Lockdown rules have been imposed on the UK for nearly a year now and all support measures offered by the Government have revolved around the pandemic. Since March 2020, Rishi Sunak has launched Universal Credit boosts, the furlough scheme and SEISS for the self-employed and these measures have continuously been updated and expanded.
The Government has also confirmed it will set out a “road map” for the coming months on February 22 following lockdown review.
When questioned on returning to some form of a tiered system in Batley, Boris Johnson said: “It may be that a national approach, going down the tiers in a national way, might be better this time around, given that the disease is behaving much more nationally,” reported the Birmingham Mail.
“If you look at the way the new variant has taken off across the country, it’s a pretty national phenomenon.
“The charts I see, we’re all sort of moving pretty much in the same sort of way, I mean there are a few discrepancies, a few differences, so it may be that we will go for a national approach but there may be an advantage still in some regional differentiation as well. I’m keeping an open mind on that.”
During a recent coronavirus briefing, the Prime Minister also hinted at additional furlough support coming down the line.
On January 22, Boris was asked the following question: “Prime Minister, you mentioned businesses wanting to avoid the cycle of lockdown and unlocking again.
“But the furlough programme is due to come to an end at the end of April.
“Can you at least now give some reassurance that you will continue furlough, or consider continuing furlough after that point if restrictions are still in place?”
In response to this, Boris confirmed: “We’ll do whatever it takes to support the people of this country throughout the pandemic, support jobs, support livelihoods as we have done throughout.
“But you know, obviously the faster we can roll out the vaccine the faster we can get on with giving businesses what they really want which is certainty about being able to resume something like life and business as usual.
“Getting there depends, as I think has been a pretty consistent message, on our ability not just to roll out the vaccine but also to make sure we work together to get the infection rate down, and that means obeying the rules.
“Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives.”
Additional changes or updates may also be forthcoming from Rishi Sunak’s spring budget which is set to be released on March 3.
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