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12 May 2020, 13:12 | Updated: 12 May 2020, 13:22
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed the government's coronavirus furlough scheme has been extended until October.
The government is continuing to support businesses unable to keep on their staff amid the coronavirus pandemic by extending the furlough scheme for a further four months.
Rishi Sunak said employees on furlough will continue to receive 80 per cent of their monthly wages, up to £2,500.
However, from August onwards the government will ask businesses to start “sharing the cost” of the scheme.
7.5 million employees are now covered by the scheme.
The Chancellor explained that from August, the scheme would continue to support all sectors across the UK but with greater flexibility in order to support the transition back to work.
In the later months, the scheme will allow employees to return part-time.
Sunak told MPs in Parliament today: “Until the end of July, there will be no changes... From August to October, the scheme will continue... but with greater flexibility to support the transition back to work.”
The extension of the scheme is a month longer than had initially been expected.
It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his "roadmap" plan to ease the nation out of lockdown.
Boris Johnson has said there will be no immediate end to the UK's lockdown in a key address to the nation.
The Prime Minister announced the "first, careful steps" to ease restrictions, permitting "unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise" from Wednesday and allowing members of the same household to sit in parks and play sports.
"You can sit in the sun in your local park, you can drive to other destinations, you can even play sports but only with members of your own household," Mr Johnson said, warning that people must still "obey the rules on social distancing."
The Prime Minister emphasised that the conditions to completely relax the lockdown have not yet been met.