Please see the most recent COVID-19 bulletin below.
Check if your business is eligible for the coronavirus Local Restrictions Support Grant
The Local Restrictions Support Grant supports businesses that were open as usual, providing services in person to customers from their business premises, but which were then required to close for at least 3 weeks due to local lockdown restrictions imposed by government. It is for businesses that pay business rates on their premises. Local councils may at their discretion also provide funding for businesses that don’t pay business rates. Find out more here
Working safely during coronavirus
Working safely during coronavirus guidance has been updated:
- Close contact services guidance has been updated with information on saunas and steam rooms and reminding clients to wear face coverings.
- Gym and leisure facilities guidance has been updated with information on social distancing and face coverings.
- Heritage locations guidance has been updated with information on thinking about risk, keeping customers, visitors and contractors safe, who should go to work and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and face coverings.
- Hotels and other guest accommodation guidance has been updated on managing risk, keeping customers, visitors and contractors safe, who should go to work, and Personal Protective Equipment and face coverings.
- Performing arts guidance has been updated on thinking about risk, who should return to training, rehearsal and performance, managing performances, hair and makeup and face coverings.
- Shops and branches. By law, staff and customers of retail settings are now required to wear a face covering, unless they have an exemption. More here.
- Visitor economy guidance has been updated with information on managing risk, managing customers, visitors and contractors, who should go to work, and face coverings.
Face coverings at work: Guidance had been updated to provide further clarity for staff in indoor settings. Face coverings must be worn by retail, leisure and hospitality staff working in areas that are open to the public and where they’re likely to come into contact with a member of the public. More here.
New and Updated Guidance
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant extension: The grant extension is for self-employed individuals who are currently eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and are actively continuing to trade but are facing reduced demand due to coronavirus. Find out more on who can claim and what the grant extension covers here. HMRC will provide full details about claiming in due course.
Deferral of VAT payments due to coronavirus: Businesses who deferred VAT due from 20 March to 30 June 2020 will now have the option to pay in smaller payments over a longer period. Instead of paying the full amount by the end of March 2021, you can make smaller payments up to the end of March 2022, interest free. You will need to opt-in to the scheme, and for those who do, this means that your VAT liabilities due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 do not need to be paid in full until the end of March 2022. Those that can pay their deferred VAT can still do so by 31 March 2021. More information on the scheme will be available on GOV.UK in the coming months.
Updates to local restrictions and travel corridors in England
Local restrictions - businesses and venues
- Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Northumberland and Sunderland: From 30 September residents must not meet anyone outside their household or bubble in any indoor setting. These measures will be enforceable by law and subject to fines. Schools and COVID-secure settings are not affected and remain open. More here.
- Liverpool City Region, Halton, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough: From midnight on Saturday 3 October, residents must not meet anyone outside their household or bubble in any indoor setting. These measures will be enforceable by law and subject to fines. Schools and COVID-secure settings are not affected and remain open. Residents in these areas are also advised to only travel for essential reasons, such as going to work. More here.
- Bolton: From midnight on Saturday 3 October, Bolton will be brought in line with measures in place throughout the rest of Greater Manchester. This means hospitality businesses including bars, pubs, cafes, restaurants can resume table service subject to early 10pm closure and the rule of 6 restrictions. Bowling alleys, indoor skating rinks, casinos, indoor play, including soft play and conference centres and exhibit halls will also be able to reopen in Bolton. Previous advice against restarting indoor theatrical or concert performances will no longer apply.
A list of areas with additional local restrictions is available here.
Turkey, Poland, Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba have been removed from the travel corridor exempt list. If you arrive in England from these destinations from 4am on Saturday 3 October you will need to self-isolate. The FCDO advises against all non-essential travel to these countries and territories.
The travel corridor list of countries and territories from where you can travel to England and may not have to self-isolate is available here. Countries and territories can be taken off or added to this travel corridor list at any time.
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy