22 May: Your round-up of the global issues leading today's agenda
- Travellers arriving in the UK from early next month will face fines of £1,000 if they violate a rule to self-isolate for 14 days under plans expected to be set out on Friday, according to the Financial Times. Foreign nationals and British citizens will be told to share their contact details with the authorities.
- Abbott Laboratories said an ongoing study showed that its ID NOW Covid-19 test had a high rate of accuracy, as the company attempts to counter a claim by outside doctors that the test may return too many false negatives, Bloomberg says. Partial data from the company-funded study showed that it accurately detected the virus 94.7% of the time, and correctly gave negative results 98.6% of the time, Abbott said in a statement. The study, which is ongoing, analyzed samples from 256 patients and compared the results to a test developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
- The coronavirus crisis has devastated the Spanish economy, leaving the public coffers with levels of debt not seen since the beginning of the last century, according to El País. It adds that “All indications suggest that the Spanish government will need to introduce new measures to get the economy back on track. The question is how. According to several experts, Spain may decide to increase taxes, cut social spending or raise the retirement age.”
- Italy has raised a record €22bn for a debt sale aimed at ordinary savers, underscoring how central bank stimulus and a potential EU recovery fund have bolstered investor confidence, the Financial Times says. The Italian Treasury said on Thursday that it had raised a record €22.3bn for a five-year “BTP Italia” inflation-linked bond that was being marketed this week. Slightly less than €14bn was bought by retail investors, with €8.3bn purchased by institutional investors.