LiveLive updates on coronavirus in Yorkshire as region begins social distancing

Measures to protect the public from the spread of coronavirus have taken a step forward as more people begin isolating and working from home.

A man wears a face mask on a train in London as the public are urged to social distance and stay at home where possible. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday (Monday) that people should now self-isolate for 14 days if they, or anybody in their household, develops symptoms of Covid-19. Mr Johnson is expected to brief the country again this afternoon.

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Latest updates on coronavirus epidemic for Yorkshire

Last updated: Tuesday, 17 March, 2020, 19:35

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to deliver a second daily briefing this afternoon
  • Total number of cases in Yorkshire is at 66, as of 10am Tuesday
  • Hundreds of events cancelled and pubs, cafés and restaurants closed

Rishi Sunak responds

Sunak says it is right have to have regard to renters, and the Housing Secretary will be making an announcement on that in coming days.

On measures in other countries he says some have systems already in place. In the UK, we would not be able to deliver these at speed, he says.

Sunak: "In terms of the scale of our response I would point out to him [...] I think he will find the package of measures show we have one of the strongest responses in the G7."

On the loan scheme announced today, he says they will be delivered by high-street banks by early next week and request a business interruption loan. 

McDonnell welcomes the assurance that the NHS will get whatever it needs, but pushes Sunak on what funding will be given to provide more testing. 

He adds: "If we're harvesting our resources we do not believe we should be paying for private hospital beds," saying they should instead be requisitioned for national use. 

Issues in agriculture and fishing

McDonnell urges a focus on agriculture and fishing, as both industries are facing problems due to the outbreak.

Questions from the opposition

McDonnell asks a number of questions. Including:

What happens for those on low pay, or on zero-hour contracts?

Are workers who have been told to self-isolate protected on full pay?

Will the Chancellor bring forward measures to protect renters?

'An element of déjà vu'

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell is on his feet, says Labour wants to work with the Government but adds "livelihoods are being threatened". 

Today's package of measures did not reflect the urgency of the situation, he says.

'I will go much further'

Sunak says in coming days he will work with trade unions on financial and employment support for individuals.

"These are only the first steps," he says, and adds he will set out more in the next few days.

Insurers previously said they would not pay out as Government hadn't actually ordered businesses to close, but Sunak says this is not the case - the advice is enough for them to pay out. Here's the statement the Association of British Insurers previously issued:

Support for businesses

The Chancellor is reiterating the announcements made earlier on, these are: 

- A three-month mortgage holiday for homeowners if they are suffering difficulties due to the outbreak so they will not have to pay anything "while they get back on their feet".

- Cash grants of up to £25,000 to be available to smaller businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value of less than £51,000.

- The business rates holiday for smaller businesses announced in last week's Budget will be extended to all businesses in those sectors irrespective of their rateable value.

- The new business interruption loan scheme announced at the Budget is being extended to small and medium-sized businesses, providing loans of up to £5 million with no interest due for the first six months, up from £1.2 million.

'Deeply disappointing'

Sunak gets a telling off from the Speaker for announcing new  measures to the media before MPs. 

Rishi Sunak to give statement to House of Commons

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has arrived in the Commons to update MPs on measures surrounding coronavirus.

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