Latest UK data:
Positive tests: 1,453,256 have tested positive (+ 22,915 new cases)
Loss of life: *52,775 across all settings (+ 501 in last 24 hours)
Cases in Cheshire East: 8,142 confirmed since start of the pandemic, + 88 in the 7 days to 14th November
*Daily reported COVID deaths are now measured across the UK as deaths that occurred within 28 days of the first laboratory-confirmed positive COVID test
The R number and growth rate in the UK
The latest reproduction number (R) and growth rate of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK.
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.
Full list of local COVID alert levels by area
The areas in England listed as local COVID alert level high and local COVID alert level very high.
BBC: Oxford vaccine shows encouraging immune response in older adults
Researchers at Oxford say there are “encouraging” signs their coronavirus vaccine is showing a strong immune response in adults in their 60s and 70s.
Older people’s weaker immune systems mean vaccines do not tend to function as well as they do in younger people. But the trial results, based on 560 healthy adult volunteers, suggest those in the 56-69 and over-70 age groups had a similar response to younger adults. “We hope that this means our vaccine will help to protect some of the most vulnerable people in society, but further research will be needed before we can be sure,” says Dr Maheshi Ramasamy. Results of larger studies looking at the vaccine’s overall efficiency are expected within weeks.
Royal Mail sends 10 per cent revenue growth as parcel deliveries grow by a third
The UK’s postal service has today announced that it has seen “strong” growth in its first half as coronavirus restrictions push parcel postage. Royal Mail has reported that its group revenue increased by 9.8 per cent for the first six months of its financial year, jumping from £5,166m in 2019 to £5,671m. The growth was largely driven by a rise in the amount of packages sent, with parcel revenue up 33.2 per cent. This was offset by a reduction in the amount of letters sent during the period, with revenue in the area declining by 20.5 per cent. The company also reported an adjusted operating loss of £129m compared to last year’s £75m profit, with costs of mix change (£95m), COVID-19 (£85m), voluntary redundancy (£147m) and international conveyance (£32m). This comes as Royal Mail recruits for 33,000 flexible roles over the Christmas period.
£80m government funding to kickstart UK’s “green revolution”
The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has today unveiled new plans to kickstart the country’s “green revolution” with £80m funding.
The Prime Minister has revealed his Ten Point Plan as part of his ‘green recovery’, with the Green Recovery Challenge Fund earmarked for investment into the nationwide project. The plan involves the expansion of protected landscapes, increased access to nature, stronger flood resilience, and the creation and retention of thousands of green jobs. It also confirms that new national parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) will be created, as well as 10 Landscape Recovery projects. Environment Secretary George Eustice commented: “We are committed to driving forward a green revolution as we build back better and greener from the pandemic, and the Ten Point Plan provides a crucial vehicle to help us shape a cleaner and more resilient society.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock this morning announced that people aged over 50 in England will be able to get a free flu jab from December 1st ahead of a hoped-for mass roll-out of a Covid-19 vaccine next year. Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Mr Hancock said it was “more important than ever” for people to get a flu jab to fight the “twin threats” of coronavirus and flu. He said the NHS was preparing to roll out a Covid vaccine if one is approved. Over-50s have been added to a list of people who are eligible for a flu jab in England that already includes those over 65 and health and social care workers. Thirty million people are being offered the vaccine in England’s largest flu-immunisation programme to date.
NHS Test and Trace processes more tests and contacts more positive cases
Figures published today show that NHS Test and Trace is reaching more positive cases and their contacts than ever, as numbers using the service continue to increase week on week.
ONS Economic Review: CPI inflation rose to 0.7% in October up from 0.5%
The increase from September to October was driven in large part by rising clothing and food prices. Inflation is likely to remain low until Spring 2021, as downward pressure from the VAT for hospitality and Ofgem’s cut to the energy price cap persists. Britain’s economy will expand 7.2% next year, according to forecasts from KPMG consultancy that assume regarding Brexit the two sides can strike a trade deal. Without a trade agreement, output will only rise 4.4% KPMG said. Uncertainty and loss of access to the EU market for the UK’s financial services sector could lead to 10% lower output by the end of next year compared to pre-Covid levels, while the UK economy as a whole is not expected to reach pre-Covid levels until the end of 2022.
