Total UK Cases: 6,392,160 positive tests
Latest UK daily figure: 36,572 new cases
Number in UK hospital: 6,321
New deaths across UK: 113
Total UK deaths: 131,373
England Cases per 100,000: 299
R number in UK: 0.8 to 1.1
Total 1st doses given: 47,460,526 (87.3% of UK adults)
Total 2nd doses: 41,157,069 (75.7% of UK adults)
Daily 1st doses: 47,284
Daily 2nd doses: 169,233
Latest Cheshire East data:
Total Cheshire East cases: 32,164
New cases in past 7 days: 956 to 14 Aug
Total deaths: 823
Cases per 100,000: 247.3 per 100,000
R number in North West: 0.7 to 1.0
Coronavirus cases in the UK: daily updated statistics
The latest number of coronavirus (COVID-19) tests, cases and deaths in the UK. The way deaths are reported is based on a 28-day limit between the date of a positive lab-confirmed test and date of death.
Slides, datasets and transcripts to accompany coronavirus press conferences
Slides, datasets and transcripts from press conferences at 10 Downing Street in response to coronavirus
COVID-19: background information
Information on COVID-19 including epidemiology, virology and clinical features – updated with latest global case numbers.
UK NEWS UPDATES
COVID news live: UK approves its first COVID-specific drug – as study says AstraZeneca’s new antibody treatment prevents symptoms
Estimated antibody levels in England reach 94.2% and are over 90% in every home nation; UK records another 113 deaths and 36,572 coronavirus cases on Thursday.
Government borrowing fell in July compared with a year earlier as the removal of most Covid restrictions in England gave the economy a boost.
Cinema box office takings at 50% of pre-pandemic levels
UK cinema box office takings in the month since all Covid restrictions were lifted in England were half of their pre-pandemic level.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, UK: antibody and vaccination data, 19 August 2021
Antibody and vaccination data by UK country and regions in England from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey
While the number of positive tests in England went up, fewer people were told to isolate by the NHS COVID-19 app in the week ending 11 August.
Rank Group, which owns Grosvenor Casinos, Mecca and Enracha, saw a drop in profits from £9.4m last year to a loss of £72m in the six months to the end of June.
Scientists at the University of Oxford found levels of the virus could be just as high in people who get COVID despite having both jabs as in those who haven’t been vaccinated.
More places than ever before have put in bids to become the next UK City of Culture.
REGIONAL & LOCAL NEWS:
Cheshire life sciences sector recognised with High Potential Opportunity status for international investors
The North West Life Science Cluster is to be promoted for international investors looking to design, develop, and commercialise new diagnostics and early interventions for healthy ageing. The move comes following a joint bid by Cheshire & Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership and Greater Manchester inward investment agency, MIDAS.
Consultation begins on concept designs for Macclesfield town centre improvements
The first stage of consultation will give the public a first-look at draft concept designs for public real enhancements in the historic Chestergate and Market Place areas of Macclesfield town centre. Designs include introducing more greenery; widening pavement areas to improve the pedestrian experience and create more space for ‘alfresco’ use by cafés, bars and restaurants; and seeking opportunities to reduce carbon emissions and better showcase Macclesfield’s creativity and distinctiveness.
Poynton JFC under-9s side gets sponsorship of local financial planners
Cheadle-based Clarke Nicklin Financial Planning have announced that the firm has become the official sponsors for the juniors’ side.
SECTOR SPECIFIC CORONAVIRUS-RELATED NEWS:
HMRC Claims for Job Retention Scheme
Actions for business – submit your August claims and prepare for closure of the Job Retention Scheme
SUPPLY CHAIN & MANUFACTURING
Rocketing container costs threaten Christmas toy prices
A shortage of containers has resulted in container costs increasing ten-fold throughout the pandemic, with prices rising from $1,500 for a 40-ft container to $14,000-£18,000 per container, according to The Entertainer founder Gary Grant.
UK warehouse investment doubles as online sales cause surge in demand
Around 3.4 million square metres of warehousing space will be built in the UK in 2021 as companies struggle to fulfil an explosion in online orders.
New car registrations slow as shortages suppress growth
UK car buyers are turning to the used car market as the ongoing semiconductor shortage and ‘pingdemic’ hit automotive manufacturers.
60 manufacturing leaders have now received Made Smarter Leadership training
The fifth cohort of manufacturing business leaders and directors has completed a leadership training programme via the Made Smarter initiative to drive new technology uptake and productivity improvements in the North-west’s SME manufacturers.
BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE INSIGHTS
COVID-19: Implications for business – view from McKinsey
Latest perspectives on the coronavirus outbreak, the twin threats to lives and livelihoods, and how organisations can prepare for the next normal.
