Total UK Cases: 4,058,468 positive tests
Latest UK daily figure: 10,625 new cases
Number in UK hospital: 21,001 (1,487 new admissions)
New deaths across UK: 799
Total UK deaths: 118,195
England Cases per 100,000: 130 per 100,000
R number in UK: 0.7 to 0.9
Total 1st doses given: 15,576,107 up to and including 15 February 2021
Total 2nd doses given: 546,165
Latest Cheshire East data:
Total Cheshire East cases: 19,120
New cases in past 7 days: 498to 11 February
Total deaths: 748
Cases per 100,000: 129.6 per 100,000
R number in North West: 0.7 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:
ONS: Inflation rises in UK as recreation and culture prices climb
The Office for National Statistics has today announced that UK inflation rose by 0.7 per cent for the 12 months to January. The organisation announced this morning (17 February), that product prices across the UK had risen by 0.7 per cent over the past year, compared with 0.6 per cent for the 12 months to December. The report suggested that the increase was due to the closure of non-essential stores as coronavirus restrictions tightened once more. Recreation and culture were the largest contributors to the increase in inflation, with prices also rising for furniture, restaurants and transport.
First 15 million vaccinated as Prime Minister warns ‘no moment to relax’
More then 90% of over 70s vaccinated but 60% of hospital patients with Covid are under 70. More people in hospital than at the peak in April last year and admissions running at 1,600 daily. Next Monday, February 22nd, Mr Johnson will start to unveil the proposed roadmap to recovery. Although many things are still very uncertain “we want his lockdown to be the last”.
Boost for housebuilder SMEs as government launches £250m accelerator fund
Small and medium-sized residential developers are set to benefit from a new multi-million pound government fund. Homes England, the Government’s housing delivery agency and specialist lender United Trust Bank (UTB) have today launched a £250m fund to support property SMEs with development finance at up to 70 per cent Loan to Gross Development Value. Providing construction loans between £1m and £10m, the Housing Accelerator Fund aims to improve access to finance offered to smaller builders in a bid to drive diversification of the housing market.
Covid vaccine showing positive results in over 80s
England’s vaccination programme is starting to pay off, with the over-80s age group now the most likely to test positive for coronavirus antibodies, Office for National Statistics testing suggests.
Blood tests reveal more over-80s than any other age group in England are showing signs of some immunity against Covid infection. This comes as Covid deaths have fallen. But overall, deaths are still 40% above the five-year average.
New technology to help identify those at high risk from COVID-19
There is to be a large expansion of the number of people being asked to shield in England, the government has announced. An extra 1.7 million people are expected to be added to the 2.3 million already on the list. Half of the group have not yet been vaccinated so will now be prioritised urgently by their local GPs.
New technology has been introduced in England to help clinicians identify, for the first time, a new group of people who may be at high risk from COVID-19. Up to 1.7 million patients have been identified. Those within this group who are over 70 will have already been invited for vaccination and 820,000 adults between 19 and 69 years will now be prioritised for a vaccination. The patients identified through the risk assessment will be sent a letter from NHS England in the coming days explaining that their risk factors may help identify them as high clinical risk and that they are included within the support and advice for the clinically extremely vulnerable. They will be invited to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible if they have not already had the jab, and will be given advice on precautionary measures, including shielding where this is current advice. Their GPs are also being notified. The technology analyses a combination of risk factors based on medical records, to assess whether somebody may be more vulnerable than was previously understood, helping clinicians provide vaccination more quickly to them and ensuring patients can benefit from additional advice and support.
Another new variant identified in the UK
Scientists have identified another new variant of coronavirus in the UK with some potentially troubling mutations. B.1.525 appears similar to the South African variant which prompted door-to-door tests in areas where it has been found. Researchers from Edinburgh University have found 38 cases so far – 2 in Wales and 36 in England – in samples dating back to December. It has been seen in other countries, including Denmark, Nigeria and the US. UK experts are studying it to understand what risk it poses.
World’s first coronavirus Human Challenge study receives ethics approval in the UK
The UK will be the first country in the world to run a Covid-19 human challenge study, following approval from the UK’s clinical trials ethics body
Further £650 million funding boost for Covid-19 response in Wales
Latest Treasury announcement brings the extra funding provided since March 2020 to the devolved administration in Wales to £5.85 billion.
LOCAL / REGIONAL NEWS & UPDATES:
Council urges children and families to stay safe over half term
Cheshire East Council is urging children and families to stay safe over half term in order to contain the spread of coronavirus
New North West rail connection – ‘pandemic bounce-back boom’
A £200m rail upgrade linking North Wales and the North West through a new super-hub at Chester can power a ‘pandemic bounce-back boom’, according to those behind the project. The proposed investment would include £60m to speed up the North Wales main line to Holyhead, £60m to modernise and upgrade Chester Station and £80m to connect Wrexham to Liverpool, including £20m for a new station on Deeside. The package of works will be presented at Regional Recovery 2021, an online conference for the North Wales Mersey Dee area, to be attended by public and private sector leaders, including government ministers from both Westminster and Cardiff.
