Total UK Cases: 4,307,304 positive tests
Latest UK daily figure: 5,379 new cases
Number in UK hospital: 5,461 (373 new admissions)
New deaths across UK: 112
Total UK deaths: 126,284
England Cases per 100,000: 56.5 per 100,000
R number in UK: 0.6 to 0.8
Total 1st doses given: 28,372,873. up to and including 22 March 2021
Total 2nd doses given: 2,363,684
Latest Cheshire East data:
Total Cheshire East cases: 20,464
New cases in past 7 days: 210 to 18 March
Total deaths: 792
Cases per 100,000: 54.7 per 100,000
R number in North West: 0.6 to 0.8
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:
Jobless crisis shows signs of easing but under-25s hit hard
The number of workers on company payrolls in the UK climbed by almost 200,000 in the three months to February, amid signs that the jobs market may be stabilising.
However, the number on payrolls is still 693,000 lower than last February, before Covid lockdown measures began. It comes amid growing optimism that the vaccine rollout will lead to a faster-than-expected economic recovery. The official unemployment rate now stands at 5%, down from 5.1% before.
£5,000 fine for people going on holiday abroad
A £5,000 fine for anyone in England trying to travel abroad without good reason is due to come into force next week as part of new coronavirus laws.
The penalty is included in legislation that will be voted on by MPs on Thursday.
Foreign holidays are currently not allowed under the “stay at home” rule which ends on Monday. From next week the ban on leaving the UK will become a specific law, backed up by the threat of the fine. Under the current plan for easing restrictions, the earliest date people in England could go abroad for a holiday would be 17 May.
However, another surge in Covid cases in continental Europe, as well as the slow rollout of vaccines across Europe, has cast doubt on the resumption of foreign travel.
UK Recovery may be faster than forecast
The Governor of the Bank of England is feeling more optimistic about the prospects for the year, reports The Saturday Economist. The vaccination programme continues at pace. The slowdown in the economy, in the first quarter, is better than expected. Restaurant bookings are increasing. Domestic holiday reservations are rising, (with prices to match). Consumer confidence is on the rise. Business confidence in manufacturing and construction is particularly high.
Asked what sort of recovery the UK could expect, Andrew Bailey said “I am now more positive but with a large dose of caution”. “We now see upside risks to our January forecast”, with some chance the peak in unemployment, may be lower than expected. In January, the Bank were forecasting growth of 5% for the current year. An upward revision seems probable. 6% to 6.5% growth, seems possible this year. In the US and China, the revisions have already been made. The IMF forecasts of 5.5% world growth this year, already out of date.
Half of all adults in UK receive first dose of COVID-19 vaccine
Almost 95% of people aged 60 and over have been vaccinated.
PM plans to avert EU vaccine export ban
Vaccines supplies are back in the headlines with plans by the UK government to speak to the EU after it said it can “forbid” doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca made on the continent being sold off to the UK. European leaders have faced criticism over the slow rollout of their programmes, which has so far seen less than 12% of their population receiving the vaccines, compared with nearly 40% in the UK.
Ground-breaking new technology to detect known variants of concern
New technology to rapidly detect new COVID mutations indicating whether positive test samples contain known variants is being trialled by the government in NHS Test and Trace laboratories.
Extra £47.6 million for Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre
The Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) has been granted an additional £47.6 million to support the expansion and acceleration of the programme.
Legal footing for national unlocking set out ahead of vote
The government has set out regulations that will pave the way to the easing of all restrictions from 21 June.
Coronavirus Act reports
Two-monthly and yearly reports on which powers in the Coronavirus Act 2020 are currently active – added ‘Coronavirus Act one-year report: March 2021’.
LOCAL / REGIONAL NEWS & UPDATES:
North West firms benefit from share of £550 million innovation fund
A number of North-west research teams and businesses have benefited from over £550 million of government funding put towards tackling the Covid-19 pandemic over the last 12 months. A team of engineers and scientists are developing an affordable and easy-to-use ventilator to help patients in low- and middle-income countries suffering from severe respiratory problems due to COVID-19. The £554 million investment has supported research into Covid-19 treatments, the Oxford AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, as well as projects to understand the pandemic’s impact on topics ranging from economics and mental health to education and the environment.
Covid-19 treatment trial opens to East Cheshire adults
The PRINCIPLE trial is exploring whether the widely-used gout treatment colchicine can reduce severity of Covid-19 symptoms and prevent hospitalisation. The trial is open anyone aged 18 or older who is displaying symptoms.
