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Coronavirus news live: Chancellor Rishi Sunak promises £330 billion to help businesses
17 March 2020, 19:04
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has promised £330 billion of government backed loans to help businesses amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Mr Sunak told the Commons: "The Government will stand behind businesses small and large.
"I can announce today an unprecedented package of Government backed and guaranteed loans to support business to get through this.
"Today I am making available an initial £330 billion of guarantees, equivalent to 15% of our GDP.
"I said whatever it takes, and I meant it."
It comes as the entire UK population is being urged to follow unprecedented peacetime measures to try to control the spread of coronavirus.
The Prime Minister's asking everyone to avoid pubs, clubs and theatres, stop all non-essential contact and travel, and work from home if it's possible.
It's emerged the government ramped up its coronavirus measures yesterday after scientists warned as many as a quarter of a million people in the UK could die otherwise.
The influential team at Imperial College says social distancing might have to be in place for 18 months or until a vaccine is developed.
If you - or someone you live with - has a persistent cough or fever the whole household should stay home for 14 days.
People are also being advised to only make essential journeys.
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