Coronavirus - Support for individuals and public services

Updated 20th March 2020, 17:57. For the latest medical advice, visit NHS.uk/Coronavirus.

In the both the Budget, and subsequent Downing Street statements on 17th and 20th March 2020, Chancellor Rishi Sunak set out a number of measures to help individuals and businesses with the threats faced by Coronavirus, 

The Chancellor has made clear that our NHS will have the resources it needs, and that we will do whatever we can to support individuals and businesses. 

To support public services: 

  • A £5 billion Coronavirus Response fund for
    • The NHS to treat Coronavirus patients, including maintaining staffing levels.
    • Local Authority actions to support social care services and vulnerable people. 
    • Ensuring funding is available to other public services so that they are prepared and protected.
  • £40 million of new funding for the National Institute for Health Research and the Department for Health to enable further rapid research into Coronavirus - this follows the £91 million that the government has already pledged to the international response.

To support people affected by Coronavirus:

  • For those in difficulty due to Coronavirus, mortgage lenders will offer at least a three month mortgage holiday. These people will not have to pay a penny towards their mortgage whilst they get back on their feet. 
  • New evictions from homes have been suspended, and and no possession proceedings through the courts will start during this crisis. 
  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will be available for anyone diagnosed with Coronavirus, or who is unable to work became they are self-isolating from day 1, instead of day 4 for affected individuals. Those not eligible for SSP, or those earning below the Lower Earnings Limit of £118 per week, can make a claim for Universal Credit or Contributory Employment and Support Allowance more easily, which will be paid from day 1. 
  • People will be able to claim Universal Credit and access advance payments upfront without the current requirement to attend a Job Centre if they are advised to self-isolate. 
  • For the duration of the outbreak, the requirements of the Universal Credit Minimum Income Floor, ensuring self-employed claimants will receive support. 
  • People who are advised to self-isolate are now able to access a sick note by contacting NHS 111, rather than visiting a doctor when employers require evidence.