Today, Friday 20 March, the government has announced an unprecedented package of measures aimed at supporting workers and businesses. The key points are below - we will update with more detail as soon as we can.
UPDATE (23 March): See our latest news story 'Massive support package aims to keep people in jobs' for all the details on the announcements below
- Cafes, pubs, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, theatres, cinemas and gyms have all been told they must close tonight and not re-open tomorrow.
- The government is setting up a coronavirus job retention scheme to protect people’ jobs and incomes.
- Employers will be able to get a grant to cover up to 80% of wages for employees who are not working but are kept on the payroll, up to £2,500 per employee a month. This will be backdated from 1 March for three months.
- The next quarter of VAT payments will be deferred for all businesses until the end of June.
- Self-assessment income payments will be deferred and business interruption loans will be interest free for 12 months, rather than the six months previously announced.