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COVID-19 Update 31st May 2021

Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme (AGOSS)

The Government has published the May application round of the AGOSS. To be eligible, you need to be:

    • A commercial airport situated within England with a valid commercial licence from no later than 3 March 2021 that operated at least 12 scheduled commercial passenger flights in 2019
    • A ground handling company providing, as your primary function, any of the handling service listed in EU Directive 96/67/EC directly to an airport user for scheduled commercial flights at a commercial airport in England, for a site or sites located in England
    • Have received, for your eligible site or sites in England, a business rates bill from your relevant local authority for the 2021 to 2022 financial year
    • Demonstrate a forecasted COVID-19 loss for the 6 months to 30 September 2021


Clarification On Staying Overnight

The public guidance associated with Step 3 has been updated to provide clarification on the ability of people to stay overnight in paid accommodation or with friends. The guidance now reads:

    • You may stay overnight in holiday accommodation in groups of up to 6, or larger groups if everyone present is from 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible) unless a legal exemption applies.
    • You can also stay overnight with friends and family in their homes in groups of up to 6, or larger groups if everyone present is from 2 households (including support bubbles).


Northern Ireland Travel Advice

The Northern Ireland Executive has simplified it’s advice when travelling to NI from within the Common Travel Area. There are no restrictions on the reason for travel, the exemptions and guidance to self-isolate has been removed, although the guidance on self-administered lateral flow tests before departure remains. This means that anybody from within CTA can travel to NI for leisure without being advised to self-isolate which is welcome news. The new guidance is:


Travelling to NI from within the Common Travel Area

    • If you’re travelling from within the Common Travel Area and staying overnight in Northern Ireland, you should take a rapid lateral flow device test (LFD) before you begin your journey.
    • You should only travel if the test is negative.
    • You should also take an LFD test on days two and eight of your stay.
    • You should not travel to Northern Ireland if you have COVID-19 symptoms, or have received a positive COVID-19 result.


EU Settlement Scheme – 30 Days Left

The Home Office is advising businesses that after the May Bank Holiday, there will only be 30 days before the deadline of 30 June 2021 for applications to be made to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

It is therefore important that all businesses check with their EU, EEA and Swiss employees who were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, to make sure that they have already applied or will do so before the deadline so that this doesn’t impact on staffing.

Businesses will not need to carry out retrospective Right to Work Checks on existing employees after the 30 June 2021 deadline. However, from 1 July, new EU, EEA and Swiss employees that you hire will need to demonstrate their right to work either with the pre-settled or settled status, or with a visa under the points-based immigration system. These Right to Work Checks can predominantly be conducted digitally for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens.


Glasgow Remains in Level 2

The First Minister has announced that Glasgow will remain in Level 2 for another week (until 5th June) but there are signs that the situation is stabilising in the postcodes at the heart of the initial outbreak and across the city generally. Further funding has been made available to Glasgow City Council to provide additional support for businesses in hospitality and leisure in Glasgow, with grants ranging from £250 to £750 per week.

Mainland Scotland is currently due to move from Level 2 to Level 1 on 7 June. The First Minister said she is planning to confirm on Tuesday to Parliament whether that move will take place.

She also announced that travel restrictions between Scotland, the Republic of Ireland and certain local authority areas in England will remain in place for the time being.


R Number And Growth Rate

As usual, we end the week with the latest R Number and Growth Rate Figures. This week they are, respectively, 1.0 to 1.1 and 0% to +3%. This is the first time since 15th January that the R Number has been greater than 1 and that the Growth Rate has been positive since 15th January. If this continues over the forthcoming weeks, it will increase pressure on Government to either delay Step 4 or to retain certain restrictions such as social distancing and group size while moving to Step 4.
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