COVID-19 NEWS BULLETIN 27th APRIL 2020
Daily Press Briefing
Today saw the return of Boris Johnson after more than three weeks off sick. Speaking outside Downing Street this morning the PM urged people not to lose patience with the lockdown restrictions, saying that he refuses to throw away the efforts of the public by relaxing lockdown too soon, adding that more details on changes will be given in the coming days.
It has been announced that tomorrow morning, at 11am, there will be a one minute’s silence to commemorate key workers who have died with the virus.
Meanwhile, Chancellor Rishi Sunak told the House of Commons of a new scheme to start next week to assist smaller businesses. This scheme comes after concerns of slow access to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme for smaller firms. This will offer loans to smaller firms for 25% of turnover up to a maximum of £50,000 and within days of applying and will be interest free for the first 12 months. These loans will be 100% taxpayer-backed.
The government has until this Thursday to hit its testing target of 100,000 tests per day. Last week saw the release of the government website for essential workers and members of their households to book tests online if they were experiencing symptoms and promised 50,000 tests per day to be completed. Only 29,058 tests were completed on Saturday, so far short of the target.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock hosted todays daily press briefing. The health secretary announced a life assurance scheme for NHS and front-line staff. The family of staff who die from coronavirus will receive a £60,000 payment. Chris Whitty today ran through the five tests that government have said must be met in order to adjust lockdown restrictions. These include the NHS’s continued capacity to meet its critical care demands, consistent and sustained fall in the number of deaths and the infection rate coming down to a manageable level, crucially the government must be confident that any changes will not risk a second peak of infections.
Daily Update on the Market
Other financial news today;
The pound is a bit stronger this morning which is a possible reason why the UK is lagging behind the rest of European markets and obviously reflecting that we had a firm rally at the close of the US session on Friday. Credit tightening very slightly but still within current range that it has been for a few weeks now
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