Latest UK data:
Total test: 12,407,146 tests have been carried, + 338,413 in the last 24 hours
Positive tests: 305,693 have tested positive, +670
Cases in Cheshire East: 2,260 cases have been confirmed, with no new positive tests in the last 24 hours
Loss of life: 46,299 across all settings, + 89
Coronavirus cases in the UK: daily updated statistics
The latest number of coronavirus (COVID-19) tests, cases and deaths in the UK
Slides, datasets and transcripts to accompany coronavirus press conferences
Slides, datasets and transcripts from press conferences at 10 Downing Street in response to coronavirus – Prime Minister’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 31 July 2020
£1.3billion ‘green economic recovery’ investment to create 85,000 new jobs!
The multi-billion pound funding from the government has been confirmed today (August 4) by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick to deliver hundreds of housing and infrastructure projects across the country. The investment will see the delivery of tens of thousands of new jobs and environmentally-friendly homes. To deliver a further 26,000 new homes while protecting greenfield sites, the government has also confirmed a £360m investment in Mayoral Combined Authority areas through its £400m Brownfield Fund. A further £8m of funding has also been announced to help speed up the delivery of these new homes on brownfield sites and the government is inviting ambitious bids from the Mayoral Combined Authorities for the remaining £40m of the fund. Details of the new £2bn Green Homes Grant scheme, which will see the government fund up to two-thirds of the cost of home improvements of over 600,000 homes, have also been announced.
£20 million to improve small business leadership and problem-solving skills in the wake of coronavirus
Two new leadership programmes to help small business leaders grow their companies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic have been launched (3 August).
Coronavirus: BBC: Is the UK in a better position than we think?This is a point made by Prof Carl Heneghan, who heads the centre for evidence-based medicine at Oxford University. He says it is essential to adjust for tests being done and is concerned about what he calls “poor interpretation” of data. Covid cases, he says, simply aren’t rising in any meaningful sense. And even if you just look at the raw number of positive tests, it is worth remembering that the figures seen are way way below what was happening during the peak when an estimated 100,000 infections a day were being seen.
Coronavirus in the UK: BBC: How many confirmed cases are there in your area?
There have been more than 300,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus so far in the UK and more than 46,000 people have died, government figures show. However, these numbers only include people tested, and the actual death toll is higher.
Test, Track & Trace key to schools reopening and reduced risk of second wave
Scientists are warning that the current test, track and trace system is inadequate and may not be enough to prevent a second wave of coronavirus as a consequence of schools reopening for the Autumn term. Computer modelling currently suggests that to keep the virus in check, 75% of people with systems must be found and 68% of their contacts traced. The government said plans were in place to ensure schools can reopen safely at the start of the new school year. Asked about the estimate that only 50% of contacts are being traced in an interview with BBC Breakfast, Simon Clarke, minister for regional growth, said government figures were higher.
Roll-out of 2 new rapid coronavirus tests ahead of winter
Millions of new rapid coronavirus tests will be rolled out across NHS hospitals, care homes and labs from next week.New tests for coronavirus will give results in just 90 minutes rather than the current 24 hours and in some cases 48. From next week, 500,000 tests will be available giving priority to care homes and laboratories. Two companies in Oxford and London London have developed “on-the-spot” swab tests that will also help distinguish between Covid-19 and other seasonal illnesses, such as the flu, so doctors will know whether someone presenting with coronavirus symptoms has the virus or something else. The health secretary said this would be “hugely beneficial” over the winter.
Currently, three quarters of test results are returned within 24 hours and a quarter can take up to two days. The major benefits of rapid testing are that they require no specialist medical training, they are speedier and portable – no need for lab testing.
Eat out to help out scheme launches
From Monday and throughout August, restaurant customers will be able to save up to 50% off the cost of each meal up to £10 each. Restaurants who have signed up to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme will be able to claim back their customers’ savings for the cost of food and non-alcoholic drinks every Monday to Wednesday in August.
LOCAL / REGIONAL NEWS & UPDATES:
Cheshire East housebuilding reaches seven-year high
An additional 3,065 new homes were constructed, outperforming annual requirements of 1,800 properties, as set by the Council’s Local Plan Strategy.
