Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said firms will require help with cash flow as the UK enters a “fast growth” phase of the coronavirus disease.
Johnson was speaking at the first government daily virus press conference on Monday, March 16.
Talking just after a call with G7 leaders, where they agreed to a global fiscal stimulus to support the world economy through the crisis, Johnson admitted the virus “will be a severe blow to the [UK] economy”.
However, he asserted to the media gathering that “the fundamentals of the UK economy are very strong”.
Promising to give businesses “the space to deal with the virus”, but without giving specifics, Johnson described its economic impact as being in a “very different category to [the financial crisis of] 2008”.
'Work from home' callAs UK cases of the virus reach “an inflection point”, Johnson urged people to work from home and to avoid pubs, clubs and theatres.
The nation must immediately “stop all unnecessary travel and work from home as much you can”.
Johnson stopped short of enforcing the curbs to freedom of movement seen in EU countries such as Spain, he warned that “without drastic action, cases [in the UK] could double every five or six days”.
London was singled out as being at “an inflection point” for growth in cases of the virus.
Meanwhile, the European Commission president has proposed a temporary restriction on non-essential travel to EU countries.