Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak this Friday evening. We’ll have another update for you on Saturday morning.
1. Employers to start paying share of furlough scheme
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has set out how employers will have to start sharing the cost of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. From August they will have to pay National Insurance and pension contributions, and then 10% of pay from September, rising to 20% in October. The government is currently paying 80% of workers’ salaries up to £2,500 a month for some 8.4 million workers under the scheme.
2. Virus has not gone away – WHO
Coronavirus “has not gone away”, and as lockdowns ease we have to be prepared “for new outbreaks to build up very quickly”, the World Health Organization’s special envoy for Covid-19 has said. It comes as Scotland began easing out of lockdown on Friday, with England and Wales set to follow suit on Monday.
3. New mortgage holiday ‘should affect credit record’
A borrower’s credit file should be marked if they take a further mortgage holiday, the Nationwide has said. Lenders look at somebody’s credit rating when deciding whether to agree to a fresh loan or contract and the interest rate they will charge. It came as Nationwide, the UK’s largest mutual, announced a plunge in profits.
4. Relaxing lockdown ‘risky’ and ‘political decision’
Relaxing lockdown is a risk as levels of the coronavirus are still at “very high” levels, one of the government’s top science advisers says. Prof John Edmunds said it was a “political decision” to lift lockdown and that “many” scientists would wait. Meanwhile, this video below shows how activity has increased as lockdown restrictions have eased in England.
5. National Trust to reopen gardens and parks
The National Trust is to reopen some gardens and parklands in England and Northern Ireland from 3 June. Around 29 sites are due to open to those with pre-booked tickets, with more to follow in the coming weeks. Only around a third of the usual number of visitors will be permitted in order to maintain social distancing. Here is a list of the parks and gardens set to reopen.
And don’t forget…
… you can check the rules on visiting friends or family, picnics and barbecues, with our updated guide.
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