Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Businesses and Employers Bulletin 18 Sept 2020  

Please see the most recent COVID-19 bulletin below.


New business and venue closures and restrictions in parts of England

  • From Friday 18 September new restrictions have been introduced in parts of the north-east of England – in Durham; Gateshead; Newcastle; Northumberland; North Tyneside; South Tyneside; and Sunderland – to curb rising infection rates.
  • From Tuesday 22 September, new restrictions will be enforced in the North west – in Merseyside; Warrington; Halton; and Lancashire (excluding Blackpool and Greater Manchester).

In these locations:

  • Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only

Late night operating hours will be restricted, with leisure and entertainment venues including restaurants, pubs, and cinemas, required to close between 10pm to 5am

Venues required to enforce rule of 6
Hospitality venues in England are now legally required to enforce the rule of 6 or face a fine of up to £4,000. Designated businesses and organisations, including hospitality, close contact services and leisure venues, will also be legally required to log details of customers, visitors and staff for NHS Test and Trace. From Thursday 24 September these sectors will be required to display official NHS QR code posters at their venue entrances to help support contact tracing. Organisations can find out more about NHS QR codes and how to generate them on the NHS COVID-19 app website. Official NHS QR posters can be generated online.

Working safely during coronavirus
Guidance on the closure of certain businesses and venues in England as part of further social distancing measures has been updated to reflect changes in rules about social contact, and requirements for certain businesses and venues to collect data for test and trace.

  • Guidance on maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace has been updated with information for organisations on displaying an official NHS QR poster.
  • Guidance for the performing arts has been updated with priority actions to take to protect staff and customers; guidance on social gatherings of more than 6 people; and mandatory test and trace requirements.
  • Guidance for vehicles has been updated with priority actions to take to protect staff and customers.

New Guidance
Find someone to apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant on your behalf
A list of Kickstart gateways in England, Scotland and Wales who can apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant on behalf of a group of employers is now available.

Government extends support to stop business evictions this year
Commercial tenants will be protected from the risk of eviction until the end of 2020 helping businesses to protect jobs. Find out more here.

Government sets out comprehensive support for renters this winter
Renters affected by coronavirus will continue to be supported over autumn and winter through comprehensive measures. Emergency legislation has increased notice periods to 6 months until at least the end of March 2021, evictions will not be enforced in local lockdown areas and there will be a truce on enforcement over Christmas. Find out more here.

Transport-Technology Research and Innovation Grants
Innovative transport start-ups with a focus on decarbonisation or COVID-19 recovery can bid for a share of over £1 million in Department for Transport funding.  The latest round of Transport Technology Research and Innovation Grant funding is open to entrepreneurs and innovators looking to create a better transport system. More here.

Updates to local restrictions and travel corridors in England

Local restrictions - businesses and venues
Leicester: The following businesses and venues can now reopen in Leicester City: casinos; skating rinks; bowling alleys; indoor play areas, including soft play areas; and exhibition centres and conference halls for external attendees. Guidance has also changed to advise the following settings and activities can now reopen or restart in Leicester: indoor performances; close contact services, which are any treatments on the face such as eyebrow threading or make-up application; and wedding receptions and celebrations, including for up to 30 people in the form of a sit-down meal. More here.

North East of England: Hospitality venues must only sell food and drink for consumption on the premises if it is served to customers sitting at a table. They may also sell food and drink for consumption off the premises. Hospitality for food and drink must close from 22:00 to 05:00 each day. More here.

A list of areas with additional local restrictions is available here.

Travel corridors
Singapore and Thailand will be added to the England travel corridor list at 4am Saturday 19 September 2020. If you arrive in England from Singapore or Thailand after 4am 19 September 2020 you may not need to self-isolate.

French Polynesia, Hungary, Reunion and mainland Portugal (not including Madeira and the Azores) have been removed from the travel corridor list. Guadeloupe and Slovenia will be removed from the travel corridor list at 4am on Saturday 19 September. If you arrive in England from these countries and territories 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

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