Coronavirus Updates

The Covid-19 pandemic has had an extraordinary global impact. There appears to be a new coronavirus update each day; we understand these are unprecedented times. This article will help our customers keep informed with regular coronavirus updates, useful links, daily news and coronavirus resources.

Key resources:

1st April

The Restart Grant scheme supports businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation sectors with a one-off grant, to reopen safely as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. See here to check if you and your business are eligible: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-a-coronavirus-restart-grant

22nd February

Following today’s announcement by the Prime Minister, a cautious roadmap has been outlined looking at how the country will be gradually eased out of lockdown.

These milestones are subject to scientific data allowing them to take place but are currently set out as below:

Step one is in two parts:

On 8 March

  • all students return to schools and colleges, and school clubs can resume
  • Secondary school students will be required to wear masks in class as well as communal areas
  • People can meet one other person outside for recreation, not just exercise
  • Care home residents allowed one regular named visitor
  • Stay at home order remains in place.

29 March

  • Outdoor gatherings of up to six people or two households allowed, including meeting in private gardens
  • Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts and outdoor swimming pools allowed to reopen; organised outdoor sports can resume
  • Stay at home order ends but people encouraged to stay local wherever they can
  • Work from home wherever possible
  • No overseas travel.

Step 2:

Will happen no earlier than 12 April

  • Non-essential retail, hairdressers, nail salons, libraries and museums open
  • Outdoor hospitality in pubs and restaurants allowed with households or rule-of-six
  • Most outdoor settings reopen such as zoos and theme parks
  • Gyms and indoor swimming pools open
  • Self catering holiday accommodation and camp sites reopen
  • Funerals continue with up to 30 people
  • Weddings with up to 15 people.

Step 3:

Will happen no earlier than 17 May

  • Outdoors most social contact rules lifted, up to limit of 30 people
  • Mixing indoors allowed for two households, but rule-of-six for indoor hospitality and elsewhere
  • Cinemas, soft play centres, rest of accommodation sector, hotels, indoor exercise classes return
  • Performances and sporting events resume – larger performances with venues 1,000+ or half full will be allowed indoors and outdoors 4,000 capacity or half full (whichever lowest)
  • In very largest outdoor seated venues such as football stadiums up to 10,000 people allowed to attend (or 1/4 full whichever is lowest)
  • Up to 30 people can attend weddings, receptions, funerals, wakes.

Step 4:

The fourth step from 21 June will potentially see all legal limits on social contact removed, with the final closed sectors of the economy reopened – such as nightclubs.

The government hopes that – from this date – restrictions on weddings and funerals will also be abolished.

You can read more from the BBC here.

5th January

Following the Government’s announcement on 4th January, the UK’s government support scheme has been extended with additional financial measures in place to support clubs like yours.

On top of the existing measures, there is a new ‘top-up’ grant scheme for retail, hospitality & leisure worth up to £9,000 per property.

The one-off top-ups will be granted to closed businesses as follows:

  • £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under.
  • £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
  • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000.

To find out more about the support available visit the Business Support Page on the GOV.UK site here.

30th December

Today, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced that more areas will be increasing their tier level from 2 to 3, and from 3 to 4. This will have a greater impact across the country on clubs like yours and whether or not you’re able to open.

You can find the latest changes to local restrictions by area on GOV.UK here.

23rd December

Matt Hancock has today announced that more areas mainly in the South of England will enter into Tier 4 regulations from 00:01 on Boxing Day (26th December). To find out more about which areas are affected, you can read more on the BBC here, or see full government guidance here.

17th December

Today, HM Treasury announced the extension of the furlough scheme which will now run until 30th April 2021. This means the government will continue to pay up to 80% of the wages of workers who have been furloughed to provide greater certainty for jobs and businesses.

You can find out more and claim for wage support for your employees here.

8th December

The UK government today announced an extension of the ban on evicting commercial tenants. The eviction moratorium was originally due to expire in January, and this has now been extended to the 31st March 2021 in order to offer greater security to businesses experiencing difficult through enforced closure or temporarily reduced footfall.

Full guidance for landlords and tenants can be found on the government website here.

3rd December

Our partners at The Bingo Association have recently released their latest guidance on re-opening, taking into account regional variations and lockdown restrictions across the UK. To access their free advice, you can download their guide here.

1st December

From Friday 4th December, restrictions on the leisure and hospitality industry in Wales will be increased with an alcohol ban in pubs, restaurants & bars. In addition, these businesses must close at 6pm (other than for takeaway).

In addition, most indoor leisure venues must also close including businesses such as Bingo Halls/Clubs.

More information is due to follow on the Welsh government website, but in the meantime the guidance has been summarised by the BBC here.

These restrictions will be reviewed on 17th December.

26 November

The government has today announced details on the Tier system coming into force from 3rd December. This information covers what the Tier restrictions mean, and which areas are subject to which Tier levels.

Details on which areas are in which Tier.
Details on what each Tier allows.

Financial support remains available for businesses in all tiers, and you can find more information on all this information here.

The government has said they will review the current restrictions after 2 weeks on the 16th December.

For Welsh Restrictions click here | For Scottish Restrictions click here

13 November

The deadline for registering for for the CJRS if employers are planning on making a retrospective furlough claim for employees. More information can be found here.

5 November

The government announces tougher national measures, asking many hospitality and leisure industries to close once more. UK citizens are told to stay at home aside from a set of strict circumstances.

29 October

On 31st October, the current Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will come to an end, and be replaced by the Job Support Scheme. This will support employers who are both open and closed, dependent on local restrictions. We are still awaiting final guidance on these schemes which we will publish here when available, but all current information can be found on GOV.UK here.

12 October

A new three tiered structure has been put in place. Different parts of the country will have different restrictions based on the number of infections spreading. Liverpool is so far the only city plunged into Tier Three restrictions, causing a number of venues and businesses to close once again. To check restrictions in your area, visit the government website.

9 October

Further restrictions and local lockdowns are anticipated in the near future, with an array of businesses expected to be asked to close. In response, the government have announced it will pay two-thirds of staff wages for businesses forced to close. Businesses may also be eligible for business grants. Further information can be found on the BBC website.

7 October

The Scottish government announce a new wave of restrictions from 9th October.

Pubs and restaurants across central Scotland must now close, while licensed venues in other areas of Scotland may be able to just serve alcohol outdoors.

Snooker and bingo halls, indoor bowling alleys and casinos in some of Scotland are also required to close. For more information on the restriction variations, visit the BBC site.

22 September

The government announce a new set of restrictions and legislations, many of which impact the leisure and hospitality industry. These include:

  • All retail and hospitality staff must wear a mask. Customers should also wear a mask on the premises, aside from when eating or drinking
  • Hospitality venues must close at 22:00
  • Pubs, bars and restaurants must operate table service only
  • Those not wearing masks or gathering in social groups of more than six will be fined more heavily
  • Indoor sport can only be played in groups of six or under, from 28th September
  • Spectators will not return to sports venues from 1st October as previously planned

For further information on the guidance and how it may impact your club, please visit the government website.

25 July

Outdoor gyms are given the green light to reopen, with dance studios and indoor pools also able to welcome customers once more.

24 July

Face coverings become compulsory in supermarkets and shops.

11 July

Outdoor theatre performances are allowed to resume. The government announces extensive guidance to those working in performing arts.

5 July

The government announce a £1.57 billion rescue package for arts, culture and heritage industries. These sectors have been hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, so the announcement is welcome news for many venues.

4 July

Many hospitality and leisure businesses are able to reopen. This includes pubs, restaurants, hotels and outdoor gyms. Establishments must ensure the safety of staff and guests via enhanced safety and cleaning regimes and one metre social distancing.

15 June

All non-essential shops reopen. Shops and other organisations put enhanced safety measures in place to protect staff and customers.

10 June

Employers have until 10th June to furlough an employee for the first time in order for them to be eligible for the flexible furlough scheme which begins on 1st July. This will allow employers to bring back workers on a part-time basis.

28 May

The government launches its new test and trace system, designed to inform people to self-isolate if they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.

25 May

The government announces all non-essential retailers will be allowed to reopen on 15th June, providing they are able to meet social distancing guidelines. Currently supermarkets and essential retailers are using social distancing measures, and other retailers will be expected to follow suit.

21 May

Food Standards Agency announce reopening checklist for food businesses. This includes information on site, equipment and ingredient checks, plus how to implement social distancing in order to keep staff and customers safe.

13 May

Golf clubs, tennis clubs and other outdoor venues are able to reopen following new government guidance. All businesses should follow official advice from associations, organisations and the government with regards to social distancing measures and risk assessments.

12 May

The government furlough scheme has been extended by four months to support businesses and their workers.

10 May

The government announce new guidance on lockdown restrictions. This includes allowing unlimited outdoor exercise with members of your household only. The guidance allows people to use some outdoor sporting facilities on their own or with a member of their household.

Businesses with employees who cannot work from home (such as construction or laboratories) are able to reopen, following strict social distancing guidelines.

The roadmap to reopen businesses such as pubs no earlier than July, though this could be delayed if the country does not reach Step 3 of the government’s plan.

30 April

The deadline for applying for the RFU Emergency Loan Scheme, offering financial support to eligible clubs.

27 April

HM Treasury today announced that small businesses will be boosted by government ‘bounce back’ loans. Small businesses will benefit from a new fast-track finance scheme providing loans with a 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders. Key takeaways:

  • businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days
  • loans will be interest free for the first 12 months, and businesses can apply online through a short and simple form
  • the loans will be easy to apply for through a short, standardised online application. The loan should reach businesses within days- providing immediate support to those that need it as easily as possible.

Read more on GOV.UK here.

23 April

The government announce new measures to help safeguard companies under financial strain. This includes the temporary ban of the use of statutory demands and winding up petitions. Secondary legislation also prevents landlords using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) unless they are owed 90 days of unpaid rent. Tenants are urged to pay rent where they can afford to, but landlords are being encouraged to work cooperatively on this too.

17 April

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announce two funding schemes available for cricket clubs and leagues. The scheme will assist in covering costs for up to twelve months. For more information visit the website.

16 April

In the daily government press conference, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has announced that the UK lockdown will be extended by a further 3 weeks to avoid a second peak and an increase in the number of deaths taking the UK lockdown through to at least the 7th May.

15 April

The Scottish government have announced updates to its small business grant scheme to extend the support for businesses with multiple premises.

Previously in Scotland, small business owners would receive a flat £25,000 grant regardless of how many premises they operate in, whereas in England, the grant will be given to each eligible property.

On 15th April the Scottish government announced they would extend this grant to offer 100% of the £25,000 grant to a business owners first premises, and 75% of the grant for each subsequent premises.

Using the example of a restaurant owner which is one business entity, but with 4 venues:

In England (no change): Business owner gets £25,000 per premises totalling £100k
In Scotland BEFORE: Business owner could get £25,000 as it was limited to ‘per business’
In Scotland NOW: Business owner will get £25,000 for their first venue, and 75% of that for the subsequent 3 (£18,750 x 3) total £81,250.

7 April

HSE releases revised Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR), detailing when businesses need to make a RIDDOR report. This includes the below information:

  • an unintended incident at work has led to someone’s possible or actual exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a dangerous occurrence.
  • a worker has been diagnosed as having COVID 19 and there is reasonable evidence that it was caused by exposure at work. This must be reported as a case of disease.
  • a worker dies as a result of occupational exposure to coronavirus.

3 April

The LTA, in consultation with Tennis Scotland and Tennis Wales, announce additional funding and measures to support tennis in Britain. Further information about the support packages can be found here.

2 April

Sports England announce the Community Emergency Fund. This offers clubs the opportunity to apply for grants up to £10,000.

26 March

Self-employed Support

The Chancellor announces unprecedented support for the self-employed, bringing financial benefits to the self-employed in line with those who are employed in response to the crisis.

Self-employed staff with an average annual trading profit of £50k or less, will be able to claim 80% of their profits up to the value of £2.5k per month for three months.

Timing of the payments is still to be finalised, but it is likely that three months will be paid in one lump sum in June for all three months backdated to March.

HMRC will right to all those eligible, outlining how individuals can access the fund.

Find out more.

Tax Helpline

HMRC has launched a Tax Helpline, supporting self-employed and businesses with tax payment issues caused by COVID-19.

The helpline allows any business or self-employed individual who is concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus to get practical help and advice such as:

  • agreeing an instalment arrangement
  • suspending debt collection proceedings
  • cancelling penalties and interest where you have administrative difficulties contacting or paying HMRC immediately

You can access the helpline by calling 0800 024 1222.

Find out more.

23 March

England Golf announces closure of all golf clubs and clubhouses.

23 March

The Prime Minister announces new measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

All social gatherings and events have been banned, and businesses not providing an essential service have been told to close. A full list of businesses and premises that need to close can be found here.

People have been advised to only leave home for one of four reasons:

  • Shopping for essentials
  • Exercise once a day, either alone or with one other person you live with
  • For medical reasons, or to care for a vulnerable person
  • Travelling to and from work where absolutely necessary (a list of key workers can be found here)

To read the Prime Minister’s full statement click here. For full guidance, please visit the gov.uk website.

20 March

The Prime Minister orders all pubs, cafes, bars and restaurants to close.

The Chancellor announces a greater extension of support available to businesses and individuals through measures such as:

  • Job Retention Scheme, which will cover 80% of the salary of retained workers up to £2,500 a month
  • Deferring of VAT & Income Tax payments
  • Statutory Sick Pay Relief Package
  • 12 months business rates holiday for SMEs
  • Small business grants of £10,000
  • Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality & leisure with a rateable value between £15,001 & £51,000.
  • Business Interruption Loan Scheme with loans of up to £5m for SMEs

The full list of measures and how to access them can be found here.

19 March

HM Treasury releases information on how to access the government’s financial support if you or your business has been affected by COVID-19.

19 March

HM Government updates the COVID-19 guidance for employees, employers and businesses.

The update includes information such as healthcare advice for employers and further support for businesses.

  • Businesses should encourage their employees to work at home, wherever possible
  • If someone becomes unwell in the workplace with a new, continuous cough or a fever, they should be sent home to self-isolate
  • Employees should be reminded to wash their hands for 20 seconds more frequently and follow cough and sneeze etiquette
  • Businesses should more frequently clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched regularly
  • Those who are required to self-isolate will be eligible for statutory sick pay (SSP) from the first day of their absence
  • Employers should use their own discretion concerning the need for medical evidence for certification, with isolation notes available from NHS online
  • Employees from defined vulnerable groups are strongly advised to stay at home, working from home where possible

19 March

The FA announces there will be no professional football played in England before Thursday 30 April 2020. 

18 March

The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) release a statement announcing the recommendation to suspend all forms of recreational cricket.

17 March

The Chancellor sets out targetted, temporary measures to support the countries public services, people and businesses through the disruption caused by COVID-19.

17 March

BT and Sky Sport suspend billing for pubs.

16 March

Following advice handed down by the government, the FA announces that amateur football is to be postponed for the foreseeable future. 

16 March

The Prime Minister announces guidance on social distancing measures for everyone in the UK, protecting older people and vulnerable adults. These measures include:

  • Avoiding contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of COVID-19
  • Avoiding non-essential use of public transport, avoiding rush hour where possible
  • Work from home, with employers encouraged to help support staff where possible
  • Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs
  • Avoid social gatherings – instead using remote technology to stay in touch
  • Public advised to use the telephone or online services to contact the doctor or other essential services

For more information, advice and updates please check this article regularly or follow us on social media.

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