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.
Ask HMRC not to publish your Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim details
Find out what to do if you are an employer and publishing your claim details could leave individuals at risk of violence or intimidation – updated to show you or your agent can request your Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim details are not published.
Private providers of coronavirus testing
Lists of and information about approved suppliers of private testing kits for coronavirus (COVID-19).
Testing for coronavirus at home
How to use your coronavirus (COVID-19) home test kit.
HSE records 186 construction Covid cases in second wave
Latest HSE figures reveal that 186 Covid cases caught on construction sites have been reported to the safety body during the second wave of the pandemic resulting in three deaths. Across all industries 18,263 Covid infections caught at work have been lodged with the HSE under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) from September 6 2020 to February 6 2021. The death total across all industries during that second wave period is 172.
During the first wave of the pandemic 202 construction cases and three deaths were reported under RIDDOR from a total of 27,446 workplace infections and 318 fatalities.
Data on COVID-19 visits: further education and skills
Data about Ofsted’s visits to further education and skills providers during the interim phase of our return to inspection.
Added transparency data covering the period between 1 September 2020 to 31 December 2020.
HEALTH & WELLBEING:
Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested
Guidance on coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test and how to get tested – under ‘documents for care homes using the online application portal’, added ‘care home testing schedule for a suspected or confirmed outbreak (England)’ and updated ‘care home testing guidance for residents and staff: PCR and LFD (England)’ to reflect additional outbreak testing and 90-day testing window guidance.
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.
COVID-19 variants: genomically confirmed case numbers
Genomically confirmed case numbers for SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and variants under investigation – updated data up to 15 February 2021.
COVID-19: impact on vaccination programmes
Reports assessing the impact of COVID-19-related physical distancing measures on delivery of childhood vaccination programmes in England.
New technology to help identify those at high risk from COVID-19
New technology has been introduced in England to help clinicians identify, for the first time, a new group of people who may be at high risk from COVID-19.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for personal assistants
How personal assistants working in adult social care in England can access weekly COVID-19 testing.
More courts to speed up justice
Efforts to deliver speedier justice have been stepped up today (17 February 2021) with the announcement of 14 more temporary courtrooms and a first ‘super courtroom’ to hear large, complex cases.
Six week extension to Stamp Duty holiday could help 160,000
The Chancellor’s rumoured six week extension to the stamp duty holiday has been backed by Rightmove. Over last weekend the Daily Telegraph, quoting an unnamed government source, said Rishi Sunak may extend the March 31 deadline by six weeks to mid-May, to avoid tens of thousands of fall throughs and a so-called “completion trap.”
Short lets will be first rental sector to recover post-pandemic – claim
Airbnb and other short let operators will be the first part of the rental sector to recover once the pandemic eases, it’s been claimed. The sector’s fledgling trade body – the UK Short Term Accommodation Association – says it’s now concentrating on recovery, especially when the travel industry resumes business as normal.
STAA chair Merilee Karr says: “Whilst we all know how tough a year 2020 was for the whole of the hospitality and tourism industries, we now have to focus on making the most of the opportunities to recover this year.”
Get a coronavirus (COVID-19) test if you’re an HGV or van driver
You must take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test before you leave the UK for some countries – check which countries require them and how to get a free test.
Government to introduce tougher measures and enforcement rules for quarantined passengers
Tough new enforcement measures – from fixed penalty notices to imprisonment – will come into force on Monday 15 February – changed “The new measures build on those already in place, which include refusing entry to non-UK residents from ‘red list’ countries” to “The new measures build on those already in place, which include refusing entry to people travelling from ‘red list’ countries, except for British or Irish nationals or those with UK residency rights”.
Booking and staying in a quarantine hotel when you arrive in England
How to book a place in a quarantine hotel and arrange coronavirus (COVID-19) tests if you’re travelling to England from a country on the banned travel list – added information on additional day rates if you have to quarantine for longer, car parking, funerals and visiting dying family members.
Travel advice: coronavirus (COVID-19)Guidance for British people travelling overseas during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, if they are legally permitted to travel internationally – updated as new quarantine rules come into force, with new links to quarantine guidance for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
They were stopped at border control by officials and were not able to leave Birmingham Airport. Under new rules, arrivals in England have to quarantine in hotels, if within the last 10 days they have been in a country deemed a high Covid risk. The “red list” of 33 countries includes Portugal, Brazil and South Africa.
The regulations came into effect on Monday and the four passengers had been fined by midday, a senior officer told a meeting of the West Midlands Strategic Policing and Crime Board.
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.