Return to Transcripts main page
Quest Means Business
Africa CDC Warns Of Existential Variant Threat; Companies Take Sides In Work From Home Debate; The Future Of Post-Pandemic Fashion; Portugal, Spain, Malta Tighten Entry Rules For U.K. Visitors; U.K. Government Says Country Is On Track For July 19 Reopening; Royal Caribbean Launches First Cruise Since Pandemic Began. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired June 28, 2021 - 15:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: There is an hour to go before the end of trading and the Dow maybe a touch lower, but -- a bit more than a
touch. However, records on the NASDAQ and the S&P are possible and that's because we have a bifurcated market. And it's largely as a result of Boeing
which is down 3.5 percent to four percent. That's pulled the Dow down, but obviously, it doesn't affect the other markets. That's the way it looks.
We'll update you as we move on.
The main event of this new week: it's vaccines versus variants. Some countries are absolutely losing the battle. Africa's C.D.C. Chief tells me
the continent is facing an existential threat.
UBS is ready to let some staff members keep working from home.
And Burberry's Chief Executive is checking out, and that sent the share price tumbling.
New week, back with you after a bit of a break. I'm live in New York on Monday, the 28th of June. I'm Richard Quest. Yes, I mean business.
Good evening. Tonight, countries left behind in the race to vaccinate are having to lock down against the Delta variant. They have no choice. Fifteen
months into the COVID pandemic and the Delta variant is threatening to push poorer healthcare systems to the brink. It is upending people's livelihoods
in those countries that can least afford it.
We're talking South Africa, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and Thailand, all seeing brutal third waves take hold. And they have one thing in common, stubbornly
low vaccination rates. The head of African C.D.C. says the war against COVID on the continent is not being won.
So, take for instance South Africa in the midst of a brutal third wave and its toughest lockdown just announced. The outbreak is centered on the
province of Gauteng, the country's economic engine. The challenge ahead remains immense, less than one percent of South Africans are fully
I spoke to John Nkengasong, the Director of the African C.D.C. who joined me from Addis. The Delta variant is an existential threat.
DR. JOHN NKENGASONG, DIRECTOR, AFRICA CENTRES FOR DISEASE CONTROL: We, as a continent are not winning the battle against COVID-19, especially in a
situation where we have very limited vaccines. We've immunized just less than 1.2 percent of our population on a continent of 1.2 billion people.
So, we are in the middle of a very aggressive wave. More than 20 countries have now recorded a very severe third wave and the peaks are significantly
higher than what we saw during the second wave.
So, I think this is a situation that requires that we scale up vaccines. We work with our partners and donors to really help us to scale up vaccine, at
speed, otherwise we are not winning the war against COVID-19 on the continent.
QUEST: So, now we are really in sort of a different debate, aren't we, in the sense if you blunt it through the traditional means of lockdowns you're
then, of course, increasing the economic impact. I'm not saying you shouldn't, I'm just saying that is a straightforward cause and effect that
you are well aware of.
That means there's going to have to be greater economic help for the continent, too. Would you agree?
NKENGASONG: It is absolutely going to be a severe burden on the economic health of the continent, but we have to do that. We have to balance between
livelihoods and saving lives at the same time. That is what we have been doing over the last couple of -- one year and a half for the continent,
which is terribly unhealthy for the economy for the continent, but we have to do that to survive.
This is an existential threat for our people. So, we have to use all tools that we have in our -- at our disposition to fight this war.
QUEST: So the problem is, in Africa and in other parts of the world, the virus has mutated and is spreading and outpacing vaccinations. Have a look,
only a few countries are making significant progress of full vaccination.
There are increasing concerns the Delta variant will become the dominant strain, and we know it is more contagious and more deadly in those parts of
the world that perhaps need to be most ready are not.
Dr. Saad Omer directs the Yale Institute for Global Health. He joins me from Connecticut. Okay, Doctor, now, let's just take this bit by bit, if we
may, so we shed light.
Firstly, we know all the major vaccines do operate against the Delta vaccine when you've had two jabs. The problem here seems to be there's not
enough vaccines in the developing world.
