Total UK Cases: 4,134,639 positive tests
Latest UK daily figure: 8,489 new cases
Number in UK hospital: 16,797 (1,323 new admissions)
New deaths across UK: 548
Total UK deaths: 121,305
England Cases per 100,000: 122.7 per 100,000
R number in UK: 0.6 to 0.9
Total 1st doses given: 17,916,181 up to and including 22 February 2021
Total 2nd doses given: 642,788
Latest Cheshire East data:
Total Cheshire East cases: 19,253
New cases in past 7 days: 424 to 18 February
Total deaths: 767
Cases per 100,000: 110.4 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 sets out roadmap to ease out of current lockdown
The Prime Minister has announced the government’s 4-step roadmap to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions in England. Public Health England findings that one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine reduces hospitalisations and deaths by at least 75%. Analysis of the AstraZeneca vaccine efficacy continues, with promising early results. Supported by the increased protection offered by these vaccines, the government is able to slowly and cautiously begin to ease restrictions in all areas across England at the same time, guided at all stages by data, not dates. The roadmap, which has now been published on gov.uk, outlines four steps for easing restrictions. Before proceeding to the next step, the Government will examine the data to assess the impact of previous steps. There will be a minimum of five weeks between each step: four weeks for the data to reflect changes in restrictions; followed by seven days’ notice of the restrictions to be eased.
A summary of the plan is available here.
Care home residents to be allowed one visitor as part of cautious easing of lockdown
Every resident will be allowed one regular indoor visitor from 8 March.
“Clear rise” in employment intentions as UK firms aim to increase staff
A UK organisation has reported that hiring intentions across British businesses are the highest that they have been in a year. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) said today that 56 per cent of businesses are planning to grow their workforces over the coming months, the highest figure since pre-pandemic intentions of 66 per cent. The report also said that planned redundancies have dropped since the last quarter, falling by 10 per cent. However, various sectors show less positive figures, with 27 per cent of hospitality firms included in the report set to reduce their headcounts.
New Year sales put more pressure on ailing retail sector
Responding to the latest ONS Retail Sales Index figures, which showed a 2.3% decrease in overall sales (non-seasonally adjusted retail sales excluding fuel: J3L2), Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said:
“England’s third lockdown cut retail spending this month, as high street footfall remained down by over three quarters. Large non-food stores saw their thirteenth month of decline, increasing the risk of yet more retail stores being permanently shuttered. January’s lockdown has hit non-essential retailers harder than in November, with the new variant hampering consumer confidence and leading customers to limit spending, especially on fashion and textiles. Meanwhile, retailers have invested heavily in their online offering and click and collect services to ensure shoppers will still be able to access vital goods.” Read more
LOCAL / REGIONAL NEWS & UPDATES:
North West sets out bold 2040 net zero plans
The North West has launched ambitious proposals to become a UK leader in tackling the climate emergency and boosting a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. As the UK prepares to host the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) later this year, ‘North West Net Zero: The Road to COP26’ will outline the measures already being taken to accelerate progress to net zero in the region by at least 2040. Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham said: “Today is about showing the power and potential of a whole region pulling in the same direction to tackle the climate emergency. Together, we hope to build a movement to make the North West the country’s leading force in the zero-carbon economy.”
Success of North West manufacturing pilot scheme secures more funding
A pilot scheme to support innovation and adoption of new technology in the manufacturing sector has secured additional funding from government after its successes in the North-west. The Made Smarter scheme was launched in the North-west two years ago to support manufacturing businesses in the region to improve productivity through the adoption of new digital technologies and ensure SMEs in the sector do not miss out on the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The success of the scheme, which has worked with 1,165 businesses in the region, has led to government funding an additional £8 million into the programme that will see it rolled out in North-east, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the West Midlands regions, as well as allowing more businesses in the North-west to receive support.
Non-UK residents must apply to remaining living in the UK
If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. If you apply to the EU Settlement Scheme successfully, you’ll be given either settled status or pre-settled status. Which status you get depends on how long you’ve been living in the UK when you apply.
If you move goods between the UK and countries in the EU, you need to follow new customs and tax rules.
Your business will be affected by the new rules if you:
- buy goods from an EU seller and bring them into the UK
- send goods you’ve sold to a buyer in an EU country
- haven’t exchanged money but need to move equipment that you use for your business, between the UK and the EU.
We know this means change for many businesses, and HMRC is here to help you in several ways. You can attend our webinars to help adjust to the new rules and keep your business moving:
Exporting: what you need to do to keep your goods moving: An overview of the actions you need to take now before you export goods from Great Britain to the EU and move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Please register to take part if you’re planning to export.
