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12th October: Today’s latest coronavirus updates

Coronavirus Latest News Updates
Posted – 12 Oct 2021

UK STATISTICS

There have been more than eight million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and almost 138,000 people have died, government figures show. Around 86% of people in the UK aged 12 and over have had their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine and around 79% have had their second.

Total UK Cases: 8,193,769 positive tests
Latest UK daily figure: 
40,224 new cases
Number in UK hospital: 
6,728, 42 fewer than on previous day
New deaths across UK: 28
Total UK deaths: 137,763
England Cases per 100,000: 
366
R number in UK: 
0.9 to 1.1

Vaccine data:

Total 1st doses given: 49,186,920 – 90% of UK aged 16+
Total 2nd doses: 45,189,181 – 82%
Daily 1st doses: 22,106
Daily 2nd doses: 19,451

Latest Stockport data:

Total Stockport cases: 42,206 to 11 October
Cases in the latest week: 1,657, 138 more than previous week
Total deaths: 757 to September 24th
Cases per 100,000: 563 per 100,000 week ending 7 October
R number in North West: 0.9 – 1.1

Stockport vaccine data:                  

1st dose: 81% of over 12s to 10 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: 

Institute for Fiscal Studies: Little room for big spending
Government borrowing this year could be more than £50bn lower than was forecast in March, thanks to the UK’s strong economic recovery in the wake of the vaccine rollout, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. But “ever-growing spending on the NHS, and an economy smaller than projected pre-pandemic” will mean there is no room for big spending announcements on other public services, says the think tank’s director Paul Johnson.

easyJet estimates £1bn loss but anticipates recovery in 2022
According to easyJet’s recent trading update it will generate a loss before tax for the year ended September 30 2021 of over £1bn. During its fourth quarter easyJet flew 17.3m seats, operating 58 per cent of 2019 capacity with a stronger performance on intra-European and UK domestic routes, whilst demand for international routes from the UK continued to be impacted by UK Government travel restrictions.
Capacity is expected to be around 70 per cent of 2019 levels in the next financial year. While intra-European demand led the recovery over the summer, the recent UK Government announcement to remove and relax restrictions and testing has created positive booking momentum into next year. In response, the airline has added 100,000 seats for the first quarter of the next financial year, with particularly strong demand for winter sun destinations.

‘Crazy’ period for recruitment puts workers on top

It could be a good time to be seeking work, according to the boss of a Cardiff-based employment agency. Whereas thousands of applicants were chasing a few jobs as the pandemic took hold, candidates are now in “a position of control and power”, with the number of vacancies among his clients up 35% on pre-pandemic levels. Research suggests a shortage of skilled workers will remain a challenge for the next five years. Sectors reporting difficulty finding staff include logistics and transport, hospitality, technology and financial firms.


UK start to pandemic worst health failure ever, MPs
The UK’s failure to do more to stop Covid spreading early in the pandemic was one of the worst ever public health failures, a report by MPs says.
But the report by the cross-party group said there had been successes too – in particular the vaccination programme. It described the whole approach – from the research and development through to the rollout of the jabs – as “one of the most effective initiatives in UK history”.

UK Vacancies reach 20-year high
Vacancies hit 1.1 million between July and September, the Office for National Statistics said, the highest level since records began in 2001.

The largest increase in vacancies was in the retail sector and in motor vehicle repair, it said. The UK unemployment rate was estimated at 4.5%, compared with a rate of 4% before the pandemic. The ONS said the number of employees on payrolls showed another monthly increase, rising 207,000 to a record 29.2 million in September. “The jobs market has continued to recover from the effects of the coronavirus, with the number of employees on payroll in September now well exceeding pre-pandemic levels,” said Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics at the ONS. “Vacancies also reached a new one-month record in September, at nearly 1.2 million, with our latest estimates suggesting that all industries have at least as many jobs on offer now as before the onset of Covid-19.”

