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COVID-19 Update 22nd July 2021

New Government Campaign

The Government has launched a new campaign called “Let’s Keep Life Moving” aimed at reminding helping make sure that the public still take a cautious approach the removal of restrictions in England by continuing to let fresh air into enclosed spaces, take up the offer of twice-weekly free testing, wash their hands and book both doses of their vaccine.

The campaign features a short film, narrated by TV doctor and practising GP, Dr Amir Khan, encouraging the public to meet outside if they can, let fresh air in when inside, wear a face covering in crowded places, check-in into venues and test regularly, even if they have been vaccinated.


New Guidance For Grassroot Sports

DCMS has published new guidance for the providers of facilities for grassroots sports and participants. The guidance sets out information for providers and participants on how to organise and participate in grassroots sport and physical activity as safely as possible.

This guidance will be of particular interest to hotels and attractions that either have outdoor sports facilities on their premises or are staging a sporting event over the summer, as well as destinations that are looking to stage a sporting event in the public realm.


West End Footfall

As an indicator of the impact that the move to Step 4 has had on people getting out of their homes and returning to normal life, the New West End Company’s latest figures show that West End footfall yesterday was up 4% week-on-week and up 14% compared to the same time last year. However, it remains down 61% on compared with 2019. While much of this downturn from 2019 will be attributable to the domestic market, a significant proportion will be a result of the decline in inbound tourism to the UK.


International Coach Tour Guidance Updated

The DfT guidance for coach operators organising trips into Europe has been updated to say that insurance green cards will not be needed from 2 August 2021 to drive in the EU (including Ireland), Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia or Switzerland.


Consultation On The Calculation Of Income Tax For The Self-Employed

Not Covid related but important to know nevertheless, the government has announced it intends to proceed with basis period reform to simplify the system for taxing self-employed people and business partnerships.  The proposal is to change the way profits are calculated for a tax year, so they are based on the profits arising in the tax year itself rather than on the profits of a 12-month set of accounts ending in the tax year. The change will apply from 2023/24.

A short public consultation has been launched on how best to implement the reform with a deadline for comments of 31 August 2021 – link below.

The consultation aims to gather views on how best to implement the proposed reform, looking at some of the key areas identified during the pre-consultation. In particular, they are seeking views on how to make the process of estimation easier for the small number of businesses that may need to estimate part of their tax year’s profits as they have accounting dates falling in the second half of the tax year (HMRC data suggests this is around 3% of sole traders and 15% of partners). They are also asking for views on how to make the transition as smooth as possible, and how to help businesses understand and claim outstanding overlap relief.
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