Home / News / 22/5: Coronavirus latest updates

22/5: Coronavirus latest updates

Posted – 22 May 2020

Greater Manchester Remembers

As we remember the 22 innocent fans who lost their lives on 22nd May, and all of those injured and affected by the terrorist attack, the message is clearly don’t look back in anger. Instead, at a time of crisis and in the spirit of our great community, we stand together and support each other as we work to Build Back Better. 

Stockport Business Support coronavirus recovery

As Stockport’s business community prepares for recovery post-coronavirus, a group of business leaders from the town have collaborated with Stockport Council to launch a new website – www.skbusinessrecovery.co.uk to support businesses through the phases of recovery.

Latest data:

Total tests: 3,090,566 tests have now taken place

Positive tests: 251,293 people have tested positive + 2,615 on previous day

Loss of life: 36,042 people have died across all settings, + 338 more deaths since the previous day’s figures

In Stockport: There are 1,025 cases of Covid-19 + 2 over previous day

Government news and briefing from 21st May:

Health Secretary Matt Hancock hosted the daily briefing:

  • £4.2m going to mental health charities
  • Track and Trace testing system on track for delivery 1st June
  • Covid Alert Level at 4 but in a position to move to Level 3
  • New fast test could give results in 20 minutes
  • 10 million anti-body kits are being procured
  • R infection rate below 1
  • Home care deaths “have peaked”
  • 2.2m people shielding have been offered help

Health and Social Care Secretary’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 21 May 2020

Slides and datasets to accompany coronavirus press conference: 21 May 2020
Press conference slides and datasets used by The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP and Professor Chris Whitty.


BBC: UK borrowing at record high as virus cost soars in April
The government borrowed £62.1bn in April, the highest monthly figure on record, according to official figures. It underlines the cost of coping with the coronavirus pandemic through jobs schemes and loans, and is double the forecast of many economists. The cost of furlough schemes had the largest impact, hitting £14bn in April. The government’s independent forecaster, the OBR, has said the gap between the UK’s borrowing and spending could hit £298bn this year.

Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician at the Office for National Statistics (ONS), described April’s figure as “pretty much unprecedented”.

UK arrivals could face £1,000 fines if they break quarantine
Anyone arriving in the UK from abroad could be fined £1,000 if they fail to self-isolate for 14 days, the government is expected to announce. Under the plans, health officials would be able to carry out spot checks to check whether people were complying. The new rules, which will also apply to British people returning from abroad, are not expected to come into force until next month. Home Secretary Priti Patel will give more details at today’s daily briefing.

New fast test being trialled in Hampshire
Matt Hancock says a faster form of swab testing – telling people if they currently have coronavirus – is being trialled from today. It could give a result in just 20 minutes. Trials of a new coronavirus test which can return results in 20 minutes or so are beginning in Hampshire, England, today. Up to 4,000 people of all ages and backgrounds will be tested as part of the six-week trial.
The new test, which has proven to be effective in clinical settings, does not need to be sent to a laboratory, the UK government said. It will be rolled out to a number of accident and emergency hospital departments without access to laboratories and care homes across Hampshire. Mr Hancock, England’s health secretary, said the tests would enable health and care workers to carry on with their shift or immediately isolate on the same day.

ONS publish results of Covid-19 inspection survey and statistical round-up
Today we have published the latest results from the COVID-19 Infection Survey in England, analysis of recent trends in international travel and data on the business impacts of the lockdown. Some of the main points include:

  • An estimated average of 61,000 people in English households were being newly infected with COVID-19 per week between 4 and 17 May 2020
  • There were an estimated 23.7 million passenger arrivals in the UK (including returning UK residents) in January to March 2020, down by 18% compared with the same period in 2019
  • The number of applications for visitor visas in the first quarter of 2020 was 26% lower than in the same period in 2019
  • Some businesses that had closed because of the lockdown are beginning to reopen, with 6% of trading businesses having restarted in the last two weeks (19% in accommodation and food services) 


‘Martyn’s Law’ plan for new anti-terrorism legislation put on hold due to coronavirus

Plans for ‘Martyn’s Law’, in memory of Stockport’s Martyn Hett who was a victim of the arena attack on 22nd May 2017, to better protect the public from terror attacks in crowded areas like bars and restaurants have been put on hold due to coronavirus.

But Figen Murray, Martyn’s mother, said the Government remained fully committed to the new legislation in memory of her son.  It comes as Manchester and the world observes the third anniversary today of the Arena atrocity, which claimed 22 lives and left many hundreds more injured. The law, for public venues and crowded spaces, was due to go out to public consultation in the spring. #bemoremartyn

Stockport Council: details for Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund.

As mentioned in the guidance published earlier in the week, the Council are still awaiting the online application form for the Business Rates software supplier but believe that this will be available later today. We will provide a further update on this site once we have further information. In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding the scheme or the process, please contact us on SKLADGRANTS@stockport.gov.uk

The application window will close on Wednesday 3rd June at 5pm. Process of payments will begin on Friday 5th June.  