DR. SAAD OMER, DIRECTOR, YALE INSTITUTE FOR GLOBAL HEALTH: Absolutely. There have been a lot of promises, there are plans, but a lot of these
plans manifest, and they are projected to manifest in terms of actual doses by late 2021 and early 2022. We need to act now with the fierce urgency of
now and there are doses needed now. So there have been some donations, some increase in supply, but not nearly enough to really, really tamp down this
outbreak, especially where it's needed.
QUEST: You see, we can see in the United Kingdom where they had 20,000 new cases. The majority of which are Delta variant, but the number of deaths
and hospitalizations has barely budged because of the rate of vaccination. That seems to be the key.
OMER: Yes, not only the rate of vaccination, but who received the vaccines first. So, several scientists and other policymakers I had the privilege of
being part of that, devised the mortality first strategy at various levels. So, the idea was to vaccinate those who are at the highest risk of death
and severe disease resulting in hospitalization and ICU admission.
And so, the countries that started with that and had a laser-like focus on increasing coverage, prioritizing them and increasing coverage of these
vaccines in those high-risk groups are seeing the so-called decoupling between the rates of infection and rates of death and hospitalization. And
the reason I mention this, there are a few other countries like India and Pakistan who have opened up vaccination to all adults and have been touting
it as if it's a sign of progress.
On the other hand, the unit probability of a high-risk person getting a vaccine and actually reducing the overall death count has gone down,
especially when there are shortages of these vaccines. So, it is important not only to increase the vaccination rate, but also to have a rational
policy to vaccinate the high-risk people first.
QUEST: So Doctor, just for those people watching, our dear viewer, who is double jabbed by several weeks, so fully vaccinated, do they -- and by that
I mean, me, self-interest first -- do I need to be concerned that the Delta variant can get me?
OMER: There are data for the mRNA vaccines, the AstraZeneca vaccine, but the data are not available for every vaccine out there. But for the most --
for most main stream vaccines, you don't need to worry about severe consequences of the infection.
The probability of you getting infection is higher, to be very honest, for the Delta variant, but it's not -- you know, the risk of severe disease and
especially death is not substantially higher even with the Delta variant.
QUEST: So, if we go back, the -- we are all sort of arm chair experts now after 18 months of this. I'm turning to you as a real expert to put me
right. So, the way it goes is, the Delta variant expands and more people get it. There's a three to five-week incubation to when you start seeing in
hospitals to when we start seeing deaths.
There is no way Africa can make any serious inroads to avoid the worst effects of Delta other than lockdowns. Is that the way it seems to you?
OMER: I think there will have to be some targeted non-pharmaceutical intervention scaled up. Unfortunately and as you've mentioned a little
while ago, it has some economic cost. It was -- this time around, that economic cost and even the human cost was avoidable to a large extent if we
had made these vaccines available.
I think we do know a little bit more about the virus than we did -- than last year, so you can be a little more targeted.
For example, there can be more openness about outdoor activities and encouraging, including outdoor commercial activities. A lot of these
bazaars and markets are outdoor. So, that dampens the impact on economic activity. There could be better focus on ventilation, just opening windows
in schools, et cetera. That can mitigate and you can prioritize certain groups.
On top of that, you can absolutely encourage masking and scale of mask distribution, et cetera. So, there are other tools in the toolbox as well
in addition to more drastic measures.
QUEST: Doctor, we will talk more, I fear, we are going to need to talk a lot more as this comes on and we'll be grateful for your wisdom and
guidance. Thank you, sir.
QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, a new week. A leadership switch-up in luxury fashion. The CEO of Burberry says he is leaving to head a rival company.
And fashion takes a cue from work from home trends. The future of post- pandemic style, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
QUEST: The Swiss bank, UBS, says it will allow its employees to choose how often they want to return to office. In doing so, they are embracing the
hybrid work model. And, thereby, setting themselves apart from other Wall Street firms, which are clearly urging workers to get vaccinated and get
back into the office as soon as possible.
CNN's Anna Stewart with a review of who is doing what when it comes to going back to work.
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER (voice over): The morning commute, a welcome return to normal for some, but others are less keen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm looking forward to maybe two days in the office.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I work from home. And I actually do like working from home. But I'd like a bit of both to be honest, moving forward.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do work out of office and prefer that actually.
STEWART (on camera): The divide is only deepening as businesses implement their post-pandemic strategies.
