Update on local restrictions in the UK
Containing and managing local Coronavirus outbreaks
As of 18 July, local authorities will have new powers to close specific premises, close public outdoor spaces, and cancel events. These powers will enable local authorities to act more quickly in response to local outbreaks, where speed is paramount to prevent them from spreading more widely. Local lockdown will remain a last resort when other actions have been insufficient. More information is available here.
Local lockdown guidance for social distancing
- This guidance explains how you can see people you do not live with, while protecting yourself and others from coronavirus, if you live in a local lockdown area.
Local lockdowns: guidance for education and childcare settings
- This guidance sets out what schools, colleges, nurseries, childminders, early years and other educational settings need to do if there’s a local lockdown during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Education and Skills
Help primary school children continue their education during Coronavirus
- Advice for parents and carers looking after primary school children.
Opening of schools
- From the beginning of the autumn term, the Department for Education (DfE) will expect all pupils, in all year groups, to return to school full-time. Information on what parents and carers need to know about the opening of schools is available.
Further and Higher Education
Actions and information for Further and higher education: Coronavirus.
- What colleges and universities and other providers need to do during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Higher education restructuring regime
- A scheme for higher education providers in England facing financial difficulties as a result of coronavirus
Information for schools, students and parents on how:
- A level;
- vocational; and
- technical qualifications
will be graded and awarded in summer 2020.
T Level industry placements
- New package of support to help employers and Further Education (FE) providers deliver high-quality T Level industry placements.
- The additional support and guidance includes:
- new guidance setting out the key roles and responsibilities for providers and employers around industry placements, including a guide for students to help them prepare for their placement;
- additional delivery models for industry placements in the Construction and Engineering & Manufacturing routes, to reflect modern practices;
- modified delivery targets for Capacity and Delivery Fund placements to reflect the impact of the coronavirus on employers; and
- an extension of both the Employer Support Fund pilot and the Employer Support Package also in response to Coronavirus.
The Skills Toolkit
The Skills Toolkit is a free online learning platform to boost workplace skills during the coronavirus outbreak and beyond.
- High quality, flexible courses in digital and numeracy skills to support learning.
- Courses on offer will help people gain skills that employers demand and help kick start the country’s economic recovery.
- This video from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) takes employers through the new measures relating to breaks in learning that were recently detailed in the apprenticeship programme response to Coronavirus document.
- Advice for Tier 2, 4 and 5 visa sponsors in the UK who are sponsoring those affected by Coronavirus.
- The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education has issued guidance for employers and apprentices.
Version three of the guidance focuses on:
- Further information on calculating wages for furloughed apprentices
- Clarification that a furloughed employee can start an apprenticeship
- Information on collecting signatures
- Additional content on flexibilities of end-point assessment
- Flexibilities for English and Maths functional skills for Intermediate (level 2) apprentices
- Flexibilities on qualification certification
- Providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
- This document sets out guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations in response to the impact of Coronavirus.
ESFA post-16 provider relief scheme (July to October 2020)
- Information about support available for post-16 training providers during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Tier 4 sponsors, migrants and short-term students
- Guidance for Tier 4 sponsors, migrants and short-term students on temporary concessions in response to the outbreak of Coronavirus.
- The concessions will all be kept under regular review and will be withdrawn once the situation returns to normal.
Advice for visa customers who need to apply for a passport
- Advice for visa customers and applicants in the UK, visa customers outside of the UK and British nationals overseas who need to apply for a passport and who are affected by travel restrictions associated with Coronavirus.
Pubs, restaurants and cafes
On 23 June, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out further changes to lockdown measures in England to enable people to see more of their friends and family, help businesses get back on their feet and get people back in their jobs. From Saturday 4 July, pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to reopen, providing they adhere to COVID Secure guidelines.
- Review the guidance on the further easing of Coronavirus restrictions from 4 July 2020.
Eat Out to Help Out
- From 3 to 31 August, get a 50% discount when you eat-in at restaurants that are registered.
New plans to ensure pubs, restaurants and cafes offer both smoking and non-smoking outdoor options
People using pubs, restaurants and cafes will soon have greater freedom to choose non-smoking outdoor areas following an amendment tabled on 19 July to legislation in Parliament.
