General Business Help & Support News England - 19.08.2021

Welcome to our round up of the latest business news for our clients. Please contact us if you want to talk about how these updates affect your business. We are here to support you!

75% of UK adults receive both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine

Three quarters of adults in the UK have now received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, as the public continues to do what it can to protect themselves and their community. All young people aged 16 to 17 in England are to be offered a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Monday 23 August to give them protection before returning to school.

Fully vaccinated people are three times less likely to be infected

The latest REACT-1 study findings from Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI show COVID-19 infection rates are three times lower for double vaccinated people. The findings covering 24 June to 12 July from Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI show fully vaccinated people were three times less likely than unvaccinated people to test positive for COVID-19 and the study also stated that infections have increased four-fold compared to the last report in late May, with 1 in 160 people infected, although growth appeared to be slowing.

See: REACT study shows fully vaccinated are three times less likely to be infected - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) - Update

The guidance has been updated with the CJRS end date and information on when claims for September must be submitted.

The CJRS has been extended until 30 September 2021. From 1 August 2021, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a maximum cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough.

Claims for September must be submitted by 14 October 2021 and any amendments must be made by 28 October 2021. Find out more about how the scheme is changing.

Claims for furlough days in July 2021 must be made by 16 August 2021.

See: Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Kickstart Scheme grant

If you are an employer looking to create jobs for young people, you can apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme.

Recent changes have been made to the guidance including advertising vacancies yourself to ‘Getting the young people into the jobs’, the remittance advice employers receive when they get the funding in the section ‘How you will get the funding’ and updated instructions for adding more jobs to the grant agreement following launch of online route for employers.

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new jobs for 16- to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment. Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers:

Employers can spread the job start dates up until 31 December 2021. You will get funding until 30 June 2022 if a young person starts their job on 31 December 2021.

Further funding is available to provide support so that young people on the scheme can get a job in the future.

You can apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant by either:

  • applying online yourself
  • applying through a Kickstart gateway who is already working with the Kickstart Scheme

If you already have a Kickstart Scheme grant agreement and reference number, you can request to add more jobs to it. This is known as a ‘grant variation’.

See: Apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Guidance for Companies House customers

Payment breaks for late filing penalties have now ended.

See: Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for Companies House customers - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Private providers of coronavirus (COVID-19) testing

The lists of and information about private providers who have self-declared that they meet the government’s minimum standards for the type of commercial COVID-19 testing service they offer has been updated.

See: Private providers of coronavirus (COVID-19) testing - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

How to do a coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow test at home

Find out how to do a rapid lateral flow test for COVID-19 and report the results. Rapid tests are only for people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19.

See: How to do a coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow test at home - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Welcome back fund

Councils across England are to share £56m of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funding to support the return to high streets safely and help build back better from the pandemic. This funding shall be known as the “Welcome Back Fund” (the fund) and it builds on the £50m Reopening High Street Safely Fund (RHSSF) allocated to councils in 2020. The fund will allow local authorities in England to put in place additional measures to create and promote a safe environment for local trade and tourism, particularly in high streets as their economies reopen. Local authorities can therefore also use the fund to develop plans for responding to these impacts, this could include considering how other funding streams could help address those challenges in the future.

The guidance to help local authorities and partners to deliver activities supported through the Welcome Back Fund has been updated. Change made: Versions 3 of the FAQ and guidance for the Welcome Back Fund have been added.

See: Welcome Back Fund - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

NHS COVID Pass

How to get the NHS COVID Pass and demonstrate your coronavirus (COVID-19) status when travelling abroad and domestically at events and venues in England. There is an Updated video guide for people who have received an NHS COVID Pass letter.

See: NHS COVID Pass - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

COVID-19 PCR home test kit instructions

This guidance contains a step-by-step guide available in different formats on how to use and return your PCR home test kit to test yourself for COVID-19. This has recently been updated to reflect changes in test kit components.

See: COVID-19 PCR home test kit instructions - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Quarantine and testing if you have been in an amber list country

What to do before and after you arrive in England if you’ve been in an amber list country in the 10 days before you arrive. There is updated information for those vaccinated in Europe or the USA, rule changes for France have been added and updated information on booking travel tests is given. There is also more information added for those from the British Overseas Territories and how to prove their vaccination status.

See: Quarantine and testing if you've been in an amber list country - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Red, amber and green list rules for entering England

The fully vaccinated amber rules now apply to France. List movements – Austria, Germany, Latvia, Norway, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia move to green list. Bahrain, India, Qatar and United Arab Emirates move to amber list. Georgia, Mayotte, Mexico and Reunion move to red list.

See: Red, amber and green list rules for entering England - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)