What you need to know: latest news from Manchester Airport
Each week more and more flights resume from Manchester and following the recent change to travel to Spain, passengers are reminded to check the latest Government information regarding travel corridors. It is also important to take account of the latest Foreign and Commonwealth Travel advice relating to any restrictions in your destination. In addition to the scores of the flights that have already re-started, this week sees the return of TAP Air Portugal flights to Lisbon and Aegean Airlines flights to Athens. EasyJet have also resumed flights to Kefalonia in Greece, Funchal in Portugal, Olbia in Italy and Tivat, Montenegro. TUI has resumed flights to Bodrum, Turkey, and Chania, Skiathos and Santorini in Greece.
Online electrical retailer AO to create 250 new jobs in Cheshire East
One success story amongst all the poor retail figures over the past 5 months is online trading company AO. A switch from High Street to online sales as a result of the lockdown measures imposed by the Government in the fight against Covid-19, has resulted in a surge in sales for the North West based retailer. New jobs are expected to include both day and night shifts at its logistics hub in Crewe.
North West of England: local restrictions – what you can and cannot do
Find out what restrictions are in place if you live, work or travel in the North-West area and other affected areas – added information about the rules for meeting people in the outdoor areas of cafes, restaurants or pubs.
New rules on gatherings in some parts of Northern England
Government announces changes to rules on gatherings in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and East Lancashire after increase in COVID-19 case
What you can be fined for under the Greater Manchester new legislation
The restrictions will be reviewed on a weekly basis.
Transmission licence exemptions for offshore wind farm generators affected by COVID-19
We’re seeking views on a proposed exemption order, for wind farm generators in tender rounds 5 and 6 of the OFTO regime affected by COVID-19. Outcome of consultation published along with link to Statutory Instrument on the Legislation website.
Government produces ‘Please give me Space’ social distancing badges
The Government has today published optional cards and badges to show that the carrier may, for whatever reason, have difficulties or concerns with social distancing. The downloadable badges are available for mobile devices or for printing.
Coronavirus: driving theory tests
Theory tests have restarted in England, Scotland and Wales – find out what to expect when you take your test – social distancing information for England to read that social distancing has been reduced to 1 metre, and other guidelines to reduce risk
COVID-19: Guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships
This guidance is designed to assist people planning to get married or form a civil partnership in England – updated to reflect additional requirements on face coverings. Amendments to the roadmap for wedding receptions.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Accessing food and essential supplies
How to get food and other essential supplies during the coronavirus pandemic – updated the information on accessing food if you are vulnerable and can’t go to a supermarket.
Face coverings: when to wear one and how to make your own
This page explains when to wear a face covering and how to make one.
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.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for people receiving direct payments
Advice for people who buy care and support through a direct payment, as well as local authorities, clinical commissioning groups and those who provide care and support.
COVID-19: Guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities
Guidance for those managing community centres, village halls and other community facilities on safely re-opening multi-purpose buildings. Updated section 2: – Hygiene and face coverings; and section 3. Permitted activities in multi-use community facilities: signposting to relevant guidance.
COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection
Stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. Removed ‘Stay at Home guidance for households: current guidelines illustrated’ PDF, as out of date.
COVID-19: guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable
Information for shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19.
Updates to the shielding programme on national and regional levels
Shielding guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable to be paused from 01 August across England.
Staying alert and safe (social distancing)
The most important thing we can do is to stay alert, control the virus, and in doing so, save lives.
COVID-19: guidance for the safe use of places of worship and special religious services and gatherings during the pandemic
This guidance is designed to enable the safe reopening of places of worship for a broader range of activities and includes a checklist for special religious services and gatherings – updated to reflect additional requirements on face coverings and amendments to 1 August 2020 easings.
2021 workload rebound expected but at 6.4% below pre-Covid levels
Construction forecasters are predicting a V-shaped rebound in workloads next year after a 21% slump this year. They have upgraded forecasts for workloads after activity on-site resumed slightly quicker than initially expected post-lockdown.
