Testing: 901,905 tests for the virus have been carried out
UK Cases: 171,253 have tested positive, + 6,032 on previous day
Loss of life: 26,771 people have died in hospital, care homes and community, + 674 on previous day
Government Daily Briefing
Thursday 30th April
Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosted today’s Government briefing:
- Mr Johnson thanked those who had done a ‘good job’ in his absence and the NHS
- The PM expressed frustrations in expanding the number of tests available
- Indications that we are ‘past the peak’ of the disease, we’re on the downward slope
- Next week the Government will work on easing lockdown
- Acknowledgement of the current crisis in mental health
Wednesday 29th April
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab hosted the Government briefing:
- Today’s figures includes all those who have lost their lives in hospital, in care homes and in the community
- Important to still follow restrictions
- UK citizens still being re-patriated
- Equivalent of £330m each year over 5 years to the international vaccine alliance
Slides and datasets to accompany coronavirus press conference: 29 April 2020
Press conference slides and datasets used by Professor Yvonne Doyle.
‘Happy 100th birthday to Colonel Tom Moore’
Captain Tom has been awarded the honorary rank of Colonel, Freedom of the City of London, an England cricket cap and member of the England team along with a 100th birthday fly-past in honour of his birthday and his fundraising efforts that have now raised over £31million for NHS charities.
Over 140,000 birthday cards have been sent to the war veteran. As a WW2 Spitfire and a WW@ Hurricane flew over his home, Tom remarked: “I am one of the few people here who’ve seen the Hurricane and Spitfire flying past in anger, and fortunately today they’re all flying peacefully – that’s what’s outstanding.”
FTSE reaches over 6000 points for first time since March 11th
The FTSE has opened up 0.36% by 22 points on 6,137 as hopes continue to build on drugmaker Gilead’s antiviral has significant effect on conoravirus.
National Institutes of Health in US clinical trial shows Remdesivir accelerates recovery from advanced COVID-19
Hospitalised patients with advanced COVID-19 and lung involvement who received Remdesivir recovered faster than similar patients who received placebo, according to a preliminary data analysis from a randomized, controlled trial involving 1063 patients, which began on February 21. The trial (known as the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial, or ACTT), sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, is the first clinical trial launched in the United States to evaluate an experimental treatment for COVID-19.
LOCAL / REGIONAL NEWS & UPDATES:
Hut Group launches own airline – THG /AIR
Manchester based global online retailer The Hut Group has announced a new deal with Singapore Airlines that will include buying two planes and chartering a series of over 100 flights. The agreement will see the formation of THG Air, which is hoped to remove the firm’s reliance on scheduled passenger services.
University of Manchester team working on home testing kit for coronavirus
Biotech researchers at the University of Manchester are developing a home testing fit for Covid-19 that could be used like e home pregnancy test. It has produced a prototype based on the fact that sugars coat all human cells and could be used to detect infections like coronavirus.
Manchester biotech start-up launch Covid-19
Manchester biotech start-up NEPeSMO has launched a free online platform that allows people in the UK to self-monitor for symptoms and signs of Covid-19. RemoteCovid enables people to monitor their wellbeing from home during self-isolation and share progress reports with their doctor or carer.
The RemoteCovid website which is accessible via any desktop or mobile-based internet browser, also gives concerned individuals access to the latest covid-19 information from the NHS and the World Health Organisiation.
To better understand the extent of the COVID-19 impact on business, and inform government what help businesses across Cheshire and Warrington need, Cheshire and Warrington Growth Hub are asking as many of the region’s businesses as possible to complete a short survey. Please take a couple of minutes to do this if you can, to help the Growth Hub and Local Enterprise Partnership understand what support is needed.
The service will support the thousands of unpaid carers in Cheshire East who provide their time without payment to family or friends who need help with day-to-day living, including many children and young people.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): letter to town and parish councils
Letter from the Secretary of State Robert Jenrick thanking town and parish councils for their work during the pandemic.
COVID-19: mitigating impacts on Gypsy and Traveller communities
Lord Greenhalgh, Communities Minister, has written to local authority chief executives to highlight the support needed by some members of Gypsy and Traveller communities.