Stockport businesses grant funding payments:
Stockport Council have administered a further 20 grants in the past 24 hours bringing the total amount paid to £55,580,000 across 4,829 qualifying businesses and nearly 88% of those identified as eligible as at 11/03/2020. If your business qualifies for a grant, please complete the online application form. Total grant allocation is £66.574m. If you have any queries please email business.rates@stockport.gov.uk  

Stockport – is your business open for business?

Is your business in Stockport?  Are you ‘open for business’? 

Many businesses have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak and are currently unable to trade due to Government restrictions but Stockport is still open for business.  Are you still providing legal / financial services? Perhaps you have an online business? Or you have a food store. Are you offering a delivery service? Or perhaps you have a restaurant and are now offering take-aways? Whatever your business, we want to support you. And it’s free!

Follow the link, fill in the form and we will add you to our directory:

Help us to help you and your business

Totally Stockport and Stockport Council want to understand the challenges facing your organisation once you consider resuming your business so that we can provide the right help, support and advice for our businesses and local economy to recover.

Please complete this short survey (7-8 questions) to help us to understand what help is needed – by taking part you will be supporting us all to rebuild our economy together. Please encourage all of your contacts and networks to take part in the survey so that we can get as much information as possible.

Visit www.bidsurvey.com and help them to help you.


UK Brickmakers reassure high stock levels as sites reopen
Leading UK brick makers are assuring contractors that nearly 480m bricks are currently in stock to help the industry get back to work.

Trade body the Brick Development Association (BDA) said its members had about three months of supplies in stock at their factories and in builders merchants.The assurance came as a Build UK survey reported that member companies were finding it hard to source bricks alongside plaster, plasterboard, insulation materials and aggregates.


Case studies: remote education practice for schools during coronavirus (COVID-19)
Additional case studies about adapting teaching practice for remote education added to examples of practice for remote education from schools and academies across England.


Statistics on coronavirus funding for business
Data on the government loans and grants to support businesses and self-employed people through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Treasury Direction made under Sections 71 and 76 of the Coronavirus Act 2020
The Chancellor has made a further Treasury Direction in relation to the Coronavirus Job Retention under Sections 71 and 76 of the Coronavirus Act 2020.


COVID-19 regulatory position statements
Environment Agency regulatory response to coronavirus (COVID-19). 
Added the COVID-19 regulatory position statement ‘Emissions to air from Large Combustion Plant in the Transitional National Plan: RPS C18’.

Monitoring emissions from some environmental permitting activities: RPS C7
When you can delay and reschedule some emissions to air and water monitoring and other environmental monitoring because of COVID-19 (coronavirus) restrictions – added our regulatory position on monitoring emissions for water discharge and groundwater activities permits. We have extended the expiry date to 30 September 2020.


Trial of rapid coronavirus test launched in Hampshire
The new coronavirus (COVID-19) test is highly effective in clinical settings and can return results on site, without being sent to a laboratory, within 20 minutes.

MHRA guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19)
Added information about the work of Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) in relation to COVID-19 to guidance and information for industry, healthcare professionals and patients covering the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

MHRA guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19)
Added link to new guidance on immunomodulatory drugs and temporary pregnancy prevention guidance during COVID-19, in the Medicines and COVID-19 section

Government to offer antibody tests to health and social care staff and patients in England
New antibody testing programme to provide tens of thousands of antibody tests per day across the UK from next week.


How coronavirus is affecting our sector – Live news & blog from Prolific North
Read all the latest updates and news on a daily basis


Trade body launches five-point plan to save short-term lets sector
According to STAA, the short-term accommodation sector urgently needs targeted interventions in order to remain viable, ensure jobs are saved and make sure affected business do not become insolvent.  It says initiatives such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Bounce Back Loan Scheme have helped the travel and hospitality industries, but that more incentives are needed.
The short-term letting sector, which prior to March continued to grow rapidly, has been devastated by the travel restrictions imposed due to the spread of coronavirus. A few weeks ago, reports suggested that 70% of short-term rental bookings were cancelled following the outbreak of coronavirus, rising to as high as 90% for some companies.  Read the five-point plan


Latest retail trading figures for April make for grim reading revealing the impact coronavirus continues to have on the UK high streets
Overall sales are down by -18.1%, with clothing taking the biggest hit being down – 50%. Unsurprisingly, online sales have hit a new peak at 34.7%.  This is mainly buoyed by an increase in food sales. Theo Paphitis, owner of high street retailer Rymans, said “retail never be same again. It has accelerated transition by 5 years.” New online customers and a change in habits are predicted to boost online sales further. ONS say food sales may have fallen a little but unsurprisingly off-sales of alcohol continue to rise as does leisure wear. 

Commenting on today’s retail sales figures, ONS Deputy National Statistician for Economic Statistics Jonathan Athow said: 

“The effects of COVID-19 have contributed to a record monthly fall in retail sales of nearly a fifth. Fuel and clothing sales fell significantly while spending on food also dropped after the surge from the panic buying seen last month. Off-licence sales, however, continued to increase.

