COVID-19 Business Hub
Latest information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
On Monday 22 February, the Prime Minister announced the government’s roadmap to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions in England. The ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’ document outlines four steps for easing restrictions. Before proceeding to the next step, the government will examine the data to assess the impact of the previous step. This assessment will be based on four tests:
- The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
- Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
- Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
- Assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern
This means that any dates given as part of the roadmap are indicative and could be pushed back depending on progress against the four tests.
Currently, England is at Step 2 of the Roadmap.
All being well, Step 3 will start no earlier than 17 May; and Step 4 no earlier than 21 June. You can see a simplified table of the steps on pages 47-48 of the ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’ document.
Latest Statement from Regional Leaders
Leaders from the seven local authorities in North East England advise all to remain cautious as restrictions prepare to further ease.
Update from Michelle Gorman, Managing Director, Visit County Durham
This week sees the partial reopening of the county’s visitor economy, as England successfully reaches the second stage in the roadmap out of lockdown. We would like to send a message of good luck to the businesses that have opened their doors, and who have worked hard behind the scenes to ensure they can welcome customers back safely. But Visit County Durham also acknowledges that for many more businesses their doors remain closed, for now.
Visit County Durham is committed to supporting businesses as we progress along the road to recovery. By working in partnership, we are confident that the county’s visitor economy can emerge even stronger.
Access the Visit County Durham Covid-19 Business Hub for information and support, or email email@example.com
Find out more about the work undertaken by Visit County Durham during the last year throughout the pandemic.
Latest information and announcements
We would advise all partners to regularly check this website and the VisitBritain and Government business support web pages, all of which are being continually updated with the latest advice and information for all tourism businesses.
- Guidance for couples planning to get married or form a civil partnership in England, as well as managers of venues that host ceremonies and receptions, has been updated to include information for Step 3 of the roadmap from 17th May.
- ‘We Offer Testing to our Staff’ is a simple and free voluntary promotional scheme introduced by government for firms who are participating in the free coronavirus (COVID-19) workplace testing programme and offer regular twice weekly testing to their staff. The scheme showcases those organisations that offer regular testing for their employees through displaying an easily recognisable and NHS Test and Trace branded physical and/or virtual sticker.
- Apprenticeship guidance updated to say that from 17 May all apprentices in higher education can return to in-person teaching and learning.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): right to work checks guidance updated with the end date for the temporary adjusted checking processes now 21 June.
- The Prime Minister has announced that the Government will launch a full independent inquiry in to the Government’s handling of coronavirus – starting in Spring 2022.
- Yesterday afternoon the UK COVID-19 alert level was reduced from level 4 to level 3 following a joint statement by the UK Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) recommending this change.
- The Prime Minister held a press briefing confirming England will move to Step 3 on 17 May. He outlined the measures that will change from that date. The Prime Minister also said that subject to the impact of these relaxations on the data, we are on track to move to Step 4 on 21 June.
- The what you can and cannot do guidance for England has been updated with measures that will change from 17 May.
- Claims for furlough days in April 2021 must be made by 14 May 2021.
- The 11th release of Official Statistics on CJRS is available. This release provides analysis of claims for periods up to 31 March 2021. The data used includes claims submitted to HMRC by 14 April 2021.
- As we move towards Step 3 of the Roadmap out of lockdown, many venues will be preparing to re-open, some of which will be required to follow the updated guidance for capturing contact details by asking all customers and visitors to check-in to their venues upon arrival. Ahead of 17 May, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) are hosting briefing sessions to outline the venue check-in process. During the sessions, DHSC will provide details on what the regulations mean; the supporting materials available, including posters and guidance sheets and an opportunity to ask questions to DHSC. There is no registration link, please join at the time of the meeting on your preferred date (first opportunity is TODAY): Thursday 6 May, 14:30-15:15 Meeting Link and Tuesday 11 May, 15:30-16:15 Meeting Link
- Transport Secretary Grant Shapps joined a G7 leaders meeting to identify common goals and principles that will help develop globally recognised standards for when international travel reopens. This includes best practices for sharing scientific data and promoting coordination on universally recognised travel certificates.
Catch up on previous annnouncements
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