Attached a copy of the lobby pack that supports the Queen’s speech. Here are some…
- New National Restrictions from 5 November
The Government has published the guidance on the national restrictions that came into force yesterday. This is the public-facing guidance that goes through all the rules and restrictions including:
- Meeting others safely
- Where and when you can meet in larger groups
- Businesses and venues
- Weddings, civil partnerships, and funerals
- Going to work
- Education, school, college and university
- Childcare and children’s activities
- Protecting people more at risk from coronavirus
- Visiting relatives in care homes
- Staying away from home overnight
- Moving home
- Financial support
- Closing Certain Businesses and Venues in England
The Government’s guidance on which businesses are required to close and what services businesses that are not required to close are able to provide has been updated to provide clarifications that reflect the new lock down regulations. The guidance contains:
- A list of the essential businesses that are able to remain open
- Guidance on mixed retail
- How restaurants, pubs and cafes are able to operate
- The people that are able to stay in visitor accommodation
- A list of tourism and leisure businesses that are required to close
- The rules for libraries, community halls and places or worship
- Compliance and enforcement of the restrictions.
There is nothing new in all this as it follows the legislation that I sent round a couple of days back – but the guidance is a far easier to read and provides more detail on how you should interpret the regulations.
- Support Funding Clarification
There has been some confusion as to what support is available to businesses during the lockdown period so it’s probably worth a quick run through of the support three support schemes:
- Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed)
This Grant is available to businesses that are mandated to close during the lockdown and includes non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality businesses (including museums and galleries, indoor attractions, zoos, bingo halls, casinos, sports facilities restaurants and pubs. It is based on the rateable value of the premises and provides businesses with up to £3,000 per month. This fund was originally introduced to support businesses that were required to close in Tier 3 areas and but was extended to businesses that are not able to open during the lockdown via an Addendum that was published on3 November
Here’s the guidance
And here’s the Addendum
- Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open)
This is the grant that was established to support retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses in Tier 2 and 3 areas. These businesses were not legally required to close but suffered from reduced demand due to restrictions on socialising associated with being in Tier 2 and 3 areas. The scheme is essentially the same as the “Closed” scheme but the grant is only 70% of the vale of the “Closed” grant.
The important thing to note is that this fund is only available for the period between 1 August and 5 November 2020 – it is not available during the lockdown as the Addendum suspended it for this period.
- Additional Restrictions Grant
The third grant is what is commonly known as the Discretionary Grant, which is the £1.1bn that the Government is allocating to local authorities to distribute to businesses in their areas that have been impacted by coronavirus but are not covered by the other grants.
What is uncertain at this stage is what grant accommodation businesses are eligible for. They were in the Open Grant but not mentioned in the Addendum which closed this Grant and made hospitality businesses eligibility for the Closed Grant.
- Air Corridor Update
Overnight, in the addition to removing Germany and Sweden from the Air Corridor list yesterday, the Government decided to also remove Denmark from the list due, interestingly, to widespread outbreaks of coronavirus in mink farms in the country, with that strain of the virus spreading to some local communities.
The removal of Denmark from the Air Corridor list was effective immediately (from 04:00 on 6 November 2020)
- Amended Definition of a Support Bubble
The Government has slightly tweaked the definition of a support bubble to provide clarity on the age of children. A support bubble is now defined as:
“a close support network between a household with only one adult or a household with one adult and one or more people who were under the age of 18 on 12 June 2020 in the home (known as a single-adult household) and one other household of any size. This is called making a ‘support bubble’.
Once you’re in a support bubble, you can think of yourself as being in a single household with people from the other household. It means you can have close contact with that household as if they were members of your own household.
Once you make a support bubble, you cannot change who is in your bubble”
- Childcare Bubble
The Government has also published guidance on how to form a childcare bubble which allows friends or family from one other household to provide informal childcare for another household who have a one or more children aged 13 or under. For example, grandparents providing childcare for parents with small children. They can provide the childcare in either or both of the homes from the 2 households or in any other location , regardless of whether it is public or private, indoors or outdoors. However, people cannot use a childcare bubble as a rationale to mix with another household for other reasons.
For businesses that are able to remain open, it is worthwhile making staff aware of rules related to support and childcare bubbles so that they can advise customers accordingly.
- R Number and Growth Rate
As ever on a Friday, the R number and Growth rate for the week have been published. This week’s R number range for the UK is 1.1-1.3, while the growth rate range for the UK is +2% to +4%. These are the same figures as last week, which provides some good news in terms that the spread of coronavirus is not accelerating.