Government Confirms London to move to High Alert Level


The government has confirmed London will move to the high COVID alert level at midnight on Friday 16 October.


The ‘high COVID-alert’ status means the following measures will be in place:

  • people must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
  • people must not meet in a group of more than six outside, including in a garden or other space
  • people should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible. If they need to travel, they should walk or cycle where possible, or plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport


The measures will be reviewed every 14 days to consider whether they are still appropriate.


Speaking in Parliament, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I know that these restrictions are difficult for people. I hate the fact that we have to bring them in. But it is essential that we do bring them in, both to keep people safe, and to prevent greater economic damage in the future.


“When a virus is moving fast, we cannot stay still. And if we act collectively, we know we can control the virus, because we have done it before.”


Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “I must warn Londoners that we’ve got a difficult winter ahead but just as we’ve always done throughout out city’s great history I know that we will get through this dark time by pulling together.”


You can read Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s statement to Parliament on COVID alert local areas here. The government announcement can be found here.


More information is available on the GOV.UK website around specific restrictions which apply to the high alert level.




Up to 100 of the UK’s up-and-coming science and research leaders will benefit from a £109million cash boost to convert their innovative ideas to transformational products and services, the government has announced.

Tackling some of the world’s greatest challenges, including climate change and terminal disease, each scientist and researcher will receive a share of £109m to develop their ‘blue sky’ solutions to global issues such as food supply, cancer diagnosis and dementia treatment.


The Future Leaders Fellowships scheme, which is run by UK Research and Innovation, helps universities and businesses in the UK recruit, develop and retain the world’s best researchers and innovators, regardless of their background. They can apply for up to £1.5m to support the research and innovation leaders of the future, keeping the UK at the cutting edge of innovation.


Round 6 of the Future Leaders Fellowships is currently open to applications.





HMRC Employer Bulletin (October 2020)

HMRC has released its latest Employer bulletin, which includes all of the latest COVID-19 updates to help you continue to meet your payroll obligations to HMRC, including recent government announcements of additional support for businesses and employees.


Test and Trace Support Payment scheme: claiming financial support
If you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and told to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020, you’re under a legal obligation to do so, and could be eligible for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment. This guidance sets out who can claim support and explains how to apply.


New hotline launched to report COVID fraudsters:
new hotline has been launched to stop fraudsters illegally targeting COVID stimulus schemes. In an initiative between government and the independent charity Crimestoppers, the public can now call a new COVID Fraud Hotline (0800 587 5030) anonymously and free of charge to report suspected fraudulent activity.


Updates to the COVID Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF)

The CCFF provides temporary direct support to investment grade firms with short-term cash-flow problems and is designed to ensure that firms accessing government backed CCFF financing are able to repay. To ensure the CCFF continues to meet its objectives, the Treasury has introduced a new access review process. More here.


Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace

Guidance has been updated to add further clarification on the venues in scope of the policy. Guidance has also been added for hospitality venues on how to verify whether an individual has checked in on the NHS COVID-19 app.

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