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Vaccine ‘shortage’ blamed for delay to offer children jabs – Pfizer and Moderna warning

Vaccine: Costello claims UK doesn’t have enough jabs for children

And Professor Anthony Costello has also issued a warning about the risk so-called long Covid poses to youngsters. The NHS is preparing to roll out the vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds with underlying health conditions and those living with vulnerable adults.

Youngsters are expected to be offered the Pfizer jab, which was approved for use in children in that age group by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency last month following a “rigorous review”.

The Moderna vaccine is not currently recommended for use in children – but the EU is likely to decide on whether to grant approval next week.

AstraZeneca’s jab, which is widely used in the UK, is not currently recommended for use on children under the age of 18.

Sajid Javid AstraZeneca

Sajid Javid, who has tested positive for Covid, and AstraZeneca’s jab (Image: GETTY)

Professor Anthony Costello

Professor Anthony Costello during Friday’s briefing (Image: Independent SAGE)

Speaking during Friday’s briefing by Independent SAGE, Prof Costello, the former Professor of International Child Health and Director of the Institute for Global Health at the University College London, said: “The child vaccination story is interesting.

“Because although they’re delaying and saying they’re not sure and it’s not really that big a problem, I actually think the real reason is that they don’t have adequate supplies at Pfizer and Moderna.

“And I think we have a supply issue at the moment which is why they’re not giving approval for younger children.”

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Sajid Javid

Sajid Javid speaking in the Commons on Monday (Image: GETTY)

AstraZeneca vaccine: Dr Green shares what’s in Oxford jab

Speaking at a time of rising concern about the potential impact of the so-called Beta variant which scientists fear may be immune to existing vaccines, Prof Costello also voiced his concerns at any potential herd immunity approach which the Government might adopt which would involve allowing the disease to “rip through the population”.

Prof Costello, who was also director of maternal, child and adolescent health at the World Health Organisation between 2015 and 2018, warned: “If you look at long Covid, we know that of children in the secondary school age group, about 14 percent, or about one in eight almost, of children will have long Covid symptoms.

“We don’t know what the long term effects are – long Covid is really nasty, you get all kinds of symptoms, it can go for on a long period.”

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Under-18s vaccinations

Those under the age of 18 are not currently being vaccinated in the UK (Image: GETTY)

AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca’s jab was developed in conjunction with Oxford University (Image: GETTY)

Speaking a day before it was confirmed Health Secretary Sajid Javid had been tested positive despite having been fully inoculated, Prof Costello added: “Older people who have been double vaccinated, get breakthrough infections.

“I’m one case in point – I got Covid three weeks ago I still have some symptoms, and it was a breakthrough, even though I was double vaccinated.

“And finally, if you have everybody getting an infection, the immunity you get from the infection is about half as good as you get from vaccination.

Covid vaccinations UK

Covid vaccinations in the UK as of Wednesday (Image: Express)

“So, the utilitarian principle would be keep community infections under control, get all people vaccinated, including children down to 12 and then you can you get a much better result in the utilitarian sense.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman told Express.co.uk: “The government will continue to be guided by the advice of the JCVI and no decisions have been made by ministers on whether people aged 12 to 17 should be routinely offered COVID-19 vaccines.”

The independent medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for people aged 12 and over as it meets their robust standards of safety, effectiveness and quality.

The Government is understood to be confident it has sufficient supplies of vaccinations – but AstraZeneca’s jab, which is widely used in the UK, is not currently recommended for use on children under the age of 18.

Vaccinations compared

Vaccinations compared (Image: Express)

Speaking yesterday, Professor Sarah Gilbert, one of the scientists behind the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine insisted the benefits of vaccinating children were “much lower and poorer” than inoculating adults.

She added: “With still a limited number of doses available to vaccinate the world, we should be use those doses for healthcare workers and for older individuals in countries that don’t yet have a vaccine.”

Express.co.uk understands the UK has made a “risk-benefit” decision on protecting children rather than a calculation taking into account excess supplies which could be shipped abroad for use in adults.