Travel corridors update
From today, Tuesday 28 July 2020, passengers will not need to self-isolate when arriving in England from:
|•||St Vincent and the Grenadines.|
Spain removed from travel corridors exemption list
If you arrive in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland from Spain on or after 26 July 2020 you will need to self-isolate. Travel corridor countries continue to be reviewed and will be removed immediately should the public health situation change for the worse. Take a look at BCC’s response to the announcement that UK arrivals from Spain will have to self-isolate for 14 days.
Face coverings mandatory on public transport and indoor transport hub
Face coverings must be worn in additional enclosed public spaces from 24 July in England. In England you must wear a face covering by law in the following settings:
|•||indoor transport hubs|
|•||shops and supermarkets|
|•||indoor shopping centres|
|•||banks, building societies, and post offices.|
Transport operators can deny access to their public transport services if a passenger is not wearing a face covering, or direct them to wear one or leave a service if they are not wearing a face covering.
Face coverings are not mandatory for anyone under the age of 11 or those with disabilities or certain health conditions. Review the list of face covering exemptions and share with your members. See further guidance and details of the legislation from the College of Policing.
From 15 June, passengers using public transport are required to wear a face covering across all public transport. This applies to trains, buses, trams, ferries and planes.
- Passenger guidance general
- Operator guidance – general
- Passenger guidance – air
- Operator guidance – air
Safer air travel guidance for passengers
This guidance sets out how to travel safely in airports and on aircraft during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Self-isolation lifted for lower risk countries
From 10 July 2020 you will not have to self-isolate when you arrive in England, if you:
- are travelling or returning from one of the countries with travel corridor exemption.
- have not been to or stopped in a country that’s not on the travel corridors exemption list in the previous 14 days.
This applies to all travel to England, by train, ferry, coach, air or any other route.
If you have been to or stopped in a country that’s not on the travel corridors exemption list you will have to self-isolate until 14 days have passed since you left that country.
When planning holidays or overseas travel, people should check the latest FCO travel advice on GOV.UK, including whether there are any self-isolation measures in place for their outbound or return journey.
If the country or territory they are visiting is exempt, they will not have to self-isolate on their return to England. Passengers should also stay alert to any changes to local public health measures while they are travelling, including by subscribing to FCO travel advice updates.
Travel corridors: countries and territories exemption list
From 10 July 2020, unless they have visited or stopped in any other country or territory in the preceding 14 days, passengers arriving from the following countries and territories will not be required to self-isolate on arrival into England:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba
- Czech Republic
- Faroe Islands
- French Polynesia
- Hong Kong
- Macao (Macau)
- New Caledonia
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- South Korea
- St Barthélemy
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Pierre and Miquelon
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Vatican City
Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are exempt as they are part of the common travel area. The 14 British Overseas Territories are also exempt. This list may be added to over the coming days following further discussions between the UK and international partners.
Information for travel into Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be published by the Devolved Administrations.
Your stay abroad
You will have to comply with Coronavirus requirements in the country you travel to. This may include self-isolating or providing your details to local authorities.
Check Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) coronavirus advice for the country you are travelling to.
Make sure you have appropriate travel insurance in case you have unexpected costs.
Guidance for aviation operators and safer air travel guidance for passengers.
- Department for Transport publishes COVID-secure aviation guidance to support operators and passengers.
- Guidance for passengers and workers includes advice on wearing face coverings, checking in all baggage and creating safe work spaces.
- When it is safe for restrictions on travel to be lifted, guidance will help the sector to protect staff and passengers.
Advice for employers
- Briefing document for employers in the UK from the Rail Delivery Group.
Transport and travel guidance
Guidance and information for people using transport or working in the transport sector during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Driver and Vehicle Agency queries – Northern Ireland
- Given the ongoing disruption and challenges a customer email has been launched.
- Customers with Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) queries should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for support.
‘Bounce back’ plan for agriculture, food and drink industry launched
- A ‘bounce back’ plan of trade measures for the agriculture, food and drink industry was announced on 22 June to help support businesses that have been impacted by Coronavirus.
Trade Credit Insurance backed by £10 billion guarantee
- On 4 June, the UK government announced guarantees of up to £10 billion to Trade Credit Insurance schemes for business-to-business transactions.
