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11th October: Today’s latest coronavirus updates

Coronavirus Latest News Updates
Posted – 11 Oct 2021

UK STATISTICS

There have been more than eight million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and more than 138,000 people have died, government figures show.

Total UK Cases: 8,154,306 positive tests
Latest UK daily figure: 
34,574 new cases
Number in UK hospital: 
6,763, 65 fewer than on previous day
New deaths across UK: 38
Total UK deaths: 137,735
England Cases per 100,000: 
341
R number in UK: 
0.9 to 1.1

Vaccine data:

Total 1st doses given: 49,158,835 – 90% of UK aged 16+
Total 2nd doses: 45,168,344 – 82%
Daily 1st doses: 26,157
Daily 2nd doses: 32,755

Latest Stockport data:

Total Stockport cases: 41,550 to 8 October
Cases in the latest week: 1,521, 45 fewer than previous week
Total deaths: 757 to September 24th
Cases per 100,000: 517 per 100,000 week ending 3 October
R number in North West: 0.9 – 1.1

Stockport vaccine data:                  

1st dose: 81% of over 12s to 6 October
2nd dose: 76%

The R value and growth rate
The R range for England is 0.9 to 1.1 and the growth rate range for England is -1% to +2% per day as of 8 October 2021

Slides, datasets and transcripts to accompany coronavirus press conferences
Updated with slides to accompany coronavirus press conferences 

UK NEWS UPDATES: 

Nations agree to 15% minimum corporate tax rate
Most of the world’s nations have signed up to a historic deal to ensure big companies pay a fairer share of tax. Some 136 countries agreed to enforce a corporate tax rate of at least 15%, as well a fairer system of taxing profits where they are earned. It follows concern that multinational companies are re-routing their profits through low tax jurisdictions. Countries including Ireland had opposed the deal but have now agreed to the policy. UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the deal would “upgrade the global tax system for the modern age. We now have a clear path to a fairer tax system, where large global players pay their fair share wherever they do business,” he said.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental organisation, has led talks on a minimum rate for a decade.

Wales NHS Covid passes become compulsory
People in Wales now need an NHS Covid pass to be able to legally attend big events or nightclubs. They are compulsory for over-18s, and show people have either tested negative on a lateral flow test or are fully vaccinated against Covid.

Wales’ rugby game against New Zealand on 30 October will be one of the first mass events to require Covid passes. Some nightclub bosses said they felt “singled out” by the rules, but other people said they felt reassured. First Minister Mark Drakeford said the new scheme is “vulnerable to abuse” but the “huge bulk of people” will follow the new rules.

Australia: Sydney celebrates end of 107-day lockdown
The Australian city of Sydney has emerged from lockdown after almost four months, with locals celebrating a range of new freedoms. People queued for pubs and shops that opened at midnight on Monday specifically for the occasion. Many others have been enjoying anticipated reunions and visits to the homes of relatives and friends.

Covid rules had banned household visits and travel beyond a 5km (3.1 miles) zone, separating many families. But most restrictions have now been eased for fully vaccinated people. People can now share meals together at reopened cafes and restaurants, and visit gyms, libraries, and pools. There were long queues for barbers and nail salons on Monday.

Uncertain winter ahead as flu circulates at same time, says Harries
The UK is facing an uncertain winter with the spread of coronavirus and the flu, the head of the Health Security Agency Jenny Harries has said.

People are at “more significant risk of death and of serious illness if they are co-infected” with both viruses, she told the BBC. She said: “It’s a more uncertain year but I certainly would be encouraging everybody to go and get their vaccine.”

More than 40 million people in the UK are being offered a flu jab this year.

For the first time this includes all secondary school children up to the age of 16.

The over-50s and younger adults with health conditions are also being offered a Covid booster jab this autumn and winter.

REGIONAL & LOCAL NEWS:

Labour and material shortages restrict North West’s economic growth
The North West’s economic growth slumped to its slowest rate since February last month – due to shortages of labour and raw materials. According to the latest Regional PMI data from NatWest, private sector business activity in the North West continued to expand in September, but growth was constrained by supply bottlenecks and staff shortages. The PMI Business Activity Index tracks the monthly change in the output of goods and services across the private sector. A reading above 50 shows growth, with higher numbers signalling faster expansion, while anything below 50 shows contraction.  