The UK has administered 80 million vaccine doses so far, with more than 87 percent of the population having received at least one jab.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: UK Feed

Faster than your broadband – and cheaper too! Latest £5 offer from Three can’t be missed

Mobile network Three has slashed the price of its SIM-only deals. If you already own a smartphone and don’t fancy an upgrade, you can sign-up to one of these brilliant SIM-only plans to unlock lightning-fast 5G data downloads, unlimited minutes and unlimited text messages. And for a limited time, Three is offering its 8GB SIM-only bundle for £5 a month.

The latest deal means you’ll get half-price monthly bills during the first six months of your contract. So, you’ll only have to spend £5 a month to unlock unlimited text messages, unlimited calls, and 8GB of 5G data. Not only that, but Three also throws-in its Go Roam Around The World, which lets you use your minutes, texts and mobile data as normal in 71 countries across the planet.

Compared with rivals EE and O2, which have announced plans to bring back roaming charges each day you’re in Europe – something that’s now allowed following the UK’s exit from the European Union – Three’s roaming policy seems even more generous than before.

Three says its 5G network is roughly 10x faster than its 4G speeds. In our speed tests with 5G handsets, we’ve clocked speeds anywhere from 200Mbps to 500Mbps, depending on our location. For comparison, the average home broadband speed in the UK, as recorded earlier this year, is roughly 70Mbps. So, you’ll be able to download movies and stream Netflix shows easier on your phone than your home Wi-Fi connection. That’s especially handy if you’re struggling with buffering during an important video call.

Under the terms of the contract, Three allows its customers to use their 5G-powered phone to bring Wi-Fi to other gadgets. That’s handy if you’re trying to work in a train carriage, coffee shop, or garden.

Of course, to benefit from these supercharged mobile speeds you’ll need to make sure your phone is 5G-compatible. When it comes to Android, 5G handsets have been around for a while, so it’s possible your device is ready-to-go and you didn’t even realise. Apple introduced 5G to the iPhone last year, so you’ll need to make sure you have one of the latest models, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max.

After the six-month promotional period, the SIM-only reverts to £10 a month, although that’s still a pretty solid deal. If you’d rather keep paying £5 a month for the duration of your contract, Three offers a plan at that cost… but you’ll have to settle for 1GB of mobile data allowance.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Tech

News: TUI to offer permanent flexible working in UK

TUI is moving to permanent flexible working in the UK following 16 months of home working due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The majority of office-based employees in the UK have worked from home since the start of the pandemic in March last year.

During this time, the company sought to embrace the shift realising that almost all office-based roles could be done remotely. 

TUI conducted colleague research to understand their views on ways of working, with many citing they have adjusted their working practices and have discovered benefits, including a better work life balance, that they would like to continue with once the pandemic is over.

As part of the new ways of working, TUI employees will only be required to attend the office once a month to attend face to face team meetings or collaboration events, enabling individuals to make their own choice about how often they would like to work in an office environment.

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While offices will remain open individuals will be able to decide what working environment works for them.

Recognising the importance of transitioning to a permanent flexible working approach, the organisation has created a new workspace director.

This role will be responsible for workspace portfolio across the UK and Ireland and will have the accountability to define and implement a workspace strategy.

Belinda Vazquez, workspace director of TUI UK & I, said: “At TUI we embrace the concept that work is something we do, not somewhere we go.

“We have listened to our employees in order to define a clear framework that ensures ultimate flexibility, whilst creating positive experiences that enable all colleagues to feel like they belong and are valued.”

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This post originally posted here Breaking Travel News

Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines May Offer Lasting Protection, Study Finds

Prepped Pfizer and Moderna vaccines at a pharmacy in Little Rock, Ark., in March.
Credit…Rory Doyle for The New York Times

The vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna set off a persistent immune reaction in the body that may protect against the coronavirus for years, scientists reported on Monday.

The findings add to growing evidence that most people immunized with the mRNA vaccines may not need boosters, so long as the virus and its variants do not evolve much beyond their current forms — which is not guaranteed. People who recovered from Covid-19 before being vaccinated may not need boosters even if the virus does make a significant transformation.

“It’s a good sign for how durable our immunity is from this vaccine,” said Ali Ellebedy, an immunologist at Washington University in St. Louis who led the study, which was published in the journal Nature.

The study did not consider the vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson, but Dr. Ellebedy said he expected the immune response to be less durable than that produced by mRNA vaccines.