- The measures will support thousands of businesses by protecting against customer defaults or payment delays
- The scheme is available on a temporary basis for nine months, backdated to 1 April 2020, and available insurers operating in the UK market.
Force Majeure Certificates
These are certificates attesting the existence of force majeure circumstances i.e. circumstances beyond the control of the applicant such as fire, flood, industrial disputes, or in present circumstances, a pandemic.Please note that we can only certify factual details that can be evidenced. We cannot comment as to whether or not Force Majeure applies or argue such claims on behalf of the applicant. It is the responsibility of the applicant to claim Force Majeure and the issuing body’s role is to provide a certificate in support of such claim.
Delaying import duty payments as a result of Coronavirus
HMRC have released guidance on how to request an extension to the payment period for import duty/import VAT payments. Deferment is not automatic and requires immediate action.
Duty deferment account holders – Duty deferment account holders who are experiencing severe financial difficulty as a result of Covid-19 and who are unable to make payment of deferred customs duties and import VAT due on 15 April 2020 can contact HMRC for approval to enter into an extended period to make full or partial payment, without having their guarantee called upon or their deferment account suspended. The account holder should contact the Duty Deferment Office 03000 594243 or by email email@example.com or the COVID-19 helpline on 0800 024 1222. Account holders will be asked to provide an explanation of how Covid-19 has impacted their business finances and cash flow.
Duty Deferment account holders will be able to use their accounts during the extended payment period agreed unless they default on a subsequent payment in that period, in which case HMRC may consider suspending their account. The outstanding payment will not affect their duty deferment limit so they will not need to increase their guarantee to cover the outstanding payment. Where HMRC agree to an extended payment period, interest will not be charged on the outstanding payments provided they are paid in full by the agreed date.
Duty/import VAT payments not covered by a duty deferment account – Registered Importers who pay cash or an equivalent and are facing severe financial difficulties as a direct result of Covid-19 can contact HMRC to request an extension to the payment deadline at the time the payment is due. They will be asked to provide an explanation of how Covid-19 has impacted on their business finances. HMRC will consider this request and decide whether or not to agree an additional time to pay. The decision will be taken on a case-by-case basis and could be refused.
If the request is approved the conditions, including the length of time offered, will depend upon the importer’s individual circumstances and may require the holding of a guarantee for the period of the time extension. We cannot offer this facility to non-registered importers. For further information, please contact the Customs Debt Policy inbox
Maintaining the flow of trade at the Border
In order to maintain the flow of trade at the border during the current COVID-19 outbreak, Border Control Posts (BCP) may temporarily accept scanned or electronic copies of health certification from competent authorities or operators in some specific scenarios/circumstances in relation to:
- Third country imports – products of animal origin (POAO) including fish and fishery products for human consumption. It does not include those derived from porcine origin, animal by-products (ABP) other than unprocessed ABPs of porcine origin and high-risk food and feed not of animal origin (HRFNAO). It does not apply to germinal product and live animals (other than live fish).
- Intra-EU trade – this measure applies to Intra Trade Animal Health Certificates (ITAHCs) and journey logs for livestock imports. Official Veterinarians (OVs) in the UK may also issue ITAHCs and journey logs for livestock exports from the UK to the EU, submitted on TRACES (if applicable) and via email to EU member states.
Any measures taken are only for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak. Please refer to gov.uk for wider COVID-19 guidance or speak directly to the relevant BCP for further clarification and if you have questions about a particular import.
Coronavirus: Export Controls and Licences
In this 1-hour webinar, representatives from the Institute of Export & International Trade’s Export Control Profession and the Department for International Trade’s Export Control Joint Unit cover:
- Continuation of UK export licensing during the pandemic;
- EU controls relating to PPE and medical supplies and how they apply to UK;
- Worldwide controls on PPE and medical supplies;
- Importance for Export Control staff to communicate with their companies and supply chains;
- The response of the IOE&IT and the Export Control Profession to the crisis.
Phishing, scams and fraud
- how to recognise genuine HMRC contact;
- how to avoid and report scams; and
- examples of phishing emails and bogus HMRC contact.
In response to the increased threat from mandate fraud during the Coronavirus outbreak, the UK government Counter Fraud Function has issued a mandate fraud guidance document.