Coronavirus: UK government to extend business lending schemes

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The UK government is expected to announce an extension to four lending schemes to support businesses facing further disruption if a second wave of COVID-19 cases hits the UK.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will move the deadline to the end of November, the Financial Times reported.

The Treasury has lent almost GBP53bn to companies since March, but three of the four programmes were due to expire this month.

The UK is bracing for new restrictions to clamp down on cases, after health officials warned daily cases could hit 50,000 by mid-October if no further action is taken.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said on Monday the Prime Minister would announce further restrictions on Tuesday.

In an official briefing televised earlier on Monday, Chief Medical Adviser Chris Whitty noted “unnecessary links between households” need to be broken “break because that is the way in which this virus is transmitted.”

“This means reducing social contacts whether they are at work, and this is where we have enormous gratitude to all the businesses for example who have worked so hard to make their environments Covid-secure to reduce the risk, and also in social environments,” Whitty said.

“We all know we cannot do this without some significant downsides.”

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