Total UK Cases: 4,201,658 positive tests
Latest UK daily figure: 6,573 new cases
Number in UK hospital: 12,136 (757 new admissions)
New deaths across UK: 242
Total UK deaths: 124,025
England Cases per 100,000: 86.4 per 100,000
R number in UK: 0.6 to 0.9
Total 1st doses given: 20,982,571 up to and including 3 March 2021
Total 2nd doses given: 963,862
Latest Cheshire East data:
Total Cheshire East cases: 19,901
New cases in past 7 days: 322 to 27 February
Total deaths: 778
Cases per 100,000: 83.8 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:
Chancellor extends coronavirus business support in budget
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced extensions of a number of coronavirus business support measures in the 2021 Budget. In presenting his Budget to Parliament, the Chancellor announced his priorities was in supporting those hardest hit by the pandemic’s economic impact, unveiling extensions to many support programmes launched last year. Plans also revealed measures to support future economic recovery as well as mitigate the impact of the pandemic on government borrowing.
BBC: Asthma patients being told to wait for jab
People with asthma who are eligible for a coronavirus vaccine are being refused it by some GPs who are not following government guidance, the BBC has found.
An NHS England letter sent to GPs in mid-February says people who have “ever had an emergency asthma admission” to hospital fall into priority group six, which is currently being vaccinated. But some patients are being told a hospital admission within the past 12 months is required. GPs say they look at various factors.
These include age and ethnicity, as well as some degree of clinical judgement, the Royal College of GPs said.
Cyprus to welcome back fully vaccinated visitors
Cyprus has said it will open its borders to vaccinated Britons from the start of May – but UK government travel restrictions will still be in force.
The Cypriot government said those who had both Covid jabs could travel there without restrictions from 1 May. But this is more than two weeks before the earliest date those in England will be able to go abroad for holidays. Cyprus has not yet said how British tourists will be required to prove they have had both vaccine doses. Under current rules, foreign travel from the UK is banned apart from exceptional reasons, and Home Secretary Priti Patel has said it is currently “too early” to book a holiday abroad for later in the year.
BEIS in the Budget 2021
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will have a key role to play in delivering the Budget’s commitments.
LOCAL / REGIONAL NEWS & UPDATES:
North-west business leaders react to 2021 Budget
Business leaders in the region have broadly welcomed the measures announced by Rishi Sunak this week, but some have felt the Budget does not go far enough to support the North-west’s economy after the pandemic.
Cheshire East Council endorses Covid-19 recovery plan for Macclesfield
Cheshire East Council has endorsed the Macclesfield Town Centre Recovery Plan to help the town recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. The plan, devised by Macclesfield Town Council and local stakeholders, sets out objectives for the town centre to realise its full potential as it recovers from the pandemic.
North West based Revolution Bars “sees light at the end of the tunnel”
The chief executive of Revolution Bars Group believes the light at the end of the tunnel “is getting brighter” as the company looks to bounce back from the difficulties of the pandemic. The listed operator of 66 premium bars said that although the 12 April reopening date is “later than we had hoped”, the clarity that has been provided has allowed it to “fully prepare and manage the expectations of our colleagues”.
On that day, RBG intends to open 20 bars before the rest come back online on 17 May. It has also been boosted by Chancellor Rishi Sunak announcing restart grants, continued reduction in business rates, low VAT on food and non-alcoholic drinks and other measures in his Budget.
Major repairs to M60 in Stockport between Junctions 1 and 2
Highways England will begin repair work on the M60 through Stockport from 10th March 2021. The clockwise carriageway of the M60 will be subject to a full weekend closure for two weekends in March.
Recovery Loan Scheme
A new loan scheme to support access to finance for UK business as they grow and recover from the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Recovery Loan Scheme ensures businesses of any size can continue to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £10 million per business once the existing COVID-19 loan schemes close, providing support as businesses recover and grow following the disruption of the pandemic and the end of the transition period. Once received, the finance can be used for any legitimate business purpose, including growth and investment.
The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender to ensure they continue to have the confidence to lend to businesses. The scheme launches on 6 April and is open until 31 December, subject to review. Loans will be available through a network of accredited lenders, whose names will be made public in due course.
Changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Find out how the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is changing. The scheme has been extended until 30 September 2021. Find out more about changes to the level of the grant from 1 July 2021
Check which employees you can put on furlough to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Find out which employees you can put on furlough and claim for through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The scheme has been extended until 30 September 2021. From 1 July 2021, the level of grant will be reduced each month and employers will be asked to contribute towards the cost of furloughed employees’ wages. New information on claim periods from May 2021 added to ‘If your employee is on a fixed term contract’ and ‘Employee transfers under TUPE’.
Calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
The scheme has been extended until 30 September 2021. From 1 July 2021, the level of grant will be reduced each month and employers will be asked to contribute towards the cost of furloughed employees’ wages. New information on claim periods from May 2021 added to ‘What you can claim’ section.
Pay Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants back
Find out how to pay all or some of your grant back if you’ve overclaimed, or if you do not need the grant and want to make a voluntary repayment.
Check if you can claim for your employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Find out if you’re eligible and how much you can claim to cover wages for employees on temporary leave (‘furlough’) due to coronavirus (COVID-19). The scheme has been extended until 30 September 2021. From 1 July 2021, the level of grant will be reduced each month and employers will be asked to contribute towards the cost of furloughed employees’ wages. New information on claim periods from May 2021 added.