For those at Twitter, Facebook, and Google, remote working part-time or full-time is now a permanent option. Apple and Uber want their employees
back in the office for part of the week and then, there are the banks of Wall Street, some of which want to see their workers back at their desks
STEWART (voice over): Goldman Sachs's CEO David Solomon called working from home an aberration, saying: "For a business like ours, which is an
innovative, collaborative, apprenticeship culture, this is not ideal for us and is not a new normal." Its New York employees are already back in the
Meanwhile, the CEO of Morgan Stanley made clear that the bank's New York employees should be back by September. Saying, "If you can go to a
restaurant in New York City, you can come into the office and we want you in the office."
MICHAEL SMETS, PROFESSOR OF MANAGEMENT, SAID BUSINESS SCHOOL: If it is so beneficial to be in the office, why are so many people choosing not to be
there and, in fact, you have to start threatening pay cuts for them. That is a little bit of a kind of cultural disjoint, I would say.
STEWART (voice over): Telling people to go back to the office may not be popular, but can they actually compel employees to comply.
SINEAD CASEY, PARTNER, LINKLATERS LAW FIRM: Generally, yes. Governments around the globe have taken the approach of ensuring that an employer has
some discretion to refuse a request to work from home if it's not feasible for the work to be done from home, and you can see why there's legitimate
grounds for that because clearly, not every job can be done effectively from home.
STEWART (voice over): Forcing workers back to the office full time may have some undesired consequences.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wouldn't do it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not sure I'd feel so comfortable about that at this point because I think we've shown that it's not necessary.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's up to the individual really, but, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Personally, I wouldn't be happy to be forced to be back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
STEWART (voice over): Anna Stewart, CNN, London.
QUEST: So, PwC has some 280,000 workers worldwide, and it is going for the hybrid model with more flexible hours. Bob Moritz is the Chairman of PwC.
He joins me from Naples in Florida.
Bob joins me, always good to see you, sir. It really is. Now, look, I'm sure there was a long and hard debate within PwC, but when you have the
banks saying we want you back in the office and we want it now, do you think they are out of touch?
BOB MORITZ, CHAIRMAN, PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS INTERNATIONAL LIMITED: I don't think they are out of touch. Richard, this is going to be a hotly debated
topic, really, for the next two years. It's going to be the organizations that make a decision, watch carefully and monitor and then adjust that
decision and change it regularly.
It was really easy for the world, relatively speaking, to move to everybody work from home because they had no choice. Now, there is choice. So we are
going to have two years of experimental changes ongoing. And I think each organization is going to have to think carefully about what they do now
versus what they do three months from now versus what they are going to be doing two years from now.
QUEST: So, as a consulting firm, you obviously know, are we as productive working from home as we are in the office? And I am not talking about those
jobs that have to be done in the office where we had to torture ourselves into pretzels to actually get it done from home.
If you take most of your people -- does your statistics show they are more or less indifferent in terms of productivity gains?
MORITZ: What we have found is that they can do the job remotely outside of the office. Prior to COVID, we were moving towards a model that was
supported by technology, you could work any place, anytime, anywhere.
But you have to talk about the other intangibles here for long-term sustainability, Richard. What organizations potentially lose if not managed
correctly by being away from the office is the assimilation of new talent, the assimilation of new clients, for example. It is potentially the loss of
culture. It is perhaps the loss of innovation at scale.
And it does, in fact, potentially lose the time essence that is needed to drive change. It takes longer to determine a strategy, execute that
strategy and change from where you've gone before. Those are the intangibles people have to worry about as well, not just doing the day job
of what's required as they think about their long-term sustainability.
QUEST: And in thinking about that, there is a study in the U.K. -- I've forgotten where, but I read it that basically said within two years,
everybody will be back in the office five days a week. And I wonder whether, A, you subscribe to that and, B, taking a hybrid, so to speak,
taking a hybrid method at the beginning doesn't frighten the horses and, therefore, you are going to get where you want to go anyway. It's just
going to take a bit longer.
MORITZ: I personally would disagree with the theory that it's going to be a requirement for everybody to be in the office five days a week two years
from now. I do agree with one piece of that piece of academic research which is the employee activism that now is going to be seen is starting to
come through already.
So in other words, the employees are going to dictate whether or not that organization that puts a policy in place can be achieving its talent
retention and, for that manner, recruiting talent. So this ESG agenda, Richard is going to be equally as important and the employees do have a
voice as to whether they stay, go, or go elsewhere.