ONS: Coronavirus and the social impacts on UK – 20th November
This week, over the period 11 to 15 November, based on adults in Great Britain:
– around half (51%) of working adults reported travelling to work (exclusively and in combination with working from home); this is a decrease from 58% last week
– around 1 in 10 (12%) adults in England reported finding it very difficult or difficult to follow the current lockdown measures where they live; among those, the most common reason they thought it was difficult to follow the current lockdown measures was the impact on well-being (69%)
– half (50%) of adults in England reported that they had enough information about government plans to manage the coronavirus pandemic;
– 7 in 10 (70%) adults in England reported that they were very or somewhat worried about the effect of the coronavirus on their life right now;
– nearly half (47%) of adults in England reported that their well-being was being affected (for example, boredom, loneliness, anxiety and stress) by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic;
– nearly 2 in 10 (18%) adults in England reported that they were in direct physical contact with at least one other person indoors in the last 24 hours, excluding those in their household or support bubble;
– this week, 1 in 10 (10%) adults in England who left home in the past seven days met up with people in a public place.
Statistician’s comment: “We have seen some changes to behaviours and experiences of adults during the national lockdown in England, compared with two weeks prior when England was under local tier restrictions. We’ve found fewer people are leaving the house to meet up with others and are having fewer physical contacts outside their household. We also found fewer people say their wellbeing is being affected by the pandemic than did a fortnight ago.”
Men, younger people, and those with conservative political views are less likely to comply with COVID-19 measures such as social distancing
The findings from BI Norwegian Business School. also confirm that detailed instructions on the virus and health behaviours can help increase adherence to COVID-19 measures. The most important solution to combat COVID-19 so far has been to regulate contact with each other and increase personal hygiene, including handwashing. Therefore, it is important to understand what can be done to improve hygiene and social distancing behaviours. The results show that those with conservative political views, males, younger people, extraverts, and those with low neuroticism, low agreeableness, and low conscientiousness are more likely to disregard government advice on COVID-19 and put others at risk. Those with high externalising personality disorders, including antisocial and narcissistic personalities, are also less likely to be compliant.
MHRA guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19)
Added ‘Pfizer / BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine: MHRA statement’ to News Stories
Pfizer / BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine: MHRA statement
The safety of the public will always come first.
Airline to launch on-board coronavirus testing
British Airways is launching on-board coronavirus tests on some transatlantic flights as an alternative — if the government agrees — to the quarantining of incoming passengers to the UK. Malaysia’s Air Asia is reconsidering its investment in India while fellow budget airline easyJet recorded its first-ever loss as it called for more UK government support.
Graphic courtesy of BBC
Slides to accompany coronavirus data briefing: 18 November 2020
Slides on coronavirus presented by Professor Dame Angela McLean, Dr Susan Hopkins and Professor Stephen Powis.
National Restrictions Poster
Graphical poster displaying information about the national restrictions in England.
LOCAL / REGIONAL NEWS & UPDATES:
EY: Region to benefit from Foreign Direct Investment manufacturing shift
A shift in foreign investor priorities has seen the attractiveness of the UK as a location for investment into manufacturing – a major sector for the North West – rise against a backdrop of COVID-19 uncertainty, according to a new report.
EY’s latest UK Attractiveness Survey shows that as well as 32 per cent of manufacturers looking to re-shore activity to the country, another 32 per cent from the sector say they intend to invest in the UK over the next 12 months. The investment is being driven by major changes in supply chain strategies, which have “become more pressing” as a result of the pandemic. Sixty-six percent of all respondents – and 98 per cent of manufacturing respondents – say they plan to remodel their supply chains in the future.
Read more at Insider
New initiatives will help Cheshire East schools deliver remote learning
Cheshire East Council is working with schools to help with the take up of EdTech and remote learning technology in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Emirates to increase flying to Manchester Airport following new travel corridor
A new travel corridor between the UK and UAE has seen demand for flights to Dubai increase, with the airline raising capacity from four British airports, including Manchester Airport.
BUSINESS & FINANCE:
Kickstart Scheme employer resources
If you’ve been offered Kickstart Scheme funding, you can use these resources to show your support for the scheme – added updated version of the ‘Tips for making a successful Kickstart Scheme application’ document.
