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Coronavirus UK: Energy companies set to freeze payments to help those working from home

EDF Energy has said it would consider offering delayed payments to customers forced to self-isolate or work from home because of the coronavirus outbreak. The energy company, one of the biggest utility companies in the UK, currently has approximately five million customers. It comes after the number of confirmed UK cases rose to 1,372 people today, up from 1,140 the day before.

The total death toll has risen to 35, after a further 13 patients died after testing positive for COVID-19.

Britons have been told to self-isolate for seven days if they are showing symptoms of the coronavirus, such as a persistent cough, a high temperature or shortness of breath.

The measure is to protect the virus from spreading.

In response, EDF Energy said it was prepared to offer customers who have to self-isolate additional support.

A spokeswoman said: “We recognise that over the coming weeks Covid-19 may have an impact on our customers, and we are prepared to offer these customers additional support and flexibility.

“Each case would be looked at on an individual basis, but additional support we could offer may include repayments made over a longer period of time, delay payment for a short period or offer alternative payment arrangements.”

The company will also consider offering the measures to those who have decided to work from home, in order to minimise the risk of contracting the virus, Express.co.uk understands.

EDF Energy said it would consider things on a case-by-case basis.

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Other companies have started “trial runs” for when there is a full shutdown, as implemented in several European countries, including Italy, France and Spain.

Universities have also started to reduce face-to-face contact, switching instead to online lectures.

Durham University, the London School of Economics, Manchester Metropolitan and London Metropolitan, are among those implementing coronavirus measures.

Several have also scrapped end of year exams in favour of online assessments.

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