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Engagements

Part of Prime Minister – in the House of Commons on 4th March 2020.

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Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

As the right hon. Gentleman knows, this Government have put record funding into the NHS and we have pledged that we will give it everything that it needs to cope with the crisis.

It might be for the advantage of the right hon. Gentleman and the House if I update the House on where we are with the coronavirus outbreak. As yesterday’s plan made clear, we are not at the point yet where we are asking large numbers of people to self-isolate, but that, of course, may come if large numbers of people have the symptoms of coronavirus. If they stay at home, the House will understand that they are helping to protect all of us by slowing the spread of the virus and that is what the best scientific evidence tells us. If they stay at home and if we ask people to self-isolate, they may lose out financially, so I can today announce that the Health Secretary will bring forward, as part of our emergency coronavirus legislation, measures to allow the payment of statutory sick pay from the very first day you are sick, instead of four days under the current rules. That is the right way forward. Nobody should be penalised for doing the right thing.