Pop-Up vaccination clinics for home-schooled youngsters
12 to 15-year-olds in Stockport educated outside local authority schools through home schooling or distance learning, as well as those who have missed their in-school appointments due to illness or absence, will now be able to access their Covid-19 vaccination at pop-up clinics in October. The clinics will take place at Trinity Methodist Church, Trinity Gardens, 351 Bramhall Lane, SK3 8TP, on Monday, 25 October, and Wednesday, 27 October, from 8.30am – 4.30pm. The 12-15 year olds are being offered one dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Letters and consent forms have been sent out to households, but consent forms will also be available at the clinics to complete on the day.  

SECTOR SPECIFIC CORONAVIRUS-RELATED NEWS: 

BUSINESS:

Bespoke testing for jobs with travel exemptions
Find out about bespoke testing legally required for certain types of work – updated information on text message reminders.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): jobs that qualify for travel exemptions
Jobs that qualify for exemptions from quarantine, passenger locator form or COVID testing requirements – drivers of goods vehicles update – Georgia and Montenegro removed from red list.

COMMUNITY:  

COVID-19 vaccination programme
Documents relating to the new coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination programme – added ‘COVID-19 vaccination: checklist for parents of children aged 12 to 15 years.   

Private providers of coronavirus (COVID-19) testing
Lists of and information about private providers who have self-declared that they meet the government’s minimum standards for the type of commercial COVID-19 testing service they offer – updated the general list of providers.

ENVIRONMENT:

‘100 per cent’ renewable energy company bucks sector trend with electric vehicle boom
A sustainable energy firm has announced there is to be no change to its full year expectations despite “short-term volatility” in the market. Good Energy plc, intends to capitalise on the increasing electric vehicle market. According to the firm, one in seven cars sold in the UK is electric and the firm is poised to exploit this following investments made on electric vehicle products and services. Nigel Pocklington, chief executive officer of Good Energy, said: “Despite the recent volatility in wholesale energy prices, we remain positive on the long-term opportunity in our chosen markets. Recent electric vehicle sales data proves the acceleration of adoption and reinforces the scale of opportunity for Good Energy in this market.”

HEALTH & WELLBEING:   

Carrying out a face-to-face health assessment during COVID-19: guidance for assessment providers
Guidance on carrying out a face-to-face health assessment for a Work Capability Assessment, Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit and Personal Independence Payment – updated to reflect the latest government guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Removed guidance about people who were clinically extremely vulnerable and on social distancing. Updated the guidance on who claimants can bring with them to the assessment and on wearing face coverings. Removed the social distancing outline specification.

COVID-19 vaccination: women of childbearing age, currently pregnant or breastfeeding
Information for all women of childbearing age, those currently pregnant or breastfeeding on coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination – updated ‘COVID-19 vaccination: a guide on pregnancy and breastfeeding’ and links to translated versions of the poster and social media cards.

Assessment and procurement of coronavirus (COVID-19) tests
How the government assesses offers of COVID-19 tests from developers for procurement and use in the UK – updated ‘Outcome of the evaluation of rapid diagnostic assays for specific SARS-CoV-2 antigens (lateral flow devices)’ to add 6 more lateral flow devices that have passed 3a validation.

JUDICIARY:

Being a deputy or attorney during the coronavirus outbreak
Find out how you can continue to act in the best interests of the client or donor, during the pandemic.

Making and registering an LPA during the coronavirus outbreak
If you want to make an LPA now, you can as long as you follow government guidance on social distancing and self-isolating.

PROPERTY:

What are the advantages of converting office to residential?
As noted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, more than half of UK business directors have planned to downsize their offices during the course of the pandemic, and if working from home remains a popular choice, more and more businesses will be looking to change their workplace arrangements. Working from home is, after all, clearly a feasible option in the eyes of many commentators. A recent report from McKinsey has pointed out that UK office workers in fields like business and financial services have the highest potential for remote work among all the countries they examined. In practice, this means that commercial offices are becoming increasingly obsolete. Retail data consultancy Local Data Company has found that commercial office vacancy rates in London are, in fact, facing a five-year high. But while offices around the country may be empty, the opportunities they represent for keen and creative developers and investors are brimming with potential.

