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COVID-19 Update 30th October 2020

  • West Yorkshire Moves to Very High Alert Status

As you will have seen on the news, West Yorkshire will move to Very High Alert status 2 November. The area covered by this is:

    • Bradford
    • Calderdale
    • Kirklees
    • Leeds
    • Wakefield

In addition to the baseline rules and restrictions, the following businesses will not be allowed to open:

    • adult gaming centres
    • betting shops
    • car boot sales
    • casinos
    • soft play centres and areas

Gyms and leisure centres can remain open but the guidance is that Indoor classes in gyms and sports facilities should not take place.

In addition, hospitality venues are not permitted to provide shared smoking equipment (such as for shisha) for use on the premises. These venues may continue to operate as cafes.


  • SIESS Claim Date

The Government has announced that the online service for applying for the next SEISS grant will be available from 14 December 2020. The full detailed guidance on how to apply is not yet available.


  • Business Closure Update

The Guidance on what businesses have to be closed by law has been updated to take into account the three tier alert system.  While this isn’t in the linked guidance, it is worth noting a couple of things:

    • Nightclubs, dance halls, and discotheques; and sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars are the only businesses premises that are legally required to be closed no matter what Tier they are located in. All other business premises are allowed to be open subject to any local lockdown restrictions.
    • There is a general rule running through the guidance that it is activities that are restricted rather than premises – eg, the rule is that you can’t hold an exhibition or a conference, not that exhibition and conference centres have to close.
    • So what this means is that, subject to all relevant planning rules, regulations and Covid restrictions etc, you can repurpose premises to hold permitted activities (ie., a exhibition hall could be a retail outlet)


  • Some Interesting Answers to Questions

I was on a Q&A session with BEIS officials the other day and a couple of interesting questions came up:

  1. Can wet led public houses get mobile caterers to provide substantial meals and allow them to stay open.
  2. This depends on the arrangements. If a wet led pub has an arrangement where a caterer is subcontracted and paid as such to provide food alongside then the pub serving drinks that is ok.  If a mobile caterer is in the carpark and customers are allowed to purchase food from it as well as go inside the pub and order a drink to eat with the food whilst being seated at the premises, this could go against the Regulations.
  3. Can pubs & bars in Tier 3 that stay open by serving meals, subsequently decide that this isn’t viable, close, and then access support funding from the enhanced JSS and the grants from the point it closes?
  4. Yes, however we are currently working to get guidance pulled together with the Treasury on this.
  5. Is there any restriction on where meetings and training sessions can be held?
  6. No, as long as they abide by all the other restrictions in place.  Some guidance will be published soon that will include a distinction between those people who are meeting for work or training purposes and those meeting as part of a work social event.  We do expect that business arranging those events and those people attending them recognise the difference.


  • Kick Start Terms and Conditions

More on the Kick Start Scheme. The government has just published the Terms and Conditions related to employing people through this scheme,


  • R Number

As ever on a Friday, the latest R number and growth rate figures have been published. The R number range for the UK is 1.1-1.3, while the growth rate range is +2% to +4% (Interestingly, the region with the highest R Number and Growth Rate is the South West, which are, respectively 1.2-1.5 and +4% to +7%)

And some good news to end the week with, both the R Number and Growth Rate for the UK are lower than last week when there were  1.2-1.4 and +3% to +6%
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