COVID-19 Updates – week commencing 29/06/20
More updates of developments from the government and various links to interpretation and guidance.
Go to date:
29 June 2020 …
Tourism Alliance update:
Advice to use direct web links to Guidance and Protocols
With businesses busy putting together their management systems to make sure that they operate in a Covid Safe manner from 4th July, it important to remember that the Government’s guidance will invariably be updated as our knowledge of the disease increases and as Government policy changes. Businesses must keep checking that they are using the latest version of the guidance rather than simply relying on a downloaded copy which could soon be out of date.
To ensure that you always have the most up-to-date version, it pays to bookmark the appropriate links and regularly check for updates.
Hotels and other guest accommodation
Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services
Offices and contact centres
VAT Deferral Period Ends
To support business, HMRC introduced a VAT deferral period whereby payments due between 20 March and 30 June 2020 could be deferred until 31 March 2021. This deferral period is about to end which means that, from 1 July 2020, VAT returns need to be submitted as normal, and on time, with the VAT paid in full.
CBI Seminar on Insurance Issues for SMEs
The CBI have invited Tourism Alliance members to join their seminar on Monday 29 June (15:30 to 16:15) BST for a discussion on insurance issues faced by SMEs.
Julia Graham, Deputy CEO, Association of Risk Managers and Insurance Officers (guest speaker), Anthony Gruppo, Chief Executive Officer, Marsh Commercial and Flora Hamilton, Director Financial Services Policy, CBI, will provide key insights on:
- The importance of managing risks, and an overview of different business risks
- An overview of different risks that SMEs should be looking to manage
- How insurance works and its role in supporting SMEs
- The role of the broker, and how to get the best from them
- Top 10 tips for SMEs from deploying insurance to managing risks.
To register for this free webinar, please follow this link.
Repaying CJR Scheme Grants
HMRC have published new guidance for businesses that have accidently overclaimed for employees that are on furlough. You can either:
- correct it in your next claim
- make a payment to HMRC, if you’re not making another claim
Planning Inspectorate Press Release
The Planning Inspectorate have issued a press release explaining how the Business and Planning Bill includes new measures that will enable them to use more than one procedure – written representations, hearings and inquiries – at the same time when dealing with a planning appeal, enabling appeals to happen more quickly. It will also allow scope for Inspectors to be more flexible in holding virtual planning hearings and inquiries.
Temporary Changes to the Planning System
Linked to the Planning Inspectorate’s press release, here is Housing Minister, Christopher Pincher’s statement to parliament on the planning changes in the Business and Planning Bill including:
- Requiring Local authorities to make all planning document available for inspection online
- Requiring Compulsory Purchase Order and Development Consent Order documents to be online
- Requiring local planning authorities, appellants, the Planning Inspectorate and other parties to be proactive in using digital processes for planning appeal consultation and publicity
- Requiring Local development documents and Spatial development strategies to be available online
- Enabling certain planning permissions and consents under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to be extended
Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020
This Bill received Royal Assent yesterday and has become an Act. It provides greater protection for businesses facing financial difficult as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak by:
- introducing a new moratorium to give companies breathing space from their creditors while they seek a rescue
- prohibit termination clauses that engage on insolvency, preventing suppliers from ceasing their supply or asking for additional payments while a company is going through a rescue process
- introducing a new restructuring plan that will bind creditors to it
- enabling the insolvency regime to flex to meet the demands of the emergency
- temporarily removing the threat of personal liability for wrongful trading from directors who try to keep their companies afloat through the emergency
- temporarily prohibiting creditors from filing statutory demands and winding up petitions for coronavirus related debts
- temporarily easing burdens on businesses by enabling them to hold closed Annual General Meetings (AGMs), conduct business and communicate with members electronically, and by extending filing deadlines
- allowing for the temporary measures to be retrospective so as to be as effective as possible
Applying for a Moratorium
With the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act now on the statute books, Companies House has issued guidance on how businesses can applying for a moratorium that will largely prevent insolvency proceedings can be instigated against the company during the moratorium period. It also prevents legal action being taken against a company without permission from the court – with the exception of employment tribunal proceedings, or proceedings between an employer and a worker, which do not require permission of the court to commence or continue.
Social Impacts of Coronavirus
ONS have just published a new piece of research on the social impacts of coronavirus. The main findings are that:
- Over 9 in 10 adults (94%) in Great Britain have left their home this week – (mostly to go to Bournemouth)
- Over one-quarter (26%) of people who had left their home this week did so to meet with people in a personal place, such as visiting family and friends at home; this has increased from 13% last week.
- Almost 8 in 10 (77%) working adults said they had either worked at home or travelled to work this week, a similar level to last week (79%).
- The proportion of working adults who reported they had travelled to work in the past seven days increased to 44% this week from 41% last week.
- Of those adults who had travelled on public transport in the past seven days, 86% had worn a face covering when doing so – an increase from 62% last week.
- Almost half of adults (43%) reported that there were some aspects of their lifestyle that had changed for the better since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
- Of those who reported that some aspects of their lifestyle had changed for the better, over half (56%) said that they were now able to spend more quality time with people they lived with, while 50% were enjoying a slower pace of life and 47% preferred that they were spending less time travelling
30 June 2020 …
Tourism Alliance updates:
Situation update – local lockdown measures in Leicester
The Health Secretary announced in Parliament on 29 June 2020, that given the growing outbreak of coronavirus in Leicester, Leicester-specific measures will apply to the city of Leicester, and the surrounding area.
- UK government recommends against all but essential travel to, from and within Leicester.
- The easing of the national lockdown, including the opening of bars, restaurants and hairdressers, will not happen in Leicester on 4 July.
- From Tuesday 30 June non-essential retail will have to close.
- Schools will close from Thursday 2 July, staying open for vulnerable children and children of critical workers.
- The relaxation of shielding measures due on the 6 July cannot now take place in Leicester.
These local measures will be kept under review and will not be kept in place any longer than is necessary. The UK Government will review whether any measures can be eased in 2 weeks’ time. More information is available here.
- A New video on flexible furloughing is available
- Safer travel guidance for passengers and operators in England has been updated with information on social distancing.
- New figures (up to 28 June) are available for Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) and Future Fund Scheme.
- Updated data (up to 28 June) for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, and data for the VAT payments deferral scheme is available.
- Data on local authority payments to small and medium businesses in England (up to 28 June) is available.
Speech by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the economy
Boris Johnson gave a speech on the economy today, announcing a “New Deal” which puts jobs and infrastructure at the centre of the government’s economic growth strategy. The Prime Minister announced the bringing forward of £5bn of capital investment projects, supporting jobs and the economic recovery. In the Autumn the government will also publish a National Infrastructure Strategy which will set a clear direction on core economic infrastructure, including energy networks, road and rail, flood defences and waste. UK Government also intends to bring forward funding to accelerate infrastructure projects in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland and will carry out a review to look at how best to improve road, rail, air and sea links between our four nations to create a more connected kingdom. Find more here.