Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced today that the Government’s furlough scheme will be extended beyond December.
After the Prime Minister’s announcement concerning a second lockdown over the weekend, it was confirmed the job retention furlough scheme would be extended for an extra month. However, Sunak has now advised that the scheme will continue until March 2021.
This means that workers whose employers have been forced to close due to coronavirus restrictions will continue to receive 80% of their salaries. This will be available to employees in all areas of the UK under the strictest coronavirus controls.
This announcement comes just hours after the Bank of England unleashed £150 billion of funding in a bid to boost the economy amid a second wave and renewed restrictions.
The Bank forecast that the economy will shrink by 2% between October and December, but said the UK will narrowly avoid a double-dip recession.
England’s second lockdown will involve bars, pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops being forced to close and people told to stay at home for the next four weeks in a bid to reverse the spread of Covid-19.
In Wales, people will be able to go to pubs and restaurants, and schools are set to reopen when the nation’s two-and-a-half week ‘firebreak’ comes to an end next week. Scotland is still using a regional tiered approach to restrictions, with pubs and restaurants remaining closed in Northern Ireland.