Macclesfield town centre public realm enhancements to get underway after Easter
The improvements to Castle Street will create more scope for cafés and restaurants to have outdoor seating and include a poem set into the kerbstones. Works were due to start last year but were delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Aer Lingus launches direct transatlantic services from Manchester Airport
As part of its significant expansion into Manchester, the airline will create up to 120 job opportunities in the North of England for cabin crew, maintenance and ground operations.
100 days to go before deadline for the EU Settlement Scheme
If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen (resident in the UK by 31 December 2020), you now have less than 100 days left to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. Last week, the Home Office announced that there have been more than 5.1 million applications to the EUSS, with more than 4.8 million applications concluded. A range of support is available to those that need help to apply. Please help us reach these people by sharing the link below to support services across your channels. www.gov.uk/help-eu-settlement-scheme
Reopening businesses and venues in England
This guidance details the steps to reopen certain businesses and venues in England – updates to the sections on business support and business rates, and the inclusion of this information on the business re-openings page; which closed venues can now be used for the purposes of completing the census clarifying that photography stores are closed by law, rather than photography studios (which are only restricted through the stay at home measure); updating language on the business closures page to reflect that people can leave the home to partake in outdoor recreation as well as exercise, and the venues this can take place in.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): jobs that qualify for travel exemptions
Jobs that qualify for exemptions from quarantine, passenger locator form or COVID testing requirements – further details about exemptions for essential and emergency work.
How tests and testing kits for coronavirus (COVID-19) work
The different types of tests and testing kits for COVID-19, and the specifications for manufacturers – added information to the ‘For industry and manufacturers: COVID-19 tests and testing kits’ document. This now provides a link to DHSC information on the national standardised test performance process for manufacturers of SARS-CoV-2 virus antibody tests.
Check if you’re eligible for a coronavirus Restart Grant
The Restart Grant scheme supports businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation sectors with a one-off grant, to reopen safely as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
Financial support for businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19)
Find out what financial support you can get for your business – added link to new Restart Grant: a one-off grant from local councils for businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation sectors.
Test and Trace Support Payment scheme: claiming financial support
Who can claim the support and how to apply – updated to reflect that you can claim up to 42 days after the first day of your self-isolation period, and that the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme has been extended to parents and guardians who need to take time off work to care for a child who is self-isolating.
New one-off £500 payment for working households receiving tax credits
Find out more about the coronavirus (COVID-19) support scheme for working households receiving tax credits, your eligibility and how to tell us if your contact or bank details have changed. COVID-19 vaccination: booking an appointment letter
NHS letter inviting eligible adults to book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment.
Private providers of coronavirus testing
Lists of and information about approved suppliers of private testing kits for coronavirus (COVID-19).
DPTAC position on face coverings
The Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) position statement on face covering exemptions.
COVID-19: Guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships
Guidance for people planning to get married or form a civil partnership in England.
Updated to reflect the ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’ setting out the roadmap out of the current lockdown for England.
Glenigan: Bright future for construction as planning approvals continue to climb
With approvals rising 24% over a strong-performance a year ago, this is very welcome news for the industry’s future pipeline and will provide much needed light at the end of the dark tunnel that was 2020. Major projects were largely responsible for the rise, with projects over £100 million climbing 41% against the same period a year ago.
Henry Boot Covid tests show no greater risk from construction
Covid tests carried out by Henry Boot have revealed no greater risks of infection for those working on construction sites. Chief Executive Officer Tim Roberts detailed the firm’s response to the pandemic in its latest set of annual results released today.
Funding boost for construction skills bootcamps
Over half a million pounds awarded to expand successful work programmes to help more people gain in demand sector-specific skills
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 March 2021’.
HEALTH & WELLBEING:
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 – added ‘extra-resident unpaid carers’ and ‘education (and childcare) services’ to several local authorities on the list.
COVID-19: guidance for stepdown of infection control precautions within hospitals and discharging COVID-19 patients from hospital to home settings
Advice on appropriate infection prevention and control (IPC) precautions for stepdown in hospital or discharge to home or residential settings.
PPE deliveries (England): 15 March to 21 March 2021
Experimental statistics showing the latest number of personal protective equipment (PPE) items distributed for use by health and social care services in England.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing: privacy information
Privacy notice for NHS Test and Trace virus testing for all users of the service – updated ‘Testing for coronavirus: privacy information – quick read’ and ‘Testing for coronavirus: privacy information’ to add information on care partners and visitors to ‘Annex 1: care home testing’. Deleted laboratories (12, 14 and 15) from ‘Annex 8: list of data processors’ of ‘Testing for coronavirus: privacy information’ and Lab 13 relabelled Lab 12.
