UK steps in to shore up railways from Covid-19 financial hit

The UK stepped in to shore up the country’s rail operators after Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned they face “tougher measures” to fight the coronavirus outbreak, including a potential lockdown if they continue to ignore calls to stop social gatherings.

UK steps in to shore up railways from Covid-19 financial hit

The UK stepped in to shore up the country’s rail operators after Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned they face “tougher measures” to fight the coronavirus outbreak, including a potential lockdown if they continue to ignore calls to stop social gatherings.

The UK Department for Transport said it will take on the revenue and cost risk for the country’s rail services for six months, with operators continuing to manage day-to-day services for a “a small, predetermined management fee”.

Mr Johnson said his government may be forced to take more stringent methods to enforce social distancing, and will consider its options over the next 24 hours.

“We need to think about the kinds of measures that we’ve seen elsewhere, other countries that have been forced to bring in restrictions on people’s movements altogether,” he said.

This week, the UK government will seek to fast-track emergency legislation through the UK parliament.

The measures reflect the growing sense of crisis, with Mr Johnson warning that the National Health Service is as little as two weeks away from being swamped.

- Bloomberg

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