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


Greater Manchester to be Moved to Very High COVID Alert Level

Greater Manchester will move from Local COVID Alert Level High to Very High from 00.01 on Friday 23 October.


Preparing for the End of the Transition Period – PM Call with Business Leaders

The Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster spoke with 250 business leaders on preparing for the end of the transition period.


Prime Minister’s Statement on the Coronavirus 20 October – New Restrictions

Justification for new restrictions across the country.


Local Areas Moving from Medium COVID-19 to High COVID-19 Alert Levels

The whole of London, as well as other areas, will be put onto a high level from Saturday, 17 October.


Travel Corridor List Updated – Italy Removed, Crete Added

From 4am Sunday 18 October, people arriving in England from Italy will need to self-isolate.


The Annual Remembrance Sunday Service Will be Closed to the Public Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic

The service will go ahead but the public will not be able to attend.


New Veterans Railcard Launched

The railcard will save veterans one third of most rail fares.


Government to Protect the Future of Cash in the UK

The government has set out plans to protect the UK’s cash system and ensure people have easy access to cash.


£140 Discount from Winter Fuel Bills for Pensioners

Eligible pension credit customers will qualify for £140 discounts from their winter fuel bills.


Hotline Launched for Reporting COVID-19 Fraudsters

Over 150 COVID-19 Support Schemes have been introduced by the government, but a minority of individuals have been abusing the financial support and making claims illegally.


New Guidance to Help Clinically Vulnerable People Reduce Risk from Coronavirus

Individuals considered most clinically vulnerable will receive new guidance tailored to their local area.


Prime Minister’s Statement on New Coronavirus Restrictions 12 October 2020

Statement made to parliament explaining the government’s implementation of new Coronavirus restrictions across the country.


Liverpool to Move into Very High COVID-19 Alert Level

The government and local leaders have agreed further restrictions need to be placed on Liverpool to reduce Coronavirus infections.


Job Support Scheme Expanded

Businesses forced to close due to Coronavirus restrictions will receive will additional help.


Travel Corridor List Updated – Lesvos, Santorini, Serifos, Tinos and Zakynthos Added

People arriving in England from Lesvos, Santorini, Serifos, Tinos and Zakynthos will not need to self-isolate from Saturday, 10 October 2020.


Britain to Join the Government Procurement Agreement Committee on 1 January 2021

Government secures access for British business to £1.3 trillion of global procurement contracts.


Debt Letters to be Made Less Intimidating to People in Debt

HM Treasury has proposed new rules for debt letters to make them less intimidating and easier to understand.


£60 Million Funding for Enforcing Coronavirus Restrictions

Increased funding has been provided to the police and local councils to ensure the rules related to the Coronavirus are complied with by the public.


Government Coronavirus Update 5 October 2020

Update on the number of cases and the government’s strategy.


Civil Service Guaranteed Interview Scheme for Veterans

New scheme launched to help veterans obtain jobs in the civil service.


Guidance on Government Job Retention Bonus

An overview of the Government Job Retention Bonus scheme, with details of who can claim it.


40 Hospitals to be Built by 2030

£3.7 billion funding confirmed for the building of 40 hospitals by 2030.


Amazon Launches Military Talent Pool

Members of the armed forces can register their interest in working for Amazon via the new Military Talent Pool.


Further Coronavirus Restrictions in the North East and North West

As infection rates have risen, new restrictions have been imposed on Liverpool City Region, Halton, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough.


Grants of Up to £1500 Available for Bolton Businesses Closed for 3 Weeks

Businesses in Bolton closed due to lockdown restrictions will be eligible for grants of up to £1500 each.


Travel Corridor Exempt List Updated – Turkey, Poland, Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba Removed

People arriving from these destinations from 3 October will need to self-isolate for 2 weeks.


Enhanced Payment Plans for Self Assessment Customers Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

The threshold for paying tax liabilities has been raised to £30,000.


Prime Minister’s Statement on Coronavirus COVID-19 30 September 2020

The government will continue to pursue the current strategy.


Household Mixing Restricted in North East England

Rules to apply in Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Northumberland and Sunderland.


Lifetime Skills Guarantee Education and Training

Free education and training to be provided from April next year for those without an A-Level or equivalent qualification.