HOSPITALITY & LEISURE:
Free webinars provide expert advice on reopening
A series of free webinars has been organised to help hospitality sector businesses access expert advice to help them reopen as pandemic restrictions ease. Arranged by Best Bar None, the Institute of Licensing, National Pubwatch, Purple Flag and other industry partners, the webinars will feature expert speakers from the trade associations and Home Office plus licensing, environmental health, HR and recruitment professionals, hospitality training experts and operators of licensed premises.
Cineworld agrees exclusive screenings with Warner Bros ahead of UK reopening
International cinema brand Cineworld has made an agreement with Warner Bros for an exclusive theatrical release window. The two groups have agreed to an exclusive theatrical window of 31 days prior to premium video on demand (PVOD) in the UK, and an extended window of 45 days for films that open to an agreed upon box-office threshold. The news comes as Cineworld prepares to reopen its US Regal operations next month, with its UK business anticipated to reopen in May. Mooky Greidinger, chief executive officer of Cineworld, commented: “We have long-awaited this moment when we can welcome audiences back to our Regal theatres and restore our essential role within the communities we serve.”
Rapid testing offered at four more court sites
HMCTS to start to offer on-site rapid testing to people who attend scheduled hearings and are not showing symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Keeping court and tribunal buildings safe, secure and clean
This page provides details about security, cleaning and social-distancing arrangements in court and tribunal buildings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
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 – updated for week commencing 22nd March
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.
Updated: the MOD’s continued contribution to the coronavirus response page as of 19 March 2021.
Stamp Duty holiday could benefit 500,00 sales this year
Zoopla has crunched the numbers for the continuing stamp duty holiday in England and Northern Ireland, calculating 500,000 buyers will have benefitted from it before the curtain falls in late September. The portal says housing markets across the north of England are in pole position to benefit most. Over two thirds of properties currently for sale in the North East, North West, and Yorkshire and Humberside fall under the £250,000 stamp duty threshold, meaning that buyers in these regions have more opportunity than anywhere else in the country to buy tax-free before the end of September.
Can the High Street be saved by residential development?
To return to thriving hubs of activity, town centres need to become leisure destinations. They need restaurants, pubs and cafes, boutiques and other specialist retailers, cinemas, theatres, sports and music venues, gift and craft stores.
It will be down to small independent retailers serving up a huge range of products to create a browsers’ paradise where people want to go for a day out or an evening’s dining or entertainment.
One year on, renters search for more space, says Rightmove
Almost one year to the day since the first national lockdown began, Rightmove has analysed millions of data points to confirm the major trends showing how the pandemic has changed renters’ demands. A year ago the most sought after property type for tenants was a two bed flat, and this has been replaced by a two bed semi-detached house, due to the desire for more space and a garden. Asking rents over the past year vary dramatically, with double digit growth in some towns and suburbs, compared to double digit declines in areas of London.
Covid has changed where and how we want to live
There has been a shift in more people who currently live in a city enquiring about a property that is outside of that city. Rightmove has analysed millions of data points to find out how staying at home and staying local have affected where people want to live, where they are moving to, and the kind of homes they’re now looking for.
Amazon continues retail disruption with launch of Amazon Fresh
Amazon is continuing its disruption of the retail landscape, this time with a move on to the actual high street, with the launch of its cashier-less Amazon Fresh convenience stores. Last week Amazon opened its second physical Amazon Fresh store in London, next to Wembley Stadium (Project ID: 21117911) on Wembley Park Boulevard. The store opened just two weeks after the launch of its first store, outside Ealing Broadway shopping centre (Project ID: 20316981), in West London. Both stores feature Amazon’s ‘Just Walk Out’ technology which allows customers to scan their Amazon app on arrival, fill their bags with products and then leave without any interaction with staff or even a self-checkout machine. The customers’ app is then charged automatically for any items they walk out with.
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 – COVID-19 testing is no longer offered at Thurrock Services.
Providers of day 2 and day 8 coronavirus testing for international arrivals
Information on the 2 tests you must book, pay for and take during your mandatory 10-day quarantine period after arriving in England, including how to book – updated private provider list and added link to book a travel test package if you’re travelling to Scotland.
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 unaccompanied minors and updated information on getting medical care and prescriptions, visiting dying family members and funerals. Clarified information on quarantine time periods.
Providers of day 2 and day 8 coronavirus testing for international arrivals
Information on the 2 tests you must book, pay for and take during your mandatory 10-day quarantine period after arriving in England, including how to book.
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 – amended ‘If you’re in the UK’ section, updating exceptional assurance visa or leave expiry date to 30 April 2021. Managed quarantine: what to expect
Guidance for travellers to England who have visited or passed through a country where travel to the UK is banned in the last 10 days.
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.