No quick economic bounce back warns Chancellor

Even if we can re-open retail - which I would very much like to be able to do on June 1 - there will still be restrictions on how people can shop, which will have an impact likely on how much they spend.

Referring to relatively weak levels of growth in Europe as lockdown measures were gradually lifted elsewhere, he added: "In all cases it will take a little bit of time for things to get back to normal, even once we've reopened now closed sectors".

In more evidence of the problems, official figures earlier showed unemployment claims rose by more than 800,000 last month. "So I think, in all cases, it will take a little bit of time for things to get back to normal, even once we've re-opened now closed sectors", he said.

"The longer the depth of the recession, I think everyone would agree - all economic forecasters and economists would agree - it is likely the degree of that scarring will be greater", he said.

The Office for National Statistics says 2.1 million people claimed benefits last month, up by more than 856,000.

More than eight million jobs have been furloughed so far and 1.1 million people have accessed help under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. The Office of Budget Responsibility has previously suggested unemployment could reach "double digits" in the wake of the pandemic.

The UK labour market entered the Covid-19 crisis in rude health, with unemployment rate of 3.9 per cent - the lowest it has been since 19764.

"Of course that will have an impact on employment".

United Kingdom says dealing with technical issues of track and trace app - minister
But he said the tests would significantly boost understanding of the spread of the virus and the risks it poses in Britain. Brokenshire also said restrictions on arrivals in Britain from overseas would be introduced early next month.

Britain faces "a severe recession the likes of which we haven't seen" as the coronavirus and the lockdown ravage the economy, Rishi Sunak has warned.

Speaking at the daily Downing Street press conference in mid-April, he said "we can recover quickly and strongly and get our lives back to normal".

On social distancing, Sir Iain said "we're the only country certainly in Europe that I know of" that uses the two-metre rule.

He told the Lords committee: "I thought about a sectoral approach and in practice it would be very hard to implement".

"So we do need to look at how they manage that process and give them some flexibility".

The Chancellor highlighted the threat of "scarring" as he said it would "take time" for people to get "back to normal" even after the lockdown ends.

The Treasury revealed yesterday that more than £11.1bn had been claimed so far through the coronavirus job retention initiative.

"This figure is going to get worse before it gets better".

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