Home / News / 23rd November: Today’s latest coronavirus updates

23rd November: Today’s latest coronavirus updates

Coronavirus Latest News Updates
Posted – 23 Nov 2021

Businesses in Stockport are invited to take part in a short survey to help shape the borough’s Economic Plan currently being drawn up by Stockport Council.

Businesses are invited to take part in a short 10-15 minute online survey to share their views on doing business in Stockport as part of the preparation for developing the borough’s Economic Plan. The survey will ask a few questions relating to best understand the nature of the different businesses operating in the borough. All responses will be treated as confidential and in compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements. Access the survey here.


Stockport Council launches new Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) for businesses facing continued challenges from impact of coronavirus
Stockport Council has opened applications for its Additional Restrictions Grant scheme, allowing businesses that remain negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic to access further financial support. The Additional Restrictions Grant supports businesses that are not covered by other grant schemes or where additional funding is needed. You can apply for the Additional Restrictions Grant if your trading levels continue to be negatively impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19). The ARG scheme will be regularly reviewed. The Council reserves the right to amend and/or extend the eligibility criteria, at any point to reflect the available funding remaining and / or further government restrictions being imposed. Any revisions will be incorporated into updated guidance held on the Council website.

Locality Boost Grant
The Council is also offering a further opportunity for businesses in local areas to access a Locality Boost Grant for their area if they did not do so in the first round of these grants. The Locality Boost Grant is for district centre trading associations or their equivalent. District centre trading associations can bid for your local area to run events to drive footfall that will support local businesses that are reopening. If the local area does not have a trading association that can lead the bid, an equivalent lead accountable body or local business will need to be agreed by businesses in that area. They will then lead as the single point of contact for their area. Only one application for each local area will be accepted. Further information on the Locality Boost Grant and how to apply is available at this link Locality Boost Grant – Stockport Council

GOV & BBC UK daily data: 

There have now been 9.8 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and sadly almost 144,000 people have died, government figures show. More than 50.7 million people have now received a first dose of the vaccine, nearly 88% of people in the UK aged 12 and over. About 80% have had their second and 26% have had a booster.

Total UK Cases: 9,845,492 positive tests
Latest UK daily figure: 
40,004 new cases
Number in UK hospital: 
8,079, 103 fewer than on previous day
New deaths across UK: 61
Total UK deaths: 143,927
England Cases per 100,000: 
R number in UK: 
0.9 to 1.1

Vaccine data:

Total 1st doses given: 50,759,550 – 88% of UK aged 12+
Total 2nd doses: 80%
Daily 1st doses: 24,994
Daily 2nd doses: 23,381
Daily Booster doses: 450,080

Latest Stockport data:

Total Stockport cases: 49,287 to 19 November
Cases in the latest week: 946, 6 more than previous week
Total deaths: 776 to November 5th
Cases per 100,000: 322 per 100,000 week ending 15 November

Stockport vaccine data:                  

1st dose: 84% of over 12s to 17 November
2nd dose: 77%

The R value and growth rate
The R range for England is 0.8 to 1.0 and the growth rate range for England is -1% to +2% per day as of 19 November 2021.


Austria has returned to a full national lockdown as protests against new restrictions aimed at curbing Covid-19 infections spread across Europe.

From today, Austrians have been asked to work from home and non-essential shops have closed. New restrictions have sparked protests throughout Europe. People clashed with police in the Netherlands and Belgium. Infection rates have risen sharply on the continent, prompting warnings from the World Health Organization (WHO). On Saturday WHO regional director Dr Hans Kluge told the BBC that unless measures were tightened across Europe – such as on vaccines, wearing masks and with Covid passes for venues – half a million more deaths could be recorded by next spring. Last week Austria became the first European country to make Covid vaccination a legal requirement, with the law due to take effect in February. Politicians in neighbouring Germany are debating similar measures as intensive care units there fill up and case numbers hit fresh records.

ASOS hit by stock shortage
Asos has been delaying orders from suppliers as it faces a stock shortage amid the supply-chain crisis. Two suppliers have blamed the delays on labour shortages in Asos’s warehouse, which are affecting the retailer in the lead up to Christmas.
Asos said the delays are down to global freight disruption, leaving suppliers unable to deliver on time. Asos stocks over 875,000 products and operates out of a warehouse in Barnsley. It recently opened another facility in Lichfield, Staffordshire, which will be fully operational in about six months.

Kingfisher sales dip as spending levels normalises post-Covid
DIY retail group Kingfisher has posted a year-on-year drop in third quarter like-for-like sales as consumer spending balances returned to more normal post-pandemic. The parent company of B&Q and Screwfix said like-for-like sales in the UK and Ireland were 3.5 per cent down on the same period last year, but up 15.7 per cent on a two-year basis before the pandemic began. B&Q sales declined by 5.6 per cent year-on-year but were up 17.1 per cent on two years ago, reflecting resilient demand against the backdrop of very strong prior year comparatives.