In its latest construction forecast, the Construction Products Association is betting on a V-shaped rather than W or U-shaped recovery for the industry. The worst affected sectors this year will be private housing (-33%) and commercial (-29%). But while workloads are expected to rebound to a certain extent, industry crystal-ball gazers are concerned about longer term confidence in the wider economy and fresh structural changes around shopping and work habits impacting the commercial sector. This has seen them downgrade the extent of recovery next year to 18% leaving construction workloads lagging pre-Covid levels.
Morgan Sindall to repay money received under Covid-19 job retention scheme and confident of second half profits surge
Morgan Sindall has revealed its intension to return all payments it has received under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Morgan Sindall is predicting a bounce-back in profit during the second half of the year as sites returned to 95% productivity across the company.
Glenigan: Impact of lockdown and positive signs of recovery
Construction work is recovering after the impact of lockdown with less disruption to site work, more project-starts, and more contract awards anticipated as the industry gets back to work. Looking back at activity over the three months to the end of June, this is very welcome news. The sheer scale of the impact of lockdown is astonishing, with the value of projects starting on-site 45% down on a year ago!
Project starts crashed – Project-start declines were evenly spread across both underlying project starts and major projects (of £100m or more). Major projects were 45% lower than a year ago, and underlying projects (under £100m) were 29% down on the previous three months on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Contract awards were up and down – Overall the value of contract awards averaged £3,762 million a month during the three months to June, a 36% drop on a year ago. The decline was led by a 52% fall in the value of underlying contract awards. In contrast, the value of major contract awards rose by 32% against a year ago to average £1,431 million a month.
Overall pipeline remained strong … Read on
BBC: GCSE students in England will be able to drop subject areas in English literature and history exams next year.Poetry is one of the topics that will become optional following concern that schools may not be able to cover all areas because of the pandemic. But head teachers said it amounted to “tinkering at the edges” amid “widespread ongoing disruption”.
Exams watchdog Ofqual has yet to decide if 2021 exams will be delayed, to give teachers more time to prepare students. This summer’s exams were cancelled and exam boards will instead issue results based on factors such as a student’s predicted grades, results in previous exams and the performance of the school in previous years.
Guidance for prospective students
SLC issues guidance for prospective students and answers common questions related to the COVID-19 outbreak:
Added 4 new FAQs to address COVID policy changes:
In 2020/21 my course will mostly involve online learning, so I’ll be staying at home to study remotely. How will this affect my student finance?
I was supposed to be living away from home at my uni or college during term time, but I will now be staying at home as my course will involve online learning. Will this affect my student finance?
I cannot meet the UK residency requirements because COVID-19 restrictions prevented me from travelling to the UK. Will this be considered when my eligibility for funding is being assessed?
I’m due to start a course in the UK in September 2020, but I’m unable to be in the UK at the start of the academic year. Will I still be eligible for student finance and be paid in my first term?
Coronavirus (COVID-19): reducing burdens on educational and care settings
List of data collections, services or requests which will be cancelled, paused or will continue.
Exams and assessments in 2021
Ofqual confirms changes to GCSEs, AS and A levels next year, following consultation; and publishes new proposals for adjustments to VTQs.
Proposed changes to the assessment of GCSEs, AS and A levels in 2021?
Proposals to modify the assessment requirements for some GCSEs, AS and A levels in response to disruption to education caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Final outcomes and details of decisions added, as well as an analysis of responses and an annex to explain planned changes for individual subjects and qualifications.
Consultation on the assessment and awarding of Vocational, Technical and other General Qualifications in 2020 to 2021
Our proposals for extending the Extraordinary Regulatory Framework.
Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak: 23 March to 30 July 2020
A summary of attendance in education settings from Monday 23 March to Friday 17 July and early years settings from Thursday 16 April to Thursday 30 July.
