Covid-19 Factual Update - July 7, 2020
The big news yesterday was the announcement that £1.57bn was being allocated to protect the Culture, Arts and Heritage sectors which have been particularly badly impacted as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. We are awaiting details of the organisations that will be eligible and the process by which organisations will be able to apply for this funding which should be available soon.
£1.57bn for Culture, Arts and Heritage
The Government has announced that organisations across a range of sectors including the performing arts and theatres, heritage, historic palaces, museums, galleries, live music and independent cinema will be able to access a £1.57bn package of emergency grants and loans. This package includes:
- £1.15 billion support pot for cultural organisations in England delivered through a mix of grants and loans. This will be made up of £270 million of repayable finance and £880 million grants.
- £100 million of targeted support for the national cultural institutions in England and the English Heritage Trust.
- £120 million capital investment to restart construction on cultural infrastructure and for heritage construction projects in England which was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- £188 million for the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland (£33 million), Scotland (£97 million) and Wales (£59 million).
FCO Exemptions to Non-Essential Travel Advisory Notice
The list of those countries and territories that the Government has lifted its advisory notice to avoid all non-essential travel can be found here. It should however be noted that flights are not yet available to all these places and not all countries have indicated that they will accept British visitors.
Updated Guidance on How to Meet People
The Government has updated the guidance to take account of the reopening of businesses like restaurants, pubs, places of worship or community centres on Saturday. The core requirements are that people should:
- only meet indoors in groups up to 2 households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household) – this includes when dining out or going to the pub
- only meet outdoors in a group of no more than 2 households or in a group of up to 6 people from different households
Transport in Areas on Local Lockdown
The Government has updated guidance for transport operators providing services through or within areas under local lockdown to say that they should continue operating services as normal. However, in doing so, they should review and update their risk assessments to ensure they remain relevant and appropriate to the changed situation
Guidance on the Use of Places of Worship
Guidance has been produced for the safe operation of visiting places of worship. In addition to advice of staging services and events such as weddings, there is advice for opening for visitors stating that venues should work with local authorities, neighbouring businesses and travel operators to assess this risk and applying additional actions to reduce the risk of transmission . These could include:
- Further lowering capacity - even if it is possible to safely seat a number of people inside a venue, it may not be safe for them all to travel to and from,or enter and exit the venue.
- Staggering entry times with other local venues and taking steps to avoid queues building up in surrounding areas.
- Arranging one-way travel routes between transport hubs and venues.
- Advising visitors to avoid particular forms of transport or routes and to avoid crowded areas when in transit to the venue.
Companies House Update
Companies House has published an update saying that businesses are now able to upload the following documents online rather than sending them in.
- forms for Scottish limited partnerships
- forms for Scottish qualifying partnerships
- resolutions (in relation to a change of constitution)
- articles of association (in relation a to change of constitution)
Wales Eases Lockdown Restrictions
The Welsh parliament today announced that they are dropping the 5 mile rule, thereby allowing people to travel wherever they want in Wales (including visitors from the other nations). While outdoor attractions are able to open, the formal announcement of ability for accommodation providers and other sectors of the tourism industry to open will be made on Thursday with the self-catering sector scheduled to open on the 11th July and the operation of hospitality businesses on an outside-only basis scheduled to start on 13th July.
Alongside today’s announcement, the Welsh parliament also announced their own form of social bubble whereby people from two separate households will be able to join together to form one extended household. Apart from the two households being allowed to be of any size, the rest of the requirements mirror the requirements for social bubbles in England.