Northern business leaders write to PM over revised rail investment plans
Business leaders representing the North of England have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson following criticisms of the Integrated Rail Plan, published last week, which outlines planned investment in transport links across the region. Despite the investment proposed topping £96 billion of works to improve rail links in the North of England, plans fell short of meeting the region’s recommendations for HS2 and the East-West Northern Powerhouse Rail, with cities such as Bradford cut off from high-speed rail, and much of HS2’s Eastern leg to Leeds running on existing track.

Small Business Saturday 4th December Stockport

Small Business Saturday – free webinar and learn how you can get involved
Small Business Saturday is on 4th December. All kinds of small businesses can get involved, whether you are a family business, local shop, online business, wholesaler, business service or small manufacturer, Small Business Saturday is supporting you! Join other Stockport businesses who have already signed up. Learn more – join the free webinar on Wednesday 24th November at 11am – sign up here:
Find out all the ways you can get involved on Small Business Saturday website.
Are you a big business and interested in supporting Small Business Saturday? If so, please do get in touch.

Stockport CAN fund open to applications for grants
The Stockport Climate Action Now (CAN) fund has opened to help residents, communities and schools take action against climate change. The fund launched at Stockport Council’s first Climate Action Now Summit, which took place virtually on 9th November, and has now opened to applications for grants of £100-500 for small projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To apply, groups of residents must demonstrate how their proposal impacts greenhouse gas emissions in Stockport and how people will benefit. Examples of projects that could be eligible are: reducing energy use, local and seasonal food growing and planting, reducing waste, reusing and repairing, or promoting action and education around climate change.

CMA to create 200 North West jobs
Competition watchdog, the CMA, has announced that Manchester will be the home of its new Digital Markets Unit (DMU), which has been established to oversee a new regulatory regime for the most powerful digital firms.
The move will create 50 jobs, initially, but the aim is for around 200 staff to be working there by 2025. Manchester has been chosen because it offers a diverse and highly skilled labour market as one of the top locations for digital as well as legal, IT and finance roles. The opportunity for the DMU to build links with local universities also made it an attractive destination, the CMA said.

Vaccine clinics for 12–15-year-olds
Opening today – New vaccination clinics for eligible 12–15-year-olds in four Stockport sites. 
From today, 22 November, clinics will take place at four different locations with varying times:

  • Monday, 22 November, at Stockport Citadel, Cheadle Heath, SK3 0JE from 4pm-8pm.
  • Saturday, 27 November, at Westmorland Primary School, Brinnington, SK5 8HH from 9.30am to 3.30pm.
  • Thursday, 9 December, at St Peters Church, Hazel Grove, SK7 4EA from 4pm to 8pm.
  • Monday, 13 December, at Life Leisure Houldsworth, Reddish, SK5 7AT from 4pm to 8pm.

walk-in vaccination centre in the One Stockport Hub in Merseyway also continues to vaccinate eligible 12-15 year olds from 10am to 3pm every Saturday until 18 December.

Stockport infection rates fall as cases rise in nine areas of Greater Manchester
Coronavirus infection rates continue to rise in almost every borough in Greater Manchester. Only Stockport saw a week-on-week drop in cases, the latest figures show. But the infection rate in nine of the 10 boroughs in the region remains below the national average, according to the latest data from the UK Health Security Agency. Rochdale continues to have the highest infection rate in Greater Manchester, while Oldham has the lowest. While there has been a small decline in positive COVID-19 cases this week, rates remain high in Stockport, at 301.6* per 100,000 or around 126 per day. See the latest published data online. (* the latest figures for Stockport validated on 19.11.21)  

You can take a look at the latest statement from Director of Public Health, Jen Connolly, here. This week we also have a guest piece form Tony Warne, Chair of Stockport NHS Foundation Trust.



Saturday Economist: Inflation hits 4.2% as Unemployment falls to 4.3%
UK inflation CPI basis hit 4.2% in October. That’s a big rise from the September level of 3.1%. Goods inflation increased to 4.9%. Service sector inflation jumped to 3.2%.
Energy and fuel dominate the cost curve. Electricity, gas and other fuels were up by 28%. Fuel costs were up by 20%. Transport costs were up by 10%.
Second-hand car prices were up by 23%. Durable goods, including furniture and household appliances, were up by 10% and 7% respectively. For the moment, food prices remain below the 2% inflation target threshold. The Bank is forecasting inflation to rise to 4.5% in the final quarter, peaking at around 5% in April 2022, then averaging just over 3% for the year. Read more

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will today set out the government’s commitment to boosting British investment and creating UK jobs at a speech in Dubai.
Speaking at the UK’s Travel Summit at Expo, the Transport Secretary will outline the UK’s future vision for safe and sustainable travel rooted in international collaboration and projects such as zero emission flight and autonomous vehicles. Both leaders in futuristic transport technology, from flying cars to self-driving trains, Grant Shapps will be forging new relationships throughout his time at the Expo, sharing best practices across the UAE and UK, strengthening both countries’ positions as leaders in high-tech transport and creating thousands of jobs in the future.
As one of the UK’s largest trading partners – bringing in almost £18bn to the UK economy every year – the Transport Secretary will also be holding a number of meetings over the next few days aimed at boosting trade between the UK and Dubai even further, generating UK investment and creating green jobs across the UK.