REGIONAL & LOCAL NEWS:  

Northern Powerhouse Rail could boost region’s economy by £22bn in 30 years
One key section of Northern Powerhouse Rail alone could deliver a £22bn boost to the Northern economy by 2060 – nearly £8bn more than previously forecast – according to a new report from global engineering consultancy Mott MacDonald.
A new high-speed rail link between Leeds, Bradford and Manchester could potentially increase productivity by 6% (equivalent to £16.5bn), raise the employment rate by 1.5% (equivalent to £5.5bn), and increase gross value added (GVA) in the North by about 8% over 10 years. The report, which is being launched today {Tuesday 12 October} in Leeds, says that traditional cost-benefit analysis, has failed to recognise the true economic potential of the scheme.

Retrofit Skills Bootcamp launches to help GM achieve carbon neutral target
More than 200 unemployed people or those changing careers will receive training in retrofitting skills to support Greater Manchester in reaching its target of becoming carbon neutral by 2038. The Skills Bootcamp for Retrofit, part of the Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee and Plan for Jobs, is a flexible course of up to 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer. The programme will be delivered by the Low Carbon Academy, in partnership with Procure Plus, with the aim to create pathways into the retrofit industry for hundreds of people. The scheme will train people on how to transform the city-region’s homes and buildings, to ensure they are fit for a low-carbon future. Training and upskilling workers is the first step towards achieving Greater Manchester’s ambition to become carbon neutrality by 2038, which is 12 years ahead of the national target. It’s estimated that 62,000 homes will require retrofitting annually to meet this goal, and the training has been designed to help achieve this and support a sustainable economy as the city-region recovers from the pandemic.

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:

DVLA Coronavirus (COVID-19) update
Find out the date of applications we are processing and how to access our online services – update to processing dates.

Pay Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants back
Find out how to pay all or some of your grant back if you’ve overclaimed, or if you do not need the grant and want to make a voluntary repayment.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is now closed
You have until 11.??59pm Thursday?? ?14?? ?October to submit final furlough claims for September. For the latest information on what to do next, we are running one final live webinar, which covers including the grants on your tax returns and getting back to business. You can also ask questions using the on-screen text box, although we can’t discuss personal circumstances. Register here

You’ll be able to download some useful handouts and we’ll also send you a link to a recording after the live webinar. If you’re a small or medium-sized employer with fewer than 250 employees and were eligible for the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme, you have until 31 Dece??mber?? ?2021 to submit your claims for periods ending on or before 30 Septe??mber 2021. Our recorded webinar is available on HMRC’s YouTube channel – this includes further guidance on the scheme, including who you can claim for, how to claim and what you may be entitled to.

COMMUNITY:   


Guidance for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection who do not live with the person
Guidance for contacts of a person with a positive test result for coronavirus (COVID-19) who do not live with that person.   

COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection
Stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection – updated to reflect the end of the shielding programme.
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.

HEALTH & WELLBEING:     

COVID-19: stepdown of infection control precautions and discharging patients to home settings
Advice on appropriate infection prevention and control precautions for stepdown in hospital or discharge to home or residential settings for COVID-19 patients – updated to reflect the end of the shielding programme.

PPE distribution statistics (England)
Experimental statistics about PPE (personal protective equipment) deliveries and related documents – added latest monthly report.

TRAVEL:   

The number of red list countries has been cut to seven, with 47 destinations – including South Africa, Mexico, Thailand and Brazil – removed.

The amber and green lists have been scrapped and rules for testing relaxed.

What are the changes to the red list countries?

Red-list countries are those the government says should not be visited “except in the most extreme of circumstances”.

There are now only seven destinations on the red list:

  • Colombia
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Haiti
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Venezuela

If you have been in one of these countries in the last 10 days, you cannot travel to the UK. The only exception is if you are a UK or Irish national, or UK resident – in which case you need to:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents
This is advice for visa customers and applicants in the UK, visa customers outside of the UK and British nationals overseas who need to apply for a passport affected by travel restrictions associated with coronavirus.

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)