The UK is in national lockdown and like the first lockdown in March, we cannot leave our homes except for certain reasons such as medical, food, exercise and for those who cannot work from home.
The rules for can be seen here:
All we can do is hope the vaccine is rolled out efficiently to those most vulnerable and that this new lockdown slows the spread of the virus down. In the meantime we will continue to support you throughout this troubling period, and we will be processing your payroll, accounts, tax returns and grants as usual.
Below is our latest summary of Government information. If you need help please talk to us, we are here to listen and advise our clients – we are with you all the way.
New lockdown grants announced
Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are to receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000, the Chancellor announced on 5th January.
The Chancellor announced one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring. In addition there is a £594 million discretionary fund also made available to support other impacted businesses.
The grants will be provided on a per-property basis to support businesses through the latest restrictions, and is expected to benefit over 600,000 business properties, worth £4 billion in total across all nations of the UK.
A further £594 million is also being made available for Local Authorities and the Devolved Administrations to support other businesses not eligible for the grants that might be affected by the restrictions. Businesses should apply to their Local Authorities.
The one-off top-ups will be granted to closed businesses as follows:
- £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
- £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
- £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000
- any business which is legally required to close, and which cannot operate effectively remotely, is eligible for a grant
Business support is a devolved policy and therefore the responsibility of the devolved administrations, which will receive additional funding as a result of these announcements in the usual manner:
- the Scottish Government will receive £375 million
- the Welsh Government will receive £227 million
- the Northern Ireland Executive will receive £127 million
We will keep you up to date with further details as and when the Governments release information.
Travel advice: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The Government has announced guidance for British people travelling overseas during the pandemic if they are legally permitted to travel internationally.
The guidance varies for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and links can be found on the website below.
On the Government website there is a travel planning checklist, links to individual countries rules and Consular help.
COVID-19 travel guidance
International travel is increasingly restricted. In the UK, different rules apply in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. For example, in England you must not leave home including to travel abroad, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so, such as for essential work purposes.
If you are legally permitted to travel, check our advice for the country you are visiting. Other countries have closed borders, and may further restrict movement or bring in new rules including testing requirements with little warning. Before you return to the UK you must provide your journey and contact details. Also check if you need to self isolate.
If you are travelling abroad and wish to return to the UK, contact your airline or travel provider.
List of private providers of coronavirus testing
The Department of Health and Social Care is aware of the private sector (non-NHS) providers published on this page who have declared that they meet the government’s minimum standards for:
- Test to Release for international travel
- Domestic COVID-19 testing
If you have to travel abroad then this page provides a list of private providers of tests. Typically they offer a 24-hour fast test or standard service.
Critical workers and vulnerable children who can access schools or educational settings – England
The list of critical workers (key workers) and vulnerable children and young people who can access full-time education provision in the case of future restrictions on education during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has been updated at 5th January.
Critical workers are defined as Parents whose work is critical to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and EU transition response including those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined in the following sections. Children with at least one parent or carer who is a critical worker can go to school or college if required:
- Health and social care;
- Education and children;
- Key public services;
- Local and national government;
- Food and other necessary goods;
- Public safety and national security;
- Transport and border; and
- Utilities, communication and financial services.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme rules have been updated
In view of the national lockdown the Government has released Information about employees unable to work because they have caring responsibilities.
Haulier advice site locations
At the Department for Transport’s haulier advice sites HGV drivers can:
- Find out about the rules and documents needed to move goods between the UK and EU.
- Complete a free border readiness check to ensure they have the correct documentation to cross the EU border.
- Get help using the Check an HGV is ready to cross the border service.
- HGV drivers can also use the free live webchat function to complete a border readiness check between 8am and 8pm, 7 days a week.
Testing for HGV drivers using the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel
How HGV drivers get their COVID-19 test before leaving the UK for France.
Worker, Temporary Worker and Student sponsors
There is updated advice for Worker, Temporary Worker and Student sponsors in the UK who are sponsoring those affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).
- If your student or employee is absent
- If you’re sponsoring a student who is distance learning
- If you have issued a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) or a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) and the sponsored employee or student has not yet applied for a visa
- If you’re sponsoring a student who’s waiting for their permission as a Student or Child Student application to be decided
- If you’re sponsoring employees who are working from home
- If you’re sponsoring an employee who’s waiting for their work visa application to be decided
- If you cannot pay the salaries of sponsored employees because you’ve temporarily reduced or ceased trading
- Scanned documents
- If you need more information about the measures in place for students and their sponsors
- Coronavirus Immigration Help Centre