BEIS Coronavirus (COVID-19) Businesses and Employers Bulletin - 15 January 2021

15th January 2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Businesses and Employers Bulletin - 15 January 2021

This bulletin is issued by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and provides the latest information for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19). All coronavirus business support information can be found at gov.uk/business-support


 

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy letters to the Manufacturing Industry, Construction Sectors and their Supply chains

The Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng, has written to the Manufacturing and Construction sectors regarding operating during the national lockdown.  He:

  • recognised the contribution of the sectors as valuable and as critical elements of the economic recovery the government is building and the fight against Covid-19;
  • encouraged firms and trades people in manufacturing and their supply chains, should continue to operate during the national lockdown;
  • stressed the importance for industry to ensure that it is safe to operate whilst carrying out work and that the safer working guidance is available and updated on a regular basis, and can be found on gov.uk

To view the Secretary of State’s letter to the Manufacturing sectors, Click here.

To view the Secretary of State’s letter to the Construction sector, click here.

 

Domestic abuse: Open letter from the Business Minister to Employers

The Business Minister, Paul Scully, on 14 January issued a ‘rallying call’ to employers across the country to take some simple steps to help victims of domestic abuse. As an employer, you can play an important role in spotting signs of domestic abuse and help your staff find the right support. In this call, steps are set out that employers are encouraged to take on board and help to share widely with employees:

  • Raise awareness of domestic abuse – the first barrier is often simply awareness and understanding. Ensuring staff can spot the signs of a colleague facing domestic abuse,
  • Be inclusive – Senior leaders should look to foster an environment where all workers feel comfortable “being themselves” and talking openly,
  • Use free support available – there is a range of excellent free guidance for both employers and employees to support domestic abuse survivors in the workplace, including toolkits from organisations like Business in the Community and Public Health England

To view the Business Minister’s letter, click here

 

COVID-19 travel guidance: testing for people travelling

Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not leave home or travel, including internationally, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. There is national guidance available for, ScotlandWales and Northern Ireland.

From 4am on 18 January, if you intend to travel to England or from 4am on 15 January if you intend to travel to Scotland, including UK nationals returning home from travel abroad, you must now provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival. All other current entry requirements and restrictions continue to apply.

Jobs that qualify for travel exemptions

Some people don’t have to fill in a passenger locator form or take a COVID-19 test or self-isolate on arrival in the UK, because of the jobs they do. The guidance lists the jobs that qualify for an exemption and tells people:

  • which exemptions apply
  • any conditions they will need to meet or evidence they will need to show

For further information, click here

For the latest information on pre-departure testing, see the guidance on coronavirus testing for people travelling to England.

 

Guidance for Hauliers

Coronavirus testing for hauliers to continue following decision by French government

  • Current testing arrangements for hauliers crossing the Channel - where they must have had a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours of crossing - are set to continue following a decision by the French Government on Thursday 7 January 2021.
  • Hauliers must continue to have proof of an authorised negative test, conducted within 72 hours of travelling to the border to cross over.
  • All hauliers to seek tests at one of 34 information and advice sites before travelling to Kent to help smooth traffic management.

To help hauliers get tested before travelling to Kent, 34 information and advice sites have been set up across the country, linked to key haulier stopping spots on their journeys, so they can get their negative test before heading to the border. Further sites are in the process of being set up.

For more on the requirement for hauliers click here.

COVID-19 testing for HGV drivers using the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel

Guidance has been updated to reflect that drivers of HGVs carrying dangerous goods must get tested for COVID-19 before arriving in Kent.  The terms of use at Manston Airport and Ashford Sevington, prohibit the following loads:

  • explosives
  • polymerizing substances
  • infectious substances
  • radioactive substances
  • goods that are high consequence from a terrorism point of view

Drivers of HGVs carrying any of the above goods will be refused access to these sites and must get tested for COVID-19 at alternative sites before arriving in Kent.

For more information on drivers of HGV carrying dangerous goods, click here.

COVID-19 testing for HGV drivers using the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel: Guidance has been updated to reflect testing is now open at more haulier advice sites. To find your nearest haulier advice site click here.

 

New Guidance

Travel restrictions

Travel ban

South American destinations, Portugal, Panama and Cape Verde

New travel restrictions will be in place from 4am Friday 15 January on passengers arriving in the UK from South American destinations, Portugal, Panama and Cape Verde.

  • Entry to the UK banned for passengers arriving from destinations across South (and Central) America, Portugal, Panama and Cape Verde from Friday 15 January at 4am
  • British, Irish and third country nationals with residence rights in the UK who arrive after 4am and have travelled from or transited through these destinations in the last 10 days will have to self-isolate immediately along with their household
  • The move is in response to new evidence highlighting the likely spread of a new coronavirus variant in South America and to countries with strong travel links with Brazil

For more information, click here

South Africa ban extended

  • Entry into England will be banned to those who have travelled from or through any southern African country in the last 10 days, including Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique, and Angola – as well as Seychelles and Mauritius. This does not include British and Irish Nationals, longer-term visa holders and permanent residents, who will be able to enter but are required to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival along with their household. The measures will be in place for an initial period of two weeks.

For more information on the travel restrictions, click here.

Countries removed from the travel corridor

The following countries have been removed from the travel corridor:

For more information, click here.

People arriving in England from Botswana, Israel (and Jerusalem), Mauritius or Seychelles will need to self-isolate. For more information, click here.

From 4am on 12 January 2021, travellers arriving at England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland from the UAE must self-isolate for 10 days. For more information, click here

Open letter to tied tenants of regulated pub companies

The Adjudicator has written an open letter to tied tenants, from the Pubs Code Adjudicator (PCA), explaining important tenant rights in the Pubs Code that may help them especially during the current period of Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions. To view this, click here.

 

Updated Guidance

Business support

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme:

Calculating how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme:  Guidance has been updated to include new information about claiming Employment Allowance. For more information, click here.

Check if you can claim for your employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Guidance has been added with information about how to request that HMRC do not publish claim information. For more information, click here.

Kickstarter Scheme: Apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant: Guidance has been added about how to add new job placements to the grant agreement in 'After you have applied'. For more information for 29 or less job placements, click here.  For 30 or more job placements, click here.

Help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus (Covid-19): Watch videos and register for the free webinars to learn more about the support available to help you deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus. New videos have been added about the Self-Employment Income support Scheme Grant Extension. For more information, click here.

Find examples to help you calculate your employees’ wages:  Check examples to help you calculate your employee's wages, National Insurance contributions and pension contributions if you're claiming through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Two new examples about how to calculate your employees wages if they are paid a fixed annual amount have been added. For more information, click here.

Closing certain businesses and venues in England

Guidance has been updated for business closures in line with the latest government guidance. For more information, click here.

Coronavirus advice for pregnant employees

Advice for pregnant employees on risk assessments in the workplace and occupational health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been updated to reflect the new national lockdown restrictions in England. For more information, click here.