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Police get access to people told of self-isolate by NHS test and trace | Coronavirus



People who have been told to self-isolate through NHS test and trace could have their contact details passed to police, a move some fear could deter people from being tested for coronavirus.

Police forces will be able to access information about people “on a case-by-case” basis, so they can learn whether an individual has been told to self-isolate, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHCS) said.

England made it a legal requirement for people to self-isolate if they test positive for coronavirus. Those who fail to do so face fines starting at £1,000, while repeat offenders or those committing serious breaches could receive fines of up to £10,000, according to the DHSC.

The department updated its online guidance on Friday about how coronavirus testing data will be handled.

People who fail to self-isolate “without reasonable justification” could have their name, address and contact details passed to their local authority and then to the police, the DHSC’s website said.

“This may lead to enforcement action being taken against you, which could include you being fined,” the online guidance said.

“A police force may request information relating to positive Covid-19 tests from the NHS Test & Trace programme directly, where they are investigating a report of someone who may not be complying with the mandatory self-isolation period.”

The office of England’s chief medical officer, professor Chris Whitty, voiced concerns that the move would discourage people from being tested for the virus, the Health Service Journal reported.

People who have received a positive test must isolate for 10 days after displaying symptoms or their test date if they do not have symptoms, while other members of their household have to isolate for 14 days.

Privacy campaigners launched a legal challenge to the NHS’s coronavirus test-and-trace programme at the end of May, as concerns grew about personally identifiable data being subsequently obtained by the Home Office or other government departments for immigration or other purposes.

A DHSC spokesperson said: “It is a legal requirement for people who have tested positive for Covid-19 and their close contacts to self-isolate when formally notified to do so.

“The Department of Health and Social Care has agreed a memorandum of understanding with the National Police Chiefs’ Council to enable police forces to have access on a case-by-case basis to information that enables them to know if a specific individual has been notified to self-isolate.

“The memorandum of understanding ensures that information is shared with appropriate safeguards and in accordance with the law. No testing or health data is shared in this process.”

A National Police Chiefs’ Council spokesperson said: “Policing continues to play its part in helping limit the spread of coronavirus.

“We will continue to encourage voluntary compliance but will enforce regulations and issue FPNs [fixed penalty notices] where appropriate and necessary. Where people fail to self-isolate and refuse to comply officers can issue FPNs and direct people to return to self-isolation.

“Officers will engage with individuals to establish their circumstances, using their discretion wherever it is reasonable to do so.”

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Netflix stock should be avoided if lockdowns lift or a vaccine arrives




A man watching Netflix on an Apple iPad Pro, taken on March 6, 2020.

Future Publishing | Getty Images

LONDON — Netflix shares should be avoided if there’s a coronavirus vaccine or if lockdowns lift, according to media analyst Alex DeGroote, who owns DeGroote Consulting.

Speaking to CNBC’s “Street Signs Europe” on Tuesday ahead of Netflix’s third-quarter results, DeGroote said: “I would have seen Netflix, frankly, as a stock to avoid, should there be, for example, a vaccine, or should lockdowns ease greatly.”

He added that the stricter lockdown initiatives being rolled out across Europe now “keeps people at home and that keeps them subscribing and less likely to churn.”

Competition in the streaming market has soared in recent months as other companies have launched their own offerings as part of an effort to capitalize on the pandemic. In addition to Amazon Prime, Apple TV, and YouTube Plus, there’s also new platforms like Disney+ and NBCUniversal’s Peacock service.

“The rule of thumb is the average household will take about three subscription services, but at the moment we have potentially up to eight services on offer,” said DeGroote. “There are just too many services for the budgets that most households have.”

DeGroote believes some streaming services may merge or get acquired next year, while others may shut down completely.

“I think probably into next year, things will start to get tough, and that’s when you might see M&A, or you might see some of the bigger operators, frankly pull their streaming services,” he said.

Discounts keep customers subscribed

Netflix recently changed its discounting policy from a one-month free trial in the U.S. and the U.K. to a 50% discount for the first two months.

DeGroote believes this was part of an effort to retain subscribers. “I would expect all the platform companies to be far more creative with their discounting over the next 12 to 18 months, as they try and strike a balance between critical mass, in terms of the subscriber base, and also frankly losing money,” he said.

“The reality is that for most streamers, these businesses are not yet profitable,” DeGroote added. “They won’t be profitable until they have subscriber bases of a certain size, paying a reliable monthly subscription. That’s probably a year down the line.”

Netflix shares have risen by more than 75% since March, which is when the coronavirus pandemic started to spread significantly in the West.

