BEIS Get Help

NWAA has set up this COVID-19 page to support its members and partners. NWAA will be posting useful links and information from BEIS and the local authority.

Please feel free to get in touch with Sharon McDonald (sharon.mcdonald@aerospace.co.uk) or Claire Lambert (claire.lambert@aerospace.co.uk) if you wish to arrange a call to discuss how NWAA can support your business at this difficult time. 

Stay Safe!

COVID-19 Weekly bulletin - 1 April 2021

Workplace testing

Workplace testing programme expands to offer free rapid home testing: From 6 April, the workplace testing programme will supply home test kits to companies with over 10 workers where it is not possible to set up testing on-site, due to a lack of space or because companies operate across multiple sites. Businesses must register interest by 12 April to access free tests. Find out more here.

Employer testing duty: If you are an employer that requires staff to travel regularly across UK borders you must take reasonable steps to facilitate your employees to take tests. Find out more here.

Bespoke testing for eligible international arrivals travelling to England from outside the Common Travel Area. Some people do not have to quarantine if they are travelling for work, because of the jobs they do. Check this list of jobs to find out whether you qualify for an exemption from quarantine and whether you must follow a bespoke testing regime or day 2 and day 8 testing for international arrivals. Find more information here.

Seasonal workers to receive free Covid-19 tests on farms: Employers of seasonal agricultural workers in the edible horticulture sector are urged to register for free workplace testing

From the week commencing 12th April this bulletin will become the BEIS Bulletin, covering the whole breadth of BEIS policy and communications activity including coronavirus business information. If you would like to opt out of the new look bulletin you can unsubscribe at any time. 

New grant funding and Business rates relief in England

From 1 April businesses in England in the non-essential retail sector will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £6,000, while businesses in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym sectors, which are reopening later, will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £18,000. Businesses can check their eligibility for the Restart Grant here. This is coupled with £425 million of top-up funding for the ongoing Additional Restrictions Grant scheme for councils to distribute to businesses in particularly urgent need of additional support – which could also be businesses who don’t necessarily pay business rates like tour operators, B&Bs, caterers, freelancers and wedding service providers. Find out more here.

A new Business Rates relief fund of £1.5 billion for businesses affected by COVID-19 outside the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors has been announced to provide an extra, targeted support package for businesses who have been unable to benefit from the existing £16 billion business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses. The £1.5 billion pot will be allocated to local authorities in England based on the stock of properties in the area whose sectors have been affected by COVID-19. Local Authorities will use their knowledge of local businesses and the local economy to make awards. Find out more here

Workplace Guidance

Working safely guidance has been updated to include changes to national restrictions. Other specific changes include:

  • The visitor economy and Hotels and other guest accommodation guidance has been updated to include information on reasonable adjustments, changes to NHS Test and Trace regulations.
  • Providers of grassroots sport and sport facilities guidance has been updated to include information on reasonable adjustments, changes to NHS Test and Trace regulations, as well as a new shorter format focussing on actions to make your workplace COVID-Secure.
  • Shops and branches guidance includes additional information on ventilation, tests, how to operate fitting rooms safely and new requirements for collecting data for NHS Test and Trace (betting shops only).
  • Performing arts and Heritage locations guidance is updated in a new shorter format focussing on actions to make your workplace COVID-Secure.
  • Vehicles guidance has been updated with information on ventilation and tests.
  • Supported living services guidance has been updated with a new ‘Visits in and out of supported living settings’ section.
  • Care homes free COVID-19 PPE provision for health and social workers has been extended to March 2022.

Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace: Guidance has been updated to reflect the change in rules for when a group enters a venue. From 29 March 2021, every customer or visitor should be asked to scan the NHS QR code or provide their name and contact details, not just a lead member.

New and Updated Guidance

Coronavirus restrictions: what you can and cannot do from 29 March: Guidance has been updated with ‘what’s changed’ from 29 March.

Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus: Information on the weekly rate in the ‘what you can claim’ section has been updated to reveal new weekly rate from 6 April 2021 is now £96.35. For more information, click here.

Automatic filing extensions granted by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act due to come to an end: Guidance has been updated to reflect the automatic extensions granted by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act for confirmation statement filings, accounts filings and event-driven filings will come to an end after 5 April 2021.

Advice for pregnant employees: Guidance has been updated to include information on the next stage of the roadmap.

Driver and rider trainer guidance:

  • Scotland: Updated guidance confirms that all types of driver and motorcycle training will restart on 26 April 2021 at the earliest, lorry, bus and coach driving tests will restart on 26 April 2021 at the earliest, and that car driving tests, motorcycle tests and approved driving instructor tests will restart on 6 May 2021 at the earliest.
  • England: Updated guidance confirms that motorcycle training, bus training and tests, Driver CPC part 4 (practical demonstration) tests, and specialist vehicle training and tests in England will restart on 29 March 2021, and that motorcycle tests in England will restart on 12 April 2021.

Job Retention Scheme

  • Guidance has been updated with dates for when your employer can claim for you if you were employed on or before 30 October 2020, and details of when the employers claim will be publicly available. For periods from 1 November 2020 to 30 April 2021, your employer can claim for you if you were employed on or before 30 October 2020, as long as they have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020. This may differ if you were made redundant, or you stopped working for them on or after 23 September 2020 and they then re-employed you.
  • Claim for some of your employee’s wages if you have put them on furlough or flexible furlough because of coronavirus: Guidance has been updated to explain that earliest you can make a claim for May 2021 is 19 April 2021.
  • Find out if you are eligible and how much you can claim to cover wages for employees on temporary leave (‘furlough’): Guidance has been updated with sections about the periods for when you can make a claim, if your employee does training and details of when the claim will be publicly available.

Steps to take before calculating your claim: Guidance updated to reflect dates for when employers can make a claim.

Haulier Advice

From April 6, hauliers arriving in England from abroad will need to take a COVID-19 test if they are staying for more than 2 days. They need to take the first test within the first 2 days, then further tests every 3 days. This will apply to drivers and crews of HGVs and drivers of vans and other light goods vehicles. It applies to both UK-based and non-UK hauliers. Find out more here.

  • Safer practice for international hauliers: Guidance has been updated on the ‘Stay in cab’ requirement for international hauliers in England.
  • Haulier advice site locations: Guidance has been updated to reflect Cannock Roadking, Markham Moor and Pont Abraham sites are now closed.

Driver CPC card extension for lorry, bus and coach drivers now expired: Guidance updated to inform that the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) card extended by 7 months to complete 35 hours of periodic training, for card due to expire from 1 February to 31 August 2020 has now expired.

