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COVID19 Update 28th September 2020

Local restrictions introduced in South Wales – Neath Port Talbot, Vale of Glamorgan, Torfaen

Local restrictions will come into force from 6pm today, 28 September. The restrictions, which will apply to everyone living in Neath Port Talbot, Vale of Glamorgan and Torfaen are:

  • People will not be allowed to enter or leave these areas without a reasonable excuse, such as travel for work or education;
  • People will only be able to meet people they don’t live with outdoors for the time being. They will not be able to form, or be in, extended households (sometimes known as ‘bubbles’). This means meeting indoors (in people’s houses, in a pub or elsewhere) with anyone you don’t live with is not allowed at the moment unless you have a good reason, such as providing care to a vulnerable person.
  • All licensed premises have to stop serving alcohol at 10pm.
  • Everyone over 11 will be required to wear face coverings in indoor places, which are open to the public, such as shops, as well as on public transport – as is the case in the rest of Wales. (There are some limited exemptions for people with disabilities and medical conditions – these are the same as for public transport).

All local restrictions measures will be kept under regular review. They will be enforced by local authorities and by the police.

Review guidance for all areas in Wales affected by local lockdown restrictions, including FAQs broken down by region and sector to help clarify requirements for impacted people and businesses.

Additional £140 million to support Welsh businesses as part of Economic Resilience Fund (ERF)

As part of the third wave of the Economic Resilience Fund (ERF), the Welsh government is making an additional £140 million available to businesses to help them adapt to the economic challenges of COVID-19 and the UK’s exit from the EU.

£80m worth of business development grants will be open to micro businesses, SMEs and large businesses with projects to help them adapt to upcoming economic changes. This funding will require co-investment from companies and a clear plan for how they will adjust to the post-COVID economy. Of this, £20 million will be ring fenced to support tourism and hospitality businesses.

  • Micro businesses (employing between 1 and 9 people) will be able to apply for up to £10k on the condition they match this with their own investment of at least 10%.  
  • SMEs (employing between 10 and 249 people) will be able to apply for up to £150K on the condition they match this with their own investment of at least 10% for small business (1-49 staff) and 20% for medium sized (50-249) business.
  • Large businesses (employing 250+ people) will be able to apply for up to £250K on the condition they match this with their own investment of at least 50%.  

Companies that received grant funding through phases one and two of the ERF, or Non-Domestic Rate linked support, could also be eligible for phase three of the ERF. An online tool to check eligibility for the third wave of the ERF will be available next week.

Another £60 million will be made available to support businesses impacted by local lockdown restrictions.

Other government updates

DCMS clarifications

  • Which elements of golf days are permitted, if any – The sport element is fine (in line with guidance for the sport sector) and on the hospitality / social side venues would need to comply with the latest guidance around separating groups of 6, wearing masks when not seated etc.
  • Can training courses of more than 30 pax can go ahead in event venues – Business meetings and events of up to 30 people indoors are allowed in permitted venues if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 guidance. The rule of six does not apply to work, education and training activities.
  • Can event venues and hotel function spaces operate in the same way as restaurants with tables of six in a function room – yes venues can do this with tables of 6 in a function room. Of course, such venues would need to comply with relevant planning, alcohol licensing etc. requirements. The Covid-19 Secure guidance is blind to what a venue was previously used for. It is just concerned with how to achieve a safe environment for premises used as restaurants, pubs, cafes etc.
  • Clarification on whether the maximum number of people on a coach is now restricted to 30 – If it is possible to ensure that groups of more than six (or larger if they are from one household) do not mingle on a tour, it can go ahead. People must stay in their own group on all parts of the tour – for example whilst in hospitality settings and when visiting attractions as well as whilst on the coach. Legislation does not place any capacity constraints on public transport services, private hire vehicles or leisure tours. Operators should continue to provide COVID-secure transport services which can accommodate multiple groups of six people. DfT will update the transport guidance shortly to clarify and assist passengers and operators.
  • Does the law lies with individuals or businesses – Depends on which bit of the law – there are some responsibilities for individuals (e.g. self-isolating; wearing a mask where required to) and others for businesses e.g. taking measures to ensure groups of 6 do not intermingle; enforcing the curfew etc.

Legal Duty to Self-Isolate

Legal duty to self-isolate comes into force today, with fines for those breaking the rules starting at £1,000 and increasing up to £10,000 for repeat offenders. There is also a requirement for businesses to make sure that staff who are meant to be self-isolating do not come in to work. Support is available for people on low incomes who are unable to work while self-isolating through the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment.

Covid App Uploads

The Government has announced that NHS COVID-19 app has been downloaded over 10 million times. Meanwhile 460,000 QR code posters have been downloaded and printed and there were 1.5 million venue check-ins on Saturday.

Situation update 28 September 2020
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