Customs Import Declarations: An overview: If your business or a business you represent, needs to make customs import declarations on controlled goods and on non-controlled goods by the end of June 2021, our webinar helps you to understand what’s needed for simplified declarations, supplementary declarations, and delayed import declarations. Please register to take part if you’re planning to import.
Trader responsibilities when using an intermediary: This webinar explains your responsibilities as a trader, if you choose to use an intermediary to complete import or export declarations for your business. These are complex and an intermediary can save you a lot of time. Please register to take part if you’re planning to import or export.
Importing: What you need to know about Staged Controls: This webinar takes you through the three stages of the new border controls introduced on 1?? ?January?? ?2021, and what actions you need to take for each stage. Please register to take part if you’re planning to import.
You can also watch our videos on HMRC’s YouTube channel to familiarise yourself with the new customs processes and what you need to do before you trade goods with the EU
Contact HMRC: Call our Customs & International Trade helpline on 0300?? ?322?? ?9434, for more help with importing, exporting or customs reliefs. The helpline is open?? ?from 8am?? ?to?? ?10pm?? ?Monday?? ?to?? ?Friday and?? ?from 8am?? ?to?? ?4pm at?? ?week??ends. You can also send us your questions or webchat.
Check if your business is eligible for a coronavirus grant due to national lockdowns (for closed businesses)
The Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG (Closed) Addendum) support businesses that have been required to close due to national lockdowns – guidance updated with details of the second payment cycle covering the lockdown period 16 February to 31 March.
Pay VAT deferred due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
Find out how to pay VAT payments deferred between 20 March and 30 June 2020. You can pay now or join the VAT deferral new payment scheme. The VAT deferral new payment scheme is now open. A link has been added to join the scheme.
NHS COVID-19 app: privacy information
Privacy notice and data protection impact assessment for the NHS COVID-19 mobile app – updated with links to guidance for England and Wales.
COVID-19: guidance for the public on mental health and wellbeing
Advice and information on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): keeping children safe online
Advice and guidance to help parents and carers to keep children safe online during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – links to extra resources added to help keep children safe from online harm.
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.
5G drives growth in telecoms construction
The bidding for a newly available radio frequency to be used by mobile network operators to deliver a range of services, including 5G mobile, is to begin next month, and is the likely precursor to massive investment in 5G mast construction and mast upgrades. The auction of the 700MHz spectrum will pave the way for mobile operators to increase the capacity of their services by as much as 20%, particularly in rural areas, where coverage and reliability has previously been patchy. It was cleared as part of the UK government’s four-year £350MN major infrastructure programme. Initially planned for January this year, Ofcom delayed the auction until March due to the “ongoing coronavirus situation”.
While 2020 brought unpresented challenges to the industry, I see some reason for optimism in 2021. I believe that public sector construction spend this year is likely to be focused on projects that could have an immediate impact on the economic conditions, especially in deprived areas or as part of the levelling up agenda. Our industry will be seen as a way out of the Covid-inspired economic slump of 2020, and as part of that process we expect a strong emphasis on contractors demonstrating how they are supporting new SME entrants over the course of a project. This will be supported by a number of key funding initiatives that will be a catalyst for capital spending at a local level, such as the Levelling up, Get Building and Future High Streets funds. Housebuilding particularly is among the strategic priorities outlined by the government and this is set to play an important role in the nation’s economic recovery. We are also likely to see both healthcare and science and technology schemes coming forward as well as the education commitment outlined last year. Overall, 2021 will be a year of re-stabilising – getting society back to some sort of normality and stimulating the recovery with a view to recording growth again next year.
Special schools and other specialist settings: coronavirus (COVID-19)
What all special schools and other specialist settings will need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – added ‘Additional operational guidance for special schools, special post-16 institutions and alternative provision’. Removed ‘Guidance for special schools, specialist post-16 providers and alternative provision during the national lockdown’ and ‘Guidance for full opening: special schools and other specialist settings’.
Higher education providers: coronavirus (COVID-19)
Information on the return of students and NHS Test and Trace channels – updated ‘Students returning to, and starting, higher education in the spring term’ to reflect the Prime Minister’s announcement on 22 February 2021.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) contingency framework for education and childcare settings
How settings can prepare for restrictions to help contain community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) – updated sections on possible restrictions for primary schools, secondary schools and further education.Added further detail for special schools, special post-16 institutions and alternative provision.Added section for higher education. Clarified when the guiding principles of the contingency framework apply.
Actions for FE colleges and providers during the coronavirus outbreak
Find out what you’ll need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to maintain provision – added the ‘Further education coronavirus (COVID-19) operational guidance’ which explains the actions FE colleges and providers will need to take from 8 March.
Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
What childcare services early years settings, childminders and local authorities need to provide during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak
What all schools will need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – added the ‘Schools coronavirus (COVID-19) operational guidance’ which explains the actions schools will need to take from 8 March. Removed ‘What to do if a pupil is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)’ as this information is now in the operational guidance.
Evidence summary: COVID-19 – children, young people and education settings
DfE paper summarising evidence in relation to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, particularly around children, young people and education settings.
Further and higher education: coronavirus (COVID-19)
What colleges and universities and other providers need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – added ‘Evidence summary: COVID-19 – children, young people and education settings’ to the collection.
Guidance for schools: coronavirus (COVID-19)
What school leaders, teachers and school staff need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – added ‘Evidence summary: COVID-19 – children, young people and education settings’ to the collection.
Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
Attendance in education settings since Monday 23 March and early years settings since Thursday 16 April – added ‘Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak: 23 March 2020 to 18 February 2021’.
HEALTH & WELLBEING:
PHE monitoring of the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination
Data on the real-world efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Organisation testing registration: record of users
Guidance and spreadsheet to record the details of people who you’ve tested for coronavirus on that day – replaced the record-keeping (bulk upload) spreadsheet with a new spreadsheet to use from 26 February 2021.
Personal protective equipment (PPE): local contacts for providers
A list of local contacts for providers who are not on the PPE portal. Providers can get PPE through their local authority or local resilience forum.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) lateral flow testing of visitors in care homes
Sets out how care homes and visitors can prepare for visitor testing with lateral flow devices (LFDs).
TFC: Children and transmission – update paper, 10 February 2021
Update paper prepared by the Children’s Task and Finish Group (TFC).
Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested
Guidance on coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test and how to get tested.
Scientific evidence supporting the government response to coronavirus (COVID-19)
Evidence considered by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). Published minutes for SAGE meetings 78, 79, 80 and 81, and added 16 new papers under January 2021 and February 2021.
First real-world UK data shows Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine provides high levels of protection from the first dose
PHE has today published the first independent analysis in the UK showing the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is effective against COVID-19 from the first dose.
Surge testing for new coronavirus (COVID-19) variants
How ‘surge testing’ and genomic sequencing is being used in locations in England where COVID-19 variants have been identified.
COVID-19: migrant health guide
Advice and guidance for healthcare practitioners on the health needs of migrant patients.
PPE deliveries (England): 15 February to 21 February 2021
Experimental statistics showing the latest number of personal protective equipment (PPE) items distributed for use by health and social care services in England.
COVID-19 vaccination: care home and healthcare settings posters
Information and promotional resources to support the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination programme.
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.
Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG), Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), Christmas Support Payment (CSP) for wet-led pubs: guidance for local authorities
This is guidance for local authorities on paying grants to support businesses during national lockdown periods and periods of local restrictions – guidance document ‘Business support package for January 2021 lockdown’ updated with details of the next payment cycle covering the period 16 February to 31 March.
Local authority children’s services: coronavirus (COVID-19)
What local authority children’s services need to do during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – added ‘Evidence summary: COVID-19 – children, young people and education settings’ to the collection.
Day 2 and day 8 testing for international arrivals: minimum standards for providers
Sets out the minimum standards that private sector providers must meet for the COVID-19 tests for people arriving in England – updated to reflect that self-isolation after receiving a positive result should be for 10 days starting from the day after you took the test.
MINISTRY of DEFENCE:
COVID Support Force: the MOD’s continued contribution to the coronavirus response
Military personnel are supporting public services across the UK to assist with the response to COVID-19. This page has the latest information on the MOD’s activities. – the MOD’s continued contribution to the coronavirus response page as of 19 February 2021.
Understanding the possession action process: guidance for landlords and tenants
Guidance for landlords and tenants in the private and social rented sectors to explain the possession action process in the county courts in England and Wales.
COVID-19 and renting: guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities
Non-statutory guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities in the private and social rented sectors in the context of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Guidance updated to reflect new legislation extending the prevention on enforcement of evictions in England during the national lockdown and launch of the mediation pilot.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on the phased return of elite sport
Guidance for elite athletes and coaches on the phased return of elite sport – updated with additional information on international travel
Haulier advice site locations
Find sites where HGV and coach drivers can get free COVID-19 tests and check their documents to transport goods to the EU.
Get a coronavirus (COVID-19) test if you’re an HGV or van driver
From 11.00pm 21 February, hauliers do not need to test negative for coronavirus if they are returning to France after spending less than 48 hours in the UK.
Contingencies fund advance: 22 February 2020
Notification of COVID-19 support fund expenditure.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing before you travel to England
You must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test to travel to England from abroad.
Myanmar added to list of countries where you do not need to take a coronavirus test before travel to England.
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.