Dr. Ellebedy and his colleagues reported last month that in people who had survived Covid-19, immune cells that recognize the virus remained in the bone marrow for at least eight months after infection. A study by another team indicated that so-called memory B cells continue to mature and strengthen for at least a year after infection.

Based on those findings, researchers suggested that immunity might last years, possibly a lifetime, in people who were infected and later vaccinated. But it was unclear whether vaccination alone might have a similarly long-lasting effect.

After an infection or a vaccination, a specialized structure called the germinal center forms in lymph nodes. This structure is an elite school of sorts for B cells.

The broader the range and the longer these cells have to practice, the more likely they are to be able to thwart variants of the virus that may emerge.

After infection with the coronavirus, the germinal center forms in the lungs. But after vaccination, the cells’ education takes place in lymph nodes in the armpits, within reach of researchers.

Dr. Ellebedy’s team found that 15 weeks after the first dose of vaccine, the germinal center was still highly active in all 14 of the participants, and that the number of memory cells that recognized the coronavirus had not declined.

“The fact that the reactions continued for almost four months after vaccination — that’s a very, very good sign,” Dr. Ellebedy said. Germinal centers typically peak one to two weeks after immunization, and then wane.

“Usually by four to six weeks, there’s not much left,” said Deepta Bhattacharya, an immunologist at the University of Arizona. But germinal centers stimulated by the mRNA vaccines are “still going, months into it, and not a lot of decline in most people.”

Dr. Bhattacharya noted that most of what scientists know about the persistence of germinal centers is based on animal research. The new study is the first to show what happens in people after vaccination.

The results suggest that a vast majority of vaccinated people will be protected over the long term — at least, against the existing variants. But older adults, people with weak immune systems and those who take drugs that suppress immunity may need boosters; people who survived Covid-19 and were later immunized may never need them at all.

Exactly how long the protection from mRNA vaccines will last is hard to predict. In the absence of variants that sidestep immunity, in theory immunity could last a lifetime, experts said. But the virus is clearly evolving.

Nurses preparing AstraZeneca vaccine doses in Bratislava, Slovakia, in April.
Credit…Akos Stiller for The New York Times

A third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford generated a strong immune response in clinical trial volunteers, Oxford researchers reported on Monday.

The finding indicates that the AstraZeneca vaccine could be an option should third shots end up being needed, for example, to extend immunity. To date, the vaccine has been given as two doses, typically between four and 12 weeks apart.

The new data, detailed in a preprint manuscript that has not yet been peer reviewed, came from 90 study volunteers in Britain who were among the earliest to receive the shots in a clinical trial last year. This past March, they were given a third dose, roughly 30 weeks after their second.

Laboratory analyses showed that the third dose increased levels of antibodies to the virus in the volunteers to a point higher than seen a month after their second dose — an encouraging sign that the third shot would be likely to bring greater protection if the effectiveness of two doses waned over time.

“We do have to be in a position where we could boost if it turned out that was necessary,” Prof. Andrew Pollard, an Oxford researcher who has led studies of the vaccine, said in a news conference on Monday. “I think we have encouraging data in this preprint to show that boosters could be used and would be effective at boosting the immune response.”

Scientists and policymakers do not yet know whether booster shots may be needed.

Scientists reported Monday that the vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna set off a persistent immune reaction in the body that may protect against the coronavirus for years, but it isn’t clear if the same is happening with other vaccines, including AstraZeneca.

Emerging coronavirus variants could also accelerate the need for booster shots. If third shots are deemed necessary in the coming months, their availability could be severely limited, especially in poorer countries that are lacking enough supply to give first doses to their most vulnerable citizens.

Earlier this month, the National Institutes of Health announced that it has begun a new clinical trial of people fully vaccinated with any of the three authorized vaccines in the United States. The goal is test whether a booster shot of the vaccine made by Moderna will increase their antibodies against the virus. Initial results are expected later this summer.

The AstraZeneca vaccine has won authorization in 80 countries since last December but is not approved for use in the United States, which already has more than enough doses of its three authorized vaccines to meet demand. The shot has been the backbone of the struggling Covax program to provide vaccines to poor countries, accounting for more than 88 percent of the doses shipped out to middle- and low-income nations through last week.

