Chancellor Rishi Sunak has warned the coronavirus furlough scheme "cannot continue indefinitely".

Hosting the Government's daily coronavirus briefing, Mr Sunak outlined a timeline for employers to start to help pay the wages of workers furloughed during the crisis.

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From October, employers will be expected to make up 20% of the wages of furloughed staff - while the government makes up the remaining 60%.

"Then [...] the scheme will close," said the Chancellor.

Mr Sunak also announced an extension to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme that had been due to expire on Sunday.

Announcing the changes, Mr Sunak said employers would need to start contributing "modestly" into furloughed salaries - beginning with National Insurance and employee contributions from August.

Mr Sunak said: "In June and July the scheme will continue as before with no employer contribution at all.

"In August, the taxpayer contribution to people's wages will stay at 80 per cent.

"Employers will only be asked to pay National Insurance and employer pension contributions, which, for the average claim, account for just 5 per cent of total employment costs."

Having previously warned the UK "is likely to face a severe recession" as a result of the pandemic, Mr Sunak said on Friday that a new collective effort to reopen the country has begun.

"Now, our thoughts, our energies, our resources must turn to looking forward to planning for the recovery and we will need the dynamism of our whole economy as we fight our way back to prosperity."

When quizzed on employment, however, the Chancellor admitted: "I can't and we can't protect every single job and every single business."

One journalist asked whether ministers would consider taking a pay cut in solidarity with workers - such as New Zealand politicians have done - to which Mr Sunak said:

"With all public sector pay, there’s probably a process for that as well which, of course, we'll look into."

Coupled with the easing of lockdown measures across the UK, Mr Sunak said Friday's announcement marked the start of "a new national collective effort [...] reopen our country and kick-start our economy."

When quizzed about the easing of restrictions in England, the Chancellor denied that the move had been taken in a "reckless or Big Bang" way.

He stressed that restrictions were only starting to be released because the country had met the Government's "five tests" for easing lockdown.

It comes as the UK death toll from coronavirus rose to 38,161 - with 324 further Covid-19 deaths reported on Friday.

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