QUEST: Bob, I want to talk one other matter with you and it is cybersecurity, and I know it is well and truly high up on your agenda. But
I am amazed at the lack of outrage with those companies that have paid ransomware -- I understand why they've done it, and maybe you would do it
in their situation.
But is ransomware, is cybersecurity the thing that nobody is really getting to grips with?
MORITZ: It's clear that cybersecurity and an example of that being ransomware is a major challenge that continues to rise in the risk profile
of every single organization and government around the world.
And, unfortunately, because of the hybrid world that we're now in, the inherent risks have become bigger. We've got more people connected. We have
got more people that are working in and outside of the office, adding more complexity.
All of this is a huge challenge and now the question will be, how do we minimize that risk or deal with the issues that are going to come, and they
are going to come more frequently than we've seen before. They are going to be more public than we've seen before.
This has been happening, people just don't know it's been happening. The question is going to be, how we react and I think, this is where you might
get some savings on real estate, you're going to be spending more on tech and protection against the cyber risk as well as you think about long-term
objectives and financial results.
QUEST: Would you pay ransomware? And I realize it's -- it is one thing to answer that question in the theoretical delight of an interview with
myself. It's quite another -- it's quite another when the whole of PwC has been brought to its knees.
But theoretically, philosophically, are you against paying ransomware?
MORITZ: I'm philosophically against it, but as you said, it's going to have to be real life, real examples, Richard, to make that determination for the
reasons and facts that every organization that's paid so far has had to go through, for sure.
QUEST: Bob, good to see you. Good to see you, sir. I appreciate it.
MORITZ: You, as well, Richard.
QUEST: Thank you.
MORITZ: Take care.
QUEST: Now, shares in Burberry sank more than eight percent in London. Its boss revealed he is stepping down to join a rival company. It is Marco
Gobbetti and he says he is leaving Burberry by the end of the year to return to Italy and run Salvatore Ferragamo.
Well, he only became Burberry's CEO five years ago. He's been leading a turnaround effort after the disaster -- well, not disaster of the previous
one, but certainly had to put it back together again.
Clare Sebastian, I'm surprised he doesn't have a noncompete here. Clare, I'm surprised.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Ferragamo, Richard, says that once he is free of his contractual obligations, he'll be able to join.
So, obviously, there are a few contractual obligations, but I think the surprise that you feel is something that investors share. You see that in
the deep drop in the share price today, and that is for a couple of reasons. One, the uncertainty that this leaves.
The turnaround most analysts say were still in the early to mid-innings. You can see it in the margins. The company continues to spend to invest, to
sort of re-energize the brand. There's uncertainty about that, there is uncertainty around the post-COVID recovery which is still also in the sort
of early to mid-innings, and there is uncertainty around this because he is going to a rival.
This is in a sense a poaching event and there are worries that that could go further. That he could perhaps take with him the chief creative officer
who he brought in to Burberry, Riccardo Tisci in 2018. He is seen as someone who has been instrumental in revitalizing the brand. So, that's why
investors are concerned today.
QUEST: Talk about work from home fashion and I think what's going to survive into the new hybrid mechanisms. You've been looking into it.
SEBASTIAN: Yes, I think comfort is the key word, Richard, comfort because of the work from home trend and comfort because I think the anxiety that
people have been feeling over the last year. McKinsey did a survey at the end of the last year that showed that some of the key factors for fashion
in 2021 are things like the shift to digital that was a trend that's been accelerated
Also social justice is a big one. People are starting to care about sustainability.
But Richard, high fashion is sort of coming back to life creaking back and stepping out with its shows and with new challenges. Take a look.
SEBASTIAN (voice over): Models first walking through glum florescent-lit tunnels before stepping out to a sunny white sand beach. Prada's latest
fashion show seemed an obvious metaphor for a world emerging from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Italian fashion house debuting its men's wear line on Sardinia's scenic shores while an equally stunning Mediterranean vista was the backdrop of
Dior's most recent catwalk.
The French luxury brand unveiling its cruise collection at a 2,000-year-old Panathenaic Stadium in Greece. The celebration of both high fashion and
Greek history as designers pull out all the stops to entice consumers starved for an experience.
