NEWS
06/05/2020 08:11 BST | Updated 06/05/2020 11:33 BST

Coronavirus: Brits 'Addicted' To Wage Subsidies And Four Other Stories You Need To Know

Pet scams are on the rise. Donald Trump blames lack of medical equipment on impeachment. Here are five coronavirus stories you need to know today.

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The chancellor is set to announce the winding down of the government’s furlough scheme, and China partially opens schools at epicentre of the outbreak.

So far 29,427 people have died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK, the latest figures show.

Furlough scheme to be scaled back over concern people are ‘addicted’

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is preparing plans to “wind down” the government’s furlough scheme by July amid concerns the nation needs to be “weaned off” the wage subsidies.

According to The Times, the government hopes to get people back to work as the lockdown is eased by cutting the current 80% wage subsidy and lowering the current cap of £2,500 on monthly payments.

One senior source told the paper: “People are addicted to the scheme.”

Statista

Here are the main stories you need to know about coronavirus today:

Furlough scheme to be scaled back over concern people are ‘addicted’

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is preparing plans to “wind down” the government’s furlough scheme by July amid concerns the nation needs to be “weaned off” the wage subsidies.

According to The Times, the government hopes to get people back to work as the lockdown is eased by cutting the current 80% wage subsidy and lowering the current cap of £2,500 on monthly payments.

One senior source told the paper: “People are addicted to the scheme.”

President Trump blames impeachment for lack of medical equipment

Donald Trump has said the reason the US federal government did not have sufficient medical equipment when the coronavirus pandemic struck was because he had “a lot of things going on”.

Speaking to ABC News  on Tuesday, the president said: “We had a lot of people that refused to allow the country to be successful. They wasted a lot of time on Russia, Russia, Russia.

“That turned out to be a total hoax. Then they did Ukraine, Ukraine, and that was a total hoax. Then they impeached the president of the United States for absolutely no reason.”

The president also revealed plans to wind down the White House’s coronavirus task force, despite forecasts suggesting that, far from flattening the curve, the country is set to see an increase in coronavirus-related deaths.

Trump said his efforts to reopen parts of the country could result in “some” additional deaths, “but we have to get our country open”.

The New York Times has obtained research suggesting deaths could double to 3,000 a day, and the continuing spread of the disease could mean 200,000 new cases every day. 

China extends reopening 

Chinese state media has announced that schools in the city of Wuhan, where coronavirus originated, have partially reopened to allow some senior students to prep for exams.

Elsewhere in the country, Disney said on Tuesday it will reopen its Shanghai Disneyland park on May 11 but severely limit the number of guests and enforce strict social distancing measures on rides and in restaurants.

The plans provide a glimpse at how the company - which in previous quarters generated a third of its revenue from parks, experiences and consumer products - will recover from the pandemic.

“We will take a phased approach with limits on attendance using an advanced reservation and entry system, controlled guest density using social distancing and strict government required health and prevention procedures,” Disney chief executive officer Robert Chapek said on a conference call with analysts after reporting second-quarter earnings.

“These include the use of masks, temperature screenings and other contact tracing and early detection systems.”

UK carbon emissions fall by a third

Lockdown restrictions in the UK have had the side effect of lowering the country’s daily carbon emissions by a third, Sky News reports.

While residential emissions have risen, there have been huge drops on those generated by road users and air travel.

Separately, government advisors have outlined a number of steps that could be taken to ensure the UK’s economic recovery from the pandemic is as green as possible. 

More investment in broadband instead of building roads should be part of a “green” package of measures to rebuild the economy, while ministers should also take immediate steps to boost home insulation programmes, help people retrain in green jobs such as installing clean heat pumps, create more space for walking and cycling, and increase tree planting.

The government’s advisory Committee on Climate Change has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to tell him that action to cut greenhouse gas emissions is “integral” to the UK’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Pet scams triple as Brits are sold animals that don’t exist

Cruel scammers are exploiting Brits’ love of animals and desire for company amid the coronavirus lockdown by selling them fake pets through online adverts.

Reports of animal scams tripled in April to 524 cases across the UK, according to Action Fraud. There has been a surge in people looking for puppies and kittens as they spend more time at home and may be seeking companionship.

But criminals are exploiting the fact that buyers can’t visit and collect animals in person during lockdown, and are instead sending them photographs before persuading them to part with their money for pets that never materialise. 

Read the full exclusive report here.