For updated information surrounding the Coronavirus please check the government website: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Government Coronavirus text message
For the first time, all the UK’s mobile networks are sending out a government message to their customers with details of the new shutdown measures.
“GOV.UK CORONAVIRUS ALERT. New rules in force now: you must stay at home. More info and exemptions at gov.uk/coronavirus Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.”
The link in the government text is safe to click. However, the public must remain vigilant to other unsolicited coronavirus messages they receive by text or email which contain links that are not safe as scammers are using the chaotic situation to target victims.
Contactless limit to rise
Use of contactless payments has been encouraged during the Coronavirus pandemic. It has been announced that the spending limit for contactless card payments will be increased from April to £45. It was £30.
Nationwide early opening
Nationwide is opening more than 100 of its branches an hour early for older people and those with underlying health conditions to enable them to manage their money in a safe environment during the coronavirus pandemic. The branches will open at 8am instead of 9am, Monday to Friday.
Rail season ticket refunds
Commuters told to work from home will be able to get refunds for their season tickets, although some train companies may charge a £10 admin fee. Customers should contact their rail company for more information.
The rail industry is also removing the change of journey fee for advance tickets, normally £10.
Booking flight changes
Holidaymakers with upcoming flights are being offered free flight changes. British Airways customers due to travel before May 31 can change their destination, date of travel or both, or cancel in exchange for a voucher. Virgin Atlantic passengers who booked between March 12 and 31 to fly before 30 November can rebook to travel until next April at no extra cost. Ryanair has waived its flight change fee for travel between March 13 and April 30. Easy Jet passengers can change flights online for free.
Bank transfer fraud
Customers have lost £1.1 billion to bank transfer fraud in three years. A new security measure, confirmation of payee, which checks the name of the payee matches the identity listed for the account is due to be introduced by 31 March. However, only the five biggest banking groups have been told to sign up to the voluntary scheme and some had not yet confirmed a date for implementation.
Nation’s shopping habits
The Office for National Statistics has updated the nation’s official shopping basket which is used to assess inflation. New items added to the group include reusable bottles and mugs, self-tanning product and gluten free items. Items removed from the list include Mr Kipling’s fruit pies.