Statement on government procurement following this week’s NAO report
Statement following Wednesday’s report on procurement from the National Audit Office.
HM Treasury coronavirus (COVID-19) business loan scheme statistics
HMT management information about the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) and Future Fund Scheme.
Coronavirus and the latest indicators for the UK economy and society: 19 November 2020
Early experimental data on the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the UK economy and society. These faster indicators are created using rapid response surveys, novel data sources and experimental methods.
Business insights and impacts on the UK: 19 November 2020
New experimental data on the UK economy detailing the impact on businesses from the coronavirus (COVID-19).Data is from the Business Impact of Coronavirus Survey; a 2-weekly survey designed to estimate the impact over the previous 2 weeks and the expectations for the following 2 weeks.
Income Tax and National Insurance contributions exemption for employer-provided coronavirus antigen tests
This tax information and impact note is about a temporary exemption from Income Tax benefit in kind charge for employees who get a coronavirus antigen test from their employer.
Help the government increase coronavirus (COVID-19) testing capacity
The government wants help from businesses to increase testing capacity in the UK as part of its strategy to protect the NHS and save lives.
Find examples to help you calculate your employees’ wages
Check examples to help you calculate your employee’s wages, National Insurance contributions and pension contributions if you’re claiming through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. There have been amendments to examples 2.9 and 3.9 in ‘Examples of how to calculate your employees’ wages, National Insurance contributions and pension contributions’. Also, a new example has been added to ‘Full examples of how to calculate the amount you should claim for an employee who is flexibly furloughed’.
Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Claim for some of your employee’s wages if you have put them on furlough or flexible furlough because of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The information has been updated to include more detail about what HMRC may deem to be a reasonable excuse for missing a claim deadline. The information has also been amended to make clear that if a claim deadline falls on the weekend or a bank holiday then claims should be submitted on the next working day.
Calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Calculate how much you have to pay your furloughed employees for hours on furlough and how much you can claim back. There has been a small amendment to clarify how to work out 80% of your employee’s average earnings between the date their employment started and the day before they are furloughed. The section ‘calculating the number of working and furloughed hours for an employee that is furloughed or flexibly furloughed for part of a claim period’ has been updated.
Steps to take before calculating your claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Find out what steps you need to take before you calculate how much you can claim for furloughed and flexibly furloughed employees. There has been a minor amendment to clarify how to work out 80% of your employee’s average earnings between the date their employment started and the day before they are furloughed.
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. Information about if your employee becomes sick while furloughed has been amended to remove outdated information.
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 sections ‘Who can claim’ and ‘Employer claim information that HMRC will make public’ have been updated.
Coronavirus: driving tests
Find out how driving tests are affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) and what changes to expect when you take your driving test.
Coronavirus: driving theory tests
Find out how theory tests are affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) and what changes to expect when you take your theory test.
Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain: 20 November 2020
Indicators from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey covering the period 11 to 15 November 2020 to understand the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on people, households and communities in Great Britain.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested
Guidance on coronavirus testing, including who is eligible for a test and how to get tested – updated ‘guidance on non-Randox testing (England)’ to reflect latest guidance and clinical advice.
COVID-19: comparison of geographic allocation of cases in England by lower tier local authority
Side-by-side comparison of COVID-19 cases by lower tier local authority and specimen date, based on previous and updated geographic allocation methodologies.
CULTURE, MEDIA & SPORT:
Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace
Designated venues in certain sectors must have a system in place to request and record contact details of their customers, visitors and staff to help break the chains of transmission of coronavirus including cinemas, concert venues and theatres. Added clarification that indoor sports and leisure centres includes gyms.
£300m package of support for sports hit by lack of spectators
The BBC reports on a package of emergency funding for sports which have suffered financially in recent months from a huge loss of revenue from spectators. This funding is primarily for rugby union, horse racing, women’s football and the lower tiers of the National League, which excludes clubs in the English Football and Premier leagues. The report adds that ‘rugby league, motorsport, tennis, netball, basketball, ice hockey, badminton and greyhound racing were also in line to benefit’.