EMPLOYERS / BUSINESS / FINANCE:
Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from 1 August
Changes mean that employers will need to pay National Insurance (NI) and pension contributions for furloughed employees from their own resources as these will not be covered by future grants. Make sure you have the latest information by joining the live webinar:
Extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and flexible furloughing We’ll provide an overview of the scheme, including flexible furloughing, examples of how to work out the amount you can claim, and the changes due in September and October. Choose a date and time
BCC: Business re-openings stalled – a hammer blow to confidence?
Postponing the planned reopening of a number of industries is set to be a “hammer blow” to both business and consumer confidence, according to a senior figure at the British Chambers of Commerce. On 1 August, a number of higher risk settings were set to resume trading. These included casinos, bowling alleys and skating rinks, as well as pilots of larger crowds in sporting venues and conference centres. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has now confirmed that any such plans will be postponed until 15 August at the earliest as fresh concerns about the virus are raised. BCC co-executive director Claire Walker said: “While tackling the public health emergency must be the priority, these announcements – made at short notice – will be a hammer blow to business and consumer confidence at a time when many firms were just starting to get back on their feet.”
Closing certain businesses and venues in England
Guidance on the closure of certain businesses and venues as part of further social distancing measures, and on the further easing of coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions in July and August 2020 – updated to reflect additional requirements on face coverings and amendments to 1 August 2020 easings.
European Structural and Investment Funds: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response
A series of documents and updates regarding the 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Programme and the response to COVID-19. The ESF Q&A has been updated to provide clarity to a number of existing questions. See the dates next to the questions for updates.
Ask HMRC to verify you had a new child which affected your eligibility for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
If you’re self-employed or a member of a partnership, and having a new child affected the trading profits or total income you reported for the tax year 2018 to 2019, use this form to ask HMRC to verify that you had a new child.
How different circumstances affect the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme
If you’re self-employed or member of a partnership find out how your circumstances can affect your eligibility for the scheme – how to ask HMRC to verify if having a new child affected your eligibility for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
Check if you can claim for your employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
The information call out has been updated to tell employers about changes to the scheme from 1 Aug 2020. New section added on the maximum number of employees you can claim for. Information about the minimum furlough period removed throughout and from the section on minimum furlough periods.
Check which employees you can put on furlough to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Find out which employees you can put on furlough and claim for through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – information has been updated to tell employers about changes to the scheme from 1 August 2020. Out of date eligibility criteria removed about RTI submissions before 19 March, contracts expiring before 19 March 2020, consolidating PAYE schemes after 28 Feb, TUPE transfers after 28 Feb. Sections ‘If your employee is working reduced hours’, ‘If you made employees redundant or they stopped working for you on or after 28 Feb 2020’, ‘If you made employees redundant or they stopped working for you on or after 19 March 2020’ removed. Section ‘If your employee is shielding’ and ‘If your employee has caring responsibilities’.
Individuals you can claim for who are not employees
Find out if you can claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for individuals who are not employees – updated to tell employers about changes to the rules from 1 August 2020.
Calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Deleted information about claim periods ending on or before 30 June 2020 and information about backdating claims to 1 March, as this is no longer possible.
Steps to take before calculating your claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Deleted sections on working out claims on or before 30 June 2020 and on calculate your claim for pension contributions for claim periods up to and including 30 June 2020.
Reporting outbreaks of coronavirus (COVID-19)
Guidance for businesses and organisations on how to recognise, contain and report incidents of coronavirus (COVID-19) – updates have been made to the definition of an outbreak, in line with revised guidelines.
Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)
Find out how to make your workplace COVID-secure – updated the guidance on protecting people who are at higher risk (section 2.1). From 1 August, clinically extremely vulnerable individuals can go to the workplace as long as it is COVID-secure, but should carry on working from home wherever possible.
Competition law exclusion orders relating to coronavirus (COVID-19)
A register of agreements relating to exclusion orders made by powers under paragraph 7 of Schedule 3 to The Competition Act 1998.
The Competition Act 1998 (Dairy Produce) (Coronavirus) (Public Policy Exclusion) Order 2020 expired at 23:59pm on 1 August 2020.
DVLA Coronavirus (COVID-19) update
Our online services have not been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and are running as normal.