AstraZeneca announced on Sunday that the first volunteers had been vaccinated in a separate study assessing a new version of the vaccine designed to protect against the Beta variant of the virus first seen in South Africa. Some study results suggested that the original version of the AstraZeneca vaccine may not be effective against that variant. Professor Pollard said the study would compare the effects of a third dose of the original vaccine against those of boosting volunteers with the new Beta-targeted vaccine.

Mounted police officers patrolling Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia, on Monday.
Credit…Joel Carrett/EPA, via Shutterstock

Australia on Monday faced a grim and unfamiliar challenge: simultaneous outbreaks in several parts of the country — most notably in Sydney — fueled by the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant.

In the outbreak centered in Sydney, which has sent the city into at least a two-week lockdown, cases grew by 18 on Monday and now stand at 130. Other states across Australia also reported new cases and toughened restrictions, and an expansion of Australia’s lagging vaccination program was announced after an emergency cabinet meeting.

But even as anxiety about the outbreak intensified, many Australians found something to lighten the mood: a tale of two naked men caught violating lockdown rules in the woods of a national park, where they fled after a deer startled them out of their au naturel sunbathing on a secluded beach.

The stay-at-home orders introduced on Saturday allow for exercise. Fleeing wildlife nude did not qualify. The men, who were not identified, both received fines of 1,000 Australian dollars ($ 758). Mick Fuller, the police commissioner for New South Wales, which includes Sydney, was not pleased.

“It’s difficult to legislate against idiots,” Commissioner Fuller said at a news conference.

The news traveled quickly across the country to Western Australia, where the state premier, Mark McGowan, who recently closed his state’s borders to anyone from New South Wales, made clear that it was a Sydney thing.

“It wouldn’t happen here in W.A.,” he said. He added that he was worried about at least one of the suspects, saying: “I hope the deer’s OK.”

The two men were found by emergency responders, separately, at about 6 p.m. on Sunday, after one of them called for help, according to a police statement.

One of the men, 30, was found near a remote road in Royal National Park with simply a backpack. The other, 49, was partially clothed. They appeared to have violated the public health orders by leaving home for leisure.

And so, in a moment marked by rising anger at the government for failing to buy and distribute more vaccines, when Australia’s largest city stands to see its economy lose hundreds of millions of dollars from the lockdown, the news of a free-spirited buck-naked couple fleeing a buck — or was it a doe? — allowed for, well, something to smile about.

But there was worry, too, as tens of thousands of people in New South Wales rushed to get tested for the coronavirus, with more than 300 locations around Sydney having been identified as visited by people who were infectious.

That has raised concerns that the outbreak is far from over. Still, no deaths from the new outbreak have been recorded; no one in Australia has died from the virus at all this year. Two people are in intensive care, and officials encouraged everyone who is eligible for a vaccine to line up for one — and otherwise, stay home.

Global Roundup

Tourists enjoying the beach at the Spanish Balearic Island of Mallorca, Spain, this month.
Credit…Francisco Ubilla/Associated Press

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of Spain announced on Monday that British visitors would have to present a negative Covid-19 test or proof of full vaccination, bowing to concerns about a massive influx of summer tourists from Britain, which has been grappling with the Delta variant of the disease.

Last week, the British government added Spain’s Balearic Islands to its “green list” of countries and territories from which British visitors can return without quarantining, providing a major lift to the islands’ tourism-dependent economies.

But the authorities on the islands then asked Spain’s central government for tougher screening measures for arrivals from Britain. Sensitivities were also raised after an outbreak among hundreds of Spanish students who were visiting Mallorca, the largest of the islands, to celebrate the end of their academic year.

Spain lifted restrictions on British visitors on May 24, just as Germany, France and some other European countries reintroduced quarantine rules for the British in order to avoid the spread of the Delta variant. Since then, Germany and France have pushed for a British quarantine obligation to be applied across the European Union, but so far to no avail, as countries like Spain rely heavily on British visitors in the summer tourism season.

In other news from around the world:

  • Italy said on Monday that people were no longer required to wear masks outside, joining Spain and France in relaxing the rules as cases dropped. Masks must still be worn indoors and in crowded areas. In Rome, many still wore masks on Monday, citing concerns about the Delta variant, but some took advantage of the new rules. “It feels like freedom,” said Francesca Tronconi, a tour guide, as she crossed Piazza Navona with her mask around her arm.