Other useful links

Some aspects of business support are devolved. Specific information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales is available. In England, Growth Hubs can advise on local and UK Government business support. You can also find helpful business case studies and other useful information on the Coronavirus Business Support Blog.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Businesses and Employers Bulletin - 25 March 2021

Check if you are eligible for a coronavirus Restart Grant

The Restart Grant scheme supports businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, personal care, and accommodation sectors with a one-off grant, to reopen safely as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Grants available from 1 April 2021 but applications can be submitted in advance.

Reopening safely as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted

Check how the rules will change on 29 March: Guidance has been updated to include a summary of changes to the rules in England from 29 March.

  • At this stage, some further settings will be permitted to open. This will include outdoor sports facilities and formally organised outdoor sport will also return. Indoor facilities, such as changing rooms, should not be used at this time, although toilet facilities can be accessed.
  • Businesses eligible to host childcare and supervised activities for children will be able to host all outdoor children’s activities, and outdoor parent-and child groups for up to 15 people (not counting those aged under five).

Full guidance on reopening business and venues in England can be found here.

You can read the ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’ for more information on the roadmap out of lockdown in England.

Working safely during Coronavirus: Guidance has been updated with a new shorter format focusing on actions to make your workplace COVID-secure and Step 1 of the roadmap out of lockdown.

Closing certain businesses and venues in England: Guidance that sets out restrictions on certain businesses and venues in England during National Lockdown has been updated.

New and updated guidance

Date extended for Possession of evictions by enforcement officers and notice to tenants in England

Guidance for landlords and tenants in the private and social rented sectors has been updated to reflect extension of date for prevention of evictions by enforcement officers in England to 31 May 2021 and confirmation of six months’ notice to tenants extended to 31 May 2021.

HMRC extended the time limit for notifying an option to tax land and buildings

Guidance has been updated to temporarily extend the time limit to 90 days from the date the decision to opt was made. This applies to decisions made between 15 February 2020 and 30 June 2021. For more information, click here.

Partially exempt VAT registered businesses

HMRC has released a brief outlining the accelerated process for VAT registered businesses to request temporary alterations to their partial exemption methods to reflect changes to their business practices because of the coronavirus pandemic. For more information on the brief, click here.

Find out about taxable expenses and benefits when they are paid to employees because of coronavirus and how to report them to HMRC

Guidance has been updated to reflect information about paying or refunding transport costs for employees.

Shielding advice for the clinically extremely vulnerable to stop from April

Clinically extremely vulnerable people in England are no longer advised to shield from Thursday 1 April 2021. For more information, click here.

Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme: claiming financial support Test and Trace Support Payment scheme updated to reflect that you can claim up to 42 days after the first day of your self-isolation period, and that the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme has been extended to parents and guardians who need to take time off work to care for a child who is self-isolating.

Travel

Update on red list travel ban Countries:

  • From 4am Friday 19 March, Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores) and Mauritius were removed from the red list travel ban countries;
  • From 4am Friday 19 March, Ethiopia, Oman, Qatar, and Somalia were added to the red list travel ban countries.

For more information on the England red list, click here.

Jobs that qualify for travel exemptions: Guidance has been updated to reflect that aviation and maritime crews are exempted from red list country quarantine measures.

Restrictions on entering the Netherlands

From Tuesday 16 March, you do not need to take a coronavirus test if you are an HGV or van driver returning to the Netherlands after spending less than 48 hours in the UK. Guidance has been updated to include information on COVID-19 test timeframes for round-trips between the UK and the Netherlands.

Suspension of Operations at Manston

From Sunday 21 March, all haulier processing operations, including COVID testing for hauliers, has been suspended at Manston Airport. If heading to the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel, you will be directed straight onto the M20. Free COVID testing for hauliers is still available at one of the many Information and Advice sites, and Inland Border Facility checks will continue to be processed by Ashford Sevington, or one of the other sites across the country. Hauliers are strongly encouraged to get a negative COVID-19 test, to use the Check an HGV is Ready to Cross the Border service and get a valid Kent Access Permit before arriving in Kent to minimise delays. Please also follow any traffic management signs.

Brexit Support Fund

£20 million SME Brexit Support Fund opens for applications: For businesses new to importing and exporting

From 15 March 2021, smaller businesses can apply for grants of up to £2,000 to help them adapt to new customs and tax rules when trading with the EU. The £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund enables traders to access practical support, including training for new customs, rules of origin and VAT processes. Check for more information about the SME Brexit Support Fund, including details of how to apply, applications will close on 30 June 2021 or earlier if all funding is allocated before this date.

Other useful links

Some aspects of business support are devolved. Specific information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales is available. In England, Growth Hubs can advise on local and UK Government business support. You can also find helpful business case studies and other useful information on the Coronavirus Business Support Blog.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Businesses and Employers Bulletin - 11 March 2021

BEIS: Delivering the Budget’s commitments – Protecting jobs and livelihoods, and backing business

Following the Budget announcement on Wednesday 3 March, Business Secretary, Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, outlined in his statement that the Department for Business will have a key role to play in delivering the Budget's commitments, aimed at protecting the jobs and livelihoods of the British people through the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Business Secretary said, “Recognising the critical role our innovators and wealth creators will play in driving our economic recovery,  Government has unveiled a raft of measures to stimulate private investment, including a radical new super-deduction to cut companies’ tax bills if they invest in Britain’s future”.  Other highlights were:

  • £5 billion for new Restart Grants 
  • a new UK-wide Recovery Loan Scheme to make available loans between £25,001 and £10 million
  • the business rates holiday in England has been extended by an additional 3 months
  • For the hospitality and tourism sectors an extension to the temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT until 30 September 2021
  • SMEs will continue to be able to reclaim up to two weeks of eligible Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) 
  • the trading loss carry-back rule will be temporarily extended from the existing one year to 3 years

Further information can be found here.

Further support for commercial tenants

Government has announced that the ban on commercial evictions has been extended to 30 June 2021 to ensure businesses are supported as they re-open. Further information can be found here.

Financial Support

Recovery Loan Scheme: The Recovery Loan Scheme ensures businesses of any size can continue to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £10 million per business once the existing COVID-19 loan schemes close, providing support as businesses recover and grow following the disruption of the pandemic and the end of the transition period.

  • The finance can be used for any legitimate business purpose, including growth and investment.
  • The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender to ensure they continue to have the confidence to lend to businesses.
  • The scheme launches on 6 April and is open until 31 December.

For more information on the scheme, click here.