Top Businesswoman Inspiring Companies To ‘Build Back Better’
Award-winning businesswoman Jo Haigh has teamed up with leading education and training company In Professional Development to refocus the direction of organisations that have suffered during the Covid-19 pandemic.
SOCIAL, COMMUNITY & CARE:
Summary of local authority survey in England to help understand the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on children’s social care.
Families with children staying in full-time non-advanced education or approved training post 16 must inform HMRC by 31 August to receive Child Benefit.
Sets out how care homes can support residents on visits outside of the care home.
COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection
Stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
Letter to the retail sector about taking action to fight climate change
UK Net Zero Business Champion Andrew Griffith MP has written to organisations in the retail sector about steps they can take to fight climate change.
Hydrogen power offers jobs boost, says government
Thousands of new jobs could be created by investing in low-carbon hydrogen fuel to power vehicles and heat homes, the government says.
UK government launches plan for a world-leading hydrogen economy
First-ever vision to kick start world-leading hydrogen economy set to support over 9,000 UK jobs and unlock £4 billion investment by 2030.
Green car technology boost as government grants £91.7m to decarbonisation projects
The government has today announced more than £90m of funding for projects aiming to develop new green automotive technologies. The funding, which comes through the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), sees £91.7m contributed by the government and industries to support the development of low carbon technology.
Retail vacancy rates rise despite ease of Covid restrictions
New research has shown that retail vacancy rates rose in the last quarter despite the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
John Lewis launches ISAs to “generate revenue outside retail”
John Lewis has announced it is launching its first investment products to customers as it aims to diversify its revenue sources beyond retail.
Europe’s biggest shoe retailer Deichmann looks to expand in UK
Europe’s biggest shoe retailer Deichmann, with a store in Stockport, is looking to expand its UK footprint and believes it could double its estate of 109 stores as it takes aim to become the market leader in “family footwear”.
Hotter Shoes reports double hike in casual shoe sales
Hotter Shoes, available at Meeks in Stockport Town Centre, has reported that sales of casual shoes have nearly doubled during the pandemic with no signs of the trend slowing.
Adidas agrees 2.1bn Reebok sale
Adidas has entered into a definitive agreement to sell Reebok to Authentic Brands Group for a total consideration of up to €2.1bn (£1.8bn).
PROPERTY & CONSTRUCTION
Brick shortages worsen as contractor order cancellations fall
Supply problems are now so tight that brickwork contractors warn that they now face quoted lead times into next year for some products.
BAM UK operations enjoy 40% revenue rebound
BAM’s UK construction and civils operations both recorded a 40% rebound in revenue during the first half of this year.
UK House Price Index for June 2021
The UK HPI shows house price changes for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Business rates plans will make appeals more onerous & expensive, experts warn
The government’s latest proposals for business rates reform will create more difficulties for retailers launching appeals than benefits, property consultants have warned.
Construction Materials Shortage Sees Materials Prices Rise 14% in a Year
The construction materials shortage is worsening and home improvers are feeling the pinch as prices soar.
A level 2021: <1% of teacher grades changed by boards
1 in 5 schools had their teacher-assessed A-level grades reviewed by exam boards but few had to make adjustments as a result
GCSE results 2021: How were grades decided?
Teachers were given the responsibility to award grades after exams were cancelled for the second year in a row, because of the pandemic.
Air purifiers and ultraviolet lights are to be tested in schools in a £1.75m trial aimed at reducing the spread of Covid-19 in classrooms.
EVENTS, HOSPITALITY, CATERING
Raising the standards of working conditions as set out in the Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter has been proposed as a solution for hospitality sector businesses in the city-region that are faced with staff shortages after Brexit and the pandemic.
Boost for events industry as CMA to clamp down on illegal ticket resale
The return of live events is set to be supported by new measures to protect consumers from ticket reselling. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has set out several recommended changes to the law and existing system of regulation for the reselling of tickets for live events.
Latest travel restrictions
Latest interactive live travel map here
Foreign travel advice
Get advice about travelling abroad, including the latest information on coronavirus, safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings.
Rail fares look set for a sharp increase and second hand car prices are climbing at their steepest rate since 2010, new inflation data suggests.
Quarantine and testing if you’ve been in an amber list country
What to do before and after you arrive in England if you’ve been in an amber list country in the 10 days before you arrive – updated information about arrivals from France. The new rules will come into effect on 8 August.
Booking and staying in a quarantine hotel if you’ve been in a red list country
How to book a quarantine hotel and coronavirus (COVID-19) tests if you’ve been in a red list country in the 10 days before you arrive in England – update to reflect an increase in quarantine hotel costs from 4am on 12 August.
