Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Businesses and Employers Bulletin 3 Nov  2020  

Please see the most recent COVID-19 bulletin below.


Prime Minister announces new national restrictions in England from Thursday 5 November
To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close. These include:

  • all non-essential retail, including, but not limited to clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops.
  • indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks.
  • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens.
  • personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons.

Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open. Essential retail should follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers. Non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect. Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services. However, takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed. Hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions which will be set out in law.

Going to work: To help contain the virus, everyone who can work effectively from home must do so. Where people cannot do so (for instance people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing) they should continue to travel to work/attend their workplace. This is essential to keeping the country operating and supporting vital sectors and employers.

Furlough Scheme Extended and Further Economic Support announced
In light of the increased restrictions the UK government is introducing additional economic and business support measures:

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, also known as the furlough scheme, has been extended to December 2020. Check to find:

The Job Support Scheme will not be introduced until after Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension:  The grant is being extended from 1 November 2020. The grant will be increased from the previously announced level of 40% of trading profits to 80% for November 2020. Find out if you are eligible and how much you can get.

Business Grants: Business premises forced to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for the following:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks.

Business grant policy is fully devolved. Devolved Administrations will receive Barnett consequentials which they could use to establish similar schemes.

Loan schemes: application deadlines extended to January 31 2021: The application deadlines for the coronavirus Bounce Back Loan, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan, Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme and coronavirus Future Fund have been extended  until 31 January 2021.

Business Secretary speaks at the CBI 2020 Annual Conference
Click here to read the Business Secretary’s full speech at the CBI annual conference covering Covid measures and help for business.

The UK Transition: time is running out
With just 59 days to go until the UK’s new start, the Business Secretary Alok Sharma is encouraging firms to sign up for a webinar to find out more about the actions to take. Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Time is running out for businesses to get ready for the end of the transition period on 31 December and prepare for the guaranteed set of changes and opportunities ahead. I urge as many businesses as possible to sign up to the second phase of our webinars or visit gov.uk to see what actions need to be taken to ensure we’re ready for the UK’s new start as an independent country.”

Updated Guidance
Repay Eat Out to Help Out Scheme payments to avoid a penalty: Find out how to pay back all or some of the payments your business claimed if you have overclaimed when taking part in the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme.

Changes to notifying an option to tax land and buildings during coronavirus: The date the extended time limit for notifying an option to tax land and buildings applies to has been extended to decisions made between 15 February 2020 and 31 March 2021. For more information, click here.

Guidance for driving instructors and motorcycle trainers about the restart of driver and rider training and tests: Information has been added to reflect the suspension of driving lessons and driving tests in England from 05 November to 02 December. For more information, click here.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

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