Total UK Cases: 4,398,431 positive tests
Latest UK daily figure: 2,729 new cases
Number in UK hospital: 1,915 (140 new admissions)
New deaths across UK: 18
Total UK deaths: 127,345
England Cases per 100,000: 23.8 per 100,000
R number in UK: 0.7 to 1.0
Total 1st doses given: 33,257,651 up to and including 21 April 2021
Total 2nd doses given: 11,192,601
Latest Cheshire East data:
Total Cheshire East cases: 20,839
New cases in past 7 days: 66 to 17 April
Total deaths: 798
Cases per 100,000: 17.2 per 100,000
R number in North West: 0.6 to 0.9
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 & HEADLINES:
Government ready to roll out vaccine certification by 17th May, reports Telegraph
The Telegraph reports the industry has been briefed by the government on the regime, which could be ready for a 17 May restart. It reports the certification scheme will provide British travellers an official government-approved document verifying their vaccination status for use at foreign borders. The EU is working on its own digital green pass proposal, which will seek to restore intra-EU travel using vaccination and test certification. It has confirmed the scheme will have provisions for third countries, such as the UK. Greece is among a number of countries that have pledged to smooth entry for visitors that have been vaccinated against Covid-19, or tested negative prior to departure. Other countries that are reportedly ready to reopen to vaccinated Brits include Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Croatia.
Takeaway retailer reports ‘strong performance’ as sales rise by £60m
Domino’s Pizza Group, which operates across the UK and Ireland, saw sales of £371.3m in the period to the end of March, up 18.7 per cent from approximately £312.8m in the same period in 2020. The company reported that sales performance within its delivery business has been “particularly good”, with delivery growth of 6.8 per cent, which it says has more than offset the lower sales in its collection business. However, it also saw some improvement within collection, which it reports is now trading at 65 per cent of 2019 levels. This comes as the company disposes of its businesses in Sweden and Iceland, which it expects to complete by the end of May.
BRIT awards to return with live audience as part of Covid event trials
The Brit Awards will go ahead with a live audience next month, as part of the government’s research into how live events might work after the pandemic. The ceremony will take place at London’s O2 Arena on 11 May and will be fronted by comedian Jack Whitehall. The 4,000-strong audience, mainly made up of key workers, won’t need to wear masks or be socially distanced, but will need a negative Covid test. It’s the latest addition to the Events Research Programme, which examines how venues and events can reopen safely.
BRIT Awards to go ahead with live audience as latest event in Government research programme
LOCAL / REGIONAL NEWS & UPDATES:
REGIONAL & LOCAL NEWS:
Manchester Airport Group reveals impact of pandemic and calls for roadmap to restriction-free travel
MAG is calling for greater cooperation between governments to track new Covid-19 variants, rather than relying on costly PCR tests and is urging the government to create a new category for restriction free travel to aid recovery. MAG’s annual passenger numbers are down 90% a year since the aviation industry was placed into near shutdown and believes plotting a path to restriction-free travel is key to the full revival of the UK’s ailing aviation sector. Currently, the UK Government proposes that all passengers – even those returning from the lowest risk ‘green’ destinations – will have to take a PCR test, so it can gather data that will help with genomic sequencing. MAG said this could be avoided if governments worked together on sequencing and sharing data on variants.
Bank of England announces plans for a new Northern hub
Governor Andrew Bailey said: “Our mission at the Bank is to promote the good of the people of the United Kingdom by maintaining monetary and financial stability and to deliver that for the whole country. I made a commitment at my pre-appointment hearing before the Treasury Select Committee in March last year to look at how we can expand our staff presence across the UK beyond our existing Agency network. “Working through a year of Covid has shown that we can function well virtually and, as the country begins to open up again, it is more important than ever to think about what our future working arrangements look like. This includes the options for working more remotely, and how we can gain better insights into the country and the people we serve. Having a greater proportion of our workforce located outside London and the South East will better enable us to support our mission.”
Private ‘fit to fly’ Covid-19 test suite to launch in Wilmslow
AKEA Life will launch private Covid-19 testing for travellers with 24-hour and same-day services available from their offices in Wilmslow.
Check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
If you’re self-employed or a member of a partnership and have been impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) find out if you can use this scheme to claim a grant – the online service for the fourth grant is now available.
Tell HMRC and pay the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant back
Find out how to tell HMRC if you need to pay back some or all of the SEISS grant – new guidance on ‘If amending your return affects your grant amount or eligibility’ added under ‘How to tell us’ section.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): driver and rider trainer guidance
How driving instructors and motorcycle trainers should work safely during coronavirus (COVID-19), business support, and restrictions on driving lessons.
