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COVID-19 Update 17th September 2020

Local restrictions introduced in Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales

In a written statement, Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething announced a range of new measures in Rhondda Cynon Taf area that will come into force from 6pm on Thursday 17 September 2020, including:

  • people will not be allowed to enter or leave the Rhondda Cynon Taf Council area without a reasonable excuse
  • everyone over 11 will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public areas – as is the case across Wales
  • people will only be able to meet outdoors for the time being. People will not be able to meet members of their extended household indoors or form an extended household
  • all licensed premises will have to close at 11pm

The new restrictions will apply to everyone living within the Rhondda Cynon Taf area. The restrictions are being introduced following a rapid increase in the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus, which have been linked to people meeting indoors, not following social distancing guidelines and returning from summer holidays overseas.

Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull Lockdown update

The lockdown guidance for these areas has been updated.  The police will be able to take action against those that break social contact restrictions, including asking people to disperse and issuing fixed penalty notices starting at £100 for those who participate in illegal gatherings.

The Government announces extension to support to stop business evictions this year

The Government has today announced that it will extend the moratorium on forfeitures until 31 December 2020. This means that landlords of commercial properties will not be able to evict tenants for not paying the rent that was due. The moratorium was previously extended from 30 June until 30 September as it was clear at the time that the protective measures were required for businesses struggling to pay rent. The Government is also extending the Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery provisions, to ensure that these measures extend until 31 December 2020, in line with the moratorium’s new expiry date

Update to how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK guidance

A new example of exceptional circumstance which may permit you to leave your place of self-isolation has been added –  if you have a health condition or a disability that would be seriously exacerbated if you were not able to leave your accommodation (and its outdoor areas) where you are self-isolating to take exercise.

Updated Advice for Visa Applicants

The Home Office has updated its guidance on applying for a visa if your VAC is closed, and for those who have already applied online and now wish to submit their application at a different VAC than the one they selected. The guidance has also been updated for visa holders who are already in the UK, if conditions allowed you to work, study or rent accommodation you may continue to do so during the period of your exceptional assurance. This temporary concession will be reviewed by 30 November 2020.

Other Government updates

  • From 26 August 2020 employers can claim Statutory Sick Pay for employees who have been notified by the NHS to self-isolate before surgery.
  • The latest wave of DCMS’s taking Part survey has been released which shows participation in Arts, Heritage and Sport sectors.

Support for navigating the new requirements for both businesses and visitors

  • Tourism Australia launched the Australian COVID Travel Portal
  • Dubai has dropped the requirement for a quarantine of airport arrivals
  • Flughafen Frankfurt airport has expanded testing capacity to 10k passengers per day

New domestic and inbound campaigns:

  • The German tourist board has launched the “Feel Good” campaign promoting sustainable holidays to Europeans.
  • #EViaggioItaliano, the Italian sustainable tourism promotional tour, kicked off in Campania in early September.
  • Visit Florida launched a US$13m ad campaign to promote in-state travel

NHS Test & Trace testing messaging guidance from DHSC

A recent survey at testing sites found a quarter of people turning up did not have symptoms. If you don’t have coronavirus symptoms, and have not been advised to take a test by a doctor or a public health professional or by your local council, you should not be booking a test. Healthcare professionals will be checking those for symptoms at testing sites.

As well a guidance for individuals please see below some advice employers and travel companies:

  • Employers: you should not be asking members of staff to get tested before they come into the workplace. You can also help by communicating the guidance around testing to your staff. 
  • Travel companies: you should not be directing clients to NHS Test and Trace to get a test for anything related to overseas travel. Clients should be directed to get a private test.

Situation update 16 September 2020
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