Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus Update 1st February 2021

Further action to minimise travel across international borders

The government has announced further action for outbound and inbound passengers to minimise travel across international borders and reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

  • For those wishing to travel out of the UK – anyone who does not have a valid reason for travel will be directed to return home and may face a fine – the reason for travel will be checked. The list of travel exemptions will be urgently reviewed so that only the most important and exceptional reasons are included. The current list of jobs that qualify for travel exemptions is available here .
  • For those seeking to enter the UK – those arriving from countries where the government have imposed international travel bans, and who cannot be refused entry, will be required to isolate in hotels for 10 days without exception. More details will be provided in due course.

For further information on the Home Secretary’s statement, click here

New Guidance

Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment

The Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment (CBLP) supports businesses that have been required to close due to the national restrictions, beginning 5 January 2021. Eligible businesses may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £9,000 from their local council. To find out if you are eligible, and how to apply, click here

Ask HMRC not to publish your Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim details

If as an employer, publishing your claim details could leave individuals at risk of violence or intimidation, you can request HMRC not to publish details about your Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim. You will need to show evidence that it would result in serious risk of violence or intimidation to:

  • you or anyone living with you;
  • an individual associated with your business or anyone living with them

For more information on what you will need to make a request, click here.

Companies House pause voluntary and compulsory strike off processes for one month

Voluntary and compulsory strike off processes have been temporarily paused for one month from 21 January until 21 February 2021.This will provide companies with more time to update their records and help them avoid being struck off the register. It will also protect creditors and other interested parties who might have had difficulties receiving notices or registering an objection, or whose objections have not yet been processed. Find out more here

Updated Guidance

Businesses Support

Self-Employment Income support Scheme (SEISS)- third grant

Guidance has been updated with a YouTube video about how to claim SEISS, third grant. Watch the video and register for the free webinars to learn more about how to claim the third grant.

The Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG) (for Closed Businesses)

Guidance has been updated with details of grants available during the national restriction period from 5 January 2021, onwards. To check if your business is eligible for a cash grant from your local council for each period under national restrictions, click here.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Find examples to help you calculate your employees’ wages

Guidance has been updated with new calculation examples to cover the lookback period and examples to clarify eligibility for the annually paid. For examples to cover the lookback period, click here, and for examples to clarify eligibility for the annually paid, click here.

Changes to the Kickstart Scheme

The government will make it even simpler for employers of all sizes to benefit from joining the scheme by removing the limit requiring they create a minimum of 30 vacancies to apply directly.

  • From 3 February 2021, employers can apply directly to the Kickstart scheme for any number of job placements, as the threshold of 30 job placements has been removed.

From 28 January 2021, applications from new Kickstart gateway have closed. Kickstart gateways, already working with the scheme, can continue to add more employers and job placements to their grant agreement.

Guidance for Hauliers

Haulier advice site locations: Guidance has been updated:

  • changed closing time for haulier COVID-19 testing sites to 9.30pm;
  • South Mimms has been opened for 24-hour testing; and
  • To avoid delays, get tested at an advice site before entering Kent or travelling to other Channel crossing points.

For more information on the Haulier advice site, locations, and opening times, click here

Other links

Some aspects of business support are devolved. Specific information for businesses and employers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales is available. In England, Growth Hubs can advise on local and UK Government business support. You can also find helpful business case studies and other useful information on the Coronavirus Business Support Blog.