Build UK, whose membership includes most of the industry’s biggest names like Balfour Beatty, Laing O’Rourke, Kier, McAlpine, Skanska, Bouygues, Bam, Vinci, Wates, Mace and Morgan Sindall, said: “Build UK Contractor members are continuing to reopen sites and reported this week that almost 70% of their sites are open in England and Wales. The majority are construction (81%) and infrastructure (78%) sites, with members that include housing in their portfolios confirming that less than half of their housing sites (46%) are open for business. Productivity on construction and infrastructure sites is averaging 67%, with London construction sites proving to be a particular challenge at just 56% output being achieved.”
Barratt to restart work on 180 sites in May
Barratt shut its 360 active sites last month and has furloughed 85% of its 6,000-strong workforce. But it has been testing safe ways of working on a pilot site and will restart the first phase of half its jobs this month.
- High quality, flexible courses in digital and numeracy skills to support learning
- Courses on offer will help people gain skills that employers demand and help kick start the country’s economic recovery
The new platform gives people access to free, high-quality digital and numeracy courses to help build up their skills, progress in work and boost their job prospects.
Awarding qualifications in summer 2020
Private candidate policy update added to information for schools, students and parents on how GCSE, AS, A level, vocational and technical qualifications will be graded and awarded in summer 2020.
Induction for newly qualified teachers during the coronavirus outbreak
Guidance about changes to newly qualified teacher (NQT) induction during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak updated to reflect the new regulations. Absences related to the coronavirus outbreak will not trigger an automatic extension of the induction.
Providing free school meals during the coronavirus outbreak
Aldi and McColl’s added to the list of supermarkets taking part in the national voucher scheme – guidance for schools and local authorities on free school meals arrangements during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
EMPLOYERS / BUSINESSES / FINANCE:
Treasury cut taxes to reduce PPE costsFrom today, 1st May, PPE purchased by care homes, businesses, charities and individuals to protect against Covid-19 will be free from VAT for a three-month period.
The Institute of Economic Development (IED) has today launched the Commission for Economic Renewal, which will bring together some of the UK’s foremost economic development practitioners and academics to formulate the policies and interventions it believes will be needed to rebuild economies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
So far it estimates the cost so far will be £103.7bn. This is made up of £99.3bn in extra spending, and £4.4bn of tax cuts.
In addition to its impact on public health and families’ wellbeing, the spread of the coronavirus and the public health restrictions put in place to limit it will raise the budget deficit and public debt significantly, reflecting both the associated economic disruption and the Government’s economic policy response designed to support incomes and minimise business failures to prevent greater economic damage.
The Institute for Government has published a report looks at the support being offered to business, arguing that it should shift from loans and debt guarantees to equity and direct grants in order not to leave businesses with unpayable debts. Bailout for Business after Coronavirus, written by former No.10 adviser Giles Wilkes, argues that the cost of supporting business through the crisis is easily affordable if it helps return the recession-scarred economy to growth. But the Treasury must avoid burdening companies with unpayable debts or propping up those with no prospects in the post-coronavirus economy.
The Institute for Economic Affairs has published a paper looking at the history and economics of pandemics. It identifies a number of patterns from historic pandemics, arguing that features of contemporary societies such as international integration and travel mean that they spread more easily. It concludes that it is likely to last for around 18 months and that another pandemic is, at some point, likely.
Lenders provide over £4 Billion to SMEs through Covid-19 loan scheme
The banking and finance sector has provided over £4.1 billion to SMEs so far through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBIL) scheme, UK Finance reveals today1, as part of a broad package of support to help businesses through these tough times.
Over £1.33 billion of loans have been approved in the week from 21 April to 28 April 2020. The number of loans provided through the scheme has increased by 8,638 over the same period to a total of 25,262, an increase of over 50 per cent.
The banking and finance sector is providing a range of support to SMEs to ensure they can receive the help most appropriate to their needs, including capital repayment holidays, overdrafts, working capital extensions and asset-based finance.
