Latest UK data:
Positive tests: 1,948,660 have tested positive (+ 35,383 new cases)
Loss of life: *66,052 across all settings (+ 532 in last 24 hours)
Cases in Cheshire East: 10,108 confirmed since start of the pandemic, + 460 in the 7 days to 12 December
Rate per 100k population in Cheshire East: 119.7 in the 7 days to 12 December
*Daily reported COVID deaths are now measured across the UK as deaths that occurred within 28 days of the first laboratory-confirmed positive COVID test
The R number and growth rate in the UK
The latest reproduction number (R) and growth rate of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK. The R number range for the UK is 0.9 -1.0 and the growth rate range is -3% to -1% per day as of 11 December 2020.
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.
Chancellor confirms extension for furlough and Covid-19 loan schemes
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed that the government’s furlough and Covid-19 business loan schemes will be extended into the Spring of 2021. A review into the schemes had been expected in January, however was brought forward by the Chancellor to help businesses with planning.
BBC: Millions prepare for tougher restrictions amid rising cases
The devolved administrations in Northern Ireland and Wales have announced tougher restrictions and lockdowns coinciding with the festive period. In England, London and many surrounding areas have moved into Tier 3 restrictions. Only two areas were moved down in their local alert level this week – Bristol and North Somerset moved into Tier 2, while Herefordshire joins Cornwall and the Isle of Wight in Tier 1.
Coronavirus and the latest indicators for the UK economy and society: 17 December 2020
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.
LOCAL / REGIONAL NEWS & UPDATES:
Cheshire East remains in Tier 2
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced that the majority of UK regions would remain in the current tier for at least the next two weeks, with Cheshire East remaining in Tier 2 restrictions.
The Government uses 5 published criteria when assessing the tier restrictions being placed on each area:
1. Case detection rates in all age groups
2. Case detection rates in the over 60s
3. The rate at which case numbers are rising or falling
4. Positivity rate (the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken)
5. Pressure on the NHS
Council encourages residents to get walking to stay well this winter
Cheshire East Council is encouraging residents to make the most of the milder winter weather this December by taking a walk.
As we continue to live under the restrictions that the coronavirus has required, it is really important for people to focus on what they can do, and that could mean getting up on your feet and going for a stroll.
Local contractors win places on North West homes framework
Affordable housing developer Torus has created a framework of 12 local and regional contractors to help build its planned pipeline of more than 5,000 homes across the North West in the next five years.
Revenues fall for bar operator after ‘challenging year’
Revenues have dipped at North West based Revolution Bars Group on the back of the listed bar operator being hit by an “immensely challenging” year.
For the 52 weeks to 27 June 2020, total income fell from £151m to £110m at the company, while statutory pre-tax losses widened from £5.6m to £31.7m. The group’s bars were closed throughout the final 14 weeks of the trading period. Chief executive Rob Pitcher noted that prior to the onset of the pandemic, the group was reaping the rewards of the workstreams introduced last year to improve performance. It also saw strong results from its refurbishment programme. Read more at Insider
AGRICUTURE & RURAL AFFAIRS:
Coronavirus (COVID-19): information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses
The latest information for farmers, landowners and rural businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Read this page for regular updates – information updated about requesting cattle passport amendments – return to original process.
BUSINESS & FINANCE:
Business insights and impact on the UK economy: 17 December 2020
Experimental data from the voluntary fortnightly business survey (BICS) about financial performance, workforce, prices, trade, and business resilience.
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.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme statistics: December 2020
Time series and statistics as at 31 October on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, with analysis by scheme size, sector, geography, gender and flexible furlough.
HMRC coronavirus (COVID-19) statistics
HMRC data about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, the Eat Out to Help Out scheme, and the VAT payments deferral scheme – published updated monthly management information data (up to end of Sunday 13 December) for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, and added a link to the monthly Official Statistics publication ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme statistics: December 2020’
Driving test centre waiting rooms during coronavirus
Check which driving test centre waiting rooms are open, and find out what the rules are for using them because of coronavirus (COVID-19) – updated the list of driving test centre waiting rooms with details of 75 waiting rooms that will reopen between 18 December and 29 December 2020.
Letter from Dame Glenys Stacey to AoC, Sixth Form Colleges’ Association, HOLEX, AELP, the Exams Office and ASCL
Ofqual’s Acting Chief Regulator writes about vocational and technical qualifications in letter to education sector bodies.
COVID-19 infection rates in schools mirror rates in the community
Study finds infection rates among students and staff in schools were linked to those found in the wider community at the peak of the second wave.
COVID-19 Schools Infection Survey Round 1, England: November 2020
Initial estimates of staff and pupils testing positive for COVID-19 from the COVID-19 Schools Infection Survey across a sample of schools, within high and low prevalence Local Authority areas in England. This survey is being delivered in partnership with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Public Health England.
Survey of childcare and early years providers and coronavirus (COVID-19): wave 2
Wave 2 of research with childcare providers in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19).
