California reported its smallest daily increase in coronavirus cases since late May. A further 1,616 people in the most populous US state tested positive for the disease over the past 24 hours, health authorities revealed, down from 2,676 on Tuesday and compared with 4,255 last Wednesday.

New York City is set to allow limited indoor dining at restaurants at the end of the month, as the state’s most populous city continues to recover from the pandemic. Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday restaurants would be allowed to resume indoor dining from September 30, albeit at 25 per cent capacity.

The daily number of new coronavirus cases in Portugal has risen to the highest level since April, increasing the likelihood that England will reintroduce quarantine controls for tourists returning from Portuguese holidays. Jamila Madeira, secretary of state for health, said on Wednesday 646 new cases had been registered in the previous 24 hours.

Florida reported more than 200 new coronavirus deaths for the first time in three weeks on Wednesday. A further 202 people died from the disease, state health authorities revealed this morning, up from 44 on Tuesday and compared with 130 a week ago. It was the biggest one-day increase in deaths since August 18.

The number of job openings in the US jumped by more than 600,000 in July, as both hires and dismissals slowed. There were about 6.6m job openings at the end of July, compared with 6m a month earlier, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey published on Wednesday by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The pause in the AstraZeneca vaccine trial is proof that the race to find a coronavirus vaccine is not compromising safety, according to Francis Collins, head of the US National Institutes of Health. Dr Collins told senators at a hearing on Wednesday: “When we say we are going to focus on safety and make no compromises, here is exhibit A.”

Ryanair has cut its forecast for how many passengers it expects to carry this fiscal year, as the carrier warned this winter will be “a write-off”. Europe’s largest low-cost airline now expects to carry 50m passengers in the 12 months to the end of March, down from the 60m projected in July. Ryanair had expected to carry more than 150m passengers before the pandemic struck.

The Bank of Canada reiterated its pledge to maintain interest rates at near zero “until economic slack is absorbed”, even as the economy mounts a quicker rebound than expected following shutdowns related to coronavirus. The central bank on Wednesday left its benchmark rate unchanged in effect at the lower bound of 0.25 per cent.

Finnair has become the latest airline to rip up its autumn schedule as passenger demand remains stubbornly low. Finland’s largest airline, which is majority owned by the government, said it would operate between 70 and 80 daily flights in October, less than half the 200 it had previously planned.

United Airlines has forecast lower quarterly sales compared with an earlier estimate as it finds it harder to lure passengers back into the skies than expected. The airline expects to decrease its scheduled capacity for the third quarter to about 70 per cent from a year earlier, exceeding an earlier expected decline of about 65 per cent.



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