All non-urgent surgeries postponed

PRESS CONFERENCE: Chancellor Rishi Sunak with prime minister Boris Johnson

ALL NON-URGENT surgeries in England will be postponed until April 15 in order to free up 30,000 beds, NHS England has revealed.

The policy was one of a number announced today as part of the new strategy to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

During a press conference detailing the new measures the government is taking to tackle the spread of COVID-19, chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an increased economic package to help businesses.

Confirmed cases have risen from 1,543 to 1,590. The UK’s COVID-19 death toll has now reached 67.

The public has been advised to avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and unnecessary contact with others.

This advice has been criticised by business owners who are struggling as a result of the spread of coronavirus.

As part of its efforts to mitigate the economic impact of the outbreak on business, the chancellor said the government will guarantee £330 billion of loans to businesses.

While the government has not yet made the decision to close schools, Johnson did say that in the event, parents with children who are eligible for free school meals will “get the compensation or the treatment they need one way or another”.

Other key updates

  • All non-urgent surgery suspended until April 15.
  • Everyone should avoid non-essential travel and contact with others.
  • Mortgage lenders will allow those in need to take a three-month mortgage holiday.
  • Business will get grants of up to £25,000.
  • Interest-free business interruption loans will be increased from £1.2m to £5m, with no interest due for the first six months.
  • All companies in the hospitality or retail sector will be eligible for a 12-month business rates holiday.
  • Small businesses will be able to apply for cash grants of £10,000.

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