Boris Johnson admits Eat Out scheme might have helped fuel Covid spike

Boris Johnson admits Eat Out to Help Out scheme might have helped fuel spike in coronavirus cases but says it was crucial to save 'hundreds of thousands of jobs' Boris Johnson admitted the Eat Out to Help Out scheme might have fueled cases PM insisted popular subsidy was essential to save hundreds of thousands of jobs  Mr Johnson said government must 'strike balance' between economy and curbs 

By James Tapsfield, Political Editor For Mailonline

Published: 13:37 BST, 4 October 2020 | Updated: 14:53 BST, 4 October 2020

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Boris Johnson today admitted that the government's flagship Eat Out to Help Out scheme might have fueled the spike in coronavirus cases.

The PM was repeatedly challenged over whether the government had contributed to the recent rise in infections by encouraging people to dine out and return to offices.

But Mr Johnson insisted the subsidy had been crucial to save 'hundreds of thousands' of jobs, and stressed that ministers had to strike a 'balance' between saving the economy and protecting public health. 

The comments came as the premier was interviewed on the BBC's Andrew Marr show at the start of Tory Party conference - which is being held virtually amid the pandemic.  

Marr told Mr Johnson that policies such as the Eat Out scheme - which subsidised millions of half-price meals at restaurants in August - appeared to have added to the flare-up since the start of September.

The PM was repeatedly challenged by the BBC's Andrew Marr today (pictured) over whether the government had contributed to the recent rise in infections by encouraging people to dine out and return to offices

The PM was repeatedly challenged by the BBC's Andrew Marr today (pictured) over whether the government had contributed to the recent rise in infections by encouraging people to dine out and return to offices

Marr told Mr Johnson that policies such as the Eat Out scheme - which subsidised millions of half-price meals at restaurants in August - appeared to have added to the flare-up since the start of September

Marr told Mr Johnson that policies such as the Eat Out scheme - which subsidised millions of half-price meals at restaurants in August - appeared to

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