PIETRO BECCARI, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, DIOR: People would want to go and do things even with more intensity, more pleasure than they were doing it
before because we appreciate the absence of everything we love to do. You know, traveling, dining in restaurants, visiting hotels, discovering
places, and buying luxury.
SEBASTIAN (voice over): Dior's chairman and CEO tells CNN that the company is investing heavily in storefront real estate, while also working to make
their digital channels a more seamless extension of in-store shopping.
It's a move towards experiential retail that other industry leaders also seem to be embracing.
A grand reopening accompanied by the French President drew lines of shoppers in Paris after luxury goods group LVMH funded the revival of a
150-year-old shopping center that had been shuttered since 2005. They are hoping to grab a greater slice of tourist spending as pandemic travel curbs
SEBASTIAN (voice over): But high end retailers looking to capitalize on an anticipated rise of in-store shoppers, well, they may have to reckon with
the public now accustomed to dressing down.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Definitely got more relaxed. I've definitely worn a track suit to work a couple of times.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People are walking to the office more, they are not getting on the trains, so they've got comfy shoes on and things like that.
So, yes, it is definitely more relaxed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's all very smart casuals. So, you're okay to jeans, trainers, you know, like your everyday wear.
SEBASTIAN (voice over): During the pandemic, athletic and leisurewear also called althleisure saw huge growth with companies like Lululemon increasing
their market share. While the need for work from home apparel may now be subsiding, the trend it partly to blame for the bankruptcy some of more
established brands with more formal attire.
Another major hurdle are growing interest in sustainable fashion as consumers become more aware of the industry's role in the climate crisis.
According to the World Bank, the sector accounts for about 10 percent of global carbon emissions each year. That's more than all international
flights and maritime shipping combined.
STELLA MCCARTNEY, FASHION DESIGNER: In my industry itself, I think that there is a huge desire to make positive changes. I just think people don't
really know how to do it yet. Our industry is shifting. I hope that the fact that we've all joined in this pandemic and we've all hopefully
realized that actually we need to be kinder to our planet.
SEBASTIAN (voice over): Whether it's towards sustainability, the sensory experience or more relaxed attire brands seek to pivot towards consumer's
anticipated demands as fashion giants, like everyone else, find their footing in a post-COVID future.
SEBASTIAN: And Richard, speaking of more relaxed attire, I wanted to point to a survey from Contour Brands, which is the parent company of Lee and
Wrangler jeans, they say, Richard, that 84 percent of office workers plan to revamp their wardrobe in the next year, 82 percent are going to buy
jeans. And this is something you're not going to approve of, nearly one- third, 31 percent, give jeans a thumbs up for formal events such as weddings.
QUEST: So, here's the one. When I presented QUEST MEANS BUSINESS from home, I sometimes wore jeans, but usually, I would still put a full suit on
because I wanted to be in the same zone of talking to our dear viewers -- to our dear viewer.
The only thing I'm taking into working, coming back into the office is this, more comfortable shoes. I've got a dozen pairs of Church's brogues
and Jenny brogues and loads of heavy shoes and I may never wear them again. So, that's it.
SEBASTIAN: We're walking in, walking to the office, right, Richard?
QUEST: Yes, on a bicycle. Sharing a bicycle. Clare Sebastian, thank you. Good to see you in the office, always -- as always.
As we continue tonight, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, Britain's new Health Secretary says the U.K. has to learn to live with COVID. So, how next
month's planned reopening -- what does that mean and how do you put it all together? In a moment.
QUEST: United Kingdom has recorded more than 20,000 new cases of COVID. Only today Monday and the highest number since January. The new health
secretary, Sajid Javid told Parliament that the country is still on pace to fully reopened next month.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAJID JAVID SECRETARY OF STATE FOR HEALTH OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: Whilst we decided not to bring forward step four, we see no reason to go beyond the
19th of July. Because, in truth, no date we choose comes with zero risk for COVID. We know we cannot simply eliminate it. We have to learn to live with it. We
also know that people and businesses need certainty. So we want every step to be irreversible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: The numbers of the U.K. Delta variants are worrying other countries in Europe, Portugal, Spain and Malta have tightened entry requirements from
U.K. Portugal's requiring two weeks quarantine if not fully vaccinated. Spain wants proof of vaccination or the old PCR negative test. And Malta is
banning unvaccinated from the U.K. completely. Salma Abdelaziz is in London.