Legal Duty to Self-Isolate if Diagnosed with COVID-19 Comes into Force Today

If a person tests positive for Coronavirus COVID-19, or if they are contacted by NHS Test and Trace, they must self-isolate from today.


NHS COVID-19 App Has Been Downloaded More than 10 Million Times

People in England and Wales have given an overwhelming response to calls for them to download the new NHS COVID-19 app, with over 10 million people downloading it so far, 6 million of whom did so on its first day.


Bike to School Week 28 September – 2 October

A new million-pound programme will see cycle repair workshops set up in primary schools and local neighbourhoods to make sure students’ bikes are fit for the road.


New Coronavirus Restrictions for Wigan, Stockport, Blackpool and Leeds

New restrictions will be brought in for Wigan, Stockport, Blackpool and Leeds to help curb infection rates as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.


Travel Corridor Exempt List Updated – Denmark, Slovakia, Iceland and Curaçao Removed

Those arriving from Denmark, Slovakia, Iceland and Curacao will need to self-isolate from Saturday, 26 September onwards.


Changes in Public Procurement

Businesses seeking to secure government contracts will need to deliver social value.


£80 Million Funding Boost for Regenerating Towns in England

Over 100 towns will be given up to £1 million to kick start regeneration projects.


New Jobs Support Scheme and Extension of Self Employment Income Support Scheme

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced a new series of measures to protect jobs and support businesses over the coming months.


NHS Covid-19 App Launches

People across England and Wales are being urged to download the NHS COVID-19 app to help control the spread of coronavirus and protect themselves and their loved ones as case numbers rise.


Preparations for the End of the Transition Period – Statement to Parliament

Michael Gove outlines the government’s preparations for the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.


Trade Barriers Removed to Boost Business Across the Globe

The Department for International Trade has removed 175 trade barriers across 61 countries, opening up global markets for British businesses.


Coronavirus COVID-19 Changes

A summary of the changes announced by the Prime Minister yesterday. These are expected to remain in place until March 2021.


Government Launches Call for Evidence on Video Game Loot Boxes

To examine concerns as to whether loot boxes in video games may encourage or lead to gambling.


COVID-19 Alert Level Raised from Level 3 to Level 4

The UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the COVID-19 alert level, to indicate the epidemic transmission is increasing in the general population.


Recovery Contracts Replace Franchising for Britain’s Railways

Rail franchising to come to an end after 24 years.


£500 Coronavirus Support Payment for Those Who Cannot Work from Home

New Coronavirus restriction measures to be imposed from 28 September, to include £500 payments for those on lower income who cannot work from home.


Support for Care Homes to Protect Them From the Coronavirus Over the Winter

A new adult social care winter plan will be implemented, and will include free PPE and a £546 million Infection Control Fund.


Compulsory Identity Verification for Directors

To clamp down on fraud and money laundering directors will be unable to be appointed until they have verified their identities with Companies House.


New Coronavirus Restrictions in the North West

Areas affected: Lancashire, Merseyside, Warrington and Halton.


Travel Changes for Britons Visiting Europe from 1 January 2021

New rules for travelling in Europe once the Brexit transition period has ended.


Government Support to Prevent Business Evictions

Businesses will be protected from the threat of eviction until the end of year.


Outdoor Use of Metaldehyde to be Banned

The outdoor use of metaldehyde is to be banned in Great Britain from the end of March 2022.


Stronger Measures Introduced in the North East to Suppress the Coronavirus

The regulations will commence today (Friday, 18 September).


Venues Must Legal Enforce the Law of 6 or Be Fined Up to £4,000

Venues required to enforce rule of 6, NHS QR code posters and contact logs.


Travel Corridor Exempt List Update – Thailand and Singapore Added

People arriving from Thailand and Singapore will not need to self-isolate from Saturday, 19 September 2020.


Government Warning of Chinese Cyber Attacks

The Foreign Secretary has warned of attempted cyber attacks against governments and businesses by Chinese nationals.


Changes to the Car Theory Test 28 September 2020

All car theory tests will use video clips from the end of this month.


Duty-Free Shopping Extended to the EU from January 2021

This means that passengers will be able to buy duty-free alcohol and tobacco products, where available, in British ports, airports, and international train stations, and aboard ships, trains and planes.


Rule of Six Comes into Force

Rule of six to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus comes into effect. Police will be able to disperse gatherings of over six people when required.


