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The News section lists important news items recently published, regarding government policy and issues affecting UK citizens.

 

NHS Asks People to Share their Coronavirus Symptoms with Coronavirus Status Checker

A new Coronavirus Status Checker will help the NHS coordinate its response and build up additional data on the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

Transport Secretary: Follow Government Travel Guidelines Despite Warm Weather

With warm weather this weekend people may feel tempted to head out more, but please stick to government guidance. You are saving lives by staying at home.

 

World’s Largest Trial of Potential Coronavirus Treatments Underway

The world’s largest randomised clinical trial of potential Coronavirus treatments is well underway in the UK as part of the race to find a treatment.

 

Risk-Assessed Prisoners to be Temporarily Released from Prison

Risk-assessed prisoners who are within two months of their release date will be temporarily released from jail, as part of the national plan to protect the NHS and save lives.

 

£20 Million Funding for Technologies to Build UK Resilience

Grants of up to £50,000 will be available to technology and research-focussed businesses to develop new ways of working and help build resilience in industries.

 

All Veterinary Medicines Directorate Inspections Postponed due to Coronavirus

Remote inspections will be done where possible and the Veterinary Medicines Regulations continue to apply.

 

Recovery of Benefit Overpayments Suspended for Three Months

The Department for Work and Pensions has temporarily paused the recovery of benefit overpayments for three months because of the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.

 

14 Fake and Unlicensed Coronavirus COVID-19 Medical Products Being Investigated

An increasing number of bogus medical products being sold through unauthorised websites claiming to treat or prevent COVID-19 are being investigated by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.

 

Coronavirus Testing will be Increased to 100,000 Per Day in England

England will carry out 100,000 tests for Coronavirus every day by the end of this month, Health Secretary Matt Hancock pledged today.

 

Business Interruption Loans for Small Businesses and a New Scheme for Larger Companies

To maximise the support available, the Chancellor is extending the CBILS so that all viable small businesses affected by COVID-19, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible should they need finance to keep operating during this difficult time.

 

COVID-19 Bus Services Support Grant

£397 million of funding made available to bus companies to keep buses running during the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

£300 Million in Funding Announced for Community Pharmacies

£300 million in funding will ensure community pharmacies can continue to carry out essential services during the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.

 

£13.4 Billion NHS Debt Written Off by the Government

From April 1, over £13 billion of NHS debt will be scrapped as part of a wider package of NHS reforms announced by the Health Secretary today.

 

New PPE Guidance for NHS Teams

New guidance from the government and the NHS for NHS teams that come into contact with patients suffering from Coronavirus COVID-19.

 

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory Working to Stop the Spread of Coronavirus COVID-19

Dstl Scientists are helping to conquer the spread of COVID-19.

Dstl is carrying out vital work in partnership with a number of organisations including Public Health England (PHE) and the National Health Service (NHS) to get the COVID-19 outbreak under control.

Published 2 April 2020

Our experts are working in NHS hospitals to help perform diagnostic tests which are important to fighting the disease. Dstl scientists are supporting PHE on a number of technologies to speed up the identification of the virus, as well as refining a test that works similar to a pregnancy test which can show if an individual has been exposed to the virus.

Government Statement on the Coronavirus 1 April 2020

Throughout our response to coronavirus, we have been following the scientific and medical advice. We have been deliberate in our actions, taking the right steps at the right time.

 

New National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage – 1 April 2020

National Living Wage increases from £8.21 to £8.72.

 

UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow Postponed Due to Coronavirus

In light of the ongoing, worldwide effects of COVID-19, holding an ambitious, inclusive COP26 in November 2020 is no longer possible.

 

Planning Inspectorate – Working Through the Coronavirus Pandemic

We are continuing to work through the implications to our casework and our workforce in response to the developing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Education and Skills Funding Agency Update 1 April 2020

Including Coronavirus-related fraud alert for all institutions.

 

Cash Grants for High Street Businesses Available From Today

Today high streets begin to receive £22 billion coronavirus boost, with grants of up to £25,000 already being paid into bank accounts of high street businesses.

 

National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage Increased on 1 April

The National Living Wage will increase on Wednesday 1 April to £8.72, giving a pay rise to thousands of workers at the frontline of the UK’s response to Covid-19.

 

Public Health England Coronavirus Guidance for the Conduct of Safe Funerals

Public Health England has published new guidance to ensure funerals are conducted safely, consistent with social distancing principles.

 

Chancellor Waives Duties and VAT on Vital Medical Imports to Fight Coronavirus

Chancellor waives import taxes on vital medical equipment including ventilators, coronavirus testing kits and protective clothing.

 

New Life-Saving Breathing Aid Approved to Keep Coronavirus Patients Out of Intensive Care

Adapted breathing aid developed by UCL, UCLH and Mercedes Formula One provides vital technology to NHS.

 

Sellafield Supply Chain Notice – Coronavirus COVID-19

Changes to Sellafield’s procurement practises in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

Contacting SSRO During Coronavirus Pandemic

We would like to update you on the SSRO’s current operations and adjustments we are making as result of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Michael Gove – Coronavirus Statement 31 March 2020

I would like first to update you all on the facts about the spread of COVID-19 and the steps that we are then taking in the battle against this virus.

 

The First New Ventilators will be Produced this Weekend

First new ventilators to roll off production line this weekend as industry answers call to step up manufacturing.

 

Pregnant Prisoners to be Temporarily Released from Prison to Protect Them from the Coronavirus

Pregnant women in custody who do not pose a high risk of harm to the public will be temporarily released from prison.

 

101 Non-Emergency Calls to the Police will be Free from Tomorrow

From tomorrow no member of the public should have to pay for 101 non-emergency calls to the police.

 

Coronavirus Guidance for the Charity Sector

Guidance to help with running your charity during the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.

 

Coronavirus Guidance for Food Businesses – Public Health England

Guidance on Coronavirus COVID-19 for takeaways, restaurants, supermarkets, food markets, canteens, and food processing plants.

 

Supporting Disabled People During the Coronavirus Outbreak

This government hugely values disabled people and is committed to ensuring that disabled people are supported during this challenging and worrying time.

 

Contacting Natural England During Coronavirus Outbreak

Interim Chief Executive Marian Spain provides an update on how Natural England is facing the challenges posed by COVID-19.

 

Contacting the Government Legal Department

Means of contact for the Government Legal Department during the current Coronavirus outbreak.

 

Coronavirus Guidance for Food Businesses – Public Health England

Guidance on Coronavirus COVID-19 for takeaways, restaurants, supermarkets, food markets, canteens, and food processing plants.

 

NHS Staff to Have Visas Extended Free of Charge to Help Fight Coronavirus

As part of the national effort to combat Coronavirus, doctors, nurses and paramedics will automatically have their visas extended, free of charge, for one year.

 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to prevent workers losing their jobs as result of the spread of the Coronavirus. Updated 31 March. New sections: Claiming for wage costs for employees (for employers), and Check if your employer can use the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme (for employees).

 

Weekly Shopping Voucher for Children Eligible for Free School Meals

Parents will receive the voucher through their child’s school, which can then be redeemed online via a code, or sent to their house as a gift card and used at supermarkets across the country.

 

The Foreign Secretary’s Statement on the Coronavirus 30 March 2020

Our step-by-step action plan is aiming to slow the spread of the virus, so fewer people need hospital treatment at any one time, thereby protecting the NHS’ capacity.

 

Government Partnership with Airlines to Fly Stranded Tourists Back to Britain

More tourists stranded abroad because of coronavirus will be able to get back to the UK following an arrangement struck between the Government and the airlines industry.

 

Priority Courts Will Remain Open During the Coronavirus Pandemic

There will be 157 priority court and tribunal buildings open for essential face-to-face hearings. List below.

 

DBS Checks Free of Charge in Response to the Coronavirus

Temporary arrangements have been put in place, to provide DBS checks and fast-track emergency checks of the Adults’ and Children’s Barred Lists free-of-charge.

 

Right to Rent and Right to Work Checks – Temporary Changes

Landlords and employers not required to see original documents during Coronavirus outbreak.

 

Coronavirus Guidance for Community Interest Companies

The Office of the Regulator of Community Interest Companies has robust plans in place to maintain services for CICs and protect the welfare of employees during the Coronavirus outbreak.

 

Ken McCallum Appointed as New Director General of the Security Service

Ken McCallum has been appointed as successor to Sir Andrew Parker as the head of MI5, Home Secretary Priti Patel announced today.

 

Government Response to Coronavirus COVID-19 – 29 March 2020

As of 9am today: 127,737 people have now been tested for the virus. 108,215 have tested negative. 19,522 have tested positive.

 

Government Cracks Down on False Coronavirus Information Online

Specialist units across government are working at pace to combat false and misleading narratives about coronavirus, ensuring the public has the right information to protect themselves and save lives.

 

Public Guidance on the Maintenance of Mental Health During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Mental health guidance from Public Health England.

 

Contacting the Intellectual Property Office During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Our staff are equipped to work from home and are doing so to avoid unnecessary travel and social contact.

 

Intellectual Property Office – Interrupted Days Introduced Because of the Coronavirus Outbreak

The Intellectual Property Office is declaring 24 March 2020 and subsequent days until further notice to be interrupted days.

 

Intellectual Property Office – Alterations to Services for Patents

Following the unprecedented disruption caused by Coronavirus and the closure of IPO buildings, there are some alterations to the services we are providing at present.

 

Intellectual Property Office – Alterations to Services for Trade Marks and Designs

Alterations to services as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.

 

Intellectual Property Office – Contacting Tribunals and Hearings

Alterations to services.

 

Contacting the Valuation Office Agency During the Coronavirus Outbreak

The majority of our employees are equipped to work from home and are doing so to avoid unnecessary travel and social contact.

 

Contact Details for Maritime and Coastguard Agency Survey and Inspection Offices

All our survey and inspection staff, including all our office-based business support teams, are working remotely.

 

Prime Minister’s Letter to the Nation on the Coronavirus

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is writing to every UK household to urge them to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.

 

Help for Vulnerable Customers with Telephone, Mobile and Broadband Bills

All providers have committed to working with customers who find it difficult to pay their bill as a result of Covid-19 to ensure that they are treated fairly and appropriately supported.

 

First Free Food Boxes Delivered to Vulnerable People

First 2,000 food parcels delivered this weekend to those who cannot leave their homes because severe health conditions make them especially vulnerable to catching the Coronavirus.

 

Government Response to Inaccurate Claims About Ventilators in FT Weekend

The government is not experiencing severe difficulties in procuring ventilators for the NHS.

 

Coronavirus Guidance for Caravan and Park Home Owners

Caravan and park home owners should remain open for key workers and vulnerable groups during the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Workers Annual Leave Rules to be Changed Because of Coronavirus COVID-19

Workers who have not taken all of their statutory annual leave entitlement due to COVID-19 will now be able to carry it over into the next 2 leave years.

 

Coronavirus Tests for Frontline NHS Staff

Government working with industry, universities and laboratories to deliver nationwide tests for Coronavirus COVID-19 as quickly as possible.  NHS staff will be the first to be tested when the programme is in place.

 

Coronavirus and High Blood Pressure Medication

There is no evidence from clinical or epidemiological studies that treatment with ACE-I or ARBs might worsen COVID-19 infection.

 

Government Guidance on Access to Green Spaces – 27 March 2020

On using green spaces, protecting yourself, and protecting others.

 

Prime Minister Calls Ventilator Manufacturers and Suppliers

The Prime Minister spoke to a number of British suppliers and manufacturers yesterday evening (26 March 2020) about rapidly scaling up ventilator production for patients with coronavirus.

 

Sellafield Donates Personal Protective Equipment to Health Workers

Initially, we are donating items including 2500 disposable respirators; around 500 suits, gowns and lab coats and several hundred pairs of gloves.

 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson Has Caught the Coronavirus

It is not known how the Prime Minister caught the virus, but having been tested on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer for England, Chris Whitty, he has been diagnosed as infected with Coronavirus COVID-19. He is now self-isolating in Downing Street, and it is believed he has only experienced mild symptoms.  The full statement from the Prime Minister’s Office is further below.

On his Twitter feed Boris Johnson made the following post:

Operational Honours and Awards List April 2020 – Ministry of Defence

The latest Operational Honours and Awards List has been published today. The list recognises the bravery, commitment and commendable service of service personnel within the military.

 

Global Handwashing Campaign to Stop the Spread of Coronavirus

New £100 million campaign to reach up to a billion people globally will help stop the spread of coronavirus.

 

Chancellor Announces Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

So, to support those who work for themselves, today I am announcing a new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

 

Defra Coronavirus COVID-19 Advice

Latest news and advice from Defra in relation to the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.

 

FCO Guidance – Financial Assistance Abroad

What to do, who to contact, if you require financial assistance when abroad.

 

British Nationals in Canada: Coronavirus COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Coronavirus COVID-19 FAQs for British nationals temporarily living in Canada.

 

Coronavirus Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

The government has recognised that the self-employed as well as the employed require financial support through the Coronavirus pandemic, and has consequently launched the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme to provide direct cash grants to compensate for lost earnings.

 

Police Given New Enforcement Powers to Ensure People Stay at Home

Police have been given new powers to stop, disperse, fine and arrest people who will not stay at home, in order to help reduce the spread of the Coronavirus.

 

Record Funding Announced to Find a Coronavirus Vaccine

With an additional £210 million pounds put forward today, Britain’s total funding to find a vaccine for Coronavirus COVD-19 now stands at £544 million.

 

G20 Leaders’ Virtual Summit – Statement on Coronavirus COVID-19 – 26 March 2029

The G20 is committed to do whatever it takes to overcome the pandemic, along with the World Health Organization, International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group, United Nations, and other international organizations, working within their existing mandates. We are determined to spare no effort, both individually and collectively.

