Coronavirus live blog as it happened: pubs and restaurants to close from this evening and as UK death toll rises to 177
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We will be providing live updates until 7pm this evening.
Coronavirus live blog, March 20
Last updated: Friday, 20 March, 2020, 18:53
- Pandemic's death toll passes 10,000
- Retired medics in the UK are being asked to return to work to help
- The Queen urges the country to 'work as one'
Lockdown for 40 million Californians
California's 40 million residents should stay home indefinitely and venture outside only for essential jobs, errands and some exercise, governor Gavin Newsom has said.
The move, the most sweeping by any US state so far, came amid warnings that the coronavirus threatens to overwhelm the region's medical system.
The Prime Minister is speaking now
Boris Johnson says we are going to defeat the disease with a "huge national effort" by following social distancing measures.
He praises those who have followed the measures so far and says we could saves "thousands of lives" by "taking these actions together".
The PM underlines that measures taken are intended to be temporary.
He says: "I am confident that in time the UK economy will bounce back.
"The speed of our eventual recovery depends on our collective effort" to defeat he virus, he adds.
Pubs and restaurants to close from tonight
The PM says that pubs, restaurants, gyms and other social spaces are to close from tonight.
Businesses will be able to continue delivering takeout services.
Government will pay peoples wages
Rishi Sunak is speaking now.
He says the government is going to step in to pay peoples wages.
Any employer in the country small or large will be eligible for the scheme.
Employers will be able to contact the government for a grant to continue paying people rather than laying them off.
People can retain their job even if their employer can not afford to pay them. Government will pay employees 80% of their wage
Death toll in Italy rises by 627
In Italy the death toll has risen by 627 to 4,032.
Businesses won't pay VAT until end of June
The Chancellor adds that businesses won't be required to pay VAT until the end of June.
This represents a £30bn injection into the economy.
Chancellor: 'we will protect peoples jobs and businesses'
Here's a closer look at what the chancellor said on the government's supportive measures.
He said: "I have a responsibility to make sure that we protect, as far as possible, people's jobs and incomes.
"Today I can announce that in the first time of our history, the Government is going to step in and help pay people's wages.
"We're setting up a new coronavirus job retention scheme. Any employer in the country small or large, charitable or non-profit, will be eligible for the scheme.
"Employers will be able to contact HMRC for a grant to cover most of the wages of people who are not working but are furloughed and kept on payroll rather than being laid off.
"Government grants will cover 80% of the salary of retained workers up to a total of £2,500 a month - that's just above the median income."
Business interruption loan scheme available from Monday
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme will now be interest free for 12 months rather than the six months previously announced.
"And thanks to the enormous efforts of our critical financial services sector those loans will now be available starting from Monday," he said.
Universal Credit standard allowance increased by £1,000 a year
The Chancellor increased the Universal Credit standard allowance for the next 12 months by £1,000 a year, and increased the working tax credit basic element by the same sum.
"Together these measures will benefit over four million of our most vulnerable households," he said.
Ahead of the welfare announcements, Mr Sunak said: "We're starting a great national effort to protect jobs but the truth is we are already seeing job losses and there may be more to come.
"I cannot promise you that no one will face hardship in the weeks ahead."