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


Government Statement on the Coronavirus 23 May 2020 – Transport Plans

A summary of the Coronavirus statistics, and an overview of the government’s plans for changes in transport.


£50 Million Reopening High Streets Safely Fund

The Reopening High Streets Safely Fund will help councils in England introduce a range of safety measures in a move to kick-start local economies, get people back to work and customers back to the shops.


£1 Billion A66 Trans-Pennine Upgrade

Proposals for major upgrades to trans-pennine route published.


£15 Million Funding to Support Citizens Advice Service during Coronavirus Outbreak

The funding will allow them to increase their capacity so they can continue to deliver advice on a range of issues.


Funding for Transport Services after the Coronavirus Outbreak

A further £283 million has been announced to increase bus and light rail services to enable safe and reliable transport services.


Ofqual – Exceptional Arrangements for Awarding Qualifications in Summer 2020

Our decisions following consultation for awarding results in GCSEs, AS and A levels, other general, vocational and technical qualifications.


Ofqual GCSE and A Level Consultation Outcomes and Autumn Exam Series Proposals

Our decisions following consultation on the exceptional arrangements for awarding calculated grades in GCSEs, AS and A levels this summer; and proposals for an autumn exam series.


Funding for Local Authorities’ Coronavirus Track and Trace Service

£300 million funding for local councils.


Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill

New measures in the Bill will relieve the burden on businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic so that they can focus their efforts on continuing to operate.


£500 Million Future Fund Open for Applications

UK-based companies can now apply for a convertible loan of between £125,000 and £5 million, to support continued growth and innovation in sectors as diverse as technology, life sciences and the creative industries.


Government Statement on the Coronavirus 22 May 2020 – 14 Days’ Quarantine for People Arriving in the UK

The Home Secretary explains the rationale behind the new quarantine procedures for arrivals to the UK.


£40 Million Funding for Innovative Businesses

The competition aims to fast-track the development of innovations borne out of the coronavirus crisis while supporting the UK’s next generation of cutting-edge start-ups.


Social Workers to Be Placed in Schools to Protect Children at Risk

Social workers will be placed in schools to help spot the signs of abuse and neglect more quickly and work with teachers to support children at risk.


Protecting Shoppers from Fake and Misleading Reviews Online

The Competition and Markets Authority will be launching an investigation into major websites to see if they are doing enough to protect shoppers from fake and misleading reviews.


New Self-Isolation Measures for People Entering the UK

To protect against a second wave of Coronavirus COVID-19, a requirement for 14 days of self-isolation will be introduced.


Joint Statement from the UK, Australia and Canada on Hong Kong

Joint statement by UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Canadian Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne, responding to China’s proposed new security law for Hong Kong.


Plans for Bringing London out of Lockdown Announced

A new London Transition Board will co-ordinate the city’s emergence from the Coronavirus lockdown.


Further Visa Extensions for Those Unable to Return Home due to Coronavirus

Those unable to return home will be able to extend their visas until 31 July.


All NHS and Care Staff in England to be Offered Free Antibody Tests

A new antibody testing programme for the Coronavirus will have the capacity to test tens of thousands of individuals each day.


Government Statement on the Coronavirus 21 May 2020 – Testing Procedures

Before I turn to the latest Coronavirus data, I wanted to say something this Mental Health Awareness Week.


130,000 items of PPE Donated to Support Coronavirus Effort

Magnox has now donated more than 130,000 items of lifesaving personal protective equipment (PPE).


Rapid Coronavirus Test Trial Launched

A rapid Coronavirus test trial, which returns results within 20 minutes, begins today in Hampshire.


UK Global Tariff Announced

The UK’s new Global Tariff will replace the EU’s Common External Tariff on 1 January 2021 at the end of the Transition Period.


Clean Growth Fund Launched to Support Green Start-Up Companies

The Clean Growth Fund will contribute towards the UK’s plans to reach Net Zero by 2050.


Corporate Governance and Insolvency Bill Introduced to Protect Companies Made Vulnerable to Insolvency as a Result of the Coronavirus Pandemic

The insolvency measures will provide vital support to businesses to help them through this period of instability.


14 Year Minimum Jail Sentences for Terrorists

Terrorist and terrorism related sentencing extended after passing of emergency legislation in February.


Government Bereavement Scheme Extended to NHS Staff and Social Care Workers

The Home Office is extending the offer of indefinite leave to remain, free of charge, to the families and dependants of NHS support staff and social care workers who die as result of contracting Coronavirus.


Reviving the Arts and Culture Sector after the Coronavirus Pandemic

New Culture Commissioner named and Taskforce set up to aid sector recovery from Coronavirus.


Prime Minister Calls Bill and Melinda Gates

They discussed the UK’s contribution to helping countries around the world tackle Coronavirus and the important work of the Gates Foundation in this area.


Check the Tax Rules Before Waiving Your Salary or Donating to Charity

HMRC is keen to support people who choose to waive – or give up – part of their income, particularly when it comes to understanding any tax implications.


Grooming Gangs Report to be Published Later This Year

After much controversy – including an online petition that garnered over 100,000 signatures – the grooming gangs report is to be published later this year. This is a reversal of the government’s previous decision, which was to withhold it, as it was declared to be an internal review only.


UK Government and Prince of Wales Urge Workers to do Seasonal Farm Work

The UK Government and Prince of Wales have urged students and furloughed workers to apply for seasonal farm work.


jHub Support NHSx to Securely Share COVID-19 Symptom Data

Strategic Command’s innovation hub, jHub, were recently commissioned to support NHSx to securely gather and share COVID-19 symptom data for project OASIS.


Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme Will Start on 26 May 2020

A new online service will be launched on 26 May for small and medium-sized employers to recover Statutory Sick Pay payments they have made to their employees, the government announced today.


Grants for the Families of Children with Complex Needs and Disabilities

Children with special educational needs and disabilities in England will benefit from £37.3 million of direct support in 2020-21, which is expected to help more than 75,000 families in England.


Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme Loans Increased from £50 million to £200 million

Businesses will be able to benefit from larger loans under the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the government announced today.


First Round of UK-US Free Trade Negotiations Held 5-15 May 2020

Negotiations over the past two weeks were conducted virtually but proceeded efficiently, with UK and US negotiators participating in extensive discussions in nearly 30 different negotiating groups covering all aspects of a comprehensive trade agreement.


UK Global Tariff Regime Announced

The UK Global Tariff will replace the EU’s Common External Tariff on 1 January 2021 at the end of the transition period.


Alcohol Tags Rolled Out for Offenders Across England and Wales

Criminals who commit alcohol-fuelled crime may be banned from drinking and forced to wear ‘sobriety tags’ as part of their rehabilitation.


DVLA Opening Hours Spring Bank Holiday 25 May 2020

DVLA’s contact centre opening times, for critical workers only, over the spring bank holiday.


Everyone in UK with Symptoms Now Eligible for Coronavirus COVID-19 Test

The government has today announced that anyone with symptoms of Coronavirus is now eligible to book a test, ahead of the rollout of the test and trace service.


Health Secretary’s Statement on the Coronavirus 18 May 2020

This is the most serious public health emergency in a hundred years. But through the combined efforts of the whole nation we have got through the peak.


Patients Informed to Exchange Emerade 500 Micrograms Adrenaline Pens for a Different Brand

Allergy patients who carry Emerade 500 microgram adrenaline auto-injector pens should contact their prescriber and seek replacement pens of a different brand.


Government Support Package for Transport for London

Support funding package for Transport for London in order to keep vital public transport services running in London.


Students in Wales Should Apply for Student Finance Now

Full time undergraduate students in Wales are being encouraged to apply for student finance as soon as possible to ensure their finances are in place for the new academic year.


Government Invests £35 Million to Protect Vital Freight Routes

Vital freight routes into, out of and around the UK will continue to run smoothly, thanks to a multi-million-pound government scheme to help ensure critical goods, such as food and medical supplies, can move freely.


Immigration Bill to Create New Points Based Immigration System Returns to Parliament

The Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill 2020 will have its second reading.


Coronavirus Symptoms Updated – Loss or Change of Sense of Smell

From today, all individuals should self-isolate if they develop a new continuous cough or fever or anosmia.


£84 Million Funding for Researchers Working to Find Coronavirus Vaccine

The funding comes as Oxford University today agrees a global licensing agreement with AstraZeneca, the UK-based pharmaceutical company, for the commercialisation and manufacturing of their potential vaccine.


New Coronavirus Support Packages from Mobile and Broadband Companies

New deals brokered by the UK government for vulnerable consumers and NHS staff.


New Industry Guidelines for Safe TV Production

Broadcasters have published new guidance for a safe return to TV production.


Additional £35 Million to Fight Coronavirus in Wales

This increases the total amount of funding to fight the Coronavirus in Wales to £2.1 billion.


Prime Minister’s Daily Mail Article on the Fight Against the Coronavirus

We have achieved a lot together so far. Let’s not throw it all away now. In return for the small freedoms we are now allowing ourselves, we must stay alert.


Government Coronavirus Statement 16 May 2020 – Re-Opening Schools

We can now start the planning for a very limited return to schools for some pupils potentially as early as next month.


Government Begins Large Scale Study of Coronavirus Immunity

Up to 20,000 people are being asked to take part in a new government-funded study to further track the extent of the coronavirus spread across England, Scotland and Wales.


Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre to Open in Summer 2021

The new Centre, which is already under construction, is a key component of the government’s coronavirus vaccine programme – ensuring that once a vaccine is available it can be produced quickly and in mass quantities.


Additional £35 Million to Fight Coronavirus in Wales

This increases the total amount of funding to fight the Coronavirus in Wales to £2.1 billion.


Additional £58 Million to Help Scotland Fight the Coronavirus

This comes on top of the existing £3.5 billion package given to Holyrood to help it tackle the crisis.


UK Aid Funding for Charities and NGOs to Fight Coronavirus

International Development Secretary announces which charities and NGOs have received UK aid funding to help fight Coronavirus in the developing world.


Changes to Civil Legal Aid Procedure Regulations

Clients can now choose a greater number of providers to help with education, discrimination and debt issues under changes introduced on 15 May 2020.


Family Video Calls to be Introduced in Prisons

Secure video calls will be introduced to prisons and young offender institutions across England and Wales to maintain vital family contact for prisoners and young offenders during the Coronavirus pandemic.


HM Coastguard Asks Everyone to Take Extra Care

With significant numbers of people expected to take to the water this weekend in England, HM Coastguard is asking everyone to take extra care in extraordinary times.


Government Statement on the Coronavirus 15 May 2020 – COVID Alert Level System

I want to take a moment to remind everyone about our plans for this second phase. We have set up the new COVID Alert Level System.


£600 Million Infection Control Fund for for Care Homes

Care home support package backed by £600 million to help reduce Coronavirus infections.


Coronavirus COVID-19 Detection Dogs Trial Begins

This new trial will look at whether the dogs, a mixture of labradors and cocker spaniels, can be trained to detect coronavirus in people too, even if they are not showing symptoms.


Plan to Re-Open Places of Worship

Earlier this week the government set out its ambition to reopen places of worship in step 3 of its plan to lift restrictions, which is expected to be no earlier than 4 July subject to further scientific advice.


Coronavirus Update: Bathing Season 15 May – 30 September 2020

As part of revised guidance, you can now go swimming in either lakes or the sea provided that you observe social distancing guidelines. You cannot however use public indoor or outdoor pools.


HM Treasury Statement on the European Commission’s Infraction Proceedings on the UK’s VAT Treatment of Certain Commodities Derivatives Trading

The decision does not require businesses to pay any VAT on historic transactions, and the law applying to derivatives trades today means no VAT is due.


Government Publishes Latest Coronavirus COVID-19 Reproduction Number

The reproduction number (R) is the average number of secondary infections produced by 1 infected person.


Scientific Information on Coronavirus COVID-19 Published by Department for Education

The latest scientific overview on the Coronavirus has just been published by the Department for Education, with specific emphasis on its effect on children. There is a high degree of confidence that the severity of Coronavirus COVID-19 is less in children than in adults.


Government Provides £1.6 Billion Funding Package to Support Transport for London

The government has agreed a £1.6 billion funding and financing package for Transport for London to protect key services, helping people to stay safe during the pandemic and supporting the capital’s gradual recovery from COVID-19.


70 Million Face Masks to be Delivered to NHS and Care Workers

Government agrees deal with technology company Honeywell to manufacture 70 million face masks for frontline workers.


Government Statement on the Coronavirus 14 May 2020 – Building Future Transport Infrastructure

Coronavirus update. How time during the lockdown has been used to upgrade the road and rail infrastructure.


Government Guidance on Returning to Outdoor Exercise

Guidance on returning to outdoor exercise, travelling, using sports facilities, sharing equipment, and other issues.


Multi-Billion Pound Road and Railway Investment

£1.7 billion Transport Infrastructure Fund will not only improve roads and railways, but will help the economic recovery from the Coronavirus outbreak as well.


Government Statement on the Coronavirus 13 May 2020 – Restarting the Housing and Construction Markets

An overview of the fight against the Coronavirus, combined with new measures to restart the housing and construction markets.


Planning Inspectorate Site Visits to Recommence

In this update, we outline plans to restart site visits and an update on the work to implement digital events.


Government to Temporarily Support Businesses Through Trade Credit Insurance Guarantee

Support for businesses with supply chains which rely on Trade Credit Insurance.


Restrictions on Recreational Fishing Lifted

It’s now possible to fish on one’s own, or with others, as long as social distancing rules are observed.


Athletes and Sportsmen Can Resume Training Using Social Distancing Rules

Elite athletes and professional sportsmen and women can resume performance training under new guidance published today.


Government Task Forces Set Up to Plan When Closed Businesses Can Re-Open

Five task forces have been set up to determine when and how closed businesses and institutions can re-open to the public.


Government Guidance on Moving Home 

Anyone in England can now move home as long as health guidance can be followed. This applies to both renters and buyers.


Safely Restarting the Housing Market During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Housing Secretary announces plan to enable people to move home safely and to re-start the housing market in line with social distancing advice.


Genetic Susceptibility to Coronavirus to be Tested in New Nationwide Study

A major new human whole genome sequencing study will take place across the NHS, involving up to 20,000 people currently or previously in an intensive care unit with coronavirus, as well as 15,000 individuals who have mild or moderate symptoms.


Garden Centres Re-Open Today Across England

Our decision to reopen garden centres and nurseries in a safe way, will allow businesses to sell their products directly to the public and in doing so bringing about wider benefits to consumers, especially for physical and mental wellbeing, which gardening can bring.


Rail Accident Investigation Branch are Recruiting Inspectors

Are you interested in making a significant contribution to railway safety in the United Kingdom?


Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Has Now Opened for Claims

The government grant will be paid into bank accounts by 25 May, or within 6 days of each claim being made.


Rules on Spending Time Outdoors Relaxed

From today people in England can spend more time outdoors and enjoy a wider range of activities for any length of time, subject to social distancing rules.


Government Statement on the Coronavirus 12 May 2020 – The Next Steps Forward

Step 1. From this week: Those who cannot work from home should now speak to their employer about going back to work.


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Extended Until October

The Chancellor the Exchequer has announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be extended another 4 months until October.


Founder of ‘Cheerful Little Letter’ Project Wins Daily Point of Light Award

Lucy Murray started the project in March to tackle social isolation safely by matching children with the elderly as pen pals.


Funding for Armed Forces Charities

£6-million for those supporting the defence community affected by the Coronavirus.


Coronavirus Test and Trace Programme Expanded

The government has today appointed 2 new members to the team of experts working on the coronavirus test and trace programme.


Government Guidance for Safer Travel and Safer Transport Operations During Coronavirus Outbreak

All transport operators have been issued guidance on ensuring stations and services are regularly cleaned, making clear to passengers how to stay 2 metres apart where possible in stations, airports and ports.


Government Plans for the Re-Opening of Schools, Colleges and Nurseries

The earliest primary schools will re-open is 1 June.


Government Statement on the Coronavirus 11 May 2020 – Work and Schooling

Step 1 – from this week: Those who cannot work from home should now speak to their employer about going back to work.


Public Advised to Consider Wearing Face Coverings in Shops, on Trains and Buses

The public is advised to consider wearing face coverings in enclosed public spaces such as shops, trains and buses to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19.


Guidance for Employers During the Coronavirus Outbreak – Returning to Work

Government publishes guidance for employers to help them get their businesses back up and running and workplaces operating safely.


Online Portal for Coronavirus Testing in Care Homes

A new online portal that makes it easy for care homes to arrange deliveries of coronavirus test kits has been launched today.


Lord Chancellor’s Statement on the Resumption of Jury Trials

I am pleased that the courts are now in a position, with approval from Public Health England and Public Health Wales, to take some first steps towards the resumption of jury trials.


Coronavirus COVID-19: No Quarantine Measures for Travellers from France to UK

A joint statement between the UK and France, following a conversation between the Prime Minister and President Macron earlier today.


Prime Minister’s Statement on the Coronavirus 10 May 2020 – Changes to be Made

An overview of where we are, of the government’s objectives, and of changes to the lockdown starting from next week.


Government Statement on the Coronavirus 9 May 2020 – Support for Cycling and Walking

£2 billion package to encourage cycling and walking.


How to Claim Pension Credit Online

Pensioners are now able to claim pension credit online.


£2 Billion Fund to Encourage Cycling and Walking

Far more people will be cycling and walking thanks to plans to boost greener, active transport, launched today by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.


Government Statement on the Coronavirus 8 May 2020 – More than 1 Million Food Parcels Delivered

Over 1 million food parcels have been delivered to those most vulnerable to the Coronavirus.


Millions of PPE Items to be Available for Frontline Staff in Coming Months

More than a billion items of PPE already delivered to frontline, with millions more expected over coming months thanks to businesses ramping up production.


£16 Million Funding for Charities Providing Meals for Those in Need

The government has today announced up to £16 million to provide food for those who are struggling as a result of coronavirus.


New Ventilator Challenge Devices Have Arrived

150 devices, made up of the Vivo65 and the Nippy4+ ventilators from Breas Medical, arrived this week from Sweden.


Government Statement on the Coronavirus 7 May 2020

There have now been 1,534,533 tests for coronavirus across the UK. That includes 86,583 tests carried out yesterday.


Six Year Old Frank Mills Wins Prime Minister’s Daily Point of Light Award

A six year old with spina bifida has raised over £280,000 for NHS charities by walking 10 metres every day.


Veterans UK Celebrates the 75th Anniversary of VE Day

This Friday the nation will join together to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe.


Marking 75 Years Since VE Day

Victory in Europe is one of the most significant moments in Britain’s long history, a crucial milestone on the road to peace.


Clamping Down on Risk of Unsafe PPE – Office for Product Safety and Standards

One million face masks have been intercepted at East Midlands Airport, as part of a zero-tolerance approach towards unsafe PPE that will not reliably protect those working at the frontline of the coronavirus crisis.


Guidance for Small-Scale Manufacturers of COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment

Download guide published for small-scale PPE manufacturers.


£10 Million Funding for Domestic Abuse Charities

Charities can bid for a share of £10 million funding to support victims of domestic abuse.


MHRA Warning Against Buying Fake or Unlicensed Coronavirus Medicines Online

“You may have heard about products claiming to treat or cure COVID-19. At this time there is no medicine licensed specifically to treat or prevent COVID-19.”


Biggest Number of New Universal Credit Claims Paid in a Single Day

More than 135,000 new claims were made to Universal Credit on 30 and 31 March 2020. People who claimed on these two days will receive payments today.


More than 69,000 Bounce Back Loans Approved

More than 69,000 Bounce Back Loans worth over £2 billion have been approved during the first 24 hours of the scheme, the Chancellor has announced.


New Regeant for Global Testing of Coronavirus COVID-19

The reagent is intended to be used in tests that confirm whether an individual is currently infected with the virus.


Fisheries Response Fund – Marine Management Organisation will Contact Businesses from 7 May 2020

English aquaculture businesses producing seafood for the food supply chain may now apply for grants up to a maximum of £10,000 per farm from the government’s £10 million Fisheries Response Fund.


Two Minute Silence to Commemorate VE Day on Friday 8 May 2020

UK to observe a two-minute silence to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day.


Review into How Coronavirus COVID-19 Affects Different Types of People

The review will analyse how different factors produce different health outcomes for people affected with the Coronavirus.


Government Encouraging Councils to Re-Open Recycling Centres

The government has published guidance on how councils can safely re-open Household Waste and Recycling Centres.


Business Rates Revaluation Postponed

To help reduce uncertainty due to the Coronavirus the business rates revaluation scheduled for 2021 has been postponed.


Suppliers Announced for MOD Nuclear Technical Services Framework

The suppliers chosen for the Nuclear Technical Services Framework are ACA (Atkins Cavendish Alliance), KAD (KBR, Assystem, Doosan Babcock) and Nuvia.


Government Statement on the Coronavirus 6 May 2020

But first, as Communities Secretary I would like to take this opportunity to give an update the work being done locally during the pandemic to keep people safe, to provide support people’s jobs and businesses and to prepare for the re-opening and recovery of our local economies.


More than 1 Million Food Boxes Sent to those at Highest Risk of Catching the Coronavirus

330,000 food boxes have been delivered in the last week, and over 1 million since the programme started.


App for Social Care Workforce Launched

A new dedicated app for the adult social care workforce in England has been launched to support staff on-the-go through the coronavirus pandemic.


Funding for Dairy Farmers Throughout the Coronavirus Outbreak

A new fund will enable eligible dairy farmers in England to access up to £10,000 each to help them overcome the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.


UK-US Free Trade Agreement Negotiations – Opening Remarks

Britain and America are linked by language and law, habit and history. Our friendship is not some alliance of convenience. It rests, rather, on shared values and principles.


Professor Neil Ferguson Resigns After Breaking Lockdown Rules

Government epidemiologist resigns after breaking the lockdown rules to meet his married lover.


Dr Rachael Grimaldi Wins Daily Point of Light Award

An NHS doctor from Eastbourne who designed digital flashcards to help healthcare workers wearing PPE communicate with their patients has been awarded Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s daily Point of Light.


£14 Million Financial Support for England’s Zoos

Support fund for licensed zoos and aquariums affected by Coronavirus.


Government Statement on the Coronavirus 5 May 2020 – Cyber Security Threats

We know that cyber criminals, and other malicious groups are targeting individuals, businesses, and other organisations by deploying COVID-19 related scams and phishing emails.


Ofqual GCSE and A Level Grading Proposals – Initial Decisions

To give students, schools and colleges certainty at the earliest opportunity, we have prioritised our analysis and decisions on 2 proposals about who should receive a calculated grade.


Government Childcare Offers Protected During Coronavirus Outbreak

The Government has announced that any working parent usually eligible for 30 hours free childcare or Tax-Free Childcare will remain eligible if they fall below the minimum income requirement due to COVID-19.


UK and US Start Trade Negotiations for Free Trade Agreement

This first round of negotiations will last for approximately 2 weeks and will involve around 100 negotiators on each side.


Coronavirus Track and Trace App Launched on Isle of Wight

New contact tracing app launched to help stop the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19.


Website Launched for Reporting Coronavirus Medicines’ Side Effects

The new and tailored Yellow Card COVID-19 reporting site makes it quicker and simpler for healthcare professionals, patients and carers to report side-effects or incidents.


‘Sofa Singers’ Founder Wins Daily Point of Light Award

North Wales ‘Sofa Singers’ founder wins PM award for virtual lockdown choir.


Legal Advice Funding During Coronavirus Outbreak

£5.4 million will be distributed to not for profit organisations and Law Centres across England and Wales.


Department for Work and Pensions’ Response to the Coronavirus

Since 16 March to the end of April, we have received over 1.8 million claims for Universal Credit, over 250,000 claims for Jobseeker’s Allowance, and over 20,000 claims for Employment and Support Allowance.


Apply for Bounce Back Loans Today

Britain’s small businesses will be able to apply for quick and easy-to access loans of up to £50,000 from today – with the cash expected to land within days.


Free Webinars for SMEs from Department for International Trade

New support for SMEs during coronavirus has today been launched in the form of nearly 100 expert-led webinars.


Tax Credits Customers Will Still Receive Payments Even if Working Fewer Hours Because of the Coronavirus

The government has confirmed that people who can’t work their normal hours because of Coronavirus COVID-19 will still receive their usual tax credits payments.


Check Eligibility for Self Employment Income Support Scheme

Potential users of the Self Employment Income Support Scheme can check their eligibility online from today.


Coronavirus Global Response International Pledging Conference

The Prime Minister will call on countries to come together in a “truly global effort” to defeat coronavirus at a virtual international coronavirus pledging conference today.


Government Support Package for Universities and Students

The Government has announced a range of measures to protect students and the higher education sector from the impact of Coronavirus.


World Press Freedom Day – Securing Independent Journalism

We must oppose all attempts by any state to use the pandemic to adopt restrictions on press freedom, silence debate, abuse journalists or spread misinformation.


Temporary Changes for the Signing of Deeds – HM Land Registry

From Monday 4 May, temporary changes will be introduced when verifying a person’s identity and for signing deeds.. The details are given below.


Government Statement on the Coronavirus 2 May 2020 – £76 Million in Funding to Support the Most Vulnerable

Today I can announce a package of over £76 million in new funding to support the most vulnerable in society during the pandemic.


Information for Help to Buy Equity Loan Customers During Coronavirus Outbreak

Homes England – There are many questions about what Coronavirus means for Help to Buy: Equity Loan customers and we aim to answer some of these on this page.


Apply Now for Student Finance

Students in England are encouraged to apply now for student finance to ensure their finances are in place at the start of the new academic year.


Measures Taken to Reduce the Spread of Coronavirus COVID-19 in Prisons

HM Prison and Probation Service is reducing the spread of the Coronavirus through the practise of compartmentalisation.


HMT and HMRC Deadline Extensions for Tax Policy Consultations and Other Work

New deadlines set for 10 policy consultations, including the Plastic Packaging Tax.


Support for Domestic Abuse Victims During Coronavirus COVID-19 Outbreak

What is domestic abuse? What are the signs to look for? Where to get help for yourself or others.


Local Business Grant Funds Scheme Expanded to More Small Businesses

An additional £617 million will be made available to small businesses previously ineligible for the Business Grant Funds Scheme.


Lifetime ISA Rules Changed to Help People Whose Incomes Are Affected by Coronavirus

Lifetime ISA rule changes to help people who want to access their funds early.


£6.1 million Funding Boost to Help High Streets and Town Centres Through Pandemic

Hundreds of local business partnerships across England will share £6.1m of funding to spend on projects that will help their local economies through the uncertainty of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.


Fertility Clinics to Re-Open

New guidance will allow clinics to reopen if they can prove measures to protect staff and patients are in place.


Emergency Funding to Support Survivors of Domestic Abuse During Coronavirus Outbreak

£76 million additional funding for survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence, and others.


The Number of Coronavirus COVID-19 Tests on 30 April was 122,347

The government has achieved its ambition of rolling out 100,000 Coronavirus tests per day.


Coronavirus COVID-19 Testing Available for Council Workers

All key workers can now be tested, and can then return to work if the results are negative.


‘Run for Heroes’ Founder Receives Points of Light Award

Edinburgh-born Olivia Strong who launched a viral running challenge and raised over £5 million for NHS charities has today received the Prime Minister’s daily Point of Light award.


Government Confirms Additional £1.6 Billion Funding for Councils

Individual councils in England have had their funding allocations confirmed today (28 April 2020) following Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick’s announcement of £1.6 billion in additional funding.


Government Ventilator Challenge Update

The Government recently announced that 15,000 Penlon Prima ESO2 ventilators have been ordered, the first newly-adapted device to receive regulatory approval in the Ventilator Challenge, with production set to ramp up in the coming weeks.


Prime Minister Names Captain Tom Moore as a Neighbourhood ‘Point of Light’

Captain Tom Moore, who has famously raised £30 million for the NHS by walking over 100 laps of his garden, has been named a Point of Light winner by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.


Virtual Cyber Security School to be Opened for Students in the Summer

New virtual cyber school gives teens chance to try out as cyber security agents from home.


£16 Million Emergency Loan to Rescue Rugby League

The emergency loan will help the sport deal with the extreme financial impact of the coronavirus outbreak while the season remains suspended, due to social distancing measures.


Government Statement on the Coronavirus 30 April 2020 – ‘We are Past the Peak of this Disease’

The Prime Minister has stated we are past the peak of the Coronavirus, however we must ensure that the rate of infection is kept as low as possible.


VAT on PPE Scrapped from 1 May-31 July 2020

VAT on essential personal protective equipment for Covid-19 will be temporarily scrapped saving more than £100 million for care homes and businesses dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.


VAT Scrapped on E-Books

VAT will be removed on e-books and e-newspapers from 1 May 2020.


DSTL and DASA Clinical Trials Slash Ambulance Cleaning Time

Scientists at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory have tested 12 methods to speed-up the sanitising of ambulances – in some cases reducing cleaning time from an hour to around 10 minutes so more lives can be saved.


NHS Funded Nursing Care Rate Increased to £183.92 Per Person

The NHS-funded nursing care rate is being increased to £183.92 from 1 April 2020. This is an increase from the current rate of £165.56.


New Home Testing Programme for Coronavirus

100,000 people will be sent self-testing kits to determine if they are currently infected.


Daily Death Reports to Include All Coronavirus Covid-19 Deaths in Care Homes

Coronavirus deaths to be reported alongside deaths in all settings for the first time in England. Previous figures to be updated.


Competition and Markets Authority to Investigate Cancellation Policies

The CMA will investigate complaints made in regard to weddings and private events, holiday accommodation, and nurseries and childcare providers.


Clinical Trial for COVID-19 Treatments Fast-Tracked

Thousands of patients could benefit from potential treatments for COVID-19 that will be fast-tracked through a new national clinical trial, the Health and Care Secretary has today announced.


UK Education Providers Provide Free Education Resources in Response to Coronavirus Outbreak

Find free or discounted resources for students, schools, universities and training providers.


Free Visa Extensions for Frontline Health and Care Workers

Frontline workers, including midwives, radiographers, social workers and pharmacists, with visas due to expire before 1 October 2020 will receive an automatic one-year extension.


New Grant Scheme to Support Seafood Businesses in England

The government has today opened for applications a new Domestic Seafood Supply Scheme, which will fund projects that will help seafood businesses in England increase the supply of local seafood to domestic markets.


Whirlpool Recalls 55,000 Washing Machines

Whirlpool has identified a further 21 models to be added to its list of recalled washing machines. The company estimates this will affect up to 55,000 machines in addition to more than 500,000 originally identified.


Coronavirus Testing Now Available for All People Aged Over 65

Anyone in England who is aged over 65 and anyone who has to leave home to go work will now be able to get tested.


Her Majesty the Queen to Send a Message to the Country on the 75th Anniversary of VE Day

To mark this historic occasion, Her Majesty The Queen will send a message to the nation at 9pm on BBC One, the exact moment her father, King George VI, gave a radio address in 1945.


21 Million Pieces of PPE Sent from China to UK

The UK Government has flown over 21 million pieces of PPE and more than 1,000 ventilators to the NHS and Social Care Services from China over the last three weeks.


Bridging Payments for Farmers and Land Managers

Countryside Stewardship and Environmental Stewardship claimants will be offered bridging payments for the 2019 claim year.


£60,000 Life Assurance Scheme for Key Workers

Frontline health and care staff who die during the Coronavirus pandemic will benefit from a new life assurance scheme, which guarantees family payments of £60,000.


Coronavirus Testing Centre Opened at Perth College

A drive-through coronavirus testing centre is to open at Perth College for key workers.


Basic Payment Scheme Deadline Extended Until 15 June 2020

The Government has confirmed the window to submit applications for the Basic Payment Scheme and make a claim for Countryside Stewardship, Environmental Stewardship and woodland legacy revenue payments will be extended by one month.


Storage Time for Frozen Eggs, Sperm and Embryos to be Extended by 2 Years During Coronavirus Outbreak

Anyone who has frozen their eggs, sperm and embryos will be able to extend their storage for an additional 2 years under new government plans to support those going through fertility treatment during the global coronavirus pandemic.


New Bounce Back Loans Scheme for Small Businesses Announced

Businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days.


Chancellor’s Statement: Economic Measures Taken to Combat the Coronavirus

We should be in no doubt about the seriousness of the economic situation.


Landlords Should Support Housing Moves for Vulnerable People During Pandemic

Supporting vulnerable people move to new homes during the pandemic should continue to be a priority.


Prime Minister’s Statement on the Coronavirus – ‘We Are Making Progress’

The Prime Minister makes his first Downing Street statement since hospitalisation. We have achieved our first objective, and need to pursue the current course a little longer.

More than Half a Million Food Packages Delivered to Vulnerable People Across the UK

Over 500,000 boxes of essential food have now been delivered by wholesalers to those at highest risk across the country with hundreds of thousands more packages to follow in the coming weeks.


Mobile Coronavirus Testing Units to Travel Round the UK Testing Frontline Workers

Units will respond to areas of highest demand, travelling to test frontline workers and the most vulnerable at sites including care homes, police stations and prisons.


Government Statement on the Coronavirus 26 April 2020 – Food Parcel Delivery

At the beginning of the outbreak of this virus we saw significant problems in panic buying. That episode quickly subsided and food availability now is back to normal levels and has been for several weeks.


Government Statement on the Coronavirus 25 April 2020

Home Secretary Priti Patel provided an update on the government and law enforcement response to coronavirus.


Plasma Clinical Trial Approved for Treatment of Coronavirus COVID-19

A clinical trial has been given approval to determine if plasma donated by patients who have recovered from COVID-19 can help those battling the illness.


Transport Secretary’s Coronavirus Update 24 April 2020

Latest Coronavirus statement, with particular emphasis on the implications for transport.


Full Parental Leave Entitlement for Furloughed Workers

The Department for Work and Pensions announces that furloughed workers will be entitled to paid parental or adoption leave at the full rate.


Digital Solutions for Helping Vulnerable People During the Coronavirus COVID-19 Outbreak

Results of TechForce19 Challenge announced.


£12 Million for Vulnerable Children During Coronavirus Outbreak

Extra support to keep children at risk of neglect or abuse safe during the Coronavirus outbreak.


COVID-19 Lighthouse Laboratory in Glasgow Opens

It is hoped the lab will quickly move towards processing several thousand tests per day, before scaling up further to tens of thousands of tests per day.


Ofqual Consultation on Awarding Technical Qualifications Summer 2020

Following our publication of exceptional arrangements for providing students with grades for GCSEs, AS and A levels this summer, we are today, Friday 24 April, launching a consultation on our proposals for awarding other general, vocational and technical qualifications.


Coronavirus Testing Extended to All Essential Workers

All essential workers in England and members of their households who are showing symptoms of coronavirus will now be able to get tested.


Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Approved by MHRA

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency approved the COVID-19 Oxford Vaccine Trial request to trial a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 in a little over one working week.


High Street Shops and Companies to be Protected from Aggressive Rent Collection

High street shops and other companies under strain will be protected from aggressive rent collection and asked to pay what they can during the coronavirus pandemic.


Councils Given Flexibility with Free Childcare Funding

Councils can move free entitlements funding between settings in exceptional cases to meet demand during Coronavirus outbreak.


Increased Funding for Remote Victim Services

£600,000 funding boost for charity helplines and online services.


Government Statement on the Coronavirus 22 April 2020

As a government, we continue to take the steps necessary to slow the spread of this virus.


Government to Provide £9.7 Business Rates Relief

Businesses are expected to receive almost £10 billion in business rate relief as part of the government’s comprehensive package of support for the economy during the Coronavirus pandemic.


Government Advice on Staying Safe Online During the Coronavirus Outbreak

During the Coronavirus outbreak more people will be using the internet at home than ever before.  It is important, therefore, to maintain safety and security to prevent harmful behaviour online, and to prevent cybercrime.


Three New Lighthouse Labs Opened for Coronavirus Testing

The rapid creation of 3 new Lighthouse Labs in Milton Keynes, Glasgow and Alderley Park in Cheshire is increasing the country’s capacity to test for Coronavirus.


Legal Aid Support Improvements 21 April 2020

Enhanced support for vulnerable people seeking legal aid.


Biometrics Commissioner Statement on Symptom Tracking Applications and Digital Immunity Certificates

I have been approached by a number of journalists asking for my comments on the possible use of symptom tracking applications, digital contact tracing applications and digital immunity certificates.


New Controls to Protect Britain’s Trees and Plants from Xyella and Other Threats

The new regulations will add more stringent import requirements to protect UK plant health against Xylella, emerald ash borer (beetle) and plane tree wilt.


Government Provides Another £95 Million to Tackle Coronavirus in Wales

The UK Government has committed a further £95m to support the devolved administration in Wales tackle Coronavirus.


Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme Expanded

All viable businesses with turnover of more than £45m will be able to apply for UK Government-backed support.


Aldi Joins Free School Meals Voucher Scheme

Aldi joins a range of supermarkets including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose and M&S where vouchers can be redeemed.


The UK Government Ventilator Challenge

On 16 March 2020, the Prime Minister asked companies to help manufacture, design and build thousands of NHS ventilators in the fight against COVID-19.


Public Health England Refutes Criticisms in The Sun Newspaper

On 20 April the Sun columnist Trevor Kavanagh made a series of claims and accusations about Public Health England’s role and response to the COVID-19 outbreak. PHE have made the following corrections.


Grant Funding Provided to Businesses by Local Councils

£12.3 billion had been made available to local councils by the government.


£10 Million Fisheries Response Fund Launched

From Monday 20 April 2020 eligible fishing vessel owners will be contacted directly, by email, in stages. Further information for Aquaculture businesses will be provided from next week.


Government Launches New Coronavirus Business Support Finder Tool

New online platform helps businesses easily access the financial support they are eligible for during the coronavirus pandemic.


Second Lighthouse Lab for Coronavirus Testing Opened

The second Lighthouse Lab in Alderley Park is now operational, testing thousands of patient samples each day for coronavirus.


British Sign Language Interpreters for Deaf Claimants Accessing Universal Credit

British Sign Language users can now easily access Universal Credit through a video relay service provided by the Department for Work and Pensions.


Government Coronavirus Statement 20 April 2020 – Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Now Live

Exactly a month ago today I stood at this lectern and said we would step in and help pay to people’s wages.


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Portal Now Open for Applications

Businesses now able to claim up to £2,500 per month for staff put on furlough due to the Coronavirus outbreak.


£1.25 Billion Support Package for Innovative Businesses

Chancellor announces new £1.25 billion coronavirus package to protect firms driving innovation in UK.


Government Statement on the Coronavirus 19 April 2020

Overview of progress, and  mention of the opening of the The Oak National Academy for online learning.


Consultation on Amazon’s Investment in Deliveroo

Having provisionally cleared Amazon’s investment in Deliveroo, the Competition and Markets Authority is launching a three week consultation into the deal and inviting submissions.


Temporary 1 Year Licences Available for Bus Drivers and Lorry Drivers During Coronavirus Outbreak

Temporary removal of the routine D4 medical will make it easier for bus and lorry drivers to renew their driving licence and keep 30,000 drivers on the road each month.


Latest Guidance for Safe Management of Funerals During Coronavirus Outbreak

Changes to the previous guidance to allow more people to attend funerals, without endangering other attendees by the possible transmission of the Coronavirus.


Competition Laws Relaxed to Ensure Milk Supply Throughout Coronavirus Crisis

Competition rules eased to enable the dairy industry to work closely together to weather the stresses caused by Coronavirus’s impact on the market.


£50 Million Additional Coronavirus Funding for Northern Ireland

£50 million additional funding for Northern Ireland Executive to fight Coronavirus COVID-19.


£1.6 Billion in Additional Council Funding to Respond to Coronavirus Pandemic

Government pledges £1.6 in additional funding to help deal with immediate effects of Coronavirus COVID-19  outbreak.


UK Government Provides Additional £155 Coronavirus Funding to Scotland

The new money for Scotland is on top of the substantial coronavirus funding package that has already been announced, meaning that Scotland will receive a total cash boost of more than £3.4 billion to help tackle Coronavirus.


Coronavirus COVID-19 Testing for Frontline Workers in England

How to arrange a test, the test itself, the laboratory analysis, and the timescale in which results are returned.


Government Statement on the Coronavirus 18 April 2020 – 250,000 Food Boxes Delivered

Updated figures for number of cases and confirmed deaths, as well as the overall progress of the government’s Coronavirus response.


Inaccurate Ventilator Claims in FT Weekend Refuted by the Government

An article in FT Weekend on 18 April 2020, ‘Muddled thinking punctures plan for British ventilator’, includes multiple inaccurate and misleading claims about the UK’s work to procure and manufacture ventilators in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.


Support for Online Learning During Coronavirus Outbreak

Free laptops and 4G routers to be sent to disadvantaged children, and new learning resources to be delivered online.


Ex-London Olympics Chief Executive to Lead Nationwide Project for Personal Protective Equipment Production for Frontline Health and Social Care Staff

Lord Deighton will co-ordinate PPE design and approval throughout the country.


Government to Extend Coronavirus Testing to More Frontline Workers and Their Families

Anyone who is eligible – has symptoms of coronavirus a high temperature or new continuous cough – and would like to be tested should speak to their employer.


Government Launches Vaccine Taskforce to Find a Vaccine for Coronavirus COVID-19

The taskforce will combine expertise from government, academia and industry.


Warning About Buying Unapproved Antibody Testing Kits for Coronavirus

Professor John Newton, national co-ordinator of UK Coronavirus COVID-19 testing programme, warns against buying unapproved antibody testing kits.


Government Plans to Ensure Families Can Attend Funerals During Coronavirus Outbreak

Innovative measures introduced so bereaved families can attend funerals during Coronavirus outbreak. The government has stated to all councils that families must be allowed to attend funerals in person.


Government Statement on the Coronavirus 17 April 2020

Government will set up a vaccines taskforce to accelerate the development of a Coronavirus vaccine.


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Extended Until the End of June

The scheme, which allows firms to furlough employees with the government paying cash grants of 80% of their wages up to a maximum of £2,500, was originally open for three months and backdated from the 1 March to the end of May.


Coronavirus COVID-19 – Attestation Forms for Travelling to and Within France

Movement to, through and within France is strictly regulated at the moment. You will need to complete an ‘attestation’ form if you are travelling to or within mainland France.


Advice on Fraud and Cybercrime for Charities

All charities, but especially those providing services and supporting local communities during the coronavirus crisis, could be targeted by fraudsters.


17 More Charter Flights from India to Britain Starting 20 April

17 more charter flights from India, with a total capacity of approximately 4,000 passengers, will be available from 20 April.


Government Financial Support for England’s Fishing Businesses

£9 million in direct cash grants will be made available to England’s fishing and aquaculture businesses.


Coronavirus COVID-19 Mental Health Campaign Launches – Every Mind Matters

To help get this vital message out there, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are supporting Every Mind Matters and have narrated a new short film set to be broadcast across national TV channels from Monday 20 April.


IPO Payment of Suppliers

The IPO is continuing to pay supplier invoices promptly throughout the Coronavirus outbreak.


Business Rates Payments to Central Government to be Deferred

Councils will be allowed to defer £2.6 billion in business rates payments to central government, and £850 million in social care grants will be paid up front this month.


First Ventilator Challenge Device Approved – Penlon Prima ES02

Penlon’s Prima ES02 model is now authorised by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency for use in hospitals.


Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme Expanded

Rishi Sunak said all firms with a turnover of more than £45 million will now be able to apply for up to £25 million of finance, and up to £50 million for firms with a turnover of more than £250 million.


Legal Aid and the Self-Employed – New Guidance

A supplement to the ‘Criminal Legal Aid Manual’.  Guidance on the type of evidence needed when submitting applications involving complex means assessments.


Coronavirus Lockdown Will Continue for the Next Three Weeks

Though progress has been made, it is still necessary to maintain current measures to prevent a relapse and an increase of infection rates across the country.


Reducing Coronavirus Outbreaks in Care Homes

New action plan to reduce outbreaks in care homes, support care staff and providers and maintain independence of those receiving care.


NATO to Help Fight Against Coronavirus COVID-19 Disinformation

NATO Defence Minister’s met over a video conference call to discuss how to combat Coronavirus COVID-19 and protect the members of the alliance.


Global Action Plan to Fight the Coronavirus

Co-ordinated fiscal, monetary and regulatory action taken to fight the Coronavirus, including suspension of debt repayments for poorer countries.


HS2 Will Go Forward – Notice to Proceed Issued

After considering a previous review, the Prime Minister has decided that the HS2 project will continue. This now gives certainty to the construction sector and suppliers that HS2 will be delivered as planned.


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Eligibility Backdated to 19 March 2020

Those employed from 19 March can now make a claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.


All Care Home Staff and Residents to be Offered Coronavirus Testing

As lab capacity expands Coronavirus testing will expand to all care home residents who develop symptoms.


Consultation on GCSE and A Level Grading Proposals for 2020

Exceptional arrangements for the assessment of grades now exams will be foregone in the summer.


Government Coronavirus Update 14 April 2020

The Chancellor of the Exchequer explains the balance that has been maintained in protecting both the health of the public and the wellbeing of the economy at the same time.


Ibruprofen – No Apparent Link Between Usage and Contracting Coronavirus

Expert Working Group concludes there is currently insufficient evidence to establish a link between use of ibuprofen and susceptibility to contracting COVID-19 or the worsening of its symptoms.


2.8 Million Packets of Paracetamol to be Distributed Across UK

The medicine will be distributed to leading UK supermarkets and retailers.


Financial Support for Businesses and the Self-Employed During the Coronavirus COVID-19 Outbreak

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Statutory Sick Pay, VAT, Business Rates Relief, Business Support Grants, Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, Business Interruption Loans, Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility.


Some Positive Signs We Are Starting to Win the Fight Against the Coronavirus

On Saturday, I spoke to the Prime Minister. I updated him on Coronavirus, the progress we’re making, and our plans for the next few weeks.


Coronavirus Shielding Programme for the Most Vulnerable

The government’s shielding effort is already underway, and around 250,000 boxes of essential food have already been delivered by wholesalers to those at highest risk across the country, with hundreds of thousands more to follow in the coming weeks.


UK Space Technologies to Boost NHS Coronavirus Response

A new drive to fund space-enabled technology and services that can strengthen the NHS response to coronavirus has been launched today by the UK Space Agency.


Facebook Portal Video Calling Devices Supplied Free to Hospitals and Care Homes

Thousands of isolated residents and patients will be able to connect with their family and friends with video call devices, the government has announced.


Additional £600 Million Provided to Tackle the Coronavirus in Scotland

With the previous £2.7 billion already pledged, Scotland will receive in total £3.3 billion in assistance to fight the Coronavirus and its effects.


Additional £200 Million Provided to Northern Ireland to Tackle the Coronavirus

HM Treasury increases Northern Ireland funding by £200 million to fight the Coronavirus.


£14 Billion Financial Support for the NHS and the Public Sector

Coronavirus Emergency Response Fund to provide £14 billion to the NHS, local councils, and the wider public sector.


Implementing the Government’s Coronavirus COVID-19 Testing Strategy

We did not start this crisis with a large diagnostics industry, so instead we are going to have to build one.


Universal Credit – No Need to Call to Check a Claim

The DWP universal credit team will call claimants if they need to verify information provided as part of a claim.


The Prime Minister Leaves Hospital

Seven days after his admittance, Boris Johnson has now left St Thomas’s Hospital.


New Government Domestic Abuse Campaign

A new public awareness campaign targeting anyone at risk of domestic abuse is to be launched next week.


HMRC to Accept Service of Legal Proceedings by Email

The service of new legal proceedings and pre-action letters on HMRC should be via email during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.