Red, amber and green list rules for entering England
Countries rated as red, amber or green for coronavirus (COVID-19) and the rules you must follow to enter England. From 4am Sunday 8 August, the fully vaccinated amber rules will apply to France. At the same time, Austria, Germany, Latvia, Norway, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia will move to green list. Bahrain, India, Qatar and United Arab Emirates will move to amber list. Georgia, Mayotte, Mexico and Reunion will move to red list.
HAULAGE & TRANSPORT
DVSA to recruit an extra 40 additional vocational driving examiners to help reduce lorry driver shortage
Measures ramped up to maximise testing capacity, including consulting on plans to streamline process for drivers to obtain an HGV licence.
Safer transport guidance for operators and people who work in or from vehicles – Gov Update
Safer working principles and risk assessment for transport operators and organisations, and people who work in or from vehicles, including couriers, mobile workers, lorry drivers, on-site transit and work vehicles.
Further drivers’ hours extension won’t fix driver shortage – but a package of short and long-term measures can
RHA Chief Executive, Richard Burnett said, “We reiterate that extending drivers’ hours can be counterproductive by making the job less attractive, especially at a time when firms are struggling to recruit and retain staff.
‘It will take at least 18 months to train100,000 HGV drivers’
RHA chief executive Richard Burnett has told Sky News that it will take at least 18 months to train enough HGV drivers to tackle the current shortage
Digital transformation: Shaping the future of European healthcare
Over the past six months, the need to respond swiftly to the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the use of digital health technologies, but more remains to be done to ensure the equity and sustainability of healthcare. Download the Deloitte report.
Find out how to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in your workplace
These guides cover a range of different types of work. You may need to use more than one of these guides as you think through what you need to do to keep people safe.
Employer Bulletin: August 2021
In this month’s edition of the Employer Bulletin there are important updates and information.
The Pandemic’s Lasting Impact On Employee Engagement
From concerns about burnout and isolation to virtual happy hours and team-building events, the pandemic flipped traditional employee engagement on its head. Listen to this podcast from Forrester research.
New data from LinkedIn found 38% of UK workers would prefer to work remotely full-time in the future, 49% prefer hybrid working, and only 12% want to work full-time in the office.
Help employers with the Kickstart Scheme (Kickstart gateway)
Information for Kickstart gateways on how to help employers with the Kickstart Scheme and how to add jobs or employers to the grant agreement – added callout about advertising vacancies to ‘Getting the young people into the jobs’ section and added a paragraph about the remittance advice gateways receive when they get the funding in the section ‘How you will get the funding’.
Apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant
If you’re an employer looking to create jobs for young people, you can apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme – added callout about advertising vacancies yourself to ‘Getting the young people into the jobs’, added a paragraph about the remittance advice employers receive when they get the funding in the section ‘How you will get the funding’ and updated instructions for adding more jobs to the grant agreement following launch of online route for employers.
NHS Test and Trace in the workplace
What to do if you or someone you employ is required to self-isolate. This includes being contacted by NHS Test and Trace, self-isolation rules and financial support – updated to reflect the introduction of daily contact testing for workplaces.
How is furlough changing and when will it end?
In July 2021 employers were required to pay 10% of salaries – with the government’s contribution falling to 70%. In August and September, the government’s contribution will reduce further: it will pay 60% and employers will pay 20% The monthly limit of £2,500 will stay in place, so workers will not notice the difference.
Coronavirus Roadmap out of lockdown – what and when?
From 29 March:
- People will be allowed to meet outside, either with one other household or within the “rule of six”, including in private gardens
- The stay at home rule will end, but the government will urge people to stay local as much as possible
- Outdoor sport facilities will reopen, including golf courses and tennis and basketball courts, and formally organised outdoor sports can restart
- Weddings attended by up to six people can take place in any circumstances
Stage two (no earlier than 12 April):
- All shops allowed to open, along with close-contact services, including hairdressers and beauty salons (including in people’s homes)
- Restaurants and pubs allowed to serve food and alcohol to customers sitting outdoors Gyms and spas can reopen, as can zoos, theme parks, libraries and community centres
- Members of the same household can take a holiday in the UK in self-contained accommodation
- Weddings attended by up to 15 people can take place
Stage three (no earlier than 17 May):
- People can meet in groups of up to 30 outdoors
- Six people or two households can meet indoors
- Pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues can seat customers indoors
- Up to 30 people can attend weddings or other life events, like christenings
- Remaining outdoor entertainment, such as outdoor theatres and cinemas can open
- Indoor entertainment such as museums, theatres, cinemas and children’s play areas can open
- Performances and large events can restart, but with limits on audience numbers
- Hotels, hostels and B&Bs can reopen
- International leisure travel may resume
- Adult indoor group sports and exercise classes can restart
Stage four (expected 19th July):
- All legal limits on social contact will be removed
- No legal limits on the number of people who can attend weddings, funerals and other life events
- Nightclubs will be allowed to reopen
Publishing information about your claimsIn January HMRC published the list of employers who claimed under the CJRS for periods from December onwards, on GOV.UK.