 

Beware of Coronavirus Financial Scams

These scams could take many forms and might take the form of pensions transfers, high-return investment opportunities or health insurance supplements.

 

Open Call for Innovation – Cleaning Ambulances

Do you have an innovative or novel approach to get ambulances cleaner quicker to help combat Coronavirus?

 

Coronavirus COVD-19: Business Rates Exclusions 2020 – 2021

Many high street businesses that have closed due to Covid-19 restrictions will now be exempt from business rates.

 

Letter to UK Banks from HM Treasury, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority

A letter from the Chancellor, the Governor of the Bank of England, and the CEO of the FCA to the CEOs of the UK Banks on the subject of COVID-19 and bank lending.

 

Ofqual Statement on Vocational and Technical Qualifications in 2020

We recognise learners on vocational and technical courses urgently need reassurance about how their qualifications will be assessed and awarded in the coming weeks and months.

 

Free Parking for NHS and Social Care Staff

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care is giving immediate financial backing for all NHS trusts to provide free car parking to NHS staff for the duration of coronavirus.

 

Department for Education Coronavirus COVID-19 Guidance for Schools

Comprehensive guidance and advice about Coronavirus in educational settings for staff, parents and carers, pupils and students.

 

Exemption for Hotels, Hostels and B&Bs to Open for Key Workers and the Homeless

Letter regarding the exemption for hotels, hostels and B&Bs to open so they can offer accommodation to key workers and support rough sleepers to keep them off the streets and in suitable accommodation.

 

Prime Minister’s Statement on the Coronavirus 25 March 2020

The Prime Minister’s most recent statement on the Coronavirus, including mention of NHS Volunteer Responders’ service.

 

Government Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp

To reduce the burden on the NHS, and to provide a direct means of communication from the government to the public, a new WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Service has been launched today. The services is provided free of charge.

 

Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine are not Licensed for Coronavirus Treatment

Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are not licensed to treat COVID-19 related symptoms or prevent infection.

 

Scientific Evidence Supporting the Government’s Coronavirus Strategy

During a response to a virus of this nature, it is imperative that the public is confident the government has based its decisions on a representative range of the most up-to-date science advice.

 

Universities Told Not to Alter Applicants’ Offers – Department for Education

Universities Minister Michelle Donelan is asking higher education providers not to change their offers to students for two weeks to maintain stability.

 

UK Offers Visa Extensions Until 31 May 2020 Due to Coronavirus

Individuals who are in the UK and whose visa expired after 24 January should email CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk, and they will be issued an extension until 31 May.

 

HM Land Registry Will Continue to Operate Through the Coronavirus Outbreak

The Customer Support Centre will not be answering telephone calls, but services will be running as normal though at a slightly slower rate.

 

Coronavirus Support for the Extremely Vulnerable

If you have a medical condition that makes you extremely vulnerable to the Coronavirus you can register to receive government support – for example help in getting deliveries of food supplied to your home while in self-isolation.

 

Volunteer to Help the NHS through the Coronavirus Crisis

More than 150,000 have already volunteered their services (25 March 2020).

 

Prince Charles Tests Positive for the Coronavirus

A statement has been released on behalf of Prince Charles by Clarence House earlier today.

 

Vehicle Owners to be Granted Temporary 6 Month MOT Extension Due to Coronavirus

Temporary MOT extension to be granted to vehicle owners. Guidance for those with vehicles whose MOT expires before and after 30 March 2020 given below.

 

Companies Can Apply for 3 Month Deadline Extension to File Accounts Due to Coronavirus

Businesses will be given an additional 3 months in which to submit their accounts to Companies House and avoid penalties, as a means of helping them weather the Coronavirus outbreak.

 

How to Apply for More time to File Your Company’s Accounts

Updated guidance on applying for a deadline extension for the submission of accounts, covering what to do if the Coronavirus outbreak has impeded your company.

 

Useful Contacts for the Fishing Industry – Marine Management Organisation

Our aim in these unprecedented times is to continue to support the industry and help it to keep fishing and trading, and be ready to recover when the time comes.

 

Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain Contact Details

Guidance on how to contact the Traffic Commissioners throughout the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.

 

Marine Management Organisation Contact Details

The Marine Management Organisation will still be contactable throughout the Coronavirus outbreak.

 

Disclosure and Barring Service Contact Details

The Disclosure and Barring Service contact centre has been temporarily closed, but the DBS can still be contacted.

 

Foreign Office Providing Support for British Nationals Abroad

We have Foreign and Commonwealth Office staff in all our 280 posts in 168 countries and 10 overseas territories. And they are working around the clock to respond to this global pandemic.

 

UK Visas Extended Until 31 May 2020 Because of Coronavirus

Visa nationals who cannot return home due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to extend their visa.

 

Prison Visits Are Cancelled Because of the Coronavirus

Prison visits have been temporarily cancelled because of the Coronavirus outbreak.  See below for details of how prisoners will keep in touch with their families.

 

£20 Million Coronavirus Research Investment

Trials of new Coronavirus vaccine among 6 projects to receive share of £20 million.

 

£500,000 Technology Challenge – Support People who are Self-Isolating

£500,000 funding is available for companies who can come up with digital support solutions to help people who are self-isolating at home.

 

Innovate UK Coronavirus Business Support

Please be reassured that Innovate UK has business continuity measures in place and is continuing to operate.

 

Contacting an Official Receiver During Coronavirus Pandemic

All Official Receiver offices are closed as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. We are continuing to operate our services. Find out how to contact us.

 

Covid-19 Sellafield Ltd Supply Chain Update – 24 March 2020

This update applies to all supply chain employees working under the NAECI and CIJC agreements, except those who are required to attend work to support nuclear safety and security as identified by Sellafield Ltd.

 

Employers Do Not Have to Report Gender Pay Gaps Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

Because of the Coronavirus outbreak gender pay gap reporting deadlines have been suspended.

 

Council Tax Relief for Vulnerable Households Affected by the Coronavirus

£500 million Hardship Fund announced to provide council tax relief for vulnerable households.

 

Government Coronavirus SMS Messages

The government is sending out texts to mobile phones telling people of the new rules announced by the Prime Minister yesterday.

 

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority – Advice for Applicants

CICA is still continuing working, but operating a reduced level of telephony service.

 

Foreign Office Advises All British Tourists and Travellers to Return to Britain

All British tourists and short-stay travellers currently abroad should return to the UK where commercial flight options are still available.

 

Jobcentre Benefit Reviews and Reassessments Suspended – 24 March 2020

There will be no new reviews or reassessments across all benefits for three months.

 

Ban on Evictions for Commercial Tenants Who Miss Rent Payments

Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of Coronavirus will be protected from eviction.

 

Jobcentres Closed to Most Jobseekers Due to Coronavirus – 24 March 2020

In line with recent Government guidance and to best serve those who need support, the Work and Pensions Secretary has taken the decision to limit access to jobcentres from tomorrow.

 

Student Loans Company Coronavirus Guidance

Updated guidance for students and those repaying loans, in respect of the continuing Coronavirus pandemic.

 

The Prime Minister’s Address to the Nation on the Coronavirus 23 March 2020

The Prime Minister addresses the threat the nation faces from the Coronavirus, and the steps that will need to be taken to defeat it.  As a consequence new measures to ‘lock down’ the country have been agreed.

 

The Prime Minister Announces New Measures to Lock Down the Country

The Prime Minister outlined the latest steps to fight the disease.  Each and everyone of us is involved, he said. But without huge national effort the NHS will be overwhelmed. More people will die – not just those with the Coronavirus, but with other illnesses as well.  It is vital to slow the spread of the disease.

The aim is to save more lives, but we need to do more.  That is why the following must be done:

  • You must stay at home to stop disease spreading between households.
  • You must only do shopping for basic necessities (eg food).
  • You may go outside to exercise, once per day.
  • You may go on visits if the aim is to provide care for people with medical needs.
  • Travelling to and from work will be acceptable, but only when that work cannot be done from home.

 

Coronavirus State of Emergency Declared in Portugal

The State of Emergency legislation published on 20 March brings into force a series of measures to limit the spread of the virus (COVID-19). Cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Portugal.

 

Important Information for British Nationals Leaving Argentina

Further information for British nationals accessing airports in relation to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

 

Ministry of Justice Coronavirus Guidance – Attending Court

Information on what court trials will proceed, and the protocols for attending court in the light of the Coronavirus outbreak.

 

Ministry of Justice Coronavirus Guidance – Victim and Witness Support Services

Information on accessing victim and witness support services. during the Coronavirus outbreak.

 

Coronavirus Business Support Launched Today

Applications open for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme for small to medium sized businesses, and the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility for large corporations.

 

Government Plans to Enforce Closure of Businesses and Venues

Businesses including pubs, cinemas, theatres and casinos were told to close from 21 March, as part of government drive to reduce the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.

 

Business Closure Regulations for the Protection of Public Health

These regulations require businesses selling food or drink to consume on the premises, and some others, to close, to protect public health.

 

Government Ensures Railway Ticket Refunds Free of Charge

Anyone holding an advance ticket will be able to refund it free of charge.

