The City of London Corporation plans to set up a new task force focused on saving the Covid-struck Square Mile as the UK battles to contain a second wave of the pandemic.
Catherine McGuinness, chair of the company’s Policy and Resources Committee, told Financial News that during a committee meeting on Sept. 24, she proposed the creation of a new group to lead London’s financial district through “a very challenging moment.”
The task force would consist of representatives from the company, the local authority in the city, and examine “what we can do ourselves to stimulate activity within the Square Mile [to] keep it up for the future ”.
“Serious damage will ensue if we put our economy to sleep,” she said. “We will lose jobs. We’re going to lose businesses and people are going to struggle with the debt they had to take on to survive. “
It comes just days after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new Covid restrictions to curb the spread of the virus. England’s coronavirus cases rose an estimated 73% in the week ending September 19, according to the latest data from the Office of National Statistics.
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From September 28th, England residents will be legally required to self-isolate if they test positive or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace. Fines of between £ 1,000 and £ 10,000 will be imposed on anyone who breaks the rules. Employers could also face fines for forcing or allowing employees to come to work when they should self-isolate.
Johnson’s new measures, due for six months, include a recommendation to return to work and a 10 p.m. hospitality curfew.
McGuinness announced in early September that the company would ask companies to bring their employees back to work if it was safe to do so.
She told the FN on Sept. 25 that she wanted the government to “study the evidence very carefully” in order to enforce her new restrictions.
“What we’ve seen from other financial hubs suggests that they have had more people in their offices for a while without that leading to an increase in the virus,” she said. “Let’s look very closely at the evidence and try to find a way to safely increase the footprint in the center because livelihoods are important too. And the economy is in really serious shape and facing really serious problems. “
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