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


National Free School Meals Voucher Scheme

The scheme allows schools to place orders for supermarket gift cards on behalf of parents and carers whose children are eligible for free school meals.


Over 70s to be Invited to Take COVID-19 Vaccination from Today

Millions of people aged 70 and over and those clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 will be invited to get their vaccinations from today.


Professor Chris Whitty – the UK’s Battle with COVID-19

Professor Chris Whitty summarizes the UK’s current battled with the Coronavirus.


Mandatory COVID-19 Testing for All International Arrivals to England

Passengers arriving from all international destinations will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result before departing for England to help protect against new strains of coronavirus circulating internationally.


COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Updated – South Africa and Israel

The ban on South Africa has been extended, whilst Israel has been removed from the travel corridors list.


Leasholdings to be Increased to a Maximum of 990 Years

Leaseholders will be given the right to extend to extend the leases on their homes for up to 990 years.


One-off Grants for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Sectors

Lockdown grants worth up to £9,000 available.


Prime Minister’s Statement on the Coronavirus 5 January 2021

An update on the fight against Coronavirus COVID-19.


Joint Statement from the UK Chief Medical Officers on Raising the COVID-19 Alert Level

The UK Chief Medical Officers have recommended raising the COVID-19 alert level from 4 to 5.


Restrictions on Primary Schools to be Introduced Across London

The government has today (1 January) announced that the education contingency framework will be implemented across all London boroughs, following a further review of the transmission rates.


£830 Million Funding for High Streets

Funding for high streets in 72 areas to help them recover from the pandemic and to deliver regeneration plans.


School and College Contingency Plans if Coronavirus Cases Rise

One week staggered return for schools and colleges due to the continuing spread of the Coronavirus.


Oxford University/AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Approved by MHRA

The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University/AstraZeneca has today been given regulatory approval by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency after meeting required safety, quality and effectiveness standards.


Advice for Clinically Extremely Vulnerable in Tier 4 Areas

It is recommended this group stay at home at all times.


Tier 4 ‘Stay At Home’ Alert Level Announced for London and South East of England

The Prime Minister has announced tougher restrictions for large parts of South East England with a new Tier 4: ‘Stay at Home’ alert level.


UK and US Sign Customs Agreement

New agreement signed to ensure the smooth flow of trade after Brexit is completed.


Weekly Coronavirus Testing to be Made Available to Secondary Schools and Colleges

Lateral flow tests to be made available to staff and students from January 2021.


UK and Mexico Sign Trade Deal for Tariff-Free Trade

Around 3,800 UK businesses export goods to Mexico, which the OECD expects to become one of the world’s 10 largest economies within a generation and which has a market of over 130 million consumers.


London, South Essex, and South Hertfordshire to Move to Tier 3 Restrictions

Urgent action needed to reduce transmission of the virus in these areas.


UK Chief Medical Officers’ Statement on the Self-Isolation Period

The self-isolation period can now be reduced from 14 days to 10 days.