Covid-19 update 29.04.2020
DAILY BUSINESS BRIEFING FROM GOVERNMENT’S COVID-19 PRESS CONFERENCE
Those who cannot work from home and have COVID-19 symptoms are now able to book coronavirus tests, foreign secretary Dominic Raab announced at today’s Downing Street press conference.
The announcement follows Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s announcement that all care home residents and staff in England would be able to access tests from today (Wednesday), regardless of whether they have symptoms.
The expansion of the scheme covers both those with symptoms unable to work at home (such as construction workers, shop workers, emergency tradespeople and delivery drivers), as well as anyone they live with. People can self-refer or be referred by their employer. Details can be found here. The link for self-referral is here.
The over-65s are also now able to get testing.
Mr Raab said more than 52,429 tests took place yesterday and that ministers were aware they had a 100,000 target to hit by Thursday.
And he re-confirmed that the lockdown will not be eased until ministers know a “second peak” can be avoided. He said a second peak remained a “real risk”, which could result in “many more deaths” and further “economic pain” with a second lockdown.
Ministers will wait for scientific advisers to report back in early May before making a decision.
Cash grant for retail, hospitality and leisure and small business grant funding
Since the launch of the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Leisure & Hospitality Grants Fund, more than £7billion in grants has been paid out to small businesses.
Local Authorities in England have been working hard to reach out to eligible businesses directly to arrange payment. The grants are of £10,000 or £25,000 and do not need to be paid back.
To ensure all eligible businesses can access these funds, please either reach out to your local council or use the GOV.UK checker tool
- Check whether you are entitled to the grant, using the GOV UK checker tool.
- Reach out to your council if you think you’re eligible, using the GOV UK find your council tool.
For more information on the schemes, please click here.
Find free or discounted resources for students, schools, universities and training providers
The British Educational Suppliers Association, with the support of the Department for Education, has developed the LendED website to help schools get the most out of their existing resources, and provide teachers with easy-to-use home learning materials.
You can search resources from trusted suppliers, read teacher reviews and request free access during school closures. This site includes over 200 UK companies as well most of the UK’s major universities. More information is available here.
NEW INFORMATION AND UPDATES
Ask a question at a coronavirus press conference
Find out how you can ask the government a question at the daily coronavirus press conference here.
Extension to tax policy consultations
HM Treasury and HMRC have set out new timelines for tax policy consultations and other work in the light of the current Covid-19 crisis.
COVID-19 treatments could be fast-tracked through new national clinical trial initiative
This initiative will accelerate the development of new drugs for patients hospitalised with COVID-19, reducing the time taken to set up clinical studies for new therapies from months to weeks.
Home Secretary announces visa extensions for frontline health and care workers
Free visa extensions will be automatically granted to more crucial overseas health and care workers.
Latest information and actions for academies, schools, colleges, local authorities and further education providers
Updates from the Education and Skills Funding Agency.
Repatriation during the COVID-19 pandemic
Foreign & Commonwealth Office Minister Nigel Adams spoke in Parliament on FCO support for British people abroad and procuring personal protective equipment.
Veterinary practices: changes to support the distribution of veterinary medicines
A number of rules and regulations have been relaxed to support veterinary practice. They include:
- SQPs temporarily allowed to prescribe and authorise supply of veterinary medicines remotely
- Veterinary practice premises: temporary change of premises
- Veterinary surgeons: temporary changes to the retail supply of veterinary medicines
The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) have issued guidance for veterinary professionals on how to continue to undertake veterinary work.