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An outdoor restaurant in London on July 6, 2020. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

The British government will give diners a 50% discount on their restaurant bills as part of an effort to jumpstart the country's economy after emerging from its coronavirus lockdown, the U.K. Treasury announced Wednesday.

The state of play: Under the "Eat Out to Help Out" plan, each patron will get up to £10, or $12.57, off their meal — not including alcoholic beverages — if they eat out between Monday and Wednesday at businesses that sign up for the program.

  • Bars and restaurants reopened in some portions of the country on Saturday after being shuttered for more than three months.
  • The U.K.'s accommodation and food industry has furloughed 1.4 million people since March, according to the Treasury, second only to retail.

By the numbers: The program will cost the government an estimated £500 milion, or about $629 million, according to Yahoo Finance.

  • The government estimates it will protect 1.8 million jobs, with about 130,000 businesses predicted to be eligible.
  • It also announced steep cuts to the value added tax for the food, hospitality, and attraction industries — from 20% to 5%.

Go deeper

Oct 16, 2020 - Health

U.S. reports over 63,000 daily COVID-19 cases

A health worker handling a coronavirus test sample Oct. 15 in Roxbury, Mass. Photo: Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald

The U.S. reported 63,172 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the nation's highest daily count since July 31 when it saw more than 66,000 new cases in a single day, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

Why it matters: Over 37,000 people are currently being hospitalized due to the virus in the U.S., while the country reported 951 new deaths from the virus. COVID-19 infections jumped by almost 17% over the past week as the number of new cases increased in 38 states and Washington, D.C.

Go deeper: The United States' stubbornly high coronavirus death rate

Trump baselessly accuses Fauci of being a "Democrat"

President Trump again criticized Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious disease expert, during a campaign rally in North Carolina on Thursday, claiming without evidence that the NIAID director is "a Democrat," and accusing him of downplaying the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Since the onset of the pandemic, Trump has repeatedly undermined Fauci, who has five decades of public service, describes himself as apolitical and is not registered with either party. In public statements and tweets, Trump has accused Fauci of blundering the government's response to the virus.

Oct 15, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Harris pauses campaign travel after aide tests positive for coronavirus

Photo: Erin Schaff/Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) will pause her travel through Sunday after her communications director tested positive for the coronavirus, the Biden campaign announced Thursday.

The state of play: The campaign said that the vice presidential nominee, who tested negative for the virus on Wednesday, was "not in close contact" with the aide, Liz Allen, under CDC guidelines. She will still pause her travel "out of an abundance of caution and in line with [the] campaign's commitment to the highest levels of precaution," the campaign said.