Now as I look at this, you know, you can still go on your summer holiday, you might have trouble with taking children if they're not vaccinated, or
they -- are but they can have a negative COVID test. So is this as drastic as it looks?
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: I think Richard, it's all about the uncertainty in these situations. Let's take Portugal, for example, a
country that was on the green list a few weeks ago, and that quite suddenly was moved to the amber list that added -- at the time the Portuguese felt
was without warning. You had families that were rushing back now they have these new restrictions that they had to figure out standing for hours in
line to get through passport control with their young children.
Now they have to pay for extra COVID tests. I think this is what it comes down to, Richard. If you book a holiday a few weeks from now, you're
wondering, are those restrictions still going to be the same or am I going to face new rules, new troubles, and most of all new costs, Richard.
QUEST: All right. But the Delta variant we were hearing earlier, I mean, having because of the way the U.K. has vaccinated, the elderly first or
those most at risk, and they've allowed themselves as extra three or four weeks to get more jobs. Is there a feeling that Delta will not cripple the
ABDELAZIZ: There is absolutely that feeling, Richard. And I think that's what the Health Secretary was sort of pointing to in his statement today
that that indication that you're getting from government officials is yes, while the infection rates are rising, they are not translating into
anywhere as near as many hospitalization rates or death rates, as we had previously seen. And they're pinning all that, again, on the vaccination
I think I read one statistic that said it is 20 times less likely that you are going to end up in hospital and seriously ill because of these higher
vaccination rates than it was during the previous wave. So a very significant shift here because again, this is not lifting restrictions
isn't just about who gets sick, it's about who ends up in hospital and whether or not that will overwhelm doctors and nurses and keep people out
of the medical system that really need it because it would be overwhelmed with COVID patients.
So yes, we are seeing infection rates rise, but what you're hearing from government officials from the Health Secretary is we have this layer of
protection because of vaccinations and that layer of protection is going to grow, Richard.
QUEST: Salma, final question. How normal does it feel for you in London? How, you know, just going about your normal life. You just had a weekend. I
know the weather's not bad at all. It might be at the moment or whatever. How normal does it feel for you?
ABDELAZIZ: It feels -- it feels almost normal in London. I think everyone's a bit wary, a bit cautious.
ABDELAZIZ: This is the time of course at the European Championship. So that feels a little bit normal for everybody come around, be able to have a
barbecue, but everybody's still turning -- trying to ease the restrictions within themselves I think, Richard.
QUEST: Right. And so, the new health Secretary, Sajid Javid, former chancellor, former Home Secretary. I mean, it doesn't get a more safe pair
of hands when it deal -- comes to dealing with things.
ABDELAZIZ: That's right, Richard. And I think although this is a time that you could argue, is absolutely the last time in the middle of a pandemic
that you want to see this shift, especially because it came with so much scandal around health Secretary Matt Hancock, previous health Secretary
Matt Hancock dealings, of course, this leaked footage of him kissing his aide, that's now a national scandal sprayed all over the newspaper
That's not exactly what you want the government to be dealing with when there is a deadly virus out there. But again, as you said, there's this
sense that House Secretary Sajid Javid is a tried and true and known commodity that he can quite quickly come to -- come to terms with this new
job. He was already seeing this morning at a local hospital here in London, St. Thomas's meeting with doctors and nurses.
He's already spoken to members of Parliament. I don't think many people are blinking an eye or wondering if he can do the job, Richard.
QUEST: Salma, thank you. Good to see you. Thank you, in London. After 115 months, the first American cruise ship is now back at seats. Royal
Caribbean's Celebrity Edge which passed off from Fort Lauderdale in Florida over the weekend. Natasha Chen was on board.
NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In many ways, this is a very typical cruise experience. You've got a casino, you've got jewelry shops,
but there are signs of cruising and a pandemic era, hand sanitizer stations everywhere you look. And you can hear the band in the background. But if
you take a look around, there aren't that many people sitting. There are no crowds here and that is because this cruise is sailing it not even 40
So many passengers told us how excited they are to be back. And the crew told us they were getting emotional on the day of departure from Fort
Lauderdale. Here's Captain Kate McHugh talking about what a big moment this is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATE MCHUGH, CAPTAIN, CELEBRITY AGE: That was a moment that this is real. It really hit me though, when we dropped all lines, when we came off the
pier with our guests on board because that seems so natural that it made the last 15 months a bit of a blur, a bit of a dream. And not a nightmare
at all. Because we did have an opportunity to do things on board the ship that we wouldn't have been able to if we were in service.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHEN: Now out here on the pool deck, you can also see there aren't that many people splashing around a lot of empty chairs. And that's another sign
of the reduced capacity on this ship. Reduced capacity could go on for many months according to CEO Richard Fain. In an interview he told us protocols
may adapt over time as we continue to emerge from this pandemic, with this being the first ship to depart a U.S. port in more than 15 months.
Fain told us he'd rather do it right then do it fast. Natasha Chen CNN on the Celebrity Edge somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Somewhere. Cruises may be making a comeback with the shares and cruise line companies energy and airlines today have pretty beaten up. Look
at them all. Royal Caribbean Carnival Norwegian all down after two passengers on a Royal Caribbean ship tested positive. The CEO Richard Fain
tell Julia Chatterley, they can mostly keep the virus off the ships and they can isolate it, if it gets on board.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICHARD FAIN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES: We have several things, we are able to control our environment in a way you can't
do anywhere else. So first, we can keep the virus off the ship. Not absolutely totally, but largely because everybody or such a large
percentage is vaccinated. But we also have other things. We have testing capabilities, we have contact tracing.
So even if there is a case that comes through the vaccines, and through the prior testing, we can isolate it and make sure it doesn't ruin everybody's
cruises. And that's the beauty. So we can actually do better than you can do anywhere on land. That was our objective. And I think we're going to be
able to achieve that.
JULIA CHATTERLEY CNN CORRESPONDENT: And final question about the financials to your point. I mean, you're keeping capacity down to 40 percent. I assume
staffing levels to a certain degree, whether it's medical facilities, cleaning staff, for example, actually, we're perhaps more rather than less
Do you even break even on these cruises, Richard or is it just a case of look, let us get back out there, we'll burn some money, perhaps less than
we were -- when we weren't sailing at all and we'll manage through this period until we get back to normal?
FAIN: Well, starting up is better than what we were doing right with zero revenue and -- but no, we really need a much more normal operation and
that's going to take a little while to get there.
FAIN: But the pinned up is so great that I don't think it's going to take that long before.
We're seeing that our forward bookings, especially for 22 and 23.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: That's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for the moment. I'll have a dash for the closing bell at the top of the hour. And I'll be back after this very short
break. We're going to enjoy together World of Wonder. Oh, dear, the market is not looking good.
QUEST: I'm Richard Quest. Together let's have a dash to the closing bell, which is just now two minutes away. U.S. major averages are up and down as
investors await key economic data. And that includes the June jobs report.
So the big board was down as much as 200 points. It's clawed some of those losses back again. But this bifurcated market of the S&P and the NASDAQ,
there on a rally, shows that you see one down, two are up, the NASDAQ gaining the best part of one percent.
And if you look at the Dow 30, you really do understand why we've got this market. Boeing is down three percent, Boeing is a vast component within the
Dow and that's what's pulled it down along with Chevron. Larger losses in the Dow. The chairman of PwC tells me it could take until 2023 for
companies to fine tune post pandemic work policies. He was speaking to me on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. And Bob Moritz said flexibility is the key.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOB MORITZ, CHAIRMAN, PWC: Richard, this is going to be a hotly debated topic heavily for the next two years. It's going to be the organizations
that make a decision, watch carefully and monitor and then adjust that decision and change it regularly. It was really easy for the world,
relatively speaking to move to everybody work from home because they had no choice. Now there is choice.
So we're going to have two years of experimental changes ongoing and I think each organization is going to have to think carefully about what they
do now, versus what they do three months from now versus what they're going to be doing two years from now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: The past few minutes, Facebook has reached a market cap of more than a trillion dollars. The company won an antitrust ruling in the United
States. And that sense it shares up as you can see more than four percent. And that's the dash to the bell. The big board bell is going to ring on
Wall Street, whatever you're up to in the hours ahead I do hope it's profitable. The closing bell is now ringing on Wall Street.
QUEST: The Dow is down, the NASDAQ is up. "THE LEAD" with Jake Tapper starts next