Please see the most recent COVID-19 bulletin below.
Reopening of further businesses and venues in England postponed
The Prime Minister has announced that until 15 August at the earliest, casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and remaining close contact services must remain closed, and that indoor performances will not resume. Pilots of larger crowds in sports venues and conference centres will not take place and wedding receptions of up to 30 people will also not be permitted. Data on the prevalence of the virus in the community in England will continue to be carefully reviewed in order to move forward with the intention to open up these higher risk settings as soon as possible.
Local Restrictions - North of England, Leicester & Luton
North of England – Local restrictions: An outbreak of coronavirus has been identified in parts of Greater Manchester, East Lancashire, and West Yorkshire. The government and relevant local authorities are acting together to control the spread of the virus and local restrictions are in place. Businesses and workplaces should continue as before in these areas.
Leicester – Local restrictions: Restrictions on businesses and venues will be lifted for the Borough of Oadby and Wigston and additional businesses and venues will be able to re-open in Leicester City from 3 August. More information is available here.
Luton – Local restrictions: Temporary measures to prevent further spread of coronavirus in Luton will be lifted from 1 August. This means that national guidance and restrictions for England will now apply in Luton from 1 August, including the changes implemented elsewhere on 25 July permitting the reopening of indoor gyms, pools, and sports and leisure facilities. More information is available here.
Information on all areas with additional local restrictions is available here.
Job Retention Bonus
The government is introducing a new Job Retention Bonus to provide additional support to employers who keep on their furloughed employees in meaningful employment, after the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends on 31 October 2020.
The Job Retention Bonus is a one-off payment to employers of £1,000 for every employee who they previously claimed for under the scheme, and who remains continuously employed through to 31 January 2021. Eligible employees must earn at least £520 a month on average between the 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021.
Employers will be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus after they have filed PAYE for January and payments will be made to employers from February 2021. Find out more information about the Job Retention Bonus here. Full guidance will be published by the end of September.
Face coverings to be required in additional indoor settings: From 8 August the requirement to wear a face covering will be extended to other indoor settings where people are likely to come into contact with others they do not normally meet, such as museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship.
Working from home guidance: From 1 August employers will have more discretion over how employees can work safely – whether by continuing to work from home or attending a Covid Secure workplace.
Self-isolation period extended to 10 days: The UK's Chief Medical Officers have extended the self-isolation period to 10 days for those in the community who have coronavirus symptoms or a positive test result. More information is available here.
Luxembourg has been removed from the list of countries covered by the travel corridor exemption and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all but essential travel to Luxembourg. If you arrive in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland from Luxembourg on or after 31 July 2020 you will need to self-isolate. More information is available here.
Health and care workers to self-isolate on return to UK from high-risk countries. Registered health and care professionals travelling to the UK from high-risk countries will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. Health and care professionals returning from a country which has a travel corridor to the UK will not be required to self-isolate on return.
New law to ensure furloughed employees receive full redundancy payments: Furloughed employees who are then made redundant will receive redundancy pay based on their normal wage, under new laws which come into force on 31 July. The changes will also apply to statutory notice pay and other entitlements. Further details can be found here.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Guidance: New guidance has been published for those who have claimed too much or not enough from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
A new guide on Personal Protective Equipment guide for community and social care settings has been published. It shows which PPE to wear depending on where and how you are working; and how to work safely using your PPE and safer working practices to protect staff and residents.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme: Guidance has been updated with information for those who have made a claim in error, have been overpaid or would like to make a voluntary repayment.
The Eat Out to Help Out Scheme guidance has been updated to include information on hospitality and golf packages, and hotel and restaurant services.
Reminder – UK Internal Market Consultation: The UK government are consulting on new measures to protect internal trade within the UK when powers return from the EU in January 2021. Measures will protect the UK’s economy by preventing new burdens on cross-UK business and provide certainty to support coronavirus recovery. A consultation is open until 13 August, sourcing views from businesses across all 4 nations of the UK. You can find and respond to the consultation here.