The company’s story has largely been about new subscriber growth but that may no longer be the case.

“In terms of Q3, the company has really quite skilfully guided down expectations,” said DeGroote. “The expectations over net new subs in Q3 are relatively low at about two and a half million so it is more about whether they can beat that number. For what it’s worth, I think they probably will.”

Patrick Armstrong, CIO of Plurimi Investment Managers, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” Tuesday that technology companies “are going to be winners in this environment.”

Disclosure: Peacock is the streaming service of NBCUniversal, parent company of CNBC.

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Apple Chinese users are mainly snapping up iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro




Apple’s launch promotional material of the New iPhone12 Pro seen displayed on a mobile phone screen with an Apple logo in the background.

Pavlo Gonchar | LightRocket | Getty Images

GUANGZHOU, China — Chinese consumers have taken a liking to Apple’s new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, according to data provided to CNBC.

The two devices in Apple’s new 5G flagship lineup became available for pre-order on Oct. 16. As of 9:30 a.m. China time on Tuesday, 152,737 iPhone 12 units had been pre-ordered, data from Chinese e-commerce site and authorized Apple reseller Fenqile showed.

Fenqile is also taking pre-orders for the iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max, even though they’re not officially available until November.

Out of all the pre-ordered iPhones, nearly 43% are iPhone 12 models and over 28% are iPhone 12 Pro models. Just under 19% are iPhone 12 Pro Max orders and nearly 10% are orders for the iPhone 12 Mini, the device with the smallest screen in the lineup.

The Fenqile data comes after a new note from Ming-Chi Kuo, an analyst at TF International Securities, known for his accurate predictions on Apple products and sales.

Kuo reported that Apple sold up to 2 million iPhone 12 units in the first 24 hours, up from 800,000 units of the iPhone 11. He also said that iPhone 12 Pro sold better than expected and that China represented 35% to 45% of that model’s demand.

Indeed, on Apple’s official China website, the iPhone 12 Pro had a delivery time of three to four weeks, higher than the two to three weeks for the base iPhone 12 models. Delivery times for devices can often indicate which models are most popular.

Kuo also predicted that the iPhone 12 Mini wouldn’t sell well in China due to its smaller screen, in a market where larger displays are more popular. On Fenqile, the iPhone 12 Mini has the least amount of pre-orders.

The latest figures will be encouraging for Apple given the importance of the Chinese market to the company but also the high expectations that the iPhone 12 range will spur an upgrade “supercycle.”

Apple’s iPhone 12 64GB in blue makes up 20% of pre-orders on Fenqile with the iPhone 12 Pro 128GB Pacific Blue variant making up 11%. These are the two most popular models.

The Cupertino, California giant has been quite aggressive on pricing. The iPhone 12 Pro is cheaper than last year’s iPhone 11 starting price upon release in China.

“Consumers are looking for the best deal now, even before the pandemic. And both the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models could provide them favorable prices and screen size experience,” Will Wong, research manager at IDC, told CNBC.

“The iPhone 12 allows consumers to get the first 5G iPhone with more acceptable prices and specs, while iPhone 12 Pro could provide the ‘Pro’ experience to consumers with more affordable prices too.”

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Why won’t Virgin Media complete my broadband installation? | Money




I have been trying to switch to Virgin broadband because it is by far the fastest in my area. The installation was booked for mid-August and, as at that point a full connection was not possible, we were connected to our neighbour’s cable with their consent.

Since then, Virgin Media claims it is unable to complete my installation or deal with problems with the service. Apparently its system shows the installation as complete and our account as active. In addition, the company has repeatedly failed to phone when promised, turn up in the agreed time slot, arrive at the right address or provide any explanation for anything. I am unsure what to do next, other than to send another complaint.

HB, Birmingham

Virgin Media told us it had to wait for a permit, which delayed completion of the required works, but it should have communicated this to you. It has now done this and installed cables direct to your property so your broadband service is up and running.

Having checked the quality of your connection and where you had blackspots, it offered to send wifi boosters, but you have declined and plan to buy your own. The company has written to you to apologise and offered to credit your first three months’ worth of bills. In addition, it has offered you £30 credit as a gesture of goodwill for the time taken to resolve this issue, which you have accepted.

A Virgin Media spokesperson said: “We apologise to HB for her poor experience and the delay in installing her services. We have now completed her installation and credited her account as a gesture of goodwill.”We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at [email protected]. Please include a daytime phone number. Submission and publication of all letters is subject to our terms and conditions:

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