Extra bank holiday 'to boost economy'

Load Error Douglas McWilliams, deputy chairman of the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), also suggested a move towards a four-day working week could help the UK’s finances – in an apparent reversal of his thinktank’s previous position. The government is considering introducing an extra bank holiday in October, proposed by the tourist agency VisitBritain, partly to compensate for the effects of the Covid-19 lockdown. In 2012, the CEBR estimated that the average bank holiday left the UK with a bill for £2.3bn and asked: “Do we really need so many?” That research has since been widely used by opponents of further collective days off. Last year, the thinktank said it calculated that the effect on (GDP) of bank holidays were much lower than the £2.3bn bill estimated in 2012 since the UK had fewer factories that shut for the day, and because lost productivity could be made up elsewhere. After ordering pubs, bars, restaurants, theatres, gyms and leisure centres across the country to close indefinitely, Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the public on March23; outlining strict exercise and shopping limits, ordering all shops other than food stores and pharmacies to close, and implementing a ban on public gatherings of two or more people.FirstSecretary of State Dominic Raab, while deputising for Prime Minister Boris Johnson as he recovered from coronavirus (COVID-19), announced on April 16 that the U.K. lockdownwouldcontinuefor at least another three weeks. On May 10, the government then released preliminary guidelines on how the country is to exit the lockdown while setting out plans foratentativeeasing onsocial restrictions in the coming months. A rise in the popularity of baking during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown appears to have caused many major supermarkets across the UK to suffer a shortage of flour in recent weeks. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) warned the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic could see the U.K. economy shrink by a record 35 percent by June.  A man wears a religious placard on Market Street in Manchester, England on March 25.  Workers sell food and household items to local residents from their ice cream van at a supported housing estate in west Belfast, Northern Ireland on April 1. Soldiers and private contractors help to prepare the ExCel centre in London, which is being made into the temporary NHS Nightingale hospital comprising two wards, each of 2,000 people, to help tackle coronavirus, on March 30.  Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a press conference on the ongoing situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with chief medical officer Chris Whitty (L) and Chief scientific officer Sir Patrick Vallance (R) in Downing Street after he had taken part in the government's emergency Cobra meeting in London, England on March 16.