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Boris Johnson appeared to suggest the government would have to take extra measures to help the lowest-paid weather the financial impact of coronavirus on Monday, as Labour pressed for urgent action.

The prime minister was asked about the impact on poorer households after he announced that any family in which someone has a persistent cough or a fever should all stay at home for two weeks.

“We certainly will be bringing forward all measures that we can,” he said. “You’re totally right, we’re going to have to look after people, and help them for a considerable period. The principle guiding us is that nobody should be penalised for doing the right thing.

“We hope very much that people listening to this will feel that they can take the measures that have been outlined, in the knowledge that they will be effective.”

Labour is urging the government to take a series of measures to protect the incomes of the poorest, including introducing a ban on evictions for tenants whose income is hit by the coronavirus.

The government will publish a bill on Thursday, giving it sweeping powers to tackle the pandemic. Read more

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