“Online shopping has again surged as people purchased goods from their homes.”


Ryan Air boss O’Leary: European tourism can restart in July & August
A new EU “blueprint” setting out how air travel can be safely restored will allow Europe’s travel and tourism industry to restart this summer, Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary has said.

On the Beach to place 20% of shares in Covid-19 fundraise
North West holiday company On the Beach is planning to place 19.9% of its existing share capital, worth about £70m, in order to cope with the downturn in International Travel and to enable the business to emerge in a strong position

Covid-19 Webinars:

26th May:       Is more devolution key to recovery?                     More info / book here
2nd  June:       Digital Futures – join tech experts                         More info / book here

2nd June:       Digital Leaders: making transformation happen  More info / book here

International Trade webinars:

21st May: Risk management when considering new markets?
22nd May: Managing disruption of supply chains during COVID-19 

Make your workplace COVID-secure:

27th May:        Factories, plants and warehouses 
27th May:       Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery 
28th May:        Shops and branches 
28th May:        Vehicles – Guidance for people who work in or from vehicles
1st June:        Construction and other outdoor work 
1st June:        Labs and research facilities
2nd June:       Offices and contact centres 
3rd June:       Homes – for people working in, visiting, delivering to homes


Coronavirus COVID-19 Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme:
Providing an overview of the scheme, this webinar looks at who can claim, when to start paying SSP, employees you can claim for, making a claim, keeping records, and more.  Choose a date and time

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.

Twice weekly: EnterprisingYou Finance support for the self-employed webinars For info about latest webinar date announcements please visit the website https://enterprising-you.co.uk/latest-news/

Join an HR virtual community HRD: A Virtual Experience.

Join 2,500+ senior HR Leaders from across the globe including The Clorox Company, Diageo, DHL, Siemens, Nestle, Vodafone, Tiffany & Co, ING and more on June 18th 2020 from 10am CET/9am BST.

Date and time: Thursday June 18th from 10am CET/9am BST

Summit theme: The Resilient Organisation

Sign up here – it’s completely free!

The virtual experience will focus on what is needed to succeed in this new challenging environment, in a time where businesses need to be agile in devising new strategies, models and processes. Organisations will need new leaders, new talent and new mindsets to navigate the ever-changing business landscape of tomorrow.  As a senior leader in the space, I think this could be a fantastic opportunity for you to learn, share and be inspired by your peers.

You can sign up here

Useful Links:

Apply for the coronavirus Future Fund
The Future Fund will provide UK Government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors.

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme set to launch
Employers will be able to make claims through the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme from 26 May. 

Stockport Council publishes details for Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund.

Stockport Council has confirmed its criteria in consideration of awarding the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund, announced as the grants Top-up fund by the Government on 1st May.

Business Support in Stockport – a centre pool of information to support business owners in Stockport:

Government – Guidance on Returning to Work safely

Government – Setting out of Road Map to recovery – 11th May 2020
Our plan to rebuild: The UK Government’s 60 page COVID-19 recovery strategy
The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy. The strategy sets out a cautious roadmap to easing existing measures in a safe and measured way, subject to successfully controlling the virus and being able to monitor and react to its spread.Stockport Council has launched a FREE job matching website to help 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.  

Coronavirus Act 2020: status
A table setting out the status of each measure in the Coronavirus Act 2020.

Government – Financial Support
New 100% government backed loan scheme for small business

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

Government – Financial Support
CBILS – A guide to whether it may be the best options for a business

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:

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:

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:

Bank of England – Financial Support: https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/news/2020/march/the-covid-corporate-financing-facility

Stockport Council Grant scheme:

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

UK Lockdown – Further businesses to close and exceptions: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/874732/230320_-_Revised_guidance_note_-_finalVF

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

Food & Drink – advice and guidance:

Health – updates from NHS

Health– Shielding the most vulnerable

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.  

Health – the big white wall
The Big White Wall offers 24/7 anonymous support via a digital emotional wellbeing and mental health service, offering peer support for anyone over the age of 16, support from trained clinicians alongside a range of helpful tools and resources.

Media and Marketing:
Prolific North are publishing daily updates on their blog as to how Covid-19 is impacting on the marketing, media and technology industries


Recruitment: – DWP and Universal Credit http://news.dwp.gov.uk/dwplz/lz.aspx?p1=MQsDU1NjQ5MlM2OTA0OjNCNDJBOEZCRTJDOUJEOTc1ODQ0RTRCRDNDNzk4QUNF-&CC=&p=0

Retail: An update form British Retail Consortium


Employment: – Stockport Jobs Match 

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.

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 SchemeFrom 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. 



    Total visits this period:


    Busiest time of the day:

    12.00 - 13.00

    Average dwell time:

    141 mins

    Average visits per day:


    (Provided by Sept 2021 research)