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13th October: Today’s latest coronavirus updates

Coronavirus Latest News Updates
Posted – 13 Oct 2021

It’s Post 16 careers week!

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: 8,231,437 positive tests
Latest UK daily figure: 
38,520 new cases
Number in UK hospital: 
7,003, 142 more than on previous day
New deaths across UK: 181
Total UK deaths: 137,944
England Cases per 100,000: 
377
R number in UK: 
0.9 to 1.1

Vaccine data:

Total 1st doses given: 49,216,092 – 90% of UK aged 16+
Total 2nd doses: 45,212,813 – 82%
Daily 1st doses: 29,172
Daily 2nd doses: 23,632

Latest Stockport data:

Total Stockport cases: 42,499 to 12 October
Cases in the latest week: 1,685, 147 more than previous week ?
Total deaths: 758 to October 1st (+1)
Cases per 100,000: 573 per 100,000 week ending 8 October ?
R number in North West: 0.9 – 1.1

Stockport vaccine data:                  

1st dose: 81% of over 12s to 11 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: 

UK economy grows on camping and dining out
The UK economy grew by 0.4% in August as more people dined out, went on holiday and attended music festivals. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the services sector made the biggest contribution to economic growth in the first full month after all Covid restrictions were lifted in England. It said arts, entertainment and recreation grew 9%, boosted by sports clubs, amusement parks and festivals.

There was also more demand for hotels and campsites following easing of social distancing from 19 July. The ONS said the economy is now 0.8% smaller than it was before the pandemic.  However, the UK economy grew by just 0.1% in July as the last Covid restrictions were lifted in England. It was the economy’s sixth consecutive month of growth, but the increase was much lower than in the previous month, which saw 1% growth. Arts, entertainment and recreation activities helped the rise, but the “pingdemic” kept many workers at home. The UK economy is still 2.1% below its pre-pandemic peak, said the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

100,000 Care Staff shortages hitting critical rate
Care sector bosses in England are struggling to recruit staff, with more jobs unfilled than before the pandemic, says a leading industry body. The number of unfilled jobs fell at the start of the pandemic but rose this year as the economy opened up, suggests analysis by Skills for Care amounting to more than 100,000 posts, 8.2% of roles with no-one to fill them. Employers are also finding it harder to keep existing staff, the report finds. The government says extra funding and a regular recruitment drive will help boost the workforce. The annual State of the Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce in England report is based on data provided by a representative sample of employers of England’s 1.54 million care workers.

the trend had reversed, with 8.2% of care sector roles unfilled.

This amounts to more than 100,000 posts with no-one to fill them, says Skills for Care.

Misleading and fake vaccine claims target children and parents
Campaigners have been gathering outside schools, handing out what they claim are legal documents or “notices of liability” to head teachers, warning them not to vaccinate children. Before the government’s decision to extend the UK Covid vaccination programme to 12- to 15-year-olds was announced, debate simmered over whether the jab should be offered to healthy children, who are at a much lower risk from the virus than older age groups. But alongside genuine discussion, campaigners opposed to the vaccine have been spreading misinformation.

A fake vaccine-consent letter, pretending to be from the NHS, was sent to schools in England.

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:  

Demolition starts next week at old Stockport bus station
Demolition work is set to begin at Stockport’s former bus station to make way for a new state-of-the-art transport interchange, rooftop park and 196 new apartments in the town centre. Work will begin on 18th October, and bus services have already relocated to a temporary facility at Heaton Lane car park to allow construction of the new transport hub to begin. The new multi-million pound transport interchange being developed in Stockport is part of a major redevelopment scheme being undertaken by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), Stockport Council, and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).

Toronto latest city to join direct long-haul flights Manchester Airport
Direct flights from Manchester Airport to Canada will resume for the first time since the start of the pandemic next Wednesday (20th October), after Air Transat confirmed plans to reintroduce its Toronto service. The weekly flights will operate from Terminal One at the Northern hub. The recovery of Manchester’s connection to Canada follows the reinstatement of direct services to destinations such as Singapore and Saudi Arabia in recent weeks and is expected to further bolster the North’s economic recovery. Canada is one of the UK’s largest trading partners outside Europe, with total trade between the two countries at £20.9 billion in the 12 months to June 20211, and Toronto is Canada’s financial capital.

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:

The October edition of the Employer Bulletin brings you all the latest HMRC updates and guidance to support employers and payroll agents.  
There is important information on:

  • PAYE including the tax changes for Health and Social Care
  • UK Transition and the recently agreed UK-Swiss Convention on Social Security coordination
  • COVID-19 information with updates on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • Tax updates and changes to guidance, including information on PAYE liability involving Offshore Matters.