A DCMS statement said: ‘Preliminary allocations have been made on a needs-based assessment process and reflect the submissions made from the individual sports, and the funding process will be overseen by an independent decision-making board and supported by Sport England’.
Dame Glenys Stacey: speech to AOC’s FE Summit, 18 November 2020
Dame Glenys Stacey’s speech to the Association of Colleges’ Further Education Summit, 18 November 2020.
HEALTH, CARE & WELLBEING:
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 device tests.
NHS Test and Trace (England) and coronavirus testing (UK) statistics: 5 November to 11 November
Experimental statistics for weeks 1 to 24 of NHS Test and Trace contact tracing in England and coronavirus testing (UK).
MHRA guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19)
Guidance and information for industry, healthcare professionals and patients covering the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – created a new ‘Vaccines and vaccine safety’ document collection section for existing and future documents regarding COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine candidates
PPE portal: how to order COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE)
Eligible health and social care providers can order PPE through the portal to meet the increased need that has arisen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Expanded study tests immune response of care home staff and residents
An expansion of the current Vivaldi study will test thousands more care home staff and residents for their immune response to coronavirus (COVID-19).
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 (COVID-19): reducing risk in adult social care
A framework for how adult social care employers should assess and reduce risk to their workforce during the coronavirus pandemic.
COVID-19: background information
Information on COVID-19 including epidemiology, virology and clinical features – updated global case numbers.
Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE): Coronavirus (COVID-19) response – participants
List of participants of SAGE and related sub-groups – changed the name of the Environmental Working Group to the Environmental Modelling Group.
HM Courts and Tribunals Service engagement groups
Professional and public user groups working with HMCTS on aspects of the reform programme, including collaboration on new development proposals.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): courts and tribunals planning and preparation
This page provides advice and guidance for all court and tribunal users during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and will be updated when new advice is available.
Number of COVID-19 tests in defence and positive cases in the UK Armed Forces 2020
A 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: number of COVID-19 tests in defence and positive cases in the UK Armed Forces as of 19 November 2020.
Is this the perfect time to invest in PropTech?
The founder of OneDome says a likely housing market slowdown is the perfect time for agents to optimise revenue by investing in PropTech. Babek Ismayil believes agencies should offset lower activity throughout the festive period and as the stamp duty holiday ends by maximising the revenue per property sold via complementary homebuying services such as mortgages and conveyancing. The property market shows signs of slowing after a record-breaking summer, impacted by the second lockdown and fast-approaching end of the SDLT holiday. All these issues raise questions about the first half of 2021 and the steps to taken by estate agents, he says.
Rochdale shopping centre to close its doors due to accelerated shift in retail habits
Sad news for the retail sector in Rochdale. Business Desk has this morning reported that MCR Property Group has announced that the Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre in Rochdale will close to the public at the end of this lockdown period, and will not reopen. The developer purchased the 163,000 sq ft retail complex in 2017 and has been operating it since with plans to repurpose the centre to attract fresh leisure, commercial and new retail operators to complement the existing occupiers. However, the nationwide shift in shopping habits has changed the retail landscape with consumers choosing to shop online rather than visit town centres.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): taxis and PHVs
Actions that drivers, operators and owners of taxis or private hire vehicles (PHVs) can take to protect against coronavirus.
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. Latest data table update added and methodology note updated to include information regarding statistics on ship arrivals.
Changes to DfT statistics publications due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
Effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on Department for Transport statistics – information on the statistical publications due to the coronavirus pandemic has been updated – reported road casualties in Great Britain provisional estimates.
Transport measures to protect the UK from variant strains of COVID-19
For lorry drivers and maritime and aviation transport crew moving freight between the UK and places with outbreaks of variant strain COVID-19.
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 UK VAC concession to 31 March 2021.
Norwegian air seeks bankruptcy protection
Budget airline Norwegian has sought bankruptcy protection (examinership) in Ireland, where its aircraft assets are held. The carrier said: “The purpose of the process is to reduce debt, rightsize the fleet and secure new capital. This reorganisation process protects the assets of the Norwegian group while allowing the company to focus on the rightsizing of the group. The process is estimated to take up to five months.”
Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill: overarching documents
These documents relate to the Immigration Bill 2020. The Bill received Royal Assent and is now an Act. Added the Consequential SI impact assessment.
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.