New property tax- draft legislation released
The government has released details of a new Residential Property Developer Tax, first announced at the start of the summer as a way of funding remediation on properties with dangerous cladding. However, the government’s announcement over the weekend fails to say what the rate of the tax will be – this is expected to be revealed at the Budget in just over two weeks’ time. In the meantime the government says its aim is to make “the largest developers make a fair contribution to help fund the government’s cladding remediation costs.” This is what we know so far:
The tax will be applied from April 1 2022 to most new developments, regardless of whether they have relevant cladding at their properties;
The new tax will be levied on developers who are already paying corporation tax and will be applied to developments that are predominantly  residential in nature and
The government says it aims to raise £2 billion through this tax by the end of this decade. 

TRANSPORT:

Get a coronavirus (COVID-19) test if you’re an HGV or van driver
COVID-19 testing for hauliers arriving in England and travelling from the UK.

TRAVEL:   

Red list of countries and territories
Check the COVID-19 testing and quarantine rules for countries and territories on the red list for international travel to England – 47 countries or territories removed from the red list at 4am today, Monday 11 October 2021.

Recovery continues as bookings rise for agents and operators
The survey for the final two weeks from 18 September to 1 October found that 97% of agents had seen enquiries during the fortnight – up by two percentage points on the previous fortnight’s Tracker, which had been the highest level for six months.
While 87% of agents also took bookings during the same period, which was also a rise of two points on the previous two weeks. There was further good news for the trade, with the volume of both bookings and enquiries rising for agents: the average number of enquires went up from 23 to 28 and average bookings rose from 14 to 19. The increase in business looks to have confirmed how the government’s latest easing of Covid-19 restrictions has finally improved consumer confidence.

 

Covid-19 Webinars:

Remote education webinars
How to access school-led webinars on remote education to help share good practice – new dates for webinars for teachers added.

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. The YouTube video for Self-Employment Income Support Scheme – Universal Credit and Child Benefit has been updated.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – How to make a claim:
This guides you through making a claim, including the essential information you need, what to do before you make your claim, calculating and processing your claim.
Choose a date and time

If you’ve missed any of HMRC’s live webinars, you can catch up  series of recorded webinars on HMRC’s YouTube channel – available at a time to suit you.

Brexit Webinars:

Exporting: Actions you need to take now: An overview of the actions you need to take now before you export goods from Great Britain to the EU and move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Key processes include – staged border controls, zero-rated VAT, customs declaration, using an intermediary as well as licences, certificates, and authorisations. Please register to take part if you’re planning to export.

Trader responsibilities when using an intermediary: You now need to complete import or export declarations to trade goods with the EU. These are complex and a lot of businesses choose to use an intermediary to do these for them. This webinar explains your responsibilities as a trader if you choose to use an intermediary. Please register to take part if you’re planning to import or export.

What are customs import declarations?: If you import goods, you now need to make customs import declarations on controlled goods and all goods by the end of June. This webinar will help you understand what they are in more detail. This includes what is needed for simplified declarations, supplementary declarations, how to make them, and delayed import declarations. Please register to take part if you’re planning to import.

Importing: Staged controls and how to prepare to use them: This webinar will walk you through the three stages of the new border controls introduced on 1?? ?January?? ?2021, and what actions you need to take for each stage. Please register to take part if you’re planning to import.

LATEST LINKS:

Repayment period for Bounce Back Loans extended to ten years
Businesses that took out government Bounce Back loans to help them through the Coronavirus crisis now have more time to repay. Companies will be contacted with options to extend the length of the loan from six to 10 years as part of a new ‘pay-as-you-grow’ initiative. The new proposals give businesses three new options:

1. Extending the length of the loan from six years to 10;

2. Making interest-only payments for six months, then repaying the principal on a phased basis with other interest-only periods;

3. Delaying repayments entirely for up to six months.

Financial support for businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Pay VAT deferred due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
Find out how to pay VAT payments deferred between 20 March and 30 June 2020.

Report an outbreak of Coronavirus in Stockport:
https://www.stockport.gov.uk/coronavirus-in-stockport/report-a-coronavirus-outbreak

Home workers can claim £26 tax relief for job expenses
If you’ve asked your employees to work from home, and you’ve not reimbursed them already, your employees may be entitled to claim tax relief on additional household expenses they’ve incurred, such as heating and lighting.

New hotline launched to report COVID fraudsters
A new hotline has been launched to stop fraudsters illegally targeting COVID stimulus schemes.

If you would like to register your interest in creating one or more Kickstart Job, please complete the Kickstart Employer Enquiry Form and a member of the Council’s Kickstart Team will contact you to explain more.

