Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Friday morning. We’ll have another update for you at 18: 00 BST.
1. Uncertainty as industries miss out on job support
Industries hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic face further uncertainty, with many in hospitality, events and retail saying the chancellor’s new Job Support Scheme will not be enough to save businesses. And, with those on zero-hours contracts set to miss out on help, one worker tells us they are the “forgotten” group. Meanwhile, latest figures show the government borrowed £35.9bn last month – a record figure for August – as it tackled the economic fallout from the pandemic.
2. Royal accounts show potential Covid shortfall
The impact of lockdown on visitor numbers across Royal residences will lead to an estimated £15m shortfall in income over three years, while the budget for a 10-year refurbishment of Buckingham Palace will fall £20m short, says the Keeper of the Privy Purse. However, Sir Michael Stevens says the royal household has “no intention” of asking for extra funding.
3. Tory MPs in bid to increase scrutiny over Covid rules
Emergency powers allowing the UK government to impose restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus – such as limits on gatherings – expire next week. And more than 40 Conservatives are backing an attempt to force ministers to put any future measures to a vote by MPs.
4. ‘Asian weddings have 400 guests – not 15’
The new 15-guest limit imposed in England this week has left South Asian weddings “out of the question”, according to an events manager who has lost all his bookings since March. Arum Javed says his Birmingham-based Monsoon Venue Group is on “shaky ground”, adding: “It’s very hard managing the bride and groom. They’re emotionally stressed.”
5. ‘Shop early for Christmas or risk losing out’
There are 90 “shopping days” left until Christmas and the online retail world – already dealing with sales up 40-50% since lockdown – is gearing up for a huge surge in demand. But while industry representatives say there’s no need to panic-buy just yet – and delivery companies are recruiting thousands of extra workers – shoppers might do well not to leave it too late to get their presents.
And don’t forget…
Find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.
Find out what you need to know about the new Jobs Support Scheme replacing the furlough, such as how to get paid, and check what support is available for self-employed people.
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