  • Young people in Greece will be offered an incentive to get vaccinated, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Monday, in the form of a “freedom pass” with 150 euros, about $ 180, in prepaid credit to be spent on tourism, culture and travel. The pass will be available from July 15 for people ages 18 to 25 who have had at least one shot. “It is a thank you to youngsters for their patience and persistence and an incentive to get inoculated,” Mr. Mitsotakis said.

  • All passenger flights from Britain to Hong Kong will be banned starting Thursday to prevent the spread of the Delta variant, the city’s government said in a statement on Monday. The authorities have added Britain to an “extremely high-risk” list.

“This is not a get-out-of-jail-free card,” said Wendy Hechtman, who is serving a 15-year prison sentence but was released to home confinement during the pandemic. “But what it is is an opportunity card.”
Credit…Hilary Swift for The New York Times

Some 4,000 federal offenders who were part of a mass release last year of nonviolent prisoners to help slow the spread of the coronavirus could soon return to prison — not because they violated the terms of their home confinement, but because the United States appears to be moving past the worst of the pandemic.

In the final days of the Trump administration, the Justice Department issued a memo saying inmates whose sentences lasted beyond the “pandemic emergency period” would have to go back to prison.

But some lawmakers and activists are urging President Biden to revoke the rule and use his executive power to keep the prisoners on home confinement or commute their sentences entirely, arguing that the pandemic offers a glimpse into a different type of punitive system in America, one that would rely far less on incarceration.

Mr. Biden has vowed to make overhauling the criminal justice system a crucial part of his presidency, saying his administration could cut the prison population by more than half and expand programs that offered alternatives to detention.

While the White House has yet to announce a decision about those on home confinement, the administration appears to be following the direction of the Trump-era memo.

Andrew Bates, a spokesman for Mr. Biden, said in a statement that the president was “committed to reducing incarceration and helping people re-enter society,” but he referred questions about the future of those in home confinement to the Justice Department.

The White House revisits the emergency declaration every three months, leaving the former prisoners in a constant state of limbo. The next deadline is in July.

On the move in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Monday as the government began to implement new lockdown measures.
Credit…Munir Uz Zaman/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Bangladesh will return to national lockdown by the end of the week, responding to a wave of infections that on Monday brought its highest single-day death toll of the pandemic so far.

The looming restrictions, imposed in a series of steps, have sent tens of thousands of migrant laborers in Dhaka, the capital and largest city, scrambling to get to their villages in scenes reminiscent of neighboring India’s migrant exodus last year.

The garment industry, which employs 4.5 million people and makes up 80 percent of the country’s exports, will remain open. But other businesses were instructed to limit their operations to minimum levels of required staffing, and almost all public transportation systems are either closing or already closed.

Residents of Dhaka expect to be largely confined to their homes after Thursday, the first day of what the government has called a “hard lockdown,” though how strictly the measures will be implemented remains to be seen. The government has said the army, police, and border guard will be deployed for strict enforcement.

Bangladesh had slowed the spread of the virus with sporadic restrictions and reduced movement while trying to keep much of the economy open. But a fast-spreading wave now, with barely 3 percent of the population vaccinated, has forced officials to take more drastic measures.

The country reported 119 deaths on Monday, the highest daily toll since the pandemic began, while the test positivity rate was over 20 percent. Bangladesh has officially reported a total of nearly 900,000 infections and 14,172 deaths from the virus, though experts believe the true numbers are much higher.

The current lockdown has been gradual. The government stopped trains and long distance buses last week. It also imposed lockdowns in seven districts surrounding Dhaka, aiming to avert a surge there. Shopping malls are closed, and restaurants are limited to takeout orders only.

The full lockdown, initially expected to last one week, begins on Thursday. All transportation systems except for auto-rickshaws will be shut.

The government has instructed garment factory owners to arrange transportation for their workers during previous rounds of restrictions. When the public transportation was shut in April to slow the spread of the virus, factory owners who did not arrange transportation were accused of violating the order, and workers had to walk for miles twice a day to get to work.

As the latest lockdown approached, ferry stations in Dhaka have been swamped by people trying to cross the river to the southern districts.

Dan Bourque, an Uber driver in San Francisco, saw Womply’s ads and applied for a loan in mid-April. Seventeen days later, he had a $  10,477 deposit in his bank account.
Credit…Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Though Congress approved billions in aid for small companies to help them keep paying their employees during the pandemic, it wasn’t reaching the tiniest and neediest businesses.

