Washington • Sen. Mitt Romney has introduced legislation with a bipartisan group of senators to provide unemployment assistance to people, including those who are self-employed or independent contractors, who are unable to work because of the continuing coronavirus outbreak.

The bill would allow people to seek government help if they are sick, quarantined, furloughed or are dealing with family members affected by the virus or efforts to contain it.

“Our country is facing a serious health crisis, and Utahns shouldn’t have to choose between a paycheck and protecting their own health,” Romney said in a statement. “By providing assistance for those unable to work due to the coronavirus, our legislation will ease the financial uncertainty that families in Utah and across the country may face during this time.”

The Coronavirus Worker Relief Act would allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency unemployment relief program to cover those affected by the outbreak and waive state waiting periods or work search requirements.

The bill, if passed, would also make the payments to those out of work on par with state compensation laws and help states administer the assistance.