Kickstart Scheme
The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds.

Kickstart Scheme terms and conditions
Kickstart Scheme terms and conditions for employers and gateways receiving the Kickstart Scheme grant from the Department for Work and Pensions.

Kickstart Scheme employer resources
If you’ve been offered Kickstart Scheme funding, you can use these resources to show your support for the scheme.

Kickstart Scheme employer contacts
List of regional contacts for employers applying for a grant through the Kickstart Scheme.

Apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant: 30 or more job placements
If you are an employer looking to create 30 or more jobs placements for young people, apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme.

Apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant: 29 or less job placements
If you are an employer looking to create 29 or less jobs placements for young people, apply for funding as part of the Kickstart Scheme.

Visit the Stockport Council website to report details of any outbreaks online.  
https://www.stockport.gov.uk/coronavirus-in-stockport/report-a-coronavirus-outbreak

Opening times for Stockport Council Coronavirus Helpline
The helpline for vulnerable people across Stockport can now be accessed through new opening times by calling 0161 217 6046:
• Monday – Thursday from 9am to 5pm
• Friday from 9am to 4.30pm
• Saturdays from 10am to 1pm
At busy times, residents are automatically offered a call-back from one of our call handlers.

New tools and resources available from Acas:
Redundancy letter templates
Redundancy process map 

Acas have also contributed to the development of a new return to work toolkit in partnership with SOM, CIPD, BITC and Mind.

Business Support in Stockport – a centre pool of information to support business owners in Stockport:
www.skbusinessrecovery.co.uk

Government – Guidance on Returning to Work safely
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Stockport Council’s FREE job matching website helps support employers with vacancies and individuals across the Stockport borough who are looking for work. The service, Stockport Jobs Match, will help to connect employers who have urgent temporary or permanent vacancies with applicants who are immediately available and in need of employment. The website also helps signpost individuals to available support services and information. www.stockport-jobsmatch.co.uk

Stockport Council – Health & Mental Well-being https://www.stockport.gov.uk/showcase/coronavirus 

Government – Financial Support
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – online claims portal open

Government – Business Support:
Government launches new coronavirus business support finder tool

Government – Business Support Hub:
https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support

Government – IT safety support:
Government Warnings Over Coronavirus Scams – Here’s How to Protect Yourself

Government – Financial Support: 
HMRC has published guidance on how it will work out income and profits for the self-employed or those in a partnership who have lost profits due to coronavirus. 

Government – Business Support: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19

Government – Financial Support: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-business-support-grant-funding

Government – Business Support:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

Gov.uk: Maintaining Educational Provision: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

Business Growth Hub:
www.businessgrowthhub.com/coronavirus  https://www.businessgrowthhub.com/coronavirus/resources/2020/03/coronavirus-business-support-webinar-series

Employment – Useful information for the Self-Employed:

News and Guidance for the self-employed:
Concerned how Coronavirus might impact you and your business?
Please get in touch with Enterprising You and you will be connected to someone who can help.

You can also access information and guidance including the latest Government updates via www.businessgrowthhub.com/coronavirus

Can you claim back Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay in the Rebate Scheme
From Tuesday 26 May 2020, small and medium-sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, will be able to apply to recover the costs of paying coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their employees. Health updates:

Health – updates from NHS
https://www.england.nhs.uk/news/

Health – Dedicated helpline to support vulnerable residents in Stockport:
Support can be accessed by calling 0161 217 6046 Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and Saturdays from 10am to 4pm.

Health – Dedicated health & wellbeing services:
24/7 mental health helpline & safe haven for anyone over the age of 18 in Stockport (0800 138 7276).

Health – An Emotional Wellbeing Hub which provides information, advice, and guidance for anyone up to the age of 25 for emotional wellbeing and mental health concerns. 0161 217 6028 – 8.30am-5pm Mon – Thurs 8.30am-4.30pm on Friday. 

Community – Guidance for businesses seeking to help voluntary, community, and social enterprise organisations during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
How businesses can offer services, funds and volunteers to civil society during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Find out more information here.

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    LATEST TOWN CENTRE FOOTFALL

    Total visits this period:

    492,332

    Busiest time of the day:

    12.00 - 13.00

    Average dwell time:

    141 mins

    Average visits per day:

    16,410

    (Provided by Sept 2021 research)