£12bn of small business grants now with local authorities

COVID-19 UPDATE: Wednesday 1 April

The Wimbledon Tennis Championship has been cancelled for the first time since World War II, and the UK’s highest number of deaths has been reported.

Alok Sharma, secretary of state for business, and Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director and director of health protection for Public Health England presented today’s briefing from Downing Street.

£12bn now with local authorities – and must go to small business as soon as possible

Alok Sharma stated that local authorities and banks have a responsibility to distribute funds which will allow small businesses to keep going during the coronavirus outbreak. Banks received national support in 2008-9 and it is time for them to play their part now.

Alarming rise in motor vehicle traffic use

Over the last couple of days members of the public using private cars has increased. Yvonne Doyle emphasised her concern regarding this development.

Testing will reach “hundreds of thousands … within weeks”

There was were few specifics from Alok Sharma or Yvonne Doyle as to how the testing rate will be increased – in spite of outlining the ambitious targets the Public Health England has set.  

Antibody test trials are going in the right direction. Oxford University and other centres are working hard – and more quickly than usual – to get antibody tests on stream. These tests are seen to be central to the fight against the outbreak.