Total UK Cases: 4,455,221 positive tests
Latest UK daily figure: 2,874 new cases
Number in UK hospital: 894 (77 new admissions)
New deaths across UK: 7
Total UK deaths: 127,701
England Cases per 100,000: 21 per 100,000
R number in UK: 0.8 to 1.1
Total 1st doses given: 37,250,363 up to and including 19 May 2021
Total 2nd doses given: 21,239,471
Latest Cheshire East data:
Total Cheshire East cases: 21,091
New cases in past 7 days: 81 to 15 May
Total deaths: 802
Cases per 100,000: 21.1 per 100,000
R number in North West: 0.8 to 1.1
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.
Revision to historical case data in England
The introduction of a new system disrupted the removal of cases where a positive rapid lateral flow test (LFD) was followed by all negative laboratory (PCR) tests taken within 3 days. Therefore 4,776 additional cases have been removed today (19 May). Regions and local authorities do not show the actual number of new cases reported. UK and England numbers of newly reported cases have been adjusted and correctly reflect new cases reported.
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 & HEADLINES:
Lockdown easing led to 9.2% boost to retail sales, reports ONS
British shoppers flocked back to the high street after non-essential retail reopened, with April sales up nearly 10% according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS). With non-essential retailers allowed to reopen for the first time in almost four months in April, total retail sales rose 9.2% on the previous month. Clothing and shoe retailers were most buoyed by the unlocking, seeing an almost 70% increase in sales compared to March figures.
Deadline approaches for businesses to join VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme
Businesses that deferred VAT payments last year due to the coronavirus pandemic have until 21st June to sign up online to pay in monthly instalments.
Great British Railways set up to run trains and network
The government has announced the biggest shake-up in the UK’s railways since privatisation in the mid-1990s.It will see the creation of a new state-owned body, Great British Railways (GBR), which will set timetables and prices, sell tickets in England and manage rail infrastructure. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the aim was to offer more punctual services and cheaper tickets. But private operators will still be contracted to run most trains. Next month, flexible season tickets will be available for some people who commute two or three times a week.
World-first Covid-19 vaccine study launches in UK
Thousands of volunteers will receive a booster COVID-19 vaccine in a new clinical trial launching today, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced.
The Cov-Boost study, led by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and backed by £19.3 millions of government funding through the Vaccines Taskforce, will trial seven vaccines and will be the first in the world to provide vital data on the impact of a third dose on patients’ immune responses. The study will open for applications from volunteers shortly via the study’s website and will be recruiting participants through the NHS COVID-19 Vaccine Research Registry. Participants will be adults aged 30 years or older as these will have been those immunised early in the vaccination programme – for example, adults aged 75 and over or health and care workers.
7 in 10 UK adults receive first dose of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine
Health services across the UK have now administered 57.8 million vaccines, including 36.9 million people with their first dose and 20.8 million with both doses.
Health Secretary announces surge testing in six new areas
Surge testing and jabs will be expanded to six new areas of concern in England to combat the spread of the Indian Covid variant. Matt Hancock has said the areas were selected via “an incredibly sensitive biosecurity surveillance system”, which spotted cases in earlier variant hotspots Bolton and Blackburn. The areas were identified using new techniques, including analysing wastewater and travel patterns, he told a Downing Street briefing. The government is also supporting Scotland in rolling out more tests and vaccinations in Glasgow and Moray. Some 2,967 cases of the Indian variant have now been identified in the UK. This is up from about 2,300 on Monday.
Health and Social Care Secretary’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 19 May 2021
North-West levelling up: Government announces 400 civil service roles in Salford
Almost 3,000 civil service job roles will be opened outside London and the South-East by 2025 – including 420 in Salford by 2025, compared with just 10 currently. The plans form part of a cross-Government move – the Places for Growth scheme – to ensure policy makers reflect the communities they serve, while levelling up by ensuring economic growth and job opportunities are more evenly distributed across the UK. Today’s announcement sees the Home Office, which already has more than 40% of its workforce outside of London and South-East, expanding its regional presence by at least 1,950 roles, as well as BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) overseeing the growth of 865 roles meaning 30% of its workforce will be outside of London by 2025.
Step 3 COVID-19 restrictions posters: 17 May 2021
A poster displaying information about COVID-19 restrictions in England from 17 May.
LOCAL / REGIONAL NEWS & UPDATES:
British Bank’s £14.7m Start Up Loans help North West’s unemployed
Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank, has provided more than £14.7m to unemployed people in the North West since it was set up in 2012.
Of the 80,000+ Start Up Loans recipients across the UK since in the last nine years, a third (31 per cent) were unemployed at the time of application. Start Up Loans’ data also indicates that the scheme is particularly effective in enabling young entrepreneurs to start up a business.
Manchester Airports Group respond to ministers’ comments on ‘amber list’ travel
Group CEO Charlie Cornish described comments by ministers for holidaymakers to avoid travel to ‘amber list’ countries outright as ‘simply unacceptable.’