Check if your employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Find out if you’re eligible, and how much your employer can claim if they put you on temporary leave (‘furlough’) because of coronavirus (COVID-19). The scheme has been extended until 30 September 2021. From 1 July 2021, the level of grant will be reduced each month and employers will be asked to contribute towards the cost of furloughed employees’ wages. New information on claim periods from May 2021 added.
Updates to tax charges when a person is no longer eligible to Self-Employment Income Support Scheme payments
This tax information and impact note is about the tax charge arising when a person is ineligible for a Self-Employment Income Support grant previously claimed.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme fourth grant
Find out if you’re eligible for the fourth grant which will cover the period February 2021 to April 2021. Also find out information about the fifth grant.
Income Tax and coronavirus (COVID-19) support scheme: working households receiving tax credits
This tax information and impact note is about an Income Tax exemption of coronavirus support scheme payments made to working households receiving tax credits.
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.
Rapid lateral flow testing for households and bubbles of school pupils and staff
Find out who is eligible for twice-weekly testing and how to get tested if you do not have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). This guidance is for people without symptoms – updated to inform people not to visit a collection point outside of opening hours. Also to inform people they do not need to make an appointment to attend a collection point during opening hours.
Get help with technology during coronavirus (COVID-19)
Guidance on the devices and support available to provide remote education and access to children’s social care – updated to clarify who is eligible for connectivity support.
UK investment and the construction industry to play central role in recovery
UK investment and the construction industry will play a central role in the Government’s planned recovery for the economy. The Chancellor has set out a range of measures to boost UK investment including a £12 billion UK infrastructure bank, the creation of eight freeports, a super tax deduction of 130% on companies’ investment in plant & machinery over the next two years and direct investment by the Government in the UK’s infrastructure. Read more at Glenigan
Ofsted: coronavirus (COVID-19) rolling update
Ofsted guidance and information relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) for schools, early years, children’s social care and further education and skills providers – clarified in the ‘Schools and further education’ section that we will carry out new provider monitoring visits to further education providers on site, not remotely.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Student sponsors, migrants and short-term students
Guidance for Student sponsors, migrants and short-term students on temporary concessions in response to the outbreak of coronavirus.
Get laptops and tablets for pupils and students who cannot access face-to-face education due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
How schools, 16 to 19 academies, colleges, and other further education institutions, can access digital devices for pupils and students learning remotely – updated to clarify when devices are available to those in further education.
Quarantine arrangements for boarding school students from red list countries
Guidance on students travelling to attend a boarding school in England who meet the UK entry requirements.
HEALTH & WELLBEING:
MHRA guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19)
We are producing guidance and information for industry, healthcare professionals and patients covering the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – added a link to ‘ACCESS Consortium guidance on strain changes in authorised COVID-19 vaccines’, in the ‘Vaccines and vaccine safety’ section.
Modified COVID-19 vaccines for variants to be fast-tracked, says MHRA and other regulators
Future vaccine modifications?that respond to new variants of coronavirus to?be?made available quickly?to UK recipients,?without compromising on safety, quality or effectiveness.??
COVID-19 testing in general practice
Information for general practices on providing coronavirus (COVID-19) testing – updated ‘Getting tested for coronavirus at a GP – easy read’ and ‘Testing yourself for coronavirus at a GP – easy read’ to reflect current guidance to isolate for 10 days in the case of a positive test.
Coronavirus and vaccine attitudes and behaviours in England: over 80s population, 15 February to 20 February 2021
Analysis of people aged over 80 in England during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including attitudes, behaviours and wellbeing in relation to the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine adverse reactions
A weekly report covering adverse reactions to approved COVID-19 vaccines. Published updated report with data to 21 February 2021
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 include information on lateral flow testing for households and bubbles of school staff and students. Information for contact tracing in areas where there are known variants of concern has also been included.
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 – updated to reflect that Manchester City Council (areas in M9 and M40) have completed surge testing.
Evaluating detection of SARS-CoV-2: AntiBodies at Home study
The EDSAB-HOME research study is evaluating the detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies using home testing kits.
Coronavirus England briefing, 4 March 2021
Epidemiological data and hospitalisation metrics used by the government to brief MPs on local restriction tiers.
VAT: reduced rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions
If you’re a VAT registered business, check if you can temporarily reduce the rate of VAT on supplies relating to hospitality, accommodation, or admission to certain attractions – added information about government legislating to extend the temporary reduced rate of VAT.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Apply for the Zoo Animals Fund
Apply for an animal welfare grant of up to £730,000 for your zoo or aquarium affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) – changed application deadline to 28 May and the scheme deadline to 30 June
VAT on admission charges to attractions
Check which attractions are eligible for the temporary reduced rate of VAT from 15 July 2020 – added information about government legislating to extend the temporary reduced rate of VAT.
Coronavirus cases by local authority, epidemiological data, 4 March 2021
Weekly watchlist giving epidemiological coronavirus (COVID-19) data for each lower-tier local authority (LTLA) in England.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for local government
Guidance for local councils during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – added links to: elections, public health and schools and education
MINISTRY of DEFENCE:
Number of COVID-19 tests in defence and positive cases in the UK Armed Forces 2021
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: the number of COVID-19 tests in defence and positive cases in the UK Armed as of 4 March 2021.
Transport use during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
To monitor the use of the transport system during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. DfT provides statistics on transport use by mode.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents
This is advice for visa customers and applicants in the UK, visa customers outside of the UK and British nationals overseas who need to apply for a passport affected by travel restrictions associated with coronavirus – updated guidance in the ‘if you intend to stay in the UK’ section.
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.