Find out if you are eligible for Self-Employment Income Support Scheme fourth grant which will cover the period February 2021 to April 2021:

  • grant will be set at 80% of 3 months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment, capped at £7,500;
  • grant will consider 2019 to 2020 tax returns and will be open to those who became self-employed in tax year 2019 to 2020;
  • to be eligible for the fourth grant you must be a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership.

For more information on the scheme, click here.

Deferred VAT Payments: Find out how to pay VAT payments deferred between 20 March and 30 June 2020. You can pay now or join the VAT deferral new payment scheme.  If you’re on the VAT Annual Accounting Scheme or the VAT Payment on Account Scheme, you can join the scheme from 10 March 2021.  Further information is available here.

Update on Kickstart Gateways: Guidance has been updated with information about funding schedule and employers get an initial payment of £1,860, that includes £360 per job placement for admin costs, and more detail added to the steps in getting the young people into the job placements.

Application deadline for Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment: Guidance has been updated to reflect the deadline for the application closing date for Grant scheme and confirmed details of new subsidy allowance.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (for closed businesses): Guidance has been updated with the Grant scheme closing date and confirmed details of new subsidy allowance.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (for open businesses): Guidance has been updated with information on the closing date and details of new subsidy allowance.

Sector and workplace guidance

Testing for homecare workers: Guidance on the section for ‘A testing service for homecare workers in England’ has been replaced with an updated version of the document. 

Workplace testing: Register interest by 31 March to access regular free workplace testing: All businesses regardless of size are now able to register to order free workplace testing kits for their employees who are unable to work from home. As around 1 in 3 people with coronavirus do not have symptoms, regular testing will be vital to support the gradual easing of restrictions. Businesses can register here for tests – all businesses, including those that are currently closed, need to register by 31 March 2021.

New start date for Driving theory tests: Theory tests are suspended in England because of the national lockdown. Theory tests will restart on 12 April 2021. For more information on theory tests, click here.

Date correction on when driving lessons and tests can resume: Guidance has been updated with car and trailer driving tests beginning from 12 April. Tractor and specialist vehicle training and tests from 29 March in England.

Travel

Mandatory form for international travel launched

  • New Guidance: From 8 March 2021, passengers travelling internationally will need to carry a new form that sets out their trip is permitted under the stay at home restrictions. The simple formmust be downloaded, signed before travel, and carried or downloaded onto a mobile phone.
  • Updated Guidance: Some people are exempt from completing the declaration form because of the job they do. Find out about which jobs are exempt and the conditions that apply.
  • Travelling to Europe for work? Business Travel: A new short explainer document has been produced to help you understand the new rules that are in place for business travel to Europe for work. These rules apply to you if you are travelling for work in Europe regardless of whether you are attending a conference or providing services.  For more information on entry requirements, luggage, earnings, qualifications, and insurance pertaining to your travel, view the full explainer document.

Requirement for transport Operators: Guidance has been updated for transport operators to ensure provision of coronavirus information to passengers travelling to England.

Update on tests for HGV or van driver: Guidance has been updated with information on test timeframes for round-trips between the UK and France, and the time-stamped document drivers will receive to help verify how much time they have spent in the UK.

Other

Calling all small businesses based in the North of England

Are you interested in practical solutions to help achieve your low-carbon goals? ♻️

Join the Department for Business virtual event, focused on the North of England on Friday 19 March

Limited places available. Register here   #TogetherForOurPlanet

Cyber Aware Campaign:

The National Cyber Security Centre have launched a self-assessment tool to help sole traders and micro businesses check how safe they are from cyber threats, and to give advice on areas of improvement. To use the toolkit and for more information, visit CyberAware.gov.uk.

Business Support Helpline

There are new rules for businesses doing business with the EU from 1 January, and you need to take action now.  To help you, a helpline has been set up. For English businesses, the Business Support Helpline can help you identify the actions you need to take. Similar helplines are available for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. 

For more information for businesses in England, call 0800 998 1098.  For businesses in Scotland, call 0300 303 0660.  For businesses in Wales, call 0300 060 3000 and for businesses in Northern Ireland, call 0800 181 4422. For more information, including opening hours, click here

Other useful links

Some aspects of business support are devolved. Specific information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales is available. In England, Growth Hubs can advise on local and UK Government business support. You can also find helpful business case studies and other useful information on the Coronavirus Business Support Blog.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business and Employers Bulletin - 4 March 2021

A message from Business Secretary, Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, following the Budget announcement

"Yesterday the Government has delivered an optimistic vision for the future of the British economy, providing certainty on the back of wide-ranging measures that build on our extensive support for workers and businesses across the UK at this difficult and unprecedented time".

“The Budget delivers on our commitment to support businesses through the pandemic and level up every corner of the UK, supporting jobs through the extension of the Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, as well as the continuation of business rate holidays and VAT cuts for disrupted businesses and the new ‘Help to Grow’ scheme to help 130,000 small and medium businesses build back better.”

BUDGET 2021: Protecting the jobs and livelihoods of the British people

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, presented his Budget to Parliament on Wednesday 3 March 2021. The three-point plan to protect jobs and strengthen public finances announced:

  • billions to support businesses and families through the pandemic;
  • investment-led recovery as UK emerges from lockdown;
  • future changes to strengthen public finances.

Measures announced in the Budget include:

  • An extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to September 2021 across the UK. Employers will be expected to pay 10% towards the hours their staff do not work in July, increasing to 20% in August and September, as the economy reopens.
  • An extension of the UK-wide Self Employment Income Support scheme to September 2021, with 600,000 more people who filed a tax return in 2019-20 now able to claim for the first time.
  • £5 billion for new Restart Grants – a one off cash grant of up to £18,000 for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses in England.
  • A new UK-wide Recovery Loan Scheme to make available loans between £25,001 and £10 million, and asset and invoice finance between £1,000 and £10 million, to help businesses of all sizes through the next stage of recovery.
  • Extension to the VAT cut to 5%, for hospitality, accommodation and attractions across the UK until the end of September, followed by a 12.5% rate for a further six months until 31 March 2022.
  • 750,000 eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will benefit from business rates relief to continue for three months to the end of June. For the nine months after, the rate will be 66 per cent.
  • An extension to the temporary cut in Stamp Duty Land Tax in England and Northern Ireland until September will support the housing market and protect and create jobs.
  • A new mortgage guarantee scheme will enable all UK homebuyers secure a mortgage up to £600,000 with a 5% deposit.
  • Extension of the apprenticeship hiring incentive in England to September 2021, and an increase of payment to £3,000.
  • £7 million for a new “flexi-job” apprenticeship programme in England, that will enable apprentices to work with a number of employers in one sector.
  • Additional £126 million for 40,000 more traineeships in England, funding high quality work placements and training for 16-24 year olds in 2021/22 academic year.
  • Small and medium-sized employers in the UK will continue to be able to reclaim up to two weeks of eligible Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) costs per employee from the Government.
    • To further support the cashflow of businesses, the government is extending the loss carry back rules worth up to £760,000 per company.
    • The rate of Corporation Tax will increase to 25%, which will remain the lowest rate in the G7. In order to support the recovery, the increase will not take effect until 2023. Businesses with profits of £50,000 or less, around 70% of actively trading companies, will continue to be taxed at 19%, and a taper above £50,000 will be introduced, so that only businesses with profits greater than £250,000 will be taxed at the full 25% rate.
    • Beginning April 2021, the new super-deduction capital allowance will cut companies’ tax bill by 25p for every pound they invest in new equipment.
    • Fuel duty and alcohol duties will be frozen.
    • Eight new English Freeports will be based in East Midlands Airport, Felixstowe & Harwich, Humber, Liverpool City Region, Plymouth, Solent, Thames and Teesside.
    • The £375 million UK-wide ‘Future Fund: Breakthrough’ will invest in highly innovative companies, such as those working in life sciences, quantum computing, or clean tech, that are aiming to raise at least £20 million of funding.
    • Reforms to the immigration system will help ambitious UK businesses attract the brightest and best international talent.
    • A new Help to Grow scheme, to offer up to 130,000 companies across the UK, a digital and management boost.
    • Build Back Better: our plan for growth sets out the Government’s plans to support growth through significant investment in infrastructure, skills and innovation, and to pursue growth that levels up every part of the UK, enables the transition to net zero, and supports our vision for Global Britain.

    All Budget 2021 documents can be found here.


Coronavirus testing

Sector and workplace guidance

Letter to businesses on workplace testing: This letter from the Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng encourages businesses to test their staff for COVID-19 by registering for free testing kits provided by the government. These tests are for staff who cannot currently work from home. Only businesses registered in England can register for free testing.

Testing guidance for employers: Guidance for employers and third-party healthcare providers on the regulations and legal obligations of running testing programmes has been updated to reflect the ongoing evolution of private-sector testing.

Essential workers prioritised for COVID-19 testing: A list of essential workers prioritised for PCR testing for coronavirus is available here.

Reopening businesses and venues in England: NEW Guidance details the steps to reopen certain businesses and venues in England.

 Restricting workforce movement between care homes and other care settings: NEW guidance for care home providers on limiting staff movement between settings in all but exceptional circumstances to help reduce the spread of coronavirus infection.

 Safety screens for taxis and PHVs: NEW guidance provides advice for drivers, operators and owners of taxis or private hire vehicles (PHVs) who choose to fit a screen or barrier to their vehicle(s) to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Global travel taskforce: The Global Travel Taskforce is charged with exploring safe and secure ways to restart international travel when the time is right. The taskforce will provide a report to the Prime Minister on 12 April, which will be used to help determine when and how to resume safe international travel no earlier than 17 May 2021.

Safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care: Guidance has been updated to include changes to the system of controls.

Cyber Aware Campaign: The National Cyber Security Centre have launched a self-assessment tool to help sole traders and micro businesses check how safe they are from cyber threats, and to give advice on areas of improvement. To use the toolkit and for more information visit CyberAware.gov.uk.

New video content to help keep your business moving

Doing business with Europe has changed. You need to follow new rules on exports, imports, tariffs, data and hiring.  

All businesses can find out what has changed, and check their preparations, by visiting new video content from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The short, on-demand videos cover 18 topics, including importing and exporting, rules of origin and audit and accounting. Click here to immediately access the video content. New rules are here – make sure your business is prepared. 

Updated guidance

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme:

  • The scheme has been extended until 30 September 2021. From 1 July 2021, the level of grant will be reduced each month and employers will be asked to contribute towards the cost of furloughed employees’ wages. Find out more about the changes.
  • Claims for furlough days in February 2021 must be made by 15 March 2021.
  • Guidance has been updated with information about how employees can use their personal tax account to see if they were included in any December 2020 claims.

Update on Kickstart Scheme Grant: Guidance has been updated with information about what employers should spend the £1,500 funding for setup costs on and with information about what to do if a young person leaves their job placement early.

Self-Assessment Payments – Time to Pay: Guidance has been updated to show you can set up a Time to Pay arrangement online for amounts up to £30,000 up to 60 days after 31 January 2021 without having to contact HMRC.

Companies House to resume voluntary and compulsory strike off: Following a temporary pause, Companies House will resume strike off processes from 8 March 2021.   

Other useful links

Some aspects of business support are devolved. Specific information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales is available. In England, Growth Hubs can advise on local and UK Government business support. You can also find helpful business case studies and other useful information on the Coronavirus Business Support Blog.

 

 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Businesses and Employers Bulletin -24 February 2021

Step-by-step plan announced to ease restrictions in England

The Prime Minister, Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, announced to Parliament on Monday 22 February, the government’s roadmap to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions in England.

  • It published a four-step roadmap to ease restrictions across England and provide a route back to a more normal way of life. Before taking each step, the Government will review the latest data on the impact of the previous step, against four tests on vaccines, infection rates and new coronavirus variants to be met at each stage:
  • Step 1— no earlier than 8 March* - return to face-to-face education in schools and colleges; the Stay-at-Home requirement will remain, but people can leave home for recreation outdoors such as a coffee or picnic with their household or support bubble, or with one person outside their household. Further limited changes from 29 March, the Stay-at-Home order will end, although many lockdown restrictions will remain, Rule of six or two households outdoors allowed; outdoor sport and leisure facilities open, organised outdoor sport allowed.
  • Step 2 – no earlier than 12 April* - Non-essential retail and personal care open; hospitality outdoors open; indoor leisure (gyms and swimming pools) open and self-contained holiday accommodation open. Event pilots begin. 
  • Step 3 - no earlier than 17 May* – Gatherings of over 30 people remain illegal; outdoor performances such as outdoor cinemas, and outdoor theatres can reopen. Indoors, the rule of 6 or 2 households will apply; indoor hospitality, entertainment venues such as cinemas and soft play areas, the rest of the accommodation sector, and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes will also reopen. International travel will be subject to review.
  • Step 4 – no earlier than 21 June* – No legal limits on social contact, reopening the remaining closed settings like Nightclubs, and larger events, no legal limit on all live events (all subject to review).
  • The decision on each stage will be based on data not dates, and government will move cautiously to keep infection rates under control.

The roadmap can be found in full here.

* Earliest possible date

New video content to help keep your business moving

Doing business with Europe has changed. You need to follow new rules on exports, imports, tariffs, data and hiring.  

