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8 JUNE 2020 / COVID-19 BUSINESS NEWS UPDATE

The Government has turned its attention to looking at how the UK can best recover from the Pandemic. It has also updated the list of businesses that may now open, updated the Job Retention Scheme website and it has issued new guidance to those needing to travel, including a travel checklist. We have also added other useful or relevant Government announcements.   

BUSINESS SECRETARY LAUNCHES WORKING GROUPS TO HELP UNLEASH BRITAIN’S GROWTH POTENTIAL

Beginning this week, Mr Sharma will chair the first meetings of new ‘recovery roundtables’ bringing together businesses, business representative groups and leading academics. They will consider measures to support economic recovery and ensure we have the right skills and opportunities in place for our workforce over the next 18 months.

They will also explore key domestic and global challenges to support a green and resilient recovery and ensure the UK is at the forefront of new and emerging industries.

Focused on 5 key themes, each group will explore how business can work with government to deliver economic growth and jobs:

  • The future of industry: How to accelerate business innovation and leverage private sector investment in research and development
  • Green recovery: How to capture economic growth opportunities from the shift to net zero carbon emissions
  • Backing new businesses: How to make the UK the best place in the world to start and scale a business
  • Increasing opportunity: How to level up economic performance across the UK, including through skills and apprenticeships
  • The UK open for business: How to win and retain more high value investment for the UK

This initiative builds on the close engagement between the UK’s business community, the Business Department and across Whitehall as we have responded to the pandemic.

See:https://www.gov.uk/government/news/business-secretary-launches-working-groups-to-help-unleash-britains-growth-potential?utm_source=95271f04-649e-4202-9aa5-c9dbdd066689&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

BUSINESSES AND VENUES IN ENGLAND – WHO CAN OPEN AND WHO MUST STAY CLOSED FOR NOW

This guidance was updated 5 June. 

The government has set out its plan to return life to as near normal as we can, as quickly as possible in order to safeguard livelihoods, but in a way that is safe and continues to protect the NHS. The strategy sets out a roadmap to easing existing measures in phases. 

All businesses and venues outlined in the table below must not open to the public: failure to follow the law relating to these closures can lead to the individual responsible for the business being issued a prohibition notice, a fixed penalty notice or being prosecuted.

Takeaway and delivery services may remain open and operational in line with guidance below. Online retail and click and collect services may continue.

Employers who have people in their offices or onsite are advised to ensure that employees are able to follow the government’s guidelines on working safely.

See:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance

UPDATED NEWS ON CORONAVIRUS JOB RETENTION SCHEME

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is changing:

From 1 July, employers can bring back to work employees that have previously been furloughed for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant for their normal hours not worked. When claiming the grant for furloughed hours employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week.

The scheme will close to new entrants from 30 June. From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full 3-week period prior to 30 June.

This means that the final date by which an employer needs to agree with their employee and ensure they place them on furlough is 10 June. Employers will have until 31 July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June.

Further guidance on flexible furloughing and how employers should calculate claims will be published on 12 June. Find out more information on how the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is changing.

See:https://www.gov.uk/guidance/work-out-80-of-your-employees-wages-to-claim-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme?utm_source=87f40ebb-df6b-4d74-8886-19c77c76524c&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

CORONAVIRUS JOB RETENTION SCHEME: SUPPLEMENTARY GUIDANCE FOR RESEARCH ORGANISATIONS

The Coronavirus (COVID-19): financial support for education, early years and children’s social care page, published 17 April, includes guidance for higher education providers on the use of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for research work.

The government’s objective has been for research to continue or recommence wherever possible, and research settings were included in the guidance on safer working published on 11 May.

However, in some instances research cannot continue and therefore institutions have made use of government coronavirus support schemes, including the CJRS, to retain their research capabilities.

To support final decisions on furloughing staff before the 10 June deadline for notifications, the Government are setting out supplementary guidance for the research sector.

See:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-guidance-for-research-organisations/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-supplementary-guidance-for-research-organisations

REQUIRED INFORMATION AND EXEMPTION PERIODS UNDER THE PUBLIC HEALTH (INFORMATION FOR PASSENGERS TRAVELLING TO ENGLAND) REGULATIONS 2020

The government’s priority is to protect the public and stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). A key part of this is ensuring travellers entering England are aware of the public health advice and related duties for entering and staying within England, so that they can:

  • make informed decisions about whether to travel
  • arrive prepared to follow the necessary public health guidelines and comply with their duties

From 8 June 2020, new regulations will be in force requiring transport operators to ensure that passengers travelling to England from outside the common travel area are provided with information about these matters throughout the passenger journey.

This page sets out the information that must be provided to passengers, and the manner in which it must be provided.

See:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-requirements-to-provide-public-health-information-to-passengers-travelling-to-england/coronavirus-covid-19-required-information-and-exemption-periods-under-the-public-health-information-for-passengers-travelling-to-england-regulati

BOOKING SPECIAL CHARTER FLIGHTS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) PANDEMIC

This page explains who is eligible to register for special charter flights, and how the booking process works to return to the UK during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you are abroad, depending on which country you are in, you may be able to return to the UK on a special charter flight.

These flights are supported by the government. Our commercial partner CTM works closely with our embassies and high commissions to manage the flight booking process.

See:https://www.gov.uk/guidance/booking-special-charter-flights-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic?utm_source=784ec317-6643-40ca-9e84-c4a922ff3949&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

GUIDANCE FOR BRITISH PEOPLE TRAVELLING OVERSEAS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) PANDEMIC.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.This advice is being kept under constant review.

This page contains guidance for travelling overseas.

See: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus?utm_source=48bdb4dd-3979-4a35-8944-cd938afee513&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

ESSENTIAL INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL GUIDANCE

This page provides guidance on travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises against all but essential travel.

See:https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-essential-international-travel-guidance?utm_source=cafd9cc7-f0a2-4a27-8da1-bceccc295031&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

TRAVELLERS EXEMPT FROM BORDER RULES IN ENGLAND, SCOTLAND AND NORTHERN IRELAND

This guidance explains who will be exempt from new border rules in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland introduced due to coronavirus. The rules will apply to travellers to the UK from 8 June 2020.

Some travellers will be exempt from new border rules in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland as set out in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel) Regulations 2020. This means they may not need to provide their journey or contact details or self-isolate for 14 days after they arrive in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

See:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules?utm_source=c398058d-c6d1-4dfa-bb87-686a3e9421a0&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

FACE MASKS AND COVERINGS TO BE WORN BY ALL NHS HOSPITAL STAFF AND VISITORS 

All staff in hospitals in England will be provided with surgical masks which they will be expected to wear from 15 June. All visitors and outpatients must wear face coverings at all times.

See:https://www.gov.uk/government/news/face-masks-and-coverings-to-be-worn-by-all-nhs-hospital-staff-and-visitors?utm_source=1045a353-73f7-464d-9080-324ab1d540cf&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

BAN ON EVICTIONS EXTENDED BY 2 MONTHS TO FURTHER PROTECT RENTERS

The government extended the suspension of new evictions until 23 August:

  • Suspension of evictions from social or private rented accommodation extended by 2 months
  • New court rules will ensure vulnerable renters will be protected when the suspension of evictions ends
  • Government committed to ensuring that no one is evicted from their home this summer due to coronavirus.

See:https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ban-on-evictions-extended-by-2-months-to-further-protect-renters?utm_source=7ddbe357-8c11-4311-b527-d32a462f5a09&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

REOPENING HIGH STREETS SAFELY FUND GUIDANCE 

Guidance to help local authorities and partners to deliver activities supported through the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund.

See:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reopening-high-streets-safely-fund-guidance?utm_source=6121c050-8931-4c6b-af66-c104478eaafc&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate

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