 

The Government Will Ensure the Railways Keep Operating During the Coronavirus Outbreak

We’re supporting train operators to make sure our railways stay open for key workers during the coronavirus outbreak.

 

Coronavirus COVID-19 Essential Travel Guidance

Guidance and advice to avoid non-essential travel in the UK. Information for travelling overseas also included.

 

Prime Minister’s Statement on the Coronavirus 22 March 2020

The Prime Minister outlines the government plan, and the steps that need to be taken to protect those vulnerable to the Coronavirus – estimated to be approximately 1.5 million people.

 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Message on Mother’s Day

Boris Johnson discusses Mother’s Day, and the necessity of avoiding direct contact to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

 

Important New Measures to Protect Those at the Highest Risk from Coronavirus

A raft of new measures, including a helpline for the most in need of support, have been set out for those considered to be extremely vulnerable.

 

Food and Drink and Pharmaceutical Industries Should Not Raise Prices Unnecessarily Because of the Coronavirus

We have written an open letter to the pharmaceutical and food and drink industries warning firms that they should not capitalise on the current situation by charging unjustifiably high prices for essential goods or making misleading claims around their efficacy.

 

Changes to Veterans UK Services as a Consequence of the Coronavirus

As a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, and in line with Government public health advice, we are taking steps to minimise the risks to veterans and their families.

 

Shielding the Vulnerable from Coronavirus – Public Health England

Extensive medical guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as vulnerable to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

Public Health England Guidance on Social Distancing for Everyone in the UK

This guidance is for everyone, including children.

 

Chancellor’s Statement on Economic Measures to Combat Effect of Coronavirus on Economy

The economic intervention that I’m announcing today is unprecedented in the history of the British state.

 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to prevent workers losing their jobs as result of the spread of the Coronavirus. 

 

Pubs, Clubs, Cinemas and Other Entertainment Premises to Close Temporarily

Entertainment and hospitality premises to close temporarily and people urged to only travel if absolutely essential.

 

School Exam Cancellations – How School Grades Will be Calculated

As schools exams will cancelled this year to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, a new method has been devised to calculate the attainment of students in lieu of exams.

 

Taking Ibuprofen for Coronavirus

There is some concern among the public about taking ibuprofen for the Coronavirus (COVID-19), however there is no strong evidence that ibuprofen makes Coronavirus worse.

 

Forestry Commission Coronavirus Update

We felt that now was a good time to update you all on our plans for continuing our business during these uncertain and changing times.

 

Prime Minister’s Statement on the Coronavirus 20 March 2020

Yesterday I set out the ambition of this government to turn the tide against coronavirus within 3 months. And I want to repeat that determination today.

 

How to Obtain an Isolation Note Providing Proof of Coronavirus Absence from Work

The user needs to visit the NHS Coronavirus website, complete a short questionnaire, and then an isolation note will be emailed to them.

 

List of Key Workers in Relation to School Closures

Vulnerable children, and the children of key workers – which the government requires still to be in an active working capacity – may still be required to attend school.  The list of key workers is below.

 

School Closures – Advice for Parents and Carers – Department for Education

Information for parents and carers about the closure of schools and other educational settings following the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

Government Expecting to Turn the Tide Against the Coronavirus Within the Next 12 Weeks

I do think, looking at it all, that we can turn the tide within the next 12 weeks.

 

Train Services to be Reduced due to Coronavirus from Monday, 23 March

Government and rail operators across the UK agree reductions in service levels following reduced passenger demand as people change their travel patterns to help tackle spread of COVID-19.

 

Evictions Will be Banned and Mortgage Payments Suspended for 3 Months

Government announces radical package of measures to protect renters and landlords affected by Coronavirus.

 

Pupils Eligible for School Meals Can Claim Food Vouchers

Children eligible for free school meals will be offered meals or vouchers as an alternative if they can no longer attend school due to Coronavirus measures.

 

Coronavirus Sufferers with Top-Up Meters Guaranteed Energy Supply

The government has committed to do whatever it takes to get our nation through the impacts of this Coronavirus pandemic. Today those most in need can rest assured that a secure supply of energy will continue to flow into their homes during this difficult time.

 

New COVID Support Force – Ministry of Defence

The Defence Secretary announces new measures to put service personnel and Reservists on standby to support public services in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

Prime Minister’s Statement on the Coronavirus – 18 March 2020

The Prime Minister explains the government’s volte face on the issue of keeping schools open, and why it has reluctantly decided to close them.

 

Schools Will Close in England from Friday, 20 March Until Further Notice

After schools shut their gates on Friday afternoon, they will remain closed until further notice except for children of key workers and vulnerable children, as part of the country’s ongoing response to coronavirus.