All businesses can find out what has changed, and check their preparations, by visiting new video content from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The short, on-demand videos cover 18 topics, including importing and exporting, rules of origin and audit and accounting. Click here to immediately access the video content. New rules are here – make sure your business is prepared. 

Financial Support

Information about repaying Eat Out to Help Out Scheme payments.

Guidance on receiving payments you were not entitled to, has been updated.

Other useful links

Some aspects of business support are devolved. Specific information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales is available. In England, Growth Hubs can advise on local and UK Government business support. You can also find helpful business case studies and other useful information on the Coronavirus Business Support Blog.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Businesses and Employers Bulletin -18 February 2021

The National Workplace Testing Programme

The National Workplace Testing programme will identify more positive cases of COVID-19 and ensure those infected, isolate, protecting those who cannot work from home and our vital services. This programme is crucial given that around 1 in 3 people have coronavirus without displaying any symptoms and will enable more people who have the virus to be identified sooner and break the chains of transmission. 

The programme is aimed at those without symptoms and who cannot work from home during lockdown. Companies in England with over 50 employees, can register on gov.uk to order coronavirus tests for their workforces.

Organisations with less than 50 staff, sole traders, the self-employed, or members of the public, should visit their local authority’s website for further information about their testing services.

Travel

Booking and staying in a quarantine hotel when you arrive in England

Everyone who arrives at England must quarantine for 10 days from the point of their arrival. The day of arrival in England will be treated as day zero. From 15 February, for people who have travelled from, or passed through a country on the list, where travel to the UK is banned (the ‘red list’)in the last 10 days before arrival, you must quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel.

Before you travel you must:

For more information, click here.

Minimum standards for private sector providers of the COVID-19 tests for people arriving in England.

By law, all tests privately provided testing on day 2 and day 8 for international arrivals must meet minimum standards as outlined in the guidance. Providers must also complete a declarationthat their tests meet all of these standards. More information on the minimum standards for day 2 and day 8 mandatory tests can be found in the guidance for private providers. Check the list of providers: Test to Release for international travel.

Get a coronavirus test if you are an HGV or van driver before you leave the UK for some countries

You must test negative for coronavirus before you travel from the UK to:

Check FCDO travel advicefor any country you are planning to enter. For more information, click here.

Checkchangego1

New video content to help keep your business moving

Doing business with Europe has changed. You need to follow new rules on exports, imports, tariffs, data and hiring.  

All businesses can find out what has changed, and check their preparations, by visiting new video content from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The short, on-demand videos cover 18 topics, including importing and exporting, rules of origin and audit and accounting. Click here to immediately access the video content. New rules are here – make sure your business is prepared. 

Other opportunities

UN Climate Change Conference – Get Involved

The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 1-12 November 2021.  The expression of Interest process to apply to get involved in UK Government managed spaces at COP26 is open now until Friday 5 March at 17:00 GMT. This includes opportunities such as hosting of events, creative installations, and exhibition space. Find out more here.

Free cyber security webinars

The National Cyber Security Centre is running a series of free cyber security webinars and talks in late February and March 2021. These events are aimed at UK businesses of all sizes, educational institutions, and charities. Find out more and register here.

Other useful links

Some aspects of business support are devolved. Specific information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales is available. In England, Growth Hubs can advise on local and UK Government business support. You can also find helpful business case studies and other useful information on the Coronavirus Business Support Blog.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Businesses and Employers Bulletin -12 February 2021

Government boost to rapid workplace testing

An online portal has been launched to make it even easier for business in the private sector to get involved and find out more about offering rapid testing in the workplace. Business that are open during lockdown can now sign up to rapid testing programmes that identify cases of Covid-19 in employees who are not showing symptoms, to help stop the spread of Covid-19, and ensure vital public and economic services can continue.  

Businesses can register to order coronavirus rapid lateral flow tests for employees if:

  • Your business is registered in England
  • You employ 50 people or more
  • Your employees cannot work from home

Testing is key to breaking the chains of transmission. Around one in three people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and may be unknowingly spreading the virus. This expansion of testing will find more positive cases, keeping workers who cannot work from home unknowingly passing on the virus and protecting vital public services. For more information, click here.

Financial Support

Bounce Back Loan – new payment flexibilities

Bounce Back Loan borrowers will now have the option to tailor payments according to their individual circumstances. Pay as You Grow repayment flexibilities now provide businesses with the following options to:

  • Extend the length of the loan from six years to ten
  • Make interest-only payments for six months, with the option to use this up to three times throughout the loan
  • Pause repayments entirely for up to six months

The scheme is open to applications until 31 March 2021. Apply for a coronavirus Bounce Back Loan.

Find out how to pay VAT payments deferred between 20 March and 30 June 2020

You can pay now or get ready to join the VAT deferral new payment scheme. The new scheme lets you pay your deferred VAT in equal instalments, interest free and choose the number of instalments, from 2 to 11 (depending on when you join). Find out more here.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Guidance on ‘What to include when calculating wages’ has been updated to give more information about non-monetary benefits and employer pension contributions under salary sacrifice.

Payment of Class 2 National Insurance contributions through a Time to Pay arrangement

Guidance has been updated, with added information about payment of Class 2 National insurance contributions, through a Time to Pay arrangement, and paying in instalments.

Working safely

Court safety for legal professionals: New information on the arrangements in place at courts and tribunals is available.

Covid-19 and the private security industry: Frequently Asked Questions have been updated.

Guidance for people who work in or from vehicles: Guidance has been updated with information on tests and vaccinations.

New video content to help keep your business moving

Doing business with Europe has changed. You need to follow new rules on exports, imports, tariffs, data and hiring.  

All businesses can find out what has changed, and check their preparations, by visiting new video content from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The short, on-demand videos cover 18 topics, including importing and exporting, rules of origin and audit and accounting. Register now to immediately access the video content. New rules are here – make sure your business is prepared. 

Travel

New quarantine enforcement measures come into force on Monday 15 February.

Haulier advice site locations: Page has been updated with information thatHauliers need a negative COVID-19 test result before travelling to:

For more information click here.

Other useful links

Some aspects of business support are devolved. Specific information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales is available. In England, Growth Hubs can advise on local and UK Government business support. You can also find helpful business case studies and other useful information on the Coronavirus Business Support Blog.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Businesses and Employers Bulletin - 4 February 2021

If you are an employer looking to create jobs placements for young people, you can apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme. The Kickstart Scheme has changed. You no longer need a minimum of 30 job placements to apply directly for a grant. 

