UK to announce new financial measures to support the economy during Covid-19 after PM tells the public to avoid social contact.
The government will announce more financial measures to help the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told the public to avoid unnecessary travel, social contacts and if possible, work from home. And to stay clear of pubs and restaurants.
People in at-risk groups will be asked to self-isolate for 12 weeks – as the UK death toll hit 55.
There is an estimated 35,000 – 50,000 cases of Covid-19 in the UK.
Last week Chancellor Rishi Sunak published his Budget, which included a £30 billion package to boost the economy and get the country through the outbreak.
Sunak is also expected to appear at the daily TV Downing Street news conference later.
BBC political correspondent Chris Mason says its likely help for the airline industry, which has been crippled by travel bans, will be amongst the new measures.
Concern for businesses such as pubs, restaurants and theatres have also been raised under the government’s new guidance.
People are angered that the PM has advised the public to avoid these social venues while not forcing the premises to close, which could have given them financial protection.
Monday’s Daily update highlights
In the Prime Minister’s first daily update he acknowledged the economy was facing “a severe blow” because of Covid-19.
The key new measures he announced included:
- Everyone should avoid gatherings and crowded places, such as pubs, clubs and theatres
- Everyone should work from home if they can
- All “unnecessary” visits to friends and relatives in care homes should cease
- People should only use the NHS “where we really need to” – and can reduce the burden on workers by getting advice on the NHS website where possible
- By next weekend, those with the most serious health conditions must be “largely shielded from social contact for around 12 weeks”
- If one person in any household has a persistent cough or fever, everyone living there must stay at home for 14 days
- Those people should, if possible, avoid leaving the house “even to buy food or essentials” – but they may leave the house “for exercise and, in that case, at a safe distance from others”
- Schools will not be closed for the moment
"I want to thank everybody for the part that you are playing and that you are going to play."
— Conservatives (@Conservatives) March 17, 2020
Under the guidance, people who should be “particularly stringent” in minimising their social contact are:
- People over the age of 70
- Other adults who would normally be advised to have the flu vaccine (such as those with chronic diseases)
- Pregnant women
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