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国际英语新闻:UK records another 6,178 coronavirus cases amid mounting pressure on furlough scheme replace

Source: Xinhuanet    2020-09-24  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

LONDON, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Another 6,178 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Britain as pressure is building up on the government on the replacement of the government's furlough scheme.

The daily rise of coronavirus cases, the highest since May 1, brought the total number of cases to 409,729. The coronavirus-related death toll rose by 37 to 41,862, the official data showed Wednesday.

On Tuesday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new restriction measures to tackle a sharp rise in the country's coronavirus cases.

Johnson confirmed that from Thursday, all pubs, bars and restaurants in England must operate a table service only -- except for takeaways -- and will be forced to close at 10:00 p.m. BST (2100 GMT).

Among other measures, staff are advised to work from home if they can despite advice earlier this month to head back to the workplace, said Johnson.

The new restriction measures, which may last for six months, raised concerns that more jobs are at risk as the government's furlough scheme expires at the end of October.

The new restriction was announced at a time when countries such as Britain, China, Russia and the United States are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.

The British government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme offered furloughed workers 80 percent of their salary, up to 2,500 pounds (about 3,190 U.S. dollars) per month. From Aug. 1, the level of grant is reduced each month.

British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is understood to be looking at options including a salary top-up scheme, which is similar to those already operating in France and Germany, according to the BBC.

Possible ideas are thought to include allowing firms to reduce employees' hours while keeping them in a job, with the government paying part of the lost wages.

During Prime Minister's Questions at the parliament, Johnson said Sunak was working on "creative and imaginative" solutions to avoid what an MP described as a "tsunami of job losses".


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