COVID-19 – Stop Press

20th March 2020


Dear members,

Most of you will have watched the chancellor’s statement this evening. Apologies for the delay in getting this to you but we have been waiting for government to publish the details. 

Here are the headlines:

  • 80% of the salaries of those unable to work due to Coronovirus will be picked up by the government.  The Chancellor used the words staff who have been furloughed.  It’s called the Coronovirus Jobs Retention Scheme.  It will be backdated to March 1st and available in April.  Details to follow.
  • VAT payments for this quarter are deferred until June and you will have to the end of the financial year to pay.
  • The Coronavirus Interruption Loan Scheme will now offer loans interest free for 12 months as opposed to six. The scheme launches on Monday.

Details are available here

The Prime Minister also announced that places of social gathering must close from tonight. Pubs, Betting Offices, Bingo Halls, Casinos and Leisure and entertainment Centres were specifically listed.  AGCs and FECs were not but it is our view that you should close. In our view we are clearly caught within the spirit of the listings and we want to play our role in the national fight against this disease.  The sooner we get through this the better. I appreciate that this is a big ask with machine empties etc.  The Prime Minister did say as soon as is possible.

Note that your cafes and similar will have to close but you can still offer takeaways. 

Please feel free to call or email me at any time over the weekend.

Kind Regards,



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