National Lockdown in England
Education and Skills
Chambers of Commerce across England, Scotland and Wales are authorised gateways to the Kickstart scheme.
Chambers can help businesses to apply for a grant and provide a wide range of support for the employer and young person to ensure the Kickstart placement is a success.
Review the details and contact your local Chamber for more information.
Further and Higher Education
Actions and information for Further and higher education: Coronavirus.
- Actions and information for Further and higher education: Coronavirus during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Higher education restructuring regime
- A scheme for higher education providers in England facing financial difficulties as a result of coronavirus
- 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.
- The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education has issued guidance for employers and apprentices.
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.
The Skills Toolkit
The Skills Toolkit is a free online learning platform to boost workplace skills during the coronavirus outbreak and beyond.
Transport and Travel
Further action to minimise travel across international borders
The UK government has announced further action for outbound and inbound passengers to minimise travel across international borders and reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission.
- For those wishing to travel out of the UK – anyone who does not have a valid reason for travel will be directed to return home and may face a fine – the reason for travel will be checked. The list of travel exemptions will be urgently reviewed so that only the most important and exceptional reasons are included. The current list of jobs that qualify for travel exemptions is available here.
- For those seeking to enter the UK – those arriving from countries where the government have imposed international travel bans, and who cannot be refused entry, will be required to isolate in hotels for 10 days without exception. More details will be provided in due course.
All UK travel corridors temporarily suspended to protect against new international variants
From Monday 18 January at 4am, all travel corridors with the UK were suspended – meaning that all international arrivals who have departed from or transited through any country outside the Common Travel Area in the previous 10 days will be required to both take a pre-departure test, and self-isolate immediately for 10 days on arrival. This includes British and Irish nationals. The new measures will be reviewed on Monday 15 February 2021.
A number of exemptions to the travel corridor policy – including the need to travel for business – have been suspended, unless they are vital to maintaining the flow of critical goods, protecting essential services, protecting national security or facilitating government work. See the full list of exemptions.
The Test to Release scheme will remain in place, giving passengers the option to shorten the mandatory self-isolation period to as little as 5 days.
Jobs that qualify for exemptions from self-isolation, passenger locator form or COVID testing requirements
Guidance has been updated provide information on eight categories of jobs removed from exemptions. These exemptions are not valid for countries from where travel to the UK is currently banned.
Hauliers travelling from Portugal are not covered by the travel ban and are permitted to travel to the UK.
If you live in England, you cannot travel overseas or within the UK, unless for work, education or other legally permitted reasons. For details, and for information on restrictions in other parts of the UK, check:
- national restrictions in England
- national restrictions in Northern Ireland
- national restrictions in Scotland
- national restrictions in Wales
As well as following national restrictions, you must not travel if you have been advised that you must self isolate by the NHS test and trace service:
- test and trace in England
- test and trace in Northern Ireland
- test and protect in Scotland
- test and trace in Wales
You should not travel if you:
- are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms or have in the last 7 days
- are self-isolating as a result of coronavirus symptoms
- are sharing a household or support bubble with somebody who has experienced coronavirus symptoms in the last 14 days
If anyone in your household or support bubble, where relevant, has symptoms of coronavirus you should self-isolate.
Face coverings mandatory on public transport and indoor transport hub
Face coverings must be worn in additional enclosed public spaces 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.
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
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 UK employers and employees
- Briefing document for employers in the UK from the Rail Delivery Group.
- Guidance and information for people using transport or working in the transport sector during the Coronavirus outbreak.
‘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 has 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 Coronavirus 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 Coronavirus helpline on 0800 024 1222. Account holders will be asked to provide an explanation of how Coronavirus 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 Coronavirus 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 Coronavirus 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.