Coronavirus: UK offers firms extra $6.2 bln of lockdown assistance

Britain offered a new 4.6 billion pound ($6.2 billion) support package for businesses struggling to cope with a third national lockdown that began this week to stem a new wave of COVID-19 cases sweeping the country.

Finance minister Rishi Sunak said retail, hospitality and leisure companies will be able to claim new one-off grants worth up to 9,000 pounds to help them through the first months of 2021.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the lockdown late on Monday saying the highly contagious new coronavirus variant first identified in Britain was spreading so fast it risked overwhelming the National Health Service (NHS) within 21 days.

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