Repayment period for Bounce Back Loans extended to ten yearsBusinesses that took out government Bounce Back loans to help them through the Coronavirus crisis now have more time to repay. Companies will be contacted with options to extend the length of the loan from six to 10 years as part of a new ‘pay-as-you-grow’ initiative. The new proposals give businesses three new options:
1. Extending the length of the loan from six years to 10;
2. Making interest-only payments for six months, then repaying the principal on a phased basis with other interest-only periods;
3. Delaying repayments entirely for up to six months.
COVID-19 Winter Plan
The government’s plan for managing COVID-19 through the end of 2020 and into the start of 2021.
Government extends JRS furlough scheme at 80% for period of lockdown
The government has said the furlough scheme, due to have closed on 31st October, would now be extended until December.
New National Restrictions from 5 November
Information on the new national restrictions, including what they mean for working from home and business closures, why they are being introduced and the financial support available.
Job Retention Bonus (JRB)
Employers are able to claim a one-off payment of £1,000 for every eligible employee furloughed and claimed for through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), kept continuously employed until at least 31 January 2021 and who meets the other eligibility criteria. Claims can be made between 15 February and 31 March.
Become a Green Homes Grant Supplier II – Trustmark and PAS 2030The new Green Homes Grant will give over 600,000 homeowners in England up to £10,000 to install insulation, heat pumps, draft proofing and more to help households cut energy bills.
Check if you’re eligible for the coronavirus Local Restrictions Support Grant
The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) supports businesses that have been required to close due to temporary COVID-19 local lockdown restrictions imposed by the government.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant extension
The grant is being extended from 1 November 2020. Find out if you’re eligible and how much you can get.
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 and required to display official NHS QR code posters under law
NHS Test and Trace service in the workplace
Guidance on the NHS Test and Trace service for employers, businesses and workers updated to reflect the new legal requirements for designated venues to collect contact details and display official NHS QR code posters from 24th September
Claim money back through the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme
Find out how to claim the reimbursement for discounts given to diners with the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme. The Eat Out to Help Out Scheme closed on 31 August 2020 – the page updated with removal of registration links.
The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds.
Kickstart Scheme employer resources
If you’ve been offered Kickstart Scheme funding, you can use these resources to show your support for the scheme.
Kickstart Scheme employer contacts
List of regional contacts for employers applying for a grant through the Kickstart Scheme.
Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can’t do
Frequently asked questions on what you can and can’t do during the coronavirus outbreak – guidance updated in line with new regulations coming into force on 4 July
Apply for the coronavirus Future Fund
The Future Fund will provide UK Government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors.
Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme set to launch
Employers will be able to make claims through the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme from 26 May.
Government – Guidance on Returning to Work safely
Government – Setting out of Road Map to recovery – 11th May 2020
Our plan to rebuild: The UK Government’s 60 page COVID-19 recovery strategy
The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy. The strategy sets out a cautious roadmap to easing existing measures in a safe and measured way, subject to successfully controlling the virus and being able to monitor and react to its spread.
Coronavirus Act 2020: status
A table setting out the status of each measure in the Coronavirus Act 2020.
Government – Financial Support
New 100% government backed loan scheme for small business
Government – Financial Support
CBILS – A guide to whether it may be the best options for a business
Government – Financial Support
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – online claims portal open
Government – Business Support:
Government launches new coronavirus business support finder tool
Government – Business Support Hub:
Government – Business Support:
Government – Business Support: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19
Government – Financial Support: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-business-support-grant-funding
Bank of England – Financial Support: https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/news/2020/march/the-covid-corporate-financing-facility
Gov.uk: Maintaining Educational Provision: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision
UK Lockdown – Further businesses to close and exceptions: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/874732/230320_-_Revised_guidance_note_-_finalVF
Health – updates from NHS
Health – Shielding the most vulnerable https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19
Recruitment: – DWP and Universal Credit: http://news.dwp.gov.uk/dwplz/lz.aspx?p1=MQsDU1NjQ5MlM2OTA0OjNCNDJBOEZCRTJDOUJEOTc1ODQ0RTRCRDNDNzk4QUNF-&CC=&p=0
Retail: An update form British Retail Consortium https://brc.org.uk/news/corporate-affairs/coronavirus-latest-retailer-activity/
Resources available from Acas:
Redundancy letter templates
Redundancy process map Acas have also contributed to the development of a new return to work toolkit in partnership with SOM, CIPD, BITC and Mind.