March 16, 2020

This Government’s response to coronavirus so far

Boris Johnson and this Government are committed to keeping the public safe during the worst public health crisis of our generation. Preparing for the spread of the coronavirus outbreak is a national priority. And this Government will keep the public informed on how best to protect themselves on the Government website.

We’re guided by science every step of the way

We are taking a science-led approach to tackling coronavirus. That means we are working closely with the Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty to stop the spread of the virus. They are in turn working with scientists, researchers, academics, and epidemiologists at the forefront of their fields to develop a world-leading response to coronavirus.

Downing Street have said the following about this Government’s approach:

The Prime Minister and this Government are committed to keeping the public informed every step of the way about what we’re doing to fight the spread of coronavirus, when we’re doing it and why we’re doing it. At all times we will be led by the science to bring forward the right responses at the right time to this global pandemic.

The Prime Minister is also taking part in a number of technical meetings around modelling the outbreak and spread of coronavirus, to better plan next steps on protecting elderly and vulnerable people, as well as to discuss household isolation and mass gatherings.

We're working internationally to tackle COVID-19

International coordination and cooperation will be key in keeping coronavirus under control. That’s why the Prime Minister has spoken with leaders from the United States, Canada, Germany, Australia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Italy, and more in March. Coordinating an international response, through the WHO, is at the core of this Government’s activity.

We are providing up to £150 million to the International Monetary Fund to support the economies of developing countries affected by the virus, £50 million for the Centre for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations which is leading global research into a vaccine, £25 million for further research into the virus including development of a rapid test, and £10 million for the World Health Organisation’s appeal for the outbreak.

In total, that is £235 million in fighting COVID-19 as part of the international community.

Key advice from the Government

For the majority of people, this will be a mild or moderate illness. We will do all we can to help the elderly and more vulnerable as this virus is particularly dangerous for some. Coronavirus will cause severe disruption to our country for several months. However, if we look out for each other and commit wholeheartedly to a full national effort, we will be able to slow the disease, and save lives.

For those with symptoms of coronavirus, the NHS has up-to-date guidance on what to do. The Government has also released clear stay-at-home guidance to those who need it.

For employers, those working in care homes, for those working in schools, and more, the Government has also published guidance on how to keep yourself and others safe.

Region Labour's Pension Tax (£) Extra Months to Work
England 11,167 44
East Midlands 6,150 50
Greater London 12,871 45
North East 9,758 38
North West 6,835 47
South East 14,270 40
South West 7,407 45
West Midlands 10,729 41
Northern Ireland 13,718 35
Scotland 10,653 41
Wales 11,691 36
United Kingdom 11,253 43

Commenting, Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, said:

“Corbyn’s Pension Tax will see ten million savers facing a huge bill forcing them to delay their retirement for almost three and a half years.
“This is just one of the ways a Corbyn government would hammer hardworking people on top of his plans to hike up taxes by £2,400 a year, as well as the cost of his plan for unlimited immigration and the chaos of 2020 being dominated by two more referendums – one on Brexit and another on Scottish independence.
“Only Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party can get Brexit done with a deal, get parliament working again and turbocharge our economy to unleash Britain’s potential.”

Read more about how this Pension Tax will impact millions of savers (PDF)