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COVID-19 Update 4th February 2021

  • DCMS Questions

DCMS oral questions are being held between 9.30 and 10:10am tomorrow and will feature questions including:

What progress his Department has made on delivering support for the culture and heritage sector through the Culture Recovery Fund.

Giles Watling MP (Clacton, Conservative)

What recent assessment he has made of the financial effect of the covid-19 outbreak on people working in the large entertainment events industry.

Derek Twigg MP (Halton, Labour)

What steps his Department is taking to support businesses in the (a) hospitality, (b) entertainment and (c) arts and culture sectors.

Catherine McKinnell MP (Newcastle upon Tyne North, Labour)

The session will be streamed on Parliament TV


  • FCA Guidance on Pay as you Grow Repayment of Bounce back Loans

This one is important for your members with Bounce back Loans. The FCA has published guidance to loan providers on how they are expected to treat businesses that have decided to use the “Pay As You Grow” repayment option for their Bounce Back Loan. The core principle in the guidance is that the FCA expects loan companies to have clear, effective and appropriate policies and procedures for dealing with customers. Regardless of the delivery channel or the communication channel

used, firms should treat all customers in a manner that supports them and leads to appropriate and fair outcomes. The Guidance includes sections on:

    • Identifying and supporting customers in financial difficulties
    • Helping customers make informed choices before selecting PAYG
    • Ability to opt out of automated journeys
    • Provision of repayment plans
    • Effective oversight of third-party debt collection agents
    • Support for vulnerable customers
    • Referring customers for debt advice support


  • New Kick Start Guidance

DWP has published new guidance for businesses wanting to apply for funding to employ a young person under this scheme. The new guidance pulls together and updates all the previous guidance on this scheme including:

    • How the scheme works
    • What you’ll get
    • Job placement criteria
    • What you need to provide
    • How you will get the funding
    • Getting the young people into the job placements
    • How to apply
    • What happens after you have applied


  • Transport Use

The DfT figures for transport use are out and show car use is down by 45%, whereas public transport use is down by a much greater percentage – 88% for national rail and 72% for bus services. This shows the level of risk people associated with public transport over private vehicle use.


  • IATA Figures for 2020

IATA have published their global travel figures for 2020 and forecast for 2021. The key points are{

    • Full-year global passenger traffic results for 2020 (RPKs) fell by 65.9% compared to 2019, by far the sharpest traffic decline in aviation history
    • Bookings for future travel also remain hugely down with bookings made in January 2021 down 70% compared to a year-ago
    • Their forecast for 2021 is for a 50.4% improvement on 2020 demand that would bring the industry to 50.6% of 2019 levels
    • However, there is a severe downside risk if more travel restrictions are imposed in response to new variants –  demand improvement could be limited to just 13% over 2020 levels, leaving the industry at 38% of 2019 levels.
    • European carriers saw a 73.7% traffic decline in 2020 versus 2019. Capacity fell 66.3% and load factor decreased 18.8 percentage points to 66.8%.
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