  • You can now apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant by either: 
  • Employers can spread the start date of the job placements up until the end of December 2021. 
  • If you need help with the Kickstart Scheme process, contact your local Kickstart Scheme contacts

For promotional materials, check the Kickstart Scheme employer guide.  

Sector Specific Support Schemes

The Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme is now open to commercial airports and ground handlers 

The Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme has been set up to support commercial airports and ground handlers in England in recognition of their fixed costs and the impacts of COVID-19 on their revenue. Airports and ground handlers in England are eligible to receive up to £8 million each and can apply to the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme online 

Film and TV Production Restart Scheme 

Productions can still register for the scheme until April 2021, helping them manage the continued uncertainty and support thousands more jobs. The Film and TV Production Restart Scheme is available to compensate productions starting or restarting production and covers losses due to delays or abandonment as a result of Coronavirus. This is a temporary measure, supporting productions which commence filming before 30 April 2021 and for coronavirus-related losses through to the end of June 2021. The deadline for claims if registered is 30 June 2021. Find out more here

Workforce Capacity Fund for adult social care 

Information for local authorities and adult social care providers on the £120 million Workforce Capacity Fund during coronavirus is available here.  

Business Support:Updated Guidance

Providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus outbreak 

Guidance has been updated with information on face-to-face training and when to consider a break in an apprenticeship. 

NHS Test and Trace in the workplace 

Guidance on what to do if you or someone you employ is contacted by NHS Test and Trace has been updated on with information on when to contact your local health protection team 

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme: Claims for the third grant have now closed  

The last date for making a claim for the third grant was 29 January 2021. Details about the fourth grant will be announced on 3 March 2021. Find out more here.  

The deadline for applications for the Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs has been extended 

Guidance has been updated to reflect the deadline for applications for the Christmas Support Payment for wet-led pubs has been extended to 28 February 2021. For more information on eligibility, what you get and how to apply, click here

Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations are providing coronavirus related support for specific sectors. 

The government is working closely with Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations to support the national response to coronavirus.  A list is available here.  

Driver and rider trainer guidance: Teaching mobile emergency workers with an emergency driving test booked 

Guidance has been updated with added information and the rules about teaching mobile emergency workers with an emergency driving test booked in England and Wales. You cannot do this in Scotland.  

New video content to help keep your business moving

Doing business with Europe has changed. You need to follow new rules on exports, imports, tariffs, data and hiring.  

All businesses can find out what has changed, and check their preparations, by visiting new video content from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The short, on-demand videos cover 18 topics, including importing and exporting, rules of origin and audit and accounting. Register now to immediately access the video content. New rules are here – make sure your business is prepared. 

Travel

New Guidance: Travel Bans 

You must not travel, including abroad, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays and other leisure purposes. Check the rules that apply to you in EnglandScotlandWales and Northern Ireland

United Arab Emirates, Burundi and Rwanda added to travel ban: 

For more information, click here

Other useful links

Some aspects of business support are devolved. Specific information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales is available. In England, Growth Hubs can advise on local and UK Government business support. You can also find helpful business case studies and other useful information on the Coronavirus Business Support Blog.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Businesses and Employers Bulletin - 29 January 2021

Further action to minimise travel across international borders

The government has announced further action for outbound and inbound passengers to minimise travel across international borders and reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

  • For those wishing to travel out of the UK - anyone who does not have a valid reason for travel will be directed to return home and may face a fine - the reason for travel will be checked. The list of travel exemptions will be urgently reviewed so that only the most important and exceptional reasons are included. The current list of jobs that qualify for travel exemptions is available here .
  • For those seeking to enter the UK - those arriving from countries where the government have imposed international travel bans, and who cannot be refused entry, will be required to isolate in hotels for 10 days without exception. More details will be provided in due course.

For further information on the Home Secretary’s statement, click here.

Plan for Jobs: skills, employment, and support programmes for jobseekers

A new page brings together guidance for jobs seekers so they can develop their skills, get advice on job applications, and search for opportunities. This is part of the UK Government’s Plan for Jobs to support, protect and create jobs across the UK.

New Guidance

Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment

The Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment (CBLP) supports businesses that have been required to close due to the national restrictions, beginning 5 January 2021. Eligible businesses may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £9,000 from their local council. To find out if you are eligible, and how to apply, click here

Ask HMRC not to publish your Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim details

If as an employer, publishing your claim details could leave individuals at risk of violence or intimidation, you can request HMRC not to publish details about your Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim. You will need to show evidence that it would result in serious risk of violence or intimidation to:

  • you or anyone living with you;
  • an individual associated with your business or anyone living with them

For more information on what you will need to make a request, click here.

Companies House pause voluntary and compulsory strike off processes for one month

Voluntary and compulsory strike off processes have been temporarily paused for one month from 21 January until 21 February 2021.This will provide companies with more time to update their records and help them avoid being struck off the register. It will also protect creditors and other interested parties who might have had difficulties receiving notices or registering an objection, or whose objections have not yet been processed. Find out more here.

New video content to help keep your business moving

Doing business with Europe has changed. You need to follow new rules on exports, imports, tariffs, data and hiring.  

All businesses can find out what has changed, and check their preparations, by visiting new video content from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The short, on-demand videos cover 18 topics, including importing and exporting, rules of origin and audit and accounting. Register now to immediately access the video content. New rules are here – make sure your business is prepared. 

Updated Guidance

Businesses Support

Self-Employment Income support Scheme (SEISS)- third grant

Guidance has been updated with a YouTube video about how to claim SEISS, third grant. Watch the video and register for the free webinars to learn more about how to claim the third grant.

The Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG) (for Closed Businesses)

Guidance has been updated with details of grants available during the national restriction period from 5 January 2021, onwards. To check if your business is eligible for a cash grant from your local council for each period under national restrictions, click here.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Find examples to help you calculate your employees' wages

Guidance has been updated with new calculation examples to cover the lookback period and examples to clarify eligibility for the annually paid. For examples to cover the lookback period, click here, and for examples to clarify eligibility for the annually paid, click here.

Changes to the Kickstart Scheme

The government will make it even simpler for employers of all sizes to benefit from joining the scheme by removing the limit requiring they create a minimum of 30 vacancies to apply directly.

  • From 3 February 2021, employers can apply directly to the Kickstart scheme for any number of job placements, as the threshold of 30 job placements has been removed.

From 28 January 2021, applications from new Kickstart gateway have closed. Kickstart gateways, already working with the scheme, can continue to add more employers and job placements to their grant agreement.

Guidance for Hauliers

Haulier advice site locations: Guidance has been updated:

  • changed closing time for haulier COVID-19 testing sites to 9.30pm;
  • South Mimms has been opened for 24-hour testing; and
  • To avoid delays, get tested at an advice site before entering Kent or travelling to other Channel crossing points.