HEALTH, CARE & WELLBEING:
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 ‘National technical validation process for manufacturers of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) tests’ to add a new validated technology (QuantuMDx), edited links under ‘Publication of results’ and amended title of ‘First wave of non-machine based lateral flow technology (LFT) assessment’ to ‘First wave of lateral flow test and non-machine based LFT assessment’.
NHS Test and Trace (England) statistics: 3 December to 9 December
Experimental statistics for weeks 1 to 28 of NHS Test and Trace contact tracing in England.
Weekly statistics for NHS Test and Trace (England) and coronavirus testing (UK)
Experimental statistics from the NHS Test and Trace service and related documents – added latest report and information on reporting for 24 December and 31 December.
NHS COVID-19 app: privacy information
Privacy notice and data protection impact assessment for the NHS COVID-19 mobile app.
COVID-19 vaccination: consent forms and letters for care home residents
Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination consent forms and letter templates for care home residents – added open source versions and ‘best interest’ information on holding page.
COVID-19 vaccination: consent form and letter for healthcare workers
Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination consent form and letter templates for healthcare workers – added open source and MS Word versions of consent form.
Incinerating specified healthcare wastes at a municipal waste incinerator: RPS C23
When you can incinerate coronavirus (COVID-19) infectious waste at a municipal waste incinerator without varying your permit – edited to include ‘The Environment Agency will only provide written agreement for using this COVID-19 RPS where the Cabinet Office and Defra have confirmed there are no other appropriate options available for treating or incinerating the waste’.
Mortality Insights from GAD – December 2020
The GAD Mortality Insights bulletin provides succinct and accessible information on current developments in the area of longevity research.
NHS Test and Trace reaching more than 92% of contacts
Changes to NHS Test and Trace have led to a record proportion of contacts being reached, and reached faster.
NHS Test and Trace statistics (England): methodology
How the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) puts together the contact-tracing data in its weekly reports – updated to reflect that UK testing is no longer included in the publication.
Procurement Policy Note 02/20: supplier relief due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
This Procurement Policy Note (PPN) sets out information and guidance for public bodies on payment of their suppliers to ensure service continuity during and after the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – updated ‘Procurement Policy Notice (PPN) 02/20 and 04/20: Supplier relief due to coronavirus (COVID-19) – additional sector guidance for state funded schools’ to show procurement policy notes 02/20 and 04/20 have expired, and updated contact details
COVID Winter Grant Scheme: guidance for local councils
Information for local councils on the COVID Winter Grant Scheme funding to support vulnerable households.
MINISTRY of DEFENCE:
Number of COVID-19 tests in defence and positive cases in the UK Armed Forces 2020
Summary statistics on the number of defence personnel who have had a COVID-19 test; and for the UK Armed Forces, the number of positive cases of COVID-19 – addition of: number of COVID-19 tests in defence and positive cases in the UK Armed Forces as of 17 December 2020.
Redrow is anticipating a strong 2021 as the company looks to move away from a year of uncertainty.
Chief executive Matthew Pratt noted that the company entered the new financial year “buoyed by the anticipation of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout”:
“We are very excited about 2021,” he said. “We remain optimistic about ongoing housing demand and consumer confidence. Along with the pandemic, 2020 has also been plagued by Brexit uncertainty, as negotiations and parliamentary gridlock continued throughout the year. With both sides of the negotiating table committed to continuing talks, we hope that further clarity will be achieved in the coming days. This would be welcome news to buyers, as well as our suppliers and construction workers on the ground.” Mr Pratt added that “further indecision” in the New Year “threatens to hold the market back for months to come”.
Coronavirus lifestyle changes play into the hands of BTR market
One of the largest players in the Build To Rent sector, Legal & General, says it’s to have a second significant development in Birmingham. It’s spending £100m on 395 BTR flats at Hockley Mills in the Jewellery Quarter conservation area. This is L&G’s 16th BTR site across 11 cities, consisting of 5,300 apartments; so far it claims to have committed over £2 billion to the sector. The company says:
“As Covid-19 drives secular changes and a fundamental rethink of many areas of the real estate sector, BTR has continued to deliver a stable income return throughout the crisis. The national lockdown, and subsequent social distancing measures, have had a significant impact on economic activity. For BTR, rent collection levels remain high with Knight Frank estimating that 95 per cent of rent in the BTR sector was collected in the second quarter of the year.”
Business Interruption Insurance – agents must wait even longer
The hundreds of estate and lettings agencies involved in various Business Interruption Insurance policies must wait even longer to find their fate.
A Supreme Court appeal completed a four day hearing on the issue last month, which had followed a High Court ruling back in September favouring policy-holders against insurers who claimed their BI policies did not include Coronavirus.
The Financial Conduct Authority represented policy holders against eight insurance firms which had argued – unsuccessfully at the High Court – that the pandemic was not a valid reason for paying out on policies. The FCA says the test case that it promoted affects claims by some 350,000 small and medium sized firms including hundreds, possibly even thousands, of agencies. It was thought likely that a final verdict from the Supreme Court judges would be revealed before the end of the year but now a statement from the FCA says: “We have been informed by the Supreme Court that it will not be in a position to hand down the judgment before January 2021.”
Contingencies fund advance: 17 December 2020
Notification of COVID-19 support fund expenditure.
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.