 

Government to Allow Pubs and Restaurants to Operate as Takeaways

Pubs and restaurants can operate as hot food takeaways to serve people having to stay at home.

 

The Government’s Economic Plan to Support the Economy During the Coronavirus Pandemic

I promised to do whatever it takes to support our economy through this crisis – and that if the situation changed, I would not hesitate to take further action. That is what I want to begin doing today.

 

Prime Minister’s Statement on the Coronavirus 17 March 2020

I want to go through our overall plan for beating this new coronavirus.

 

How to Stop the Spread of the Coronavirus – Latest Recommendations

  • If you or anyone in your house has a high temperature or a continuous cough (that is, a sustained cough that does not stop quickly in a normal manner) then you should stay at home for 14 days.
  • In such an eventuality, you should not go out, even to buy food or essential household items.  You should ask an uninfected person to do your shopping instead.
  • If you need to go out for exercise keep at a safe distance from others (this is usually defined as 6 feet away). 
  • If you are absolutely compelled to go shopping you must limit your social contact as much as possible.

Click the headline to read more.

 

Guidance for Households with Possible Coronavirus Infection

New guidance to stay at home for 14 days if someone in your household has symptoms of COVID-19 is the focus of the next stage of a public awareness campaign launched by Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock today.

 

Government Advises Against All Non-Essential Foreign Travel

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab gave a statement advising against all non-essential travel overseas in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

 

Routine OFSTED School Inspections Cancelled Due to Coronavirus

We are in daily contact with the Department for Education to discuss the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact across education and social care.

 

G7 Group Action Plan on the Coronavirus

We are committed to doing whatever is necessary to ensure a strong global response through closer cooperation and enhanced coordination of our efforts.

 

Prime Minister’s Statement on the Coronavirus 16 March 2020

As we said last week, our objective is to delay and flatten the peak of the epidemic by bringing forward the right measures at the right time, so that we minimise suffering and save lives.

 

Health Secretary’s Article on the Government’s Coronavirus Action Plan

The Coronavirus outbreak is the biggest public health emergency in a generation.

 

Coronavirus Guidance for Care Homes

This guidance sets out key messages to support planning and preparation in the event of an outbreak or widespread transmission of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

 

Coronavirus Testing – Public Health England Update 14 March 2020

Those in hospital care for pneumonia or acute respiratory illness will be priority.

 

New Coronavirus Support for Employees, Benefit Claimants and Businesses

A range of extra support and measures will be in place to help workers, benefit claimants and businesses affected by Coronavirus.

 

2020 Local Elections Will be Postponed until 2021

As a consequence of the spread of the Coronavirus the local elections will be postponed until next year.

 

Prime Minister’s Statement on the Coronavirus – 12 March 2020

Statement from the Prime Minister on the government’s action plan to tackle the Coronavirus, its assessment of its dangers, the symptoms and self-isolation.  At the present time schools will remain open until further notice and public events will continue as scheduled.

 

Government Plans for Delaying the Spread of the Coronavirus

The Government has announced that we are moving out of the contain phase and into delay, in response to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

 

Donald Trump to End Travel from Europe to America to Stop the Coronavirus Spreading

In a short but detailed video the US President has announced a raft of measures to stop the Coronavirus spreading in America.

After consulting with our top government health professionals I have decided to take several strong but necessary actions to protect the health and wellbeing of all Americans. To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days. The new rules will go into effect Friday at midnight.  …. Anything coming from Europe to the United States is what we are discussing.  These restrictions will also not apply to the United Kingdom ….

He emphasized that he was confident the steps that were being initiated would prove successful, and that the US would emerge from the crisis stronger and more unified than previously.

 

 

Coronavirus Guidance for Businesses and Employees

In today’s Budget (11 March 2020) the Chancellor announced a package of measures to provide support for public services, individuals and businesses to ensure the impact of COVID-19 is minimised.

 

Tax Helpline for Businesses Affected by the Coronavirus

HMRC has a set up a phone helpline to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

Support for People and Businesses Affected by the Coronavirus

More information about the package of measures announced at Budget 2020 to support public services, individuals and businesses affected by Covid-19.

 

What to do if Coronavirus has Affected your Company and Prevented the Filing of Accounts on Time

If, immediately before the filing deadline, it becomes apparent that accounts will not be filed on time due to your company being affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19), you may make an application to extend the period allowed for filing.

 

Taskforce Launched to Tackle the Coronavirus

“We all have a part to play in managing the spread of coronavirus and I am working to ensure local partners are fully equipped to play their part, too. Today I established a taskforce to support Local Resilience Forums, helping them fully prepare for a range of scenarios at a local level.”