For more information on the Haulier advice site, locations, and opening times, click here

Other useful links

Some aspects of business support are devolved. Specific information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales is available. In England, Growth Hubs can advise on local and UK Government business support. You can also find helpful business case studies and other useful information on the Coronavirus Business Support Blog.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Businesses and Employers Bulletin - 22 January 2021

From Monday 18 January at 4am, all travel corridors with the UK were suspended – meaning that all international arrivals who have departed from or transited through any country outside the Common Travel Area in the previous 10 days will be required to both take a pre-departure test, and self-isolate immediately for 10 days on arrival. This includes British and Irish nationals. The new measures will be reviewed on Monday 15 February 2021.

A number of exemptions to the travel corridor policy - including the need to travel for business – have been suspended, unless they are vital to maintaining the flow of critical goods, protecting essential services, protecting national security or facilitating government work. See the full list of exemptions.

The Test to Release scheme will remain in place, giving passengers the option to shorten the mandatory self-isolation period to as little as 5 days.

Jobs that qualify for exemptions from self-isolation, passenger locator form or COVID testing requirements

Guidance has been updated provide information on eight categories of jobs removed from exemptions. These exemptions are not valid for countries from where travel to the UK is currently banned..

Hauliers travelling from Portugal are not covered by the travel ban and are permitted to travel to the UK.

Updated Guidance

Coronavirus tests - taxable expenses and benefits: The tests provided by government as part of national testing scheme, are not treated as a benefit in kind for tax purposes. If you’re providing antigen testing kits to your employees, outside of the government’s national testing scheme, either directly or by purchasing tests that are carried out by a third party, no Income Tax or Class 1A National Insurance contributions will be due. Similarly, employers and their employees will not be liable to any Income Tax or National Insurance contributions, where an employee receives money from their employer for obtaining a test. For more information, click here.

Pay VAT deferred due to coronavirus: a new section has been added on ‘Correcting errors on your VAT returns relating to the VAT payments deferral scheme’. Including information on how to defer any extra payments resulting error corrections and HMRC VAT assessments. For more information, click here.

Support for zoos and aquariums: The application for animal welfare grant of up to £730,000 for zoo or aquarium affected by coronavirus deadline has been extended to 26 February 2021. For more information, click here.

Advice for seasonal agricultural workers coming to England to pick fruit and vegetables on farms, and their employers. Guidance has been updated with new rules on what you need to do before travelling to the UK.

Business Support Helpline

There are new rules for businesses doing business with the EU from 1 January, and you need to take action now.  To help you, a helpline has been set up. For English businesses, the Business Support Helpline can help you identify the actions you need to take. Similar helplines are available for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. 

For more information for:

businesses in England, call 0800 998 1098

businesses in Scotland, call 0300 303 0660

businesses in Wales, call 0300 060 3000 

businesses in Northern Ireland, call 0800 181 4422

For more information, including opening hours, click here

Guidance for Hauliers

COVID testing requirements for drivers and crew of HGVs, and drivers of LGVs and vans: Please check before you travel to ensure you have taken necessary action. From 00.01 Tuesday 19 January, all hauliers travelling from the UK to the Netherlands, by ferry, will be required to show evidence of a negative lateral flow test obtained within 24 hours of boarding a service departing for a Dutch port. A free test can be obtained at one of our 35 Information & Advice sites across the country, where support on getting border ready is available. Hauliers can also get an authorised negative COVID test from a private testing facility and firms may have their own arrangements. In addition, interim testing facilities have been set up at Hull Port and Humberside Airport to provide additional services for hauliers bound for Hull, Immingham and Killingholme ports. To avoid delays we encourage, drivers and crew of HGVs, and drivers of LGVs and vans to get tested before they arrive at their port of departure.

UPDATE: Haulier advice site locations: Guidance has been updated to reflect Orwell Crossing Truck Stop hours now begin at 4am. To avoid delays, hauliers are to get tested at an “Advice site” before entering Kent. For more information on haulier sites opening hours, check here.

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19): Drivers and crew of HGVs, LGVs, coaches and vans need a negative COVID-19 test result, which they need for travel to France,Denmark and the Netherlands. Other requirements may also apply, so check the links to keep up to date.

Other useful links

Some aspects of business support are devolved. Specific information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales is available. In England, Growth Hubs can advise on local and UK Government business support. You can also find helpful business case studies and other useful information on the Coronavirus Business Support Blog.


Update 18.01.21

Keep your business moving: New video explainers on doing business with Europe

The UK has agreed a deal with the EU and rules for doing business have changed. Businesses must act now to ensure they are prepared.

To support firms, the Business Department has launched a series of new, on demand videos to help businesses familiarise themselves with the new rules and the actions they should take. Businesses can find out more about 18 topics, including importing and exporting, trade, data, and audit and accounting.

Register now to immediately access the video content. New rules are here – make sure your business is prepared.

………………………………………………….

Alphabetical list of video explainers

  1. Businesses and Trade Agreements (not yet available)
  2. Businesses Engaged in Emissions Trading
  3. Businesses Hiring Overseas Staff
  4. Businesses Involved in the Horizon 2020 Funding Service
  5. Businesses Involved with Data
  6. Businesses Operating Online
  7. Businesses Preparing and Auditing Financial Accounts
  8. Businesses who Import and Export
  9. Businesses Providing Services to EU Markets
  10. Businesses Shipping Waste between GB and EU
  11. Businesses Working with Intellectual Property
  12. Chemical Regulations
  13. Moving Goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland
  14. Placing and Selling Goods on the Market
  15. REACH Chemical Regulations
  16. Recognition of Professional Qualifications
  17. Rules of Origin
  18. Trade Tariffs 

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Businesses and Employers Bulletin- 15 January 2021

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy letters to the Manufacturing Industry, Construction Sectors and their Supply chains

The Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng, has written to the Manufacturing and Construction sectors regarding operating during the national lockdown.  He:

  • recognised the contribution of the sectors as valuable and as critical elements of the economic recovery the government is building and the fight against Covid-19;
  • encouraged firms and trades people in manufacturing and their supply chains, should continue to operate during the national lockdown;
  • stressed the importance for industry to ensure that it is safe to operate whilst carrying out work and that the safer working guidance is available and updated on a regular basis, and can be found on gov.uk

To view the Secretary of State’s letter to the Manufacturing sectors, Click here.

To view the Secretary of State’s letter to the Construction sector, click here.