Lenders have received 52,807 completed applications under the CBIL scheme so far. 25,262 of these applications have been approved to date, while more applications are still being processed and are expected to be approved over the coming days.
Wages for furloughed employees are now being paid through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
If you have already made a claim:
Payment takes six working days from when a claim is submitted. Please do not call HMRC to chase payment as they will not be able to update you before the six working days have ended. It will automatically be sent to the bank account you nominated in your claim. Please retain all records and calculations for your claims in case HMRC need to contact you about them in future.
If you have not yet made a claim:
You can still claim online for a grant for 80% of your furloughed employees’ salaries, up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee, per month. You will receive the funds six working days after you claim, provided your claim matches records that we hold for your PAYE scheme. Please continue to keep your furloughed employees informed and ask them not to contact HMRC directly – HMRC will not be able to provide them with any information.
Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure and Small Business Grant Funding The grants are of £10,000 or £25,000 and do not need to be paid back. Please note, this scheme applies to England only. To ensure all eligible businesses can access these funds, we have two main calls to action:
- Check whether you are entitled to the grant, using the GOV UK checker tool.
For more information on the schemes, please click here.
UKHospitality: survey of businesses in its sector shows that they are expecting a slow recovery.Worst-case scenario of a 61% reduction in December compared to the previous year, and a best-case scenario of a 31% decline. Kate Nicholls, the organisation’s CEO said that the sector needed a long-term commitment from the Government and that ‘a continuation of business support is the only way to avoid carnage in hospitality, one of the UK economy’s jewels in the crown’.
EMPLOYMENT / RECRUITMENT:
Free visa extensions will be automatically granted to more crucial overseas health and care workers.
Cheshire East Jobs Match
Cheshire East Council has launched a new job matching service to help people, who are temporarily not working, find jobs in key roles where support is needed.
The free job matching service will help to connect employers across Cheshire East who have urgent temporary or permanent vacancies with applicants who are immediately available and in need of employment.
For more information about this, and about financial support during the Covid-19 outbreak, visit the Council website:
HEALTH & WELLBEING:
NHS must not take eye off fight against COVID-19, says BMA
“Doctors are acutely aware of the impact that prioritisation of COVID has had on non-COVID patients whose care has been consequently delayed and health needs not met. As the NHS begins to resume some normal services, it remains imperative that doctors and all health and care staff are given proper protection against infection from COVID-19 both for their own safety and crucially to prevent spread to other non-COVID patients as they increasingly access services.”
Briefing note published on supporting student mental health during coronavirus crisis
Practical and innovative ways that universities and colleges have been changing their work to support student mental health have been highlighted in a new OfS briefing note
COVID-19: testing for council workers
Letter thanking councils in England for their support during the pandemic and outlining how staff can get tested.
Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can’t do
Changes made to frequently asked questions FAQs on what you can and can’t do during the coronavirus outbreak – reflect the updated regulations that were signed into law on 22nd April and to reflect the latest PHE guidance – all have been cleared by No10 and the Health Secretary.
How does contact tracing work and is my data safe?The UK is planning to roll out its contact tracing app and phone team by the middle of May, in the hope that weeks of social distancing will have made new outbreaks easier to track.
Daily death reporting now includes all positive COVID-19 deaths
A new method of reporting daily COVID-19 deaths has been developed by Public Health England (PHE).
COVID-19 treatments could be fast-tracked through new national clinical trial initiative
This will accelerate the development of new drugs for patients hospitalised with COVID-19, reducing the time taken to set up clinical studies for new therapies from months to weeks.
Major home testing programme for coronavirus will track levels of infection in the community
100,000 people will be sent self-testing kits to determine if they are currently infected.
PHE data series on deaths in people with COVID-19: technical summary
A summary of the PHE data series on deaths in people with COVID-19, outlining what the changes mean and how the data compare to other COVID-19 death data series.
