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COVID-19 Update 13th November 2020

  • DCMS Answers to Questions

Another answer to a question that you’ve raised

  1. Can volunteers still work during the lockdown ?
  2. Yes, volunteers and paid employees follow the same rules and have the same exemptions during the lockdown, so they can travel and stay away from home if they cannot do their work from home.


  • £2.2bn Funding Given to Councils

The Government has today given the £2.2bn to cover the cost of the Local Restrictions Support Grant and the Additional Restrictions Grant meaning that most councils will open up their schemes next week. As such, tourism businesses should check their council’s website for details on how the schemes will operate in their area.


  • Guidance to Councils on Grants

To help businesses put together applications for these Grants I’ve attached copies of the FAQs on the various grant schemes that have been sent to councils regarding how they should operate the grants and discussing eligibility. What is really handy among this is a diagram that shows what grants are available over what periods and at different restriction levels.


There are few key questions that key are worth noting:

  1. Are hotels and other accommodation providers able to access the LRSG (Closed) grant if they remain open to accommodate individuals travelling for work purposes or other exempt purposes (e.g. domestic violence victims)?

Yes, if a hotel or accommodation business is required to close their main business offering under LCAL 3 they will be eligible for a grant.

So accommodation businesses are able to claim the Closed Grant even if they provide accommodation for people who are exempt from the restrictions unless providing accommodation to people with these exemptions is they primary offering. There is nothing in the Addendum FAQ that suggests that this isn’t also the case under the Closed Addendum Scheme.


  1. What about retailers who have businesses that have mixed premises and only part of the business is subject to national closures (e.g. locksmith/shoe repairs, restaurant/takeaway)?

The hereditament will be eligible to receive a grant through the LRSG (Closed) Addendum scheme if the business is required to close its main service. Local Authorities will be required to exercise their discretion and judge whether this is the case based on their local knowledge.

If a Local Authority deems the closed services to be below the requirement needed for the business to receive a (Closed) Addendum grant, then the business could still receive funding through the Additional Restrictions Grant.

So if a business is structured in a way that some of it is closed and some of it is open, the Council is to make a decision on eligibility for the Closed Scheme based on a judgement as to what the core service of the business is. For example – takeaway businesses with limited indoor seating would probably be ineligible while Restaurants with a limited takeaway service would be eligible.


  • Zoo Animals Fund

The guidance for the Zoo Animals Fund has been amended so that businesses can now apply for funding at any time until 29 January 2021 , meaning that applications can be made by businesses that would not previously have qualified because they would have had more than  12 weeks of financial reserves remaining at the cut-off date.


  • Calculating CJRS Claims

The Government has updated the guidance on calculating claims to clarify the information relating to claim period deadlines and timings including a couple of graphics to help visualise the process. Of particular note is that when making your claim:

    • you do not have to wait until the end date of the claim period for a previous claim before making your next claim
    • you can make your claim more than 14 days in advance of the pay date (for example, if you pay your employee in arrears).


  • Coronavirus Support Payments – Penalties For Failure To Notify
  • Following on from an item I sent out a day or two back about HMRC focusing enforcement on businesses that overclaim Coronavirus support payments or fail to repay overpayments, they have just published details of the penalties that will be imposed should they find businesses that have failed to notify them in these circumstances. The penalties are scales on the basis of the size of the undisclosed payment and whether they deem the actions of the business were Non-Deliberate, Deliberate or Deliberate and Concealed and the penalty can be up to 100% of the amount overclaimed.


  • The R Number and Growth Rate

There is some good news regarding the R Number and Growth rate this week in that they have dropped, respectively, from 1.1-1.3 and +2% to +4% last week to 1.0-1.2 and +1% to +3% this week which shows that the lockdown measures are starting to work.

Frequently Asked Questions - Additional Restrictions Grant, FINAL, 20201109, Issue 1 Frequently Asked Questions - Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed), FINAL, 20201109, Issue 1 Frequently Asked Questions - Local Restrictions Support Grants (Open), FINAL, 20201109, Issue 1 Frequently Asked Questions - Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum, Final, 20201109 Frequently Asked Questions - Local Restrictions Support Grants (Sector), FINAL, 20201109, Issue 1
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