The latest Covid statistics, for week ending 29 April, show the epidemic is still rumbling on quietly in the background. 591 new cases reported (42 less than the week before), though not convinced all cases will be now detected/tested/reported. However, the test result average has risen to 5.3%, with 11,222 tests carried out. There were no new deaths reported, and the number of active cases is down 37 to 522, with just 1 patient in ICU and 51 in other wards.
With the current “drought”, which has already affected the Canal’s draught limits, the authorities warn that the effect of El Niño can include a decrease in rainfall during the rainy season, and the phenomenon can last from 1 year to 18 months. This raises concerns for the Canal and for water supplies generally, and it is said that the greatest risk looming is that during May, June, and July the rainfall is not enough (at least 100 milliliters per day) to recover the levels and have a cushion to supply enough water during El Niño. One aspect that can overlooked is the high proportion of electricity which is generated using hydroelectric systems, which could be affected as well.
On 3 May, Guernsey Press reported that the financial services regulator has been accused of seeking to be ‘firm’ rather than ‘fair’ in its approach to enforcement of a local trust company by the Royal Court. It had imposed lengthy directorship bans and big fines on 3 senior figures at locally-owned trust company Artemis Trust in July 2022. Now a judge has struck down the bans and suggested that the fines should be reduced, before sending a warning shot to the GFSC about its approach.
On 28 April, the Department for Business & Trade issued an amended version of this Notice to Importers – amended to reflect the implementation of new import sanctions measures relating to certain iron and steel products and certain revenue generating goods. The original Notice was issued in March 2022 was to provide an overview of the import prohibitions in force on importing certain goods, that have originated in or have been consigned from the territory covered by what is now the Russian Federation and non-government controlled Ukrainian territory. It also sets out the licensing process for traders looking to import goods subject to prohibitions.
On 3 May, the Home Office launched a consultation on the banning of the manufacture, import, sale, hire and possession of “SIM farms” – devices that can hold multiple SIM cards, and which are used to send scam texts, run scam call campaigns, and/or post misleading, false or phishing messages on social media in bulk. The consultation runs to 14 June.
On 3 May, the Home Office announced that a new National Fraud Squad, a new elite team of specialist investigators will turn the tables on fraudsters as part of the government’s new action to tackle fraud and stop scammers from exploiting people. It will work with local forces, international partners and the UK intelligence community to ensure that fraud cells who target millions of Brits each day are shut down.