Coronavirus and the latest indicators for the UK economy and society: 20 May 2021
Early experimental data on the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the UK economy and society. These faster indicators are created using rapid response surveys, novel data sources and experimental methods.
Everyone in the United Kingdom with symptoms now eligible for coronavirus tests
Everyone in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms can now get a test.
COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection
Stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
Private providers of coronavirus (COVID-19) testing
Lists of and information about private providers who have self-declared that they meet the government’s minimum standards for the type of commercial COVID-19 testing service they offer – updated the list of general testing providers.
COVID-19 PCR home test kit instructions
Step-by-step guide available in different formats on how to use and return your PCR home test kit to test yourself for COVID-19.
Higher education providers: coronavirus (COVID-19)
Coronavirus (COVID-19) operational guidance for higher education providers.
Guidance converted to HTML to make it easier to read. There are no changes to any of the guidance from the update on 10 May.
HEALTH & WELLBEING:
New award to recognise exceptional practice in adult social care workforce
The exceptional efforts of the social care workforce will be recognised through a new award launched by the Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): health and wellbeing of the adult social care workforce
Advice for those working in adult social care on managing your mental health and how employers can take care of the wellbeing of their staff during the coronavirus outbreak – updated to reflect the changes made as part of ‘Step 3’ of the government’s ‘COVID-19 response – spring 2021’ roadmap.
COVID-19: guidance on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing
Advice for parents and carers on looking after the mental health and wellbeing of children or young people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
COVID-19 vaccination programme
Documents relating to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination programme – added link to the COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna PGD.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): adult social care guidance
Information for the adult social care sector on responding to the coronavirus pandemic – updated to add section and links on COVID-19 testing in adult social care settings.
Weekly statistics for NHS Test and Trace (England)
Experimental statistics from the NHS Test and Trace service and related documents – updated to add a call-out that the weekly release has been delayed.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine adverse reactions
A weekly report covering adverse reactions to approved COVID-19 vaccines – updated to include new data up to 12 May 2021.
COVID-19: impacts on health – reports and tools
National reports and tool to support the monitoring of the direct and indirect impacts of COVID-19 on the population.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey: characteristics of people testing positive for COVID-19 in England, 20 May 2021
This release provides data about the characteristics of people testing positive for COVID-19 from the COVID-19 Infection Survey. This survey is being delivered in partnership with the University of Oxford, the University of Manchester, and Public Health England.
COVID-19 vaccination: information for healthcare practitioners
Updated guidance for healthcare practitioners about the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination programme.
Testing for coronavirus before hospital
Sets out how and when to use a PCR home test kit to test for COVID-19 before a hospital procedure.
Coronavirus cases by local authority: epidemiological data
Weekly watchlist giving epidemiological coronavirus (COVID-19) data for each lower-tier local authority in England.
Demand shifts back to urban areasAn analysis of over 1.6m listings by Rightmove shows a big return to normality – demand for smaller city centre properties rising, and rural demand dropping. The portal says in the past year bigger family homes were the strongest performers, but this has now shifted to flats: flats saw the biggest jump in demand between April and January, an uplift of 39 per cent. This demand is measured by the number of people contacting agents to request more details about a property for sale on Rightmove. It appears the easing of Covid restrictions has increased the appeal of living in a city centre, with some cities seeing demand jump as high as 76 per cent in York city centre, followed by a 62 per cent jump in Norwich and a 57 per cent rise in Sheffield.
North-West based retailer cautious following challenging 12 months
Retailer N Brown said it remained cautious following the relaxing of the government restrictions and the end of the furlough scheme as it revealed profits had halved during a ‘challenging year.’ The former catalogue retailer, which has experienced a significant decline in business due to the pandemic, reported a 13% drop in revenues from £837.5m to £728.8m for the year to 27 February 2021. Adjusted pre-tax profits had fallen 49.4% to £30.1m, down from £59.5m in the previous year.
New Variant Assessment Programme
The New Variant Assessment Programme (NVAP) is an offer of UK capacity and expertise to detect and assess new variants of SARS-CoV-2 around the world.
easyJet ready to “significantly ramp up” with green list holiday boom
Budget airline easyJet is ready to take advantage of “pent-up demand” for international travel as summer approaches. In its results for the six months up to March 31, the firm’s total revenue decreased by 90 per cent to £240m compared with £2.3bn in the same period the previous year. Despite the loss, the airline has reduced its cash burn and undergone a cost-saving and restructuring programme during the pandemic. Johan Lundgren, easyJet chief executive, commented: “With leisure travel taking off in the UK again earlier this week where we are the largest operator to Green list countries and with so many European governments easing restrictions to open up travel again, we are ready to significantly ramp up our flying for the summer with a view to maximising the opportunities we see in Europe.”
Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents
This is advice for visa customers and applicants in the UK, visa customers outside of the UK and British nationals overseas who need to apply for a passport affected by travel restrictions associated with coronavirus. Concession for people who are outside the UK, and their leave has expired before they were able to return, has been extended to 21 June 2021.
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 (no earlier than 21 June):
- 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
Media and Marketing:
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.