Two-thirds of Press Gazette readers say worth losing their job to curb spread of coronavirus

Two-thirds of Press Gazette readers say worth losing their job to curb spread of coronavirus

Two-thirds of Press Gazette readers support stringent measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak, even if this comes at the cost of their own job.

Over the past week 847 people responded to the question: “Is it more important to restart the economy or contain coronavirus (even if it means losing your own job)?”

Some 574 people (68 per cent) said it was more important to contain the outbreak, even at the expense of their own job, while 273 people (32 per cent) favoured restarting the economy.

Press Gazette analysis last month showed that more than 2,000 staff across the UK’s national and regional press had temporarily lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 outbreak as advertising revenues are badly hit, distribution is made more difficult and some coverage areas such as sport disappeared overnight.

A survey of independent hyperlocal news providers has shown three-quarters of them feel at risk of closure within weeks because of Covid-19, while title closures across the wider industry are also feared.

Plans to lift the lockdown are starting to be revealed, including the potential for some children to return to school on 1 June with pubs and restaurants among the last to reopen.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak promised last night that there would be no “cliff-edge” end to the Government’s job retention scheme which is paying 80 per cent of the salary of furloughed workers.

But he told ITV News the cost of the scheme is “not a sustainable solution” and that he is working “to figure out the most effective way to wind down the scheme and to ease people back into work in a measured way”.

Many UK newspapers have been produced entirely remotely for the first time in their history because of the outbreak, while other newsrooms have very minimal staff going in.

This could be set to continue for many months, as the FT reported office workers could be encouraged to stay closed to avoid overcrowding on public transport.

Once offices reopen more fully, one recommendation being mooted is that they run a two-team system in which they alternate between working from home for a week at a time so workers can social distance at their desks.

Picture: Aaron Chown/PA Wire



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