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COVID-19 Update 12th April 2021

  • Global Travel Taskforce Report

The GTTF report has been published which provides more detail than this morning’s press release. The recommendations of the report are broken down into four sections.

  1. 1. Progressing a risk-based reopening of international travel, making use of existing and new measures to ensure that this is safe, sustainable and robust.
    • Remove measures limiting outbound travel by 17 May at the earliest and implement a “traffic light” country system, to which different restrictions are applied depending on risk.
    • Introduce a “Green Watchlist” to support outbound travellers identify countries most at risk of moving from green to amber.
    • Hold three “checkpoints” on 28 June, 31 July and 1 October to review measures.
    • Enable residents to prove their COVID-19 status for tests and, if necessary, vaccines for outbound travel to a third country.
    • Restart international cruises alongside the wider restart of international travel, in line with the country “traffic light” system.
  1. Ensuring readiness for international travel restart, building on ongoing work to minimise border pressures as passenger flows rise, whilst keeping staff safe.
    • Improve the Passenger Locator Form, with full e-gates integration across all ports of entry by autumn 2021.
    • Establish a joint UK government and industry working group to ensure border readiness.
    • Ensure comprehensive measures are in place to assess and assure safety readiness across all modes.
    • Use feedback from industry and CAA expertise to make targeted interventions to ensure operational safety.
  1. Building consumer clarity and confidence through enhanced advice and communications of safety measures and consumer protection when booking travel.
    • Improve operator(s) and passenger guidance to provide more clarity on health and passenger requirements including, where relevant, how this interacts with travel advice.
    • Introduce a passenger COVID-19 charter by 17 May setting out consumer rights and responsibilities whilst measures remain. Later this year consult on additional, flexible and modern tools to enforce consumer rights.
  1. Supporting a transition to future travel, taking the first steps towards co-existing with an endemic COVID-19, in collaboration with global partners.
    • Maintain leadership role within multilateral organisations including the ICAO, IMO and OECD, and work with like-minded states including the G7, G20 and Five Eyes group to develop strategies for reopening international travel.
    • Continue close coordination with industry to ensure third party apps can be integrated with a national digital certification system that is interoperable, safe and secure.
    • Explore the feasibility of bilateral pilots for testing initiatives such as digital solutions on particular routes, or with other countries.


  • Contradictory Guidance on Coaches

There is an ongoing contradiction between the DCMS and DfT guidance in relation to coach travel on Monday that we are seeking to resolve. The DFT guidance states:

These rules do not place any capacity constraints on public transport services and private hire vehicles, including organised coach travel. Operators should continue to provide transport services that can accommodate separate multiple groups which conform to the requirements of the relevant social contact rules.

As DfT is the department responsible for coach travel, most operators are following this guidance until the issue is resolved.


  • SEISS Guidance Updated

The guidance for people claiming the Self Employment Income Support Scheme grant has been updated to incorporate the eligibility criteria for the fourth grant. The main eligibility change to be aware of is that if you submitted your Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2019 to 2020 on or after 3 March 2021 you’ll not be able to lodge a claim for this grant.


  • Twice Weekly Testing Campaign

The Government has launched a campaign for everyone in England to get free, twice weekly COVID-19 testing using rapid lateral flow tests as an essential part of the easing of restrictions, helping identify variants and stopping individual cases from becoming outbreaks.  A major public information campaign will run across TV, radio, press, digital, out-of-home advertising and social media from tonight.


  • Updated Guidance for Places of Worship

The guidance for places of worship has been updated to take into account the relaxations for Step 2 when the number of people able to attend weddings and civil partnership ceremonies, wakes and  receptions for wedding and wakes are increased to 15 people.


  • R Number and Growth Rate

As always on a Friday, this week’s R number range is 0.8 to 1.0 and the growth rate is -4% to 0%. This is exactly the same as last week and, although the figures are higher than two week’s ago, they still represent a decrease in the number of infections.
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