Repatriation during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: Minister Adams’ statement, 29 April 2020
Foreign & Commonwealth Office Minister Nigel Adams spoke in Parliament on FCO
Notification of contingent liability: Rapidly Manufactured Ventilator System Project
A departmental minute outlining indemnities granted to designers and manufacturers in the Rapidly Manufactured Ventilator System Project
The coronavirus impact on the property sector – Evolving online consumer behaviour
Without doubt, many are continuing to drive efficiencies and embrace new technology. We’ve seen big increases in agents using virtual viewings – our AdReach team has recorded a 215% surge in video tours of new build homes. This ongoing activity is vital to nurturing sales pipelines once the build-up to recovery gets into gear.
Only small rise in late rent payments so far, shows survey
There was just a two per cent rise in late rental payments over the last month according to figures from an analysis of the lettings market. PropTech firm Goodlord has looked at what it calls a representative sample of 20,000 rental properties across the UK and over 120 agents.
The firm says the small increase in late payments suggests the vast majority of tenants are continuing to pay rent, and likewise only a small fraction of landlords are processing rental insurance claims, indicating that they are not yet out of pocket.
Oasis and Warehouse to close permanently with loss of 1,800 jobs
The two brands have been sold to the restructuring firm Hilco, the owner of the Homebase DIY chain, in a deal which includes their stock but not their 92 standalone stores or about 400 concessions across outlets including Debenhams, House of Fraser and Sainsbury’s.
Sainsbury’s boss says disruption will last until mid-September
Mike Coupe, the chief executive of the UK’s second-largest supermarket chain, said the retailer would take a £500m profit hit from the costs of keeping staff and customers safe from the virus, such as by providing protective kit and covering absences for up to a quarter of its staff who had been off sick or self-isolating in the early days of the pandemic. Coupe said about 15% of staff were still absent.
It has discovered widespread problems with items being sold for inflated prices on platforms such as Amazon Marketplace and eBay and warns that this may have affected charities and key workers trying to secure essential products. Sue Davies, Head of Consumer Protection, said the Government should ‘step in with emergency legislation to crack down on price-gouging and keep the price of essential items reasonable during a crisis.’
Sainsburys reports £500m profit hit as clothing and fuel sales drop
Sainsbury’s, which has stores across the country, said today that lockdown measures have impacted its sales of fuel, clothing and general merchandise. Clothing sales for the company are down by 53 per cent for the past seven weeks, with fuel sales dropping 52 per cent and general merchandise sales decreasing by 22 per cent.
Dominic Raab said more than 200,000 Britons had been brought home from Spain on commercial flights, as well as more than 50,000 from Australia and 11,000 from Pakistan. Via the government’s own £75 million repatriation operation, launched to bring home those stranded without access to commercial flights, Raab said this had delivered 20,000 people so far on more than 20 flights.
20,000 stranded Brits returning to the UK from South Asia on UK charter flights
More than 20,000 British travellers, on 83 Government charter flights, will return to the UK from across South Asia by 7 May.
Charter flight from Guyana for stranded British nationals
A Government charter flight to bring home around 100 Britons stranded in Guyana has been announced – with booking open today.
Another 900 British travellers in New Zealand set to return to the UK
Around 900 more British travellers in New Zealand are set to return home on three additional UK Government-chartered flights.
Government to safeguard vital Great Britain-Northern Ireland air links
Investment will protect air passenger flights for important routes between Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Prime Minister: “We’ve got to get tourism going again”
“We’ve got to get tourism going again” – that was the defiant message from prime minister Boris Johnson in response to a question from a holiday let owner during Thursday’s government coronavirus briefing (30 April).
Fifth round of charter flights from India announced
The UK has announced seven further charter flights to bring over 2,000 stranded British travellers home from India.
Ryanair to slash 3,000 jobs in mass restructure
Budget airline has announced its intention to cut thousands of jobs in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic
Panama City hotels during coronavirus (COVID-19)
This page provides details of hotels in Panama City, to help British people find accommodation so that they are ready to take their flight to the UK.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): letter to the energy sector
Letter from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, to the UK’s energy sector. The letter thanks all those who are working tirelessly within the energy industry during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Cheshire East Council – Business rates grants
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/