UK Government is expanding its Work Support Network with tighter virus lockdowns due next week

LONDON — The U.K. Government has extended its Work Support Network as the country moves toward tighter coronavirus restrictions expected to be revealed next week.

Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said Friday that companies whose premises must be closed during the winter season as part of local or national restrictions would obtain grants to pay salaries to workers who are unable to operate.

In order to secure their jobs during the winter, the British Government would pay two thirds of the workers ‘ wages. Cash grants to companies in England that are forced to close will increase to up to 3,000 ($3,893) per month.

The new program will come into force on Nov. 1 and will last for six months. The BBC estimated that the expansion could cost hundreds of millions of pounds a month.

In a tweet, Sunak called for a safety net for companies across the U.K. They are obliged to temporarily close their doors, give them the right support at the right time.

The additional financial support comes ahead of more coronavirus restrictions, which are widely expected to be revealed late on Monday, with infections continuing to rise dramatically.

The United Kingdom has recorded 564,518 cases since Covid-19 first appeared late last year, with 42,682 deaths. Meanwhile, the Office for National Statistics said Friday morning that the number of cases in England doubled to about 17,200 per day in the last week of October 1 versus 8,400 per day in the previous week.

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