Coronavirus and the latest indicators for the UK economy and society: 22 April 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.
Coronavirus guidance for Companies House customers
How we’ve adapted the way we work to maintain our services for the public and protect the welfare of our employees – you can use a same day service to electronically file a change of company name, or incorporate a company (software filing only). You must apply before 11am. If you apply after 11am, your application will not be processed until the next working day. We have suspended all other same day services until further notice. COMMUNITY:
Coronavirus (COVID-19): driving tests
Find out how driving tests are affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) and what changes to expect when you take your driving test – added information about taking a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test before your driving test in England.
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 testing
Lists of and information about approved suppliers of private testing kits for coronavirus (COVID-19) – updated both lists of providers.
Upbeat Morgan Sindall set to smash 2021 forecast
The firm predicted strong growth for 2021 at the time of its last results but performance in the first four months has put the group on track to out-perform all expectations. In an upbeat trading statement this morning, chief executive John Morgan said all divisions had made further positive operational and strategic progress in their markets and momentum had continued to increase.
Universities Minister speaks to TASO conference
Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan speaks to TASO conference on the importance of social mobility and higher education reform
Functional Skills qualifications conditions, requirements and guidance updated
Ofqual publishes changes due to the extension of legacy English and mathematics Functional Skills qualifications.
HEALTH & WELLBEING:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey: characteristics of people testing positive for COVID-19 in England, 22 April 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
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 – changed expiry date for free visa extensions for NHS workers to 30 September 2021.
Assessment and procurement of coronavirus (COVID-19) tests
How the government assesses offers of COVID-19 tests from developers for procurement and use in the UK – updated the ‘National technical validation process for manufacturers of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) tests’ document to update the ‘Validation stage’ table.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested
Guidance on coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test and how to get tested.
Weekly statistics for NHS Test and Trace (England): 8 April to 14 April 2021
Experimental statistics on NHS Test and Trace since its launch on 28 May 2020. Includes reports on NHS Test and Trace (people tested and contact tracing) and rapid (lateral flow device) testing for people without symptoms.
Coronavirus England briefing, 22 April 2021
Epidemiological data and hospitalisation metrics used by the government to brief MPs on local restriction tiers.
Coronavirus cases by local authority: epidemiological data
Weekly watchlist giving epidemiological coronavirus (COVID-19) data for each lower-tier local authority in England.
Workforce Capacity Fund for adult social care
Information for local authorities and adult social care providers on the £120 million Workforce Capacity Fund during coronavirus (COVID-19).
Stamp Duty deadline too late for most buyers
A consumer financial service suggests it’s already too late for most buyers to meet the latest stamp duty holiday deadline of June 30. It’s 70 days until the deadline but it now takes the average first time buyer 99 days to complete, while existing owners moving home take a typical 88 days to complete. The stamp duty holiday scheme was originally scheduled to come to an end in March but was extended at its current £500,000 threshold until June 30.
First time buyers can now borrow 5.5 times annual income
The Nationwide Building Society has launched a product which, controversially, allows some first-time buyers to borrow 5.5 times their income.
From April 26 Nationwide’s Helping Hand product allows first timers the option of borrowing up to 5.5 times their income when taking a five or 10-year fixed rate mortgage up to 90 per cent Loan to Value – the most currently offered by any major high street lender. Nationwide is explicitly targeting disenchanted private renters, saying: “Many renters still aspire to own their own home, but affordability remains one of the key issues stopping many from getting on the housing ladder. In the last 10 years the average price of a first-time buyer property has increased by 41 per cent, while the average income has risen by just 18 per cent.”
Haulier advice site locations
Leicester Forest East northbound is closed until 6pm today, on 22 April.
Self-isolation compliance checks after international travel
Information on the self-isolation compliance checks carried out by the government on people who have entered England following international travel – minor change clarifying how staff carrying out compliance checks will confirm the individual’s name.
Providers of day 2 and day 8 coronavirus testing for international arrivals
Information on the 2 tests you must book, pay for and take during your mandatory 10-day quarantine period after arriving in England, including how to book – updated the list of providers.
Exemptions from managed quarantine for medical and compassionate reasons
Who can apply for an exemption from the requirement to enter managed quarantine on arrival in the UK on medical and compassionate grounds.
How to quarantine when you arrive in England
What to do before and after you arrive in England, including staying at home and ordering coronavirus (COVID-19) tests – added a reference and link to the guidance ‘Self-isolation compliance checks after international travel’.
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.