Tell HMRC and pay the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant back
If you made a claim in error as you were not eligible for the grant, have been overpaid or would like to make a voluntary repayment, tell HMRC and pay some or all of the grant back.
EMG: COVID-19 – Theatres, concert halls and other performance spaces, 12 July 2020
Paper prepared by the Environmental and Modelling group (EMG) for the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE)
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Apply for the Zoos Support Fund
Apply for an animal welfare grant of up to £730,000 for your zoo or aquarium affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) – new details added on how to apply for a Zoo Animal Support Fund grant.
HMRC coronavirus (COVID-19) statistics
HMRC data about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, and the VAT payments deferral scheme – updated weekly data (up to end of Sunday 2 August) for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme.
HM Treasury coronavirus (COVID-19) business loan scheme statistics
HMT management information about the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) and Future Fund Scheme.
Environment Agency waterways: Coronavirus (Covid-19) update
Guidance for users of all Environment Agency waterways, including the River Thames, Anglian waterways and the Upper Medway Navigation. Environment Agency waterways: coronavirus (Covid-19) update 30 July 2020 added.
HEALTH CARE & WELLBEING:
PPE portal: how to order emergency personal protective equipment
Healthcare providers can order additional personal protective equipment (PPE) through the portal to top up their existing supplies for COVID-19 in an emergency. Pharmacies and larger social care providers are invited to order from the portal. Updated the amount of visors that GPs, domiciliary care providers and residential care homes can order. The customer service team opening hours are now 7am to 7pm.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): admission and care of people in care homes
How to protect care home residents and staff during the coronavirus outbreak – changed to reflect that self-isolation period for people with symptoms of coronavirus has changed from 7 days to 10 days, and added link to recent updated guidance on visiting care homes during coronavirus.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested
Guidance on coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test and how to get tested. Updated section ‘Regular testing in care homes (England)’ to state that the remaining CQC-registered adult care homes (for those aged under 65) will be able to register for retesting from 31 August. Added 2 new attachments for care homes: ‘graphic summarising testing for care homes’ and ‘care home testing: information sheet for care providers’.
Types and uses of coronavirus (COVID-19) tests
Guidance on the different types of coronavirus test available – updated guidance to reflect current advice to self-isolate for 10 days from when symptoms start.
National COVID-19 surveillance reports
National COVID-19 surveillance reports, including weekly summary of findings monitored through various COVID-19 surveillance systems.
Government further boosts UK vaccine manufacturing capacity
Pharmaceutical and biotech organisation Wockhardt will carry out the crucial ‘fill and finish’ stage of the vaccine manufacturing process.
SPI-M-O: Consensus statement on COVID-19, 15 July 2020
Consensus statement from the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling, Operational sub-group (SPI-M-O) on coronavirus (COVID-19).
EMG: Measurement of effectiveness of risk mitigation measures in reducing transmission, 16 July 2020
Paper prepared by the Environmental and Modelling group (EMG) for the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).
Planning assumptions for the UK reasonable worst case scenario (Draft), 25 March 2020
Draft paper prepared for the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).
Reasonable worst-case planning scenario (Draft), 26 March 2020
Draft paper prepared for the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).
SAGE 43 minutes: Coronavirus (COVID-19) response, 23 June 2020
Record of the discussion that took place at SAGE’s forty-third meeting.
EMG: Application of UV disinfection, visible light, local air filtration and fumigation technologies to microbial control, 19 May 2020
Paper prepared by the Environmental and Modelling group (EMG) for the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).
Coronavirus (COVID-19): scientific evidence supporting the UK government response
The national and global response to the spread of COVID-19 continues to develop quickly and our collective knowledge of the virus is growing by the second. We have published minutes for meetings 43, 44 and 45 and updated the list of evidence provided to SAGE with 16 new papers.
SAGE meetings, July 2020
Minutes and papers from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) meetings held in July 2020.
NHS Test and Trace statistics (England): 16 July to 22 July 2020
Experimental statistics for weeks 1 to 8 of NHS Test and Trace contact tracing in England – replaced the weekly NHS Test and Trace bulletin with a new version to correct the following data: in table 1, the number of people tested under pillar 1 (9 July to 15 July); in table 13, all data has been replaced. Added HTML version.
PPE deliveries (England): 27 July to 2 August 2020
Experimental statistics showing the latest number of personal protective equipment (PPE) items distributed for use by health and social care services in England.
HOSPITALITY & LEISURE:
Register your establishment for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme
Find out how to register your restaurant or establishment for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme.
Help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)
A YouTube video about the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme has been added. Watch videos and register for the free webinars to learn more about the?support available to help you deal with the economic impacts of?coronavirus.
COVID-19: Guidance for managing playgrounds and outdoor gyms
Guidance for owners and operators of playgrounds and outdoor gyms to enable their use while minimising the transmission risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) – updated to reflect additional requirements on face coverings.
Preventing and controlling outbreaks of COVID-19 in prisons and places of detention
Information for prisons and other prescribed places of detention on coronavirus (COVID-19) – added COVID-19 guidance for prisons and places of detention poster.
Courts and tribunals additional capacity during coronavirus outbreak: Nightingale courts
This page holds a list of additional facilities opening to support the courts and tribunals estate during the coronavirus outbreak.
HMCTS weekly operational summary on courts and tribunals during coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
This page provides a weekly summary of the HM Courts and Tribunals Service operational position during the coronavirus pandemic. We will aim to update this every Friday at 5pm
LOCAL AUTHORITY / GOVERNMENT:
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Local authority Emergency Assistance Grant for Food and Essential Supplies
Guidance for local authorities on how to use your allocation of the Local Authority Emergency Assistance Grant for Food and Essential Supplies
Results summary of COVID-19 Risk Assessment for Civil Service Departments
This document sets out the summary of the results of the COVID-19 risk assessments for Civil Service Departments.
COVID-19: Guidance for the safe use of council buildings
Guidance for those managing council buildings – updated section on face coverings.
Nationwide: House prices on the up again
The Nationwide says annual house price growth has recovered to 1.5 per cent. Its July house price index says the fall in house prices seen in June has been sharply reversed with average prices up 1.7 per cent over the month, mostly thanks to suppressed demand and the stamp duty holiday encouraging sellers and buyers. Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, says: “The bounce back in prices reflects the unexpectedly rapid recovery in housing market activity since the easing of lockdown restrictions. The rebound in activity reflects a number of factors. Pent up demand is coming through, where decisions are taken to move before lockdown are progressing.
Tenant demand and rental supply the ‘highest on record’ for June
The number of new prospective renters and supply of rental stock reached an all-time high in June, ARLA Propertymark’s June PRS report has revealed. The average branch registered 79 new tenants per branch, compared to 70 on average in May. This is the highest recorded year-on-year figure for the month of June, with a previous record of 71 in June 2019. However, this is still down on pre-lockdown figures when there was an average of 82 prospective tenants registered per branch in February. Similarly, the number of rental properties on the market continued to pick up, with the number of properties managed per branch reaching 200, an all-time high for the month of June. While this is a slight decline from 208 in May, it sets the market up for an active summer compared to the typical seasonal lull.
Estate Agency group “increasingly optimistic” about market, despite Covid
The chairman of LSL Property Services – Simon Embley – says he is “increasingly optimistic” about the outlook for the market, despite Coronavirus. His remarks come after another relatively strong set of figures in LSL’s trading statement this morning. The company – which includes national chains Reeds Rain and Your Move as well as high-end London agency Marsh & Parsons – saw its revenue fall 25 per cent in the first half of the year, mostly because of the virus lockdown. However underlying profit for the group, which also includes financial services and surveying as well as sales and lettings agencies, was up by £0.3m to £12.5m.Estate agency division underlying profit was up three per cent, buoyed particularly by strong trading in June when the housing market reopened.
DW Sports appoints administrators
North West based DW Sports, founded by former Wigan Athletic owner Dave Whelan, has called in administrators after being severe affected by the trading restrictions imposed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. DW Sports who operate 73 gyms and 75 retail sites across the UK – including a store at Portwood in Stockport – is expected to close all its outlets including its online store.
