A sign encouraging social distancing is seen in Hyde Park after the British government placed further restrictions on movement in London, Britain on March 24, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)
LONDON, March 26 (Xinhua) -- The British government will offer self-employed people 80 percent of wages for at least three months, up to 2,500 pounds (3,034 US dollars) a month, a move to help them get through the challenging time amid the coronavirus outbreak, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced Thursday.
Sunak said at a press conference that self-employed staffs will be able to apply for 80 percent of their average monthly profits over the last three years, with the grants for at least three months, or longer if necessary.
The Chancellor said that 95 percent of the self-employed will benefit from the "unprecedented level of support", hoping people to access the scheme no later than June.
"Today was about providing reassurance to the millions of people who are self-employed and are anxious about their security and livelihoods," said Sunak, adding that it is "one of most generous and comprehensive ways to support the self-employed anywhere in the world".
One week ago, the Chancellor pledged a 330-billion-pound package to help various scales of businesses to cope with the crisis.
Sunak also announced last Friday the government will cover 80 percent of wages for employees who are unable to work due to coronavirus outbreak, up to 2,500 pounds a month.
As of 9 a.m. local time Thursday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Britain reached 11,658, according to UK's Department of Health and Social Care.
As of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, 578 patients who tested positive for coronavirus have died. (1 British pound = 1.21 US dollars)