Then two small companies came out of nowhere and found a way to help those businesses.

They also helped themselves. For their work, the companies stand to collect more than $ 3 billion in fees, according to a New York Times analysis — far more than any of the 5,200 participating lenders.

One of the companies, Blueacorn, didn’t exist before the pandemic. The other, Womply, founded a decade ago, sold marketing software. But this year, they became the breakout stars of the Paycheck Protection Program.

Blueacorn and Womply aren’t banks, so they couldn’t actually lend any money. Rather, they acted as middlemen, charging into a gap between what big banks wouldn’t do and what small banks couldn’t do.

From late February to May 31, when the program ended, the companies processed 2.3 million loans. Most were for less than $ 17,000, and the vast majority went to solo ventures, which are more likely to be run by women and people of color.

All that hustle had downsides, however, including widespread customer service failures. And some lenders now have regrets about signing rushed deals that delivered most of the profit to their partners.

Gloria Molina, 28, checked in for her second dose of the vaccine at Samuel Rodgers Health Center in Kansas City, Mo.
Credit…Chase Castor for The New York Times

As the country’s vaccination campaign slows and doses go unused, it has suddenly become clear that one of the biggest challenges in reaching mass immunity will be persuading skeptical young adults of all backgrounds to get vaccinated.

Federal officials expressed alarm in recent days about low vaccination rates among Americans in their late teens and 20s, and have blamed them for the country’s all-but-certain failure to reach President Biden’s goal of giving 70 percent of adults at least an initial dose by July 4.

The straightforward sales pitch for older people — a vaccine could very possibly save your life — does not always work on healthy 20-somethings who know they are less likely to face the severest outcomes of Covid.

As public officials race to find ways to entice young adults to get vaccinated, interviews across the country suggest that no single fix is likely to sway these holdouts. Some are staunchly opposed. Others are merely uninterested. And still others are skeptical.

But pretty much everyone who was eager for a vaccine already has one, and public health officials now face an overlapping mix of inertia, fear, busy schedules and misinformation as they try to cajole Gen Z into getting a shot.

Public health experts say vaccinating young adults is essential to keeping infection numbers low and preventing new case outbreaks, especially as the more infectious Delta variant spreads.

Since vaccines became available six months ago, health departments have focused with varying degrees of success on urging groups identified as reluctant — including people living in rural communities, African American residents, conservatives — to get vaccinated.

But in recent days, public health officials have identified young adults as a significant challenge for a country where fewer than a million people a day are receiving a vaccine, down from an April peak of more than 3.3 million.

In a federal report released last week, just over one-third of adults ages 18 to 39 reported being vaccinated, with especially low rates among Black people; among people 24 or younger; and among those who had lower incomes, less education and no health insurance.

Author: The New York Times
This post originally appeared on NYT > Top Stories

This offer of free broadband until 2022 could convince you to ditch BT, Virgin and Sky

The only downside of the free broadband is that Giganet only offers a connection in limited parts of the UK and you’ll need to be invited via email to join.

The firm recently announced new plans to connect over 300,000 UK homes and businesses and employ 200 new staff, as work begins on its own full-fibre network in Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire & West Sussex.

Speaking to ISPreview about the offer, Jarlath Finnegan, Giganet CEO, said: “This is a truly different approach to other ISPs and makes a bold statement. We want to prove the case for full fibre and encourage strong take-up. It is going to be great for busy families, home workers and help to drive a greener, more connected world.

“It should also help those who are locked into a copper-based deal and allow them to experience the benefits of full fibre sooner than they otherwise might. Our deal after this free initial period isn’t set yet, though we are always in line with market prices.”

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

HSBC urges Britons to ‘switch on summer’ with £125 offer and 1% interest rate

HSBC is used by millions of people right across the country, but of course there are individuals who opt for other providers. In what appears to be an effort to entice new savers to the bank, HSBC is offering an incentive for switching. A new HSBC current account switching offer is being provided which has come into effect in recent days.

It offers £125 to new customers when they choose to switch to an HSBC Advance or Premier Bank Account.

They must, however, use the official Current Account Switching Service – which is actually designed to make switching easier for Britons.

While the switching offer is enticing in and of itself, there are also other benefits to changing to HSBC.

