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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Coronavirus: Live – Prime Minister’s daily briefing – 20 March


The Prime Minister’s daily briefing on the coronavirus outbreak.

PM – We will defeat the disease with a huge national effort to avoid social contact

PM – Prime Minister Boris Johnson began the briefing, saying “we are going to defeat” coronavirus with a huge effort to prevent the spread.

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PM – We have to take the next steps on scientific advice – we are strengthening them

PM – We are TELLING cafes, bars, pubs, restaurants to close at end of business tonight – and nightclubs, gyms, leisure centres are included – restaurants can operate as takeouts. The measures on closures will be reviewed on a monthly basis.

‘”We are telling cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants to close tonight as soon as they reasonably can and not reopen tomorrow.”

Places like nightclubs, cinemas and gyms will also follow suit.

PM – Some people may be tempted to go out tonight – please don’t.

“If we don’t get this right, we will see thousands of lives lost needlessly,” says Mr Johnson. “We have the opportunity to get on top of this and turn the tide.”

Expect Rishi Sunak the Chancellor of the Exchequer to announce measures to help businesses

Chancellor Rishi Sunak


– Announces..

– People are worried about jobs, mortgages, rent and food – you will not face this alone

– Measures unprecedented…

– 1. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – any employer small or large – charity etc can apply for the grant – £2,500 per month ( up to 80% of wages ) PER WORKER to RETAIN workers – backdated to 1 March – open at least 3 months – no limit to grant

– Companies and organisations will be able to apply for a grant from HMRC to cover the wages of people who are not working due to coronavirus shutdowns, but who haven’t been laid off by employers.

It will cover 80% of the salaries of these retained workers, up to £2,500 per month.

It means that workers across the company can retain their jobs, even if their bosses can’t afford to pay them, Sunak explains.

2. Business interruption scheme interest-free for twelve months ( up from 6 )

3. Cashflow support – no business will pay any VAT from now until June – you will repay it later though – No businesses will pay VAT until the end of June, a deferral of tax payments for another quarter.

4. Universal Credit standard allowance up by £1000 per year for twelve months

5. Self-employed – access in full to Universal Credit equal to SSP for employees – self-assessment payments will be deferred to January 2021

Full transcripts will be published later


Major transport networks won’t be shut down
On transport, Boris Johnson says that the government does not want to impose severe restrictions on major transport networks.

“Transport is fundamental to our ability to deliver vital public services.

“I was pretty clear that we don’t want, for instance, to immobilise the Tube or our major transport networks.

“It’s just too important for the delivery of crucial public services.”

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