 

Coronavirus Advice for Jobseekers – Important Information

DWP advice in relation to Jobseekers unable to attend appointments due to Coronavirus self-isolation.

 

The Government’s Action Plan to Fight the Coronavirus

The action plan provides information on the government’s plans to contain the spread of Coronavirus and what action could be taken if the virus does spread: Contain, delay, research, and mitigate.

 

Coronavirus Prevention – Advice on Handwashing

How long individuals should wash their hands, with other useful tips to prevent Coronavirus infection.

 

Immigration Bill to End Freedom of Movement Introduced

The Immigration Bill will be introduced to the House of Commons today (Thursday 5 March) ending the European Union’s rules on free movement.

 

Legal Aid Review – Increased Funding

Between £32 – £50 million increase in funding proposed as part of the Legal Aid review. The consultation document, published on 28 February, will be open until 27 March.

 

Action Counters Terrorism App Launched for Google and Apple Devices

If you have a phone then you have us, keeping you updated where and when it matters most – all through the new easy-to-navigate Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) app.

 

Public Health England’s Advice on e-cigarettes

PHE’s advice remains that smokers should switch to e-cigarettes to help them quit smoking, but non-smokers should not take up vaping.

 

Domestic Abuse Bill 2020

The government has set out an enhanced version of the landmark Domestic Abuse Bill to Parliament, which will go even further to support and protect victims and punish perpetrators.

 

OFQUAL Guidance to Schools and Colleges on the Coronavirus

We are working closely with awarding organisations and the Department for Education to consider how to manage any particular risks to the smooth running of exams and assessments should there be a widespread outbreak of coronavirus.

 

Ministry of Justice – Automatic Early Release of Terrorists Ends

The automatic early release of terrorist offenders will end from today (26 February) as emergency legislation to ensure the public is protected receives Royal Assent.

 

Capital Gains Tax Changes 6 April 2020

From 6 April 2020, if you’re a UK resident and sell a residential property in the UK you’ll have 30 days to tell HMRC and pay any Capital Gains Tax owed.

 

HM Land Registry – The Digital Mortgage Service

HM Land Registry’s digital service ‘Sign your mortgage deed’ has started 2020 with a bang with the 7,000th digital mortgage deed being registered in February.

 

Department for Education Plans to Improve Discipline in Schools

Visit some of the country’s best performing schools, and you’ll notice that many of them have one thing in common: discipline. Across the UK, dedicated head teachers have been trying all sorts of common-sense solutions to curb unruly behaviour and low-level disruption in the classroom – with impressive results.

 

New UK Points Based Immigration System – February 2020

The new system, which takes effect from 1 January 2021, will end free movement, reassert control of our borders and restore public trust.

 

Blue Passports to Return in March 2020

Britons will be able to travel with a blue passport when the traditional colour returns for the first time in almost 30 years.

 

Car Theory Test Changes April 2020

The way the theory test works in England, Scotland and Wales will change from 14 April 2020.

 

The Future Relationship of the United Kingdom and the European Union

This statement sets out the Government’s proposed approach to the negotiations with the EU about our future relationship.

 

Statement on the Coronavirus from UK Chief Medical Officers

We have been working in close collaboration with international colleagues and the World Health Organisation to monitor the situation in China and around the world.

 

Coronavirus Repatriation Flight – Message by British Ambassador to China

Video message to UK nationals affected by the coronavirus outbreak in China.

 

European Union Signs Brexit Withdrawal Agreement

The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement has been signed on behalf of the United Kingdom and the European Union.

 

Tax Return Deadline 31 January 2020

The self assessment tax return deadline for the year 2018-2019 is Friday, 31 January 2020.  According to HMRC, there are still 3 million people who have not submitted their tax returns.

 

Conservatives’ Historic General Election Victory

The Conservative Party general election victory on Thursday, 12 December 2019 was the most emphatic win since Mrs Thatcher’s in 1987. The Labour Party suffered its most comprehensive defeat since 1935, and the ‘Red Wall’ of Labour supporting constituencies – previously believed unassailable – has fallen to the Conservatives. In Scotland the SNP regained some of the ground lost in 2017 and secured its best result since 2015. It was a poor election for the Liberal Democrats, who lost not only 10 seats but their leader as well. The Brexit Party did not win a single seat.

 

The results were as follows:

Conservatives: 365

Labour: 203

SNP: 48

Liberal Democrats: 11

Others: 23

 

The immediate consequence is there is now a clear majority for Brexit, and the Brexit process will be pushed through, having been held back for the previous 3 years.

 

Boris Johnson gave a short victory speech outside number 10, Downing Street, on Friday, 13 December: