The British government offers a package of measures to protect the financial well-being of individuals and businesses during the coronavirus crisis.
The main market regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, has called on banks, credit card providers, and insurance companies to sympathize and support customers in financial difficulties due to the pandemic.
The government has also extended its travel recommendations. Now it is said that no one can travel anywhere in the world except for important reasons, and that this advice applies indefinitely.
In other words, the closure of borders and other restrictions that apply throughout the world means that no one can travel outside the UK until further notice.
Financial support for individuals
- Employers can apply to the government to pay 80% of individual wages if staff cannot work and are placed on ‘leave’. The maximum monthly payment is £ 2,500. Tax payments and national insurance will be deducted as usual. Employers can increase government payments but are not obliged to do so.
- Entrepreneurs can apply for a taxable grant of 80% of trade profits to a maximum of £ 2,500 per month over the next three months (this period can be extended). Profit trading for entrepreneurs must be less than £ 50,000, and other conditions apply.
- There are arrangements where people who owe taxes can avoid penalties for late payments, delaying payments or paying by installments.
- People who struggle to pay their mortgages as a result of the crisis may be able to take a mortgage payment holiday three months after an agreement between the bank and the government that the borrower is shown to be ‘patient’ (a fancy way of saying help and support). Payment of holidays must be agreed in advance with the lender.
- Laws are being introduced to prevent tenants from being evicted if they miss their rent as a result of the crisis.
- The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) asks banks and credit card companies to freeze loan and credit card payments to customers in financial difficulties related to viruses. He also requested that no interest be collected in the first £ 500 from the overdraft arranged for those affected.
- The FCA has told insurance companies to consider changing circumstances when considering home and car insurance claims. This will apply to people who might work from home or use the car to work when the activity is not covered by their original insurance policy.
Financial support for business
Support for businesses in the UK include:
- The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, in which the government will pay 80% of employee wages up to £ 2,500 a month.
- Financial support to help companies fund compulsory sick payments for employees.
- Suspension of tax payments.
- Vacation with a 12-month business rate for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in the UK (separate arrangements apply for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).
- Grant support for small businesses and retail, hospitality and leisure businesses.
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support long-term businesses facing cash flow pressures.
- The Bank of England loan scheme to support liquidity among large companies that see disruption in cash flow.
- The Bank of England’s base lending rate is at 0.1%. It was 0.75% on March 11 and stopped at 0.25% before dropping to the lowest level in British history.
The British Government recommends that all but important travel to anywhere in the world. This applies for an unlimited period of time because there is a possibility of future border closures and other restrictions.
The only example of ‘important travel’ given is involvement in international freight transportation.
Anyone who decides to travel abroad is urged to check what restrictions apply at their destination and in any country they pass on their way. Tourists must also be prepared to face disturbances, delays, and potential difficulties to return to the UK.
Anyone living in the UK but currently abroad is urged to go home using the existing ticket if possible. The government arranges charter flights in some cases where commercial flights no longer operate.
Anyone returning to England is encouraged to go straight home from the airport without using public transportation if possible.
It is no longer possible to buy travel insurance to cover the risks associated with coronavirus and its effects globally.
It is possible to buy insurance for future travel to cover risks such as lost luggage, theft, and other events not related to coronavirus. But as mentioned above, the government recommends that all but important travel for an unlimited period of time.
Vacation is not considered as an important reason for traveling.
Anyone with an existing insurance policy that cannot now travel with an existing booking due to government advice should contact their insurance company to find out what insurance they have and under what circumstances they can submit a claim.
If you have an annual travel insurance policy that lasts for 12 months, you may find that you are not covered for the risks associated with coronavirus for every new booking you make.
Leading travel insurance said they would expand existing policies to provide protection for emergency medical care for those stranded abroad. The normal limit is 30 days beyond the original date of return trip, but this has been increased to 60 days, provided that policyholders try hard to return to England.
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