Pizza Express has revealed plans to close 67 of its restaurants
The planned sale will put 1,100 jobs at risk. It has also hired Lazard & Co to advise on the sale of the group. The company said the move to shut about 15 per cent of its 449 sites was a “very difficult one” but would help project 9,000 jobs. Zoe Bowley, UK&I managing director, added: “Our business has a long history of success, but the UK-wide lockdown has hit the hospitality industry particularly hard. While the financial restructuring is a positive step forward, at the same time we have had to make some really tough decisions.”
UK betting firm to repay furlough monies despite closing 119 High Street shops William Hill, based in London, has not confirmed how many jobs may be affected by these plans, but said that there will be “minimal” cost of closure. It said that the store closures are part of its “strategic alignment”, which will merge its online and retail divisions. The company also reported a 32 per cent drop in revenue for the first six months of the year, earning net revenue of £554.4m, down from £811.7m in 2019.
It added that it will be repaying funds provided to it through the government’s furlough scheme.
WH Smith to cut jobs as coronavirus impacts on High Street retail and travel
Up to 1,500 jobs could go after the coronavirus pandemic led to a fall in customers at its travel and high street shops. The retailer said it expects to report a headline loss before tax for the financial year ending 31 August of between £70m and £75m. It reported that group revenues were down 57% in July compared with the same month last year, after its travel arm was particularly badly hit by the COVID-19 crisis.
Coronavirus: MOTs due from 30 March 2020
Car, van or motorcycle’s MOT expiry dates were extended by 6 months if they were due between 30 March 2020 and 31 July 2020.
Added information about when to get an MOT if your MOT was extended by 6 months, and added that you should not take your vehicle for its MOT if you have returned to the UK in the last 14 days, unless you travelled from a country on the ‘travel corridor’ list or belong to one of the groups who do not have to self-isolate
Coronavirus: driving theory tests
Theory tests have restarted in England and Scotland, and they will restart in Wales on Monday 3 August 2020 – find out what to expect when you take your test. Updated content to say that shielding was paused in England on 1 August 2020.
Coronavirus: MOTs for HGVs, buses and trailers
You can book an HGV, bus or trailer annual test (MOT) – the deadline to get the test done depends on when the MOT was originally due – added information about 12-month exemptions that are being applied from 24 August 2020. Updated the table to include dates for 12-month and 3-month exemptions.
TRAVEL & TOURISM:
Hays Travel to cut 878 jobs as Spanish doors close to non-essential travel
It is consulting with 344 staff who are training as travel consultants and 534 who work in the foreign exchange division. Experienced travel sales staff, apprentices and other head office staff are not affected. John and Irene Hays said in a statement that since February they have made “every possible effort” to protect the jobs of all 4,500 staff, including those who were employed when Hays took on the Thomas Cook shops last October. They said in early July when the Foreign Office’s restriction on non-essential travel lifted, the company was on track for recovery and holiday bookings had returned to a “workable level”. “However, the non-essential travel ban and quarantine requirements imposed on Spain just nine days ago have triggered the cancellation of hundreds of thousands of holidays,” they said.
UK travel jobs reaching ‘worst case scenario’
Nearly three million travel and tourism jobs in the UK – and 197milion worldwide – look set to be lost due to the collapse of travel. Economic modelling conducted less than two months ago predicted this “worst case scenario” would occur if barriers to global travel, such as quarantine measures and blanket travel restrictions were to remain in place.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK
Sets out how to self-isolate when you arrive in the UK. You will not be allowed to leave the place you’re staying for the first 14 days you’re in the UK – changed to reflect who is allowed to visit you while you self-isolate. Also changed to reflect that the self-isolation period for people with symptoms of coronavirus has changed from 7 days to 10 days.
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 – updated to reference that most UK Visa Application Centres (VACs) have resumed services where local restrictions allow.
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
Cheshire East Council – Discretionary Fund
Businesses that have been unable to access other forms of Covid-19 support can apply for grants from a £4.68 million fund.
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.
Cheshire East Council – Business rates grants
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.