Coronavirus Cases Increasing Across the Country

The study indicates cases have been doubling in number every 7 to 8 days.


Prime Minister’s Article in the Daily Telegraph 12 September 2020 on the UK Internal Market Bill

The Prime Minister puts forward his arguments for the UK Internal Market Bill.


New Coronavirus Restrictions in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull

As COVID-19 cases have increased in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull. new restrictions have now been applied.


UK Internal Market Bill

A brief overview of the UK Internal Market Bill.


Travel Corridors List Updated – Portugal, Hungary, French Polynesia and Réunion Removed

People arriving from these countries from Saturday, 12 September will need to self-isolate for 2 weeks.


Updates to Social Distancing Rules – 10 September 2020

An outline of the new changes, including the ‘rule of 6’.


Government Support for Renters 2020-2021

Evictions will not be enforced in local lockdown areas, and there will be a pause on enforcement over Christmas.  Government funding for Discretionary Housing Payments also available.


Work Coach Vacancies for Jobseekers Across the UK

Getting Britain back to work as quickly as possible is vital, as the UK strives to build back an even stronger and more resilient economy.


Prime Minister’s Coronavirus Press Conference 9 September 2020

The Prime Minister gave a statement on new measures to tackle the Coronavirus pandemic and prevent a second wave.


New Coronavirus Public Information Campaign Launched

Science based public information film launched ahead of winter to prevent a second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic.


New Grants for Businesses Affected by Local Lockdowns

Businesses in England that are required to shut because of local lockdowns will be able to claim grants worth up to £1,500 per property every three weeks.


New Measures to Control and Suppress Coronavirus COVID-19

Changes to Coronavirus control recommendations 9 September 2020.


New Coronavirus COVID-19 Restrictions Imposed in Bolton

Bolton has the highest rate of Coronavirus infection in the country.


Bill Introduced to Protect Trade and Jobs When Transition Period Ends

From 1 January 2021, powers in a range of policy areas previously exercised at an EU level will flow directly to the devolved administrations in Holyrood, Cardiff Bay and Stormont for the first time.


Greek Islands Update to Travel Corridors Lists

People arriving in England from seven Greek islands will need to self-isolate for 2 weeks from Wednesday, 9 September 2020.


Care Leaver Internship Scheme 2020

Applications for the Care Leavers Internship Scheme are now open.


Coronavirus Restrictions Eased in Greater Manchester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire

Additional restrictions eased and areas brought in line with the nationwide strategy.


250,000 Clear Face Masks Delivered to NHS to Support People with Hearing Loss

Face masks supplied to support better care for people who use lip-reading and facial expressions to communicate.


New Board of Trade Announced

The DTI has announced the members for its new Board of Trade.


£500 Million Funding for COVID-19 Test Trials

£500 million to be invested in next generation testing technology.


Cash Incentives for Taking on Apprentices

Employers of all sizes are being invited to apply for generous cash incentives to help them take on new apprentices and get more people into work.


Expired Photocard Driving Licences Extended for 11 Months

Photocard licences with expiry dates from 1 February to 31 December 2020 have been extended for 11 months.


Anti-Bullying Helpline for Armed Forces

Confidential helpline launched for armed forces personnel.


Pupils Start Returning to Schools in England from Today

The new school term follows the unanimous backing for a full return from the Chief Medical Officers across the four nations of the UK in their recent consensus statement, highlighting that the health risk posed by Covid-19 to children is extremely low and noting the significant risk to young people’s wellbeing if they are not back in school.


Crackdown on Private Parking Firms

Crackdown on private car parking firms will eliminate unfair fines.


£50 Million Funding for Artificial Intelligence in NHS

A £50 million funding boost will scale up the work of existing Digital Pathology and Imaging Artificial Intelligence Centres of Excellence, which were launched in 2018 to develop cutting-edge digital tools to improve the diagnosis of disease.


Renters Must be Given 6 Months’ Notice Before Eviction

The package of support for renters includes the extension of notice periods and the extension to the stay on possession proceedings.


Schools to be Closed Only as a Last Resort

Detailed guidance published for schools and colleges to take before they close.


Coronavirus Restrictions Lifted in Parts of Greater Manchester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire

Improvements in several areas mean restrictions can be eased.


Travel Corridors List Updated – Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Jamaica Removed

From 29 August, people arriving from these three countries will need to self-isolate for 2 weeks.