford suspend production

Carmakers Ford and Volkswagen suspend production today in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Volkswagen has halted production at its plants in Germany, Slovakia, Spain and Portugal, while Ford is suspending engine and vehicle production at factories in mainland Europe.

The suspensions, likely to last for several weeks, stem from supply chain disruption and a decline in demand caused by COVID-19.

General Motors and Fiat Chrysler have also suspended production at their American manufacturing sites.

Ocado publishes Q1 results

Online food retailer posts its financial results for the first quarter of 2020.

The London Stock Exchange-listed company has seen its shares climb almost 7% since the start of the year, bucking the trend of markets thrown into freefall by the coronavirus pandemic.

The company, which has no chain of stores and also sells retail software, is the only FTSE 100 stock in positive territory for the year as consumers panic buy groceries.

Last year the British firm reported revenues of £1.76bn and losses of -£211.8m.

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