Coronavirus and the impact on output in the UK economy: August 2021
An analysis of monthly growth for the production and services industries between July 2021 and August 2021, highlighting the impact from the coronavirus (COVID-19).  

Employers who have claimed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Monthly data on claims made by employers through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – added bullet to include employers that claimed but were not paid the grant. Employer data for claim periods from December 2020 to July 2021 added.  

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

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.

Tell HMRC about an option to tax land and buildings
Use form VAT1614A to tell HMRC of an option to tax land or buildings.

COMMUNITY:    

COVID-19 vaccination: resources for children and young people
Information for eligible children and young people on COVID-19 vaccination – added links to braille and translations of the COVID-19 vaccination: a guide for eligible children and young people aged 12 to 17 leaflet.

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.  

CONSTRUCTION:

Fall in output slows in August
The small 0.2% fall in August was down to contraction of the refurbishment and maintenance sector with new work remaining flat at the same level as July. Government economists at the ONS said anecdotal evidence suggested supply chain issues were a key factor behind falling GDP. Many firms said that order books were healthy, but the availability of products was impacting on projects currently underway.

Job vacancies in construction rise to highest level since records began in 2001.

Latest Government figures from the ONS show the battle to find workers to deliver projects is intensifying as firms gear up for expansion. In the rolling three months from July to September, one of the busiest times for construction, unfilled jobs rose to 43,000, just over 45% higher than the previous April to June period and nearly double the same period a year ago. This equates to around 2.9 vacancies for every 100 jobs in the industry.

EDUCATION:

Alternative provision: year 11 transition funding
Sets out the financial support available to alternative provision (AP) schools and colleges to support current year 11 students into post-16 education – added link to case studies on post-16 transition to the ‘What you can spend it on’ section.

ENVIRONMENT:

Natwest pledges £100bn to climate and sustainability funding
NatWest Group has announced a new target to provide £100bn of Climate and Sustainable Funding and Financing (CSFF) by the end of 2025. Part of this new CSFF target will help to support the investment needed to transition the UK to a net zero economy and will help to support the bank’s customers including SMEs on their transition to a net zero and a more sustainable economy. Natwest will also remove “Nuclear” and “Energy from Waste” from its CSFF inclusion criteria, and not count these ventures towards its £100bn pledge. According to the bank, it aims to at least halve the climate impact of its financing activity by 2030, to reach net zero by 2050, and make operations “Climate Positive” by 2025.

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.

MANUFACTURING:

Vehicles are Britain’s most valuable trade good
Vehicles remained Britain’s most valuable trade good during 2020, according to new figures. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said that vehicle export revenues reached £27bn during the year, making them more valuable to the UK than power-generating machinery and gold.

PROPERTY:

Grants covering Covid arrears “will boost tenants health”
Shelter claims the health of one in five renters in England is harmed by poor housing and says grants covering Covid-related arrears would help put things right. A YouGov poll commissioned by the campaigning charity says the most common problems hitting (the charity says “plaguing”) renters’ mental and physical health in the private and social sectors include damp and mould; there is also an apparent inability to sufficiently heat the home – these issues affect 26 per cent of tenants, it claims. Constantly struggling to pay rent (21 per cent) and fear of eviction (19 per cent) are other worries for tenants. Renters experiencing any one of these issues are three times more likely to say their current housing situation is harming their health, the poll apparently shows. 

RETAIL:

John Lewis oniline sales surge alongside skincare and air fryers
In John Lewis’ 2021 How We Shop, Live and Look report, the retailer looked at consumer shopping habits from the past 12 months, revealing that the changes consumers embraced during periods of lockdown are here to stay. It revealed that online sales now account for between 60 per cent and 70 per cent of total sales compared to 40 per cent pre-pandemic. This figure remains the same as it did in 2020’s report, illustrating how consumers had not reduced their online spend even when stores reopened.  

TRANSPORT:  

Haulier coronavirus testing
To monitor the number of tests delivered and the positivity rate of the tests.  

Transport use during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
To monitor the use of the transport system during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. DfT provides statistics on transport use by mode.

TRAVEL:   

Day 2 and day 8 testing for international arrivals: minimum standards for providers
Sets out the minimum standards that private sector providers must meet for the COVID-19 tests for people arriving in England – clarified the definition of ‘eligible’ arrivals in ‘4. Reporting of coronavirus test results, as a notifiable disease’ (this refers to individuals who are eligible to follow the rules for fully vaccinated arrivals).

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)