Particularly of note is the savings account which currently offers a one percent interest rate to savers.

READ MORE: Savings: Britons urged to give cash a ‘boost’ as many ‘lose money’

Furthermore, HSBC customers may also benefit from additional savings on shopping through this promotion.

The bank’s Home and Away offers site has a number of different choices including discounted cinema and theatre tickets as well as offers from Costa Coffee and ASOS to name a few.

To be eligible, customers must not currently be an HSBC current account holder on the date of application, and have not been on or after January 1, 2018.

The offer is also not available to customers who have opened a first direct account since January 1, 2018.

Customers must use the Current Account Switch Service using a complete a full switch within 30 days of the account opening.

They are required to set up a minimum of two direct debits or standing orders within this time frame, also.

For an HSBC UK Advance Account, Britons must pay in at least £1,750 a month into the account each month, or a minimum of £10,500 every six months.

This does not include money which is transferred from any other sole or joint personal accounts held with HSBC.

Fiona Anderson, HSBC UK’s Head of Everyday Banking, commented on the new offer.

She said: “With lockdown and social distancing restrictions easing, the country is starting to switch back on. 

“People have more opportunity to switch from back gardens to pub gardens, switch from FaceTime to face-to-face time.

“Instead of staying local, people can switch to enjoying more of the country and some of the wonderful experiences it has to offer.

“Our current account offer will provide switchers to our Advance and Premier current accounts with £125 cash to help them move on from what has been a challenging year and a half and to celebrate as summer finally arrives.”

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Finance Feed

Time to upgrade your telly? New TVs offer Freeview and Sky's best content on a budget

If you’re looking to screw a new TV to your living room wall then there are some new goggleboxes that come packed with features and content for a very low price. TCL has just announced its new range of budget-friendly televisions which are now powered by Roku.

If you weren’t aware, Roku brings easy access to all the most popular streaming platforms such as Disney+, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and even Sky’s contract-free NOW service.

Of course, those apps all require a monthly subscription but, for those who don’t want to pay extra, Roku also offers plenty of content that can be viewed for free.

Along with including full access to Freeview Play, Roku-powered TVs also carry The Roku Channel, offering 25,000+ free movies and TV episodes to British consumers. This includes the recently launched Roku Originals, with new entertainment arriving every month.

READ MORE: Vodafone scraps useful perk and customers are not happy about it

As well that with that easy access to hours of premium and free entertainment these new TVs also feature 4K UHD displays and upscaling to improve the look of programmes broadcast at a lower resolution.

Some models also get Dolby Vision, which preserves and delivers entertainment in all its intended glory. The Google Assistant is also built-in so you can chat to your telly and get an intelligent response plus Apple fans can beam content straight from their iPhone or Mac to the big screen thanks to Apple AirPlay 2 compatibility.

TCL Roku TV models also support HomeKit, which allows users to easily and securely control Roku devices using Siri or the Home app on their Apple devices.

Speaking about the TVs, Bernie Chen, TCL’s UK Country Manager said: “I am thrilled to be launching TCL Roku TVs in the UK. The combination of our affordable premium TVs with Roku’s operating system, offers consumers excellent picture quality and ease of use, alongside a huge variety of features and streaming channels. I am confident that this partnership will help us maintain our strong UK sales growth and increase our market share.”

Here’s full pricing for the new TVs which will be launching soon in the UK:

RS520K 32-inch: £229

RS520K 40-inch: £279

RP620K 43-inch: £349

RP620K 50-inch: £399

RP620K 55-inch: £449

RP620K 65-inch: £549

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Britons furious as easyJet cancels holidays and fails to offer alternative flights

If aasyjet cancels all flights to a destination, a replacement flight with another airline should be provided.

In esyjet’s latest communication, it only stated that “If there are no easyJet flights available to get you to your destination within 24 hours, you have the option to transfer to another airline, take a train, bus or hire a car.”

However, it said passengers are responsible for booking the alternative transport and a refund will only be made for “reasonable transport costs.”

A Civil Aviation Authority spokesperson said: “Passengers who have seen their flights cancelled should be offered the choice of reimbursement for cancelled flights, alternate travel arrangements under comparable conditions at the earliest opportunity which includes flights on other airlines, or a new flight at a later date at the passenger’s convenience.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed