Government urges businesses to “stand by their employees”

19 March 2020

In today’s Prime Minister’s COVID-19 Coronavirus statement, Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister announced that a patient has started a clinical trial for a treatment to the virus. It is hoped that testing can begin after a month. The UK Government is also exploring a new testing methodology which, if successful, will help to identify those who have had the virus.

Measures to help businesses “stand by their employees” will be announced in the coming days, with Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, due to join Mr Johnson for his briefing tomorrow.

Over the course of the week, a range of measures to assist businesses have been announced, from a Business Rates holiday, support with Statutory Sick Pay and a Business Interruption Loan Scheme. A full roundup of the information available about each measure, including additional information about the Business Interruption Load Scheme can be found here.

As at the date and time of the conference, the Government has confirmed that 144 people have died as a result of the virus and there are 3,269 confirmed cases within the UK.

The current advice from Government is that those who live alone, and have symptoms of COVID-19, should stay at home for 7 days. If you live with others and you, or a member of your household has symptoms, you should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person in your household got ill, keeping away from each other as much as possible.

The relevant symptoms are:

  • A new and enduring cough, or
  • a high temperature

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