Domestic abuse: Open letter from the Business Minister to Employers

The Business Minister, Paul Scully, on 14 January issued a ‘rallying call’ to employers across the country to take some simple steps to help victims of domestic abuse. As an employer, you can play an important role in spotting signs of domestic abuse and help your staff find the right support. In this call, steps are set out that employers are encouraged to take on board and help to share widely with employees:

  • Raise awareness of domestic abuse – the first barrier is often simply awareness and understanding. Ensuring staff can spot the signs of a colleague facing domestic abuse,
  • Be inclusive – Senior leaders should look to foster an environment where all workers feel comfortable “being themselves” and talking openly,
  • Use free support available – there is a range of excellent free guidance for both employers and employees to support domestic abuse survivors in the workplace, including toolkits from organisations like Business in the Communityand Public Health England

To view the Business Minister’s letter, click here

 

COVID-19 travel guidance: testing for people travelling

Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not leave home or travel, including internationally, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. There is national guidance available for, ScotlandWales and Northern Ireland.

From 4am on 18 January, if you intend to travel to England or from 4am on 15 January if you intend to travel to Scotland, including UK nationals returning home from travel abroad, you must now provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival. All other current entry requirements and restrictions continue to apply.

Jobs that qualify for travel exemptions

Some people don’t have to fill in a passenger locator form or take a COVID-19 test or self-isolate on arrival in the UK, because of the jobs they do. The guidance lists the jobs that qualify for an exemption and tells people:

  • which exemptions apply
  • any conditions they will need to meet or evidence they will need to show

For further information, click here

For the latest information on pre-departure testing, see the guidance on coronavirus testing for people travelling to England.

 

Guidance for Hauliers

 

Coronavirus testing for hauliers to continue following decision by French government

 

  • Current testing arrangements for hauliers crossing the Channel - where they must have had a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours of crossing - are set to continue following a decision by the French Government on Thursday 7 January 2021.
  • Hauliers must continue to have proof of an authorised negative test, conducted within 72 hours of travelling to the border to cross over.
  • All hauliers to seek tests at one of 34 information and advice sites before travelling to Kent to help smooth traffic management.

 

To help hauliers get tested before travelling to Kent, 34 information and advice sites have been set up across the country, linked to key haulier stopping spots on their journeys, so they can get their negative test before heading to the border. Further sites are in the process of being set up.

 

For more on the requirement for hauliers click here.

 

COVID-19 testing for HGV drivers using the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel

 

Guidance has been updated to reflect that drivers of HGVs carrying dangerous goods must get tested for COVID-19 before arriving in Kent.  The terms of use at Manston Airport and Ashford Sevington, prohibit the following loads:

  • explosives
  • polymerizing substances
  • infectious substances
  • radioactive substances
  • goods that are high consequence from a terrorism point of view

Drivers of HGVs carrying any of the above goods will be refused access to these sites and must get tested for COVID-19 at alternative sites before arriving in Kent.

For more information on drivers of HGV carrying dangerous goods, click here.

COVID-19 testing for HGV drivers using the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel: Guidance has been updated to reflect testing is now open at more haulier advice sites. To find your nearest haulier advice site click here.

New Guidance

Travel restrictions

Travel ban

South American destinations, Portugal, Panama and Cape Verde

New travel restrictions will be in place from 4am Friday 15 January on passengers arriving in the UK from South American destinations, Portugal, Panama and Cape Verde.

  • Entry to the UK banned for passengers arriving from destinations across South (and Central) America, Portugal, Panama and Cape Verde from Friday 15 January at 4am
  • British, Irish and third country nationals with residence rights in the UK who arrive after 4am and have travelled from or transited through these destinations in the last 10 days will have to self-isolate immediately along with their household
  • The move is in response to new evidence highlighting the likely spread of a new coronavirus variant in South America and to countries with strong travel links with Brazil

For more information, click here

South Africa ban extended

  • Entry into England will be banned to those who have travelled from or through any southern African country in the last 10 days, including Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique, and Angola – as well as Seychelles and Mauritius. This does not include British and Irish Nationals, longer-term visa holders and permanent residents, who will be able to enter but are required to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival along with their household. The measures will be in place for an initial period of two weeks.

For more information on the travel restrictions, click here.

Countries removed from the travel corridor

 

The following countries have been removed from the travel corridor:

 

 

For more information, click here.

 

People arriving in England from Botswana, Israel (and Jerusalem), Mauritius or Seychelles will need to self-isolate. For more information, click here.

 

From 4am on 12 January 2021, travellers arriving at England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland from the UAE must self-isolate for 10 days. For more information, click here

 

Open letter to tied tenants of regulated pub companies

The Adjudicator has written an open letter to tied tenants, from the Pubs Code Adjudicator (PCA), explaining important tenant rights in the Pubs Code that may help them especially during the current period of Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions. To view this, click here

Business Support Helpline

There are new rules for businesses doing business with the EU from 1 January, and you need to take action now.  To help you, a helpline has been set up. For English businesses, the Business Support Helpline can help you identify the actions you need to take. Similar helplines are available for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. 

For more information for:

businesses in England, call 0800 998 1098

businesses in Scotland, call 0300 303 0660

businesses in Wales, call 0300 060 3000 

 businesses in Northern Ireland, call 0800 181 4422

 For more information, including opening hours, click here

Updated Guidance

Business support

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme:

Calculating how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme:  Guidance has been updated to include new information about claiming Employment Allowance. For more information, click here.

Check if you can claim for your employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Guidance has been added with information about how to request that HMRC do not publish claim information. For more information, click here.

Kickstarter Scheme: Apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant: Guidance has been added about how to add new job placements to the grant agreement in 'After you have applied'. For more information for 29 or less job placements, click here.  For 30 or more job placements, click here.

Help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus (Covid-19): Watch videos and register for the free webinars to learn more about the support available to help you deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus. New videos have been added about the Self-Employment Income support Scheme Grant Extension. For more information, click here.

Find examples to help you calculate your employees’ wages:  Check examples to help you calculate your employee's wages, National Insurance contributions and pension contributions if you're claiming through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Two new examples about how to calculate your employees wages if they are paid a fixed annual amount have been added. For more information, click here.

Closing certain businesses and venues in England

Guidance has been updated for business closures in line with the latest government guidance. For more information, click here.

Coronavirus advice for pregnant employees

Advice for pregnant employees on risk assessments in the workplace and occupational health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been updated to reflect the new national lockdown restrictions in England. For more information, click here.

Other useful links

Some aspects of business support are devolved. Specific information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales is available. In England, Growth Hubs can advise on local and UK Government business support. You can also find helpful business case studies and other useful information on the Coronavirus Business Support Blog.

 

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