COVID-19 update 27 August

28/08/2020 By Nabeela Hussain O Comments

Update on travel corridors

This week’s review of Travel Corridor countries has concluded, based on data from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England, with Ministers agreeing to remove the following from the list of exempt countries:

  • Czech Republic

  • Jamaica

  • Switzerland

 This is due to a significant increase in both the level and pace of confirmed cases in these countries. These removals apply UK-wide and will be effective from 04:00 on Saturday 29 August.

Ministers have agreed to add the following to the list of exempt countries, following a decrease in the number of confirmed cases:

  • Cuba

This addition applies UK-wide and will also be effective from 04:00 on Saturday 29 August. Passengers arriving from these countries before this time will still need to self-isolate upon arrival into the UK.

FCO Travel Advice is being updated to reflect these changes. See the full list of travel corridors on the Gov website.

Update on spectators to elite sports events

On a separate note, the Government has announced further pilots for the return of spectators to elite sport to allow fans to return to live sport from 1 October with social distancing.

Payment for People Self-Isolating in Highest Risk Areas

You will have seen considerable attention in the media to the new payment for people on low incomes in areas with high rates of COVID-19 who need to self-isolate and can’t work from home. The payment is, which will be first trialled in Blackburn with Darwen, Pendle and Oldham, will pay £130 to eligible individuals who test positive for their 10-day self-isolation period. This payment is in addition to any other benefits that the person already receives or may be entitled to. Other members of their household, who have to self-isolate for 14 days, will be entitled to a payment of £182.

To be eligible for the funding, individuals must:

    • have tested positive for COVID-19 or received a notification from NHS Test and Trace asking them to self-isolate

    • have agreed to comply with the notification from NHS Test and Trace and provided contact details to the local authority

    • be employed or self-employed:

      employed people will be asked to show proof of employment. Self-employed will be required to show evidence of trading income and that their business delivers services which the local authority reasonably judges they are unable to carry out without social contact.

    • be unable to work from home (checks will be undertaken on all applicants) and will lose income a result

    • be currently receiving Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit

Passenger Arrivals in July

The Home Office has released data today showing that there were 1.3m arrivals into the UK by air during July. This is 89% lower that the number of arrivals in July 2019, when 11.1m people entered the country. The data also indicates that arrivals into the UK by rail were down 65% and arrivals by sea were down by 69%.

It should also be noted that the arrivals data includes British nationals returning from overseas. When British nationals are removed, the number of arrivals falls to 640,000 people, however to note that this figure will also include foreign nationals that live in the UK returning from holidays overseas.

CBI Service Sector Report

The CBI has published its service sector report today. The survey includes data on sentiment within the hotels, bars & restaurants; travel services and leisure sectors which shows that costs per employee have increased by 20-30% while the volume of sales is down 30-60% and employment is down 30-90% depending on the sector.

How HMRC Will Continue to Support Customers and the Economy

HMRC have published a policy paper setting out how they will continue to support individuals and businesses through the Coronavirus outbreak. While there are no initiatives in the policy paper it presents a series of principles on how it will operate:

  • Our approach will be to collect the tax due in a way that recognises the very real needs and challenges that businesses and individuals face.

  • We will communicate openly and transparently, to give people as much certainty as possible.

  • It is more important than ever that we are professional, fair and even-handed in the way we interact with our customers.

  • Where we have introduced temporary administrative arrangements that have improved the customer experience or created operational improvements, we will try to build on these changes to deliver long-term sustainable solutions.

  • We will continue to prioritise tackling serious fraud and criminal attacks on the tax system, while increasing wider activity to make sure individuals and businesses pay the right tax.

ONS Survey

The ONS has produced the latest results of their ongoing survey of economic and social indicators.  The main tourism related findings are:

    • 13% of the workforce remain on furlough

    • Accommodation and food services, and  arts, entertainment and recreation sectors were the only sectors that reported less than 90% of businesses had been trading for more than the last two weeks, at 82% and 63% respectively.

    • 23% of businesses in these two sectors said their risk of insolvency was moderate or severe

    • Job adverts in the hospitality sector are 38% of what they were last year compared to 55% for UK businesses as a whole

PASC Survey

The Professional Association of Self-Caterers (PASC UK) and the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC) have commissioned a survey to evaluate the effects of Covid-19 on the self-catering sector across the UK. The survey will also help them to identify what the sector’s business priorities are over the next 12 months to support recovery and growth.

The results will be shared with UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments to inform autumn budgets and spending reviews, as well as policy decisions going forward.

The survey is being undertaken by The South West Research Company. Answers will be treated as strictly confidential and will be combined with those from other businesses in various regions to provide overall results.

Situation update 27 August 2020

Author: Nabeela Hussain (6 posts) 

Nabeela Hussain, Digital Production Manager at OTT. Skilled in design, communications, and digital production she will help guide you through the process of creating a course that is easy to read, fun, and engaging for agents.

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