How investors can help finance a green recovery
Investors are pursuing green recovery opportunities, but a long-term strategy could be needed to manage market bubble concerns.

  • The race to net zero and decarbonization are central to investors’ investment decision-making, likely requiring significant climate scenario analysis capability.
  • Investors see a significant green recovery opportunity, but there are concerns about a market bubble as demand outstrips supply in renewables opportunities.
  • Two factors could dampen concerns: the volume of finance required to meet renewables goals and the amount of funding required to decarbonize “brown” industries. Read the full EY article

The impacts of EU exit and coronavirus (COVID-19) on UK trade in services: November 2021
An analysis of UK trade in services in the context of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the end of the EU transition period on 31 December 2020.  

The impacts of EU exit and coronavirus (COVID-19) on UK trade in services: November 2021
An analysis of UK trade in services in the context of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the end of the EU transition period on 31 December 2020.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): jobs that qualify for travel exemptions
Jobs that qualify for exemptions from quarantine, passenger locator form or COVID testing requirements. Quarantine requirements no longer apply for non UK residents for air crew, non-UK border officers, bus and coach drivers, drivers of good vehicles, Eurotunnel workers, Eurostar workers, international prison escorts, port workers.


Supported living services during coronavirus (COVID-19)
Guidance for providers of supported living settings – updated ‘COVID:19: guidance for supported living’ throughout in line with the latest clinical advice from UKHSA. Please refer to the summary change note in the guidance for a full breakdown of all updates.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for hospices
Sets out how hospices can access COVID-19 testing for staff and patients on-site, for staff visiting patients in their own homes, and for visitors to hospices – updated to reflect latest self-isolation guidance for fully vaccinated contacts.


Finding and choosing a private coronavirus (COVID-19) test provider
Lists of and information about private test providers, to help you get the private COVID-19 tests you need.


Revealed – developers worst hit by Covid
Sirius analysed the pre-tax profits of the UK’s 12 largest housebuilders and found that in 2019, they totalled £5.4 billion. However, they have since fallen to £2.7 billion in 2020 – a decline of 49%. The worst-hit developer has been Keepmoat, whose profits declined by 152% between 2019 and 2020, but it was also a difficult time for Countryside (-77%), Redrow (–66%), Taylor Wimpey (-64%), Bellway (-64%), and Crest Nicholson (-62%).  While these annual profit losses are significant, the limited insight available on 2021 profits reveals early signs of recovery for the vast majority of developers. The strongest post-pandemic rebound comes from Redrow whose pre-tax profits increased by 124% from 2020 to 2021. Bellway’s profits increased by 102%, Barratt’s increased by 65%, and Berkeley’s profits rose by 3%. But the Galliford Try Group, whose pandemic profits in 2020 saw an astonishing 247% increase, experienced a significant post-pandemic drop of 119%.

Too many homes built on at-risk floodplains, government told
The government should reset planning policy and scrap proposals for thousands of new homes in high-risk flood areas. The think-tank Localis, in a new report called ‘Plain Dealing – building for flood resilience’, reveals that almost 200 planning permissions have been granted on floodplain land so far this year for 5,283 new homes in the highest-risk local authorities in the country. The overwhelming majority – some 4,255 – are in areas identified as highly likely to flood. Localis wants Housing Secretary Michael Gove to give local areas the power to manage flood risk locally. 


People urged to get booster jabs to keep your family protected this Christmas
Booster jabs will be available on the National Booking Service for people aged 40-49, and young people aged 16-17 will be able to book their second jab.  

Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines adverse reactions
A weekly report covering adverse reactions to approved COVID-19 vaccines

REACT-1 study shows COVID-19 infection still high but falling, with high vaccine effectiveness
Full findings from the latest report of the government-backed REACT-1, one of the largest studies into COVID-19 infections in England, have been published today.


Coronavirus (COVID-19): Safer public places – managing public outdoor settings
Guidance for local authorities, owners and operators to support the safe use and management of outdoor public places while the risk of COVID-19 transmission remains.


Retail experts Springboard have forecast UK footfall across all retail destinations is set to rise by 7.9 percent in the week leading up to Black Friday
The biggest increase is expected to be seen over Black Friday weekend where footfall will peak on Friday with an expected rise of 19 percent and continue into the weekend with rises of 13 percent on Saturday and 11 percent on Sunday. Shopping centres will see the greatest uplift in footfall of 24 percent due to their wider selection of retail offerings, while high streets and retail parks will see footfall rise by 20 percent and 6 percent respectively. Over the past eight years since the first Black Friday event in the UK in 2013, there have been as many years when footfall on that day has declined from the year before as it has increased; ranging from a high of 9.8 per cent in 2014 to a drop of -5.4 per cent in 2018.
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic last year with England in and out of multiple lockdowns footfall on Black Friday was -60.4 per cent lower than on Black Friday 2019, a sharp contrast to the year before when trading conditions were normal and footfall was 3.3 per cent higher than on Black Friday 2018.


Haulier advice site locations
Find sites where HGV and coach drivers can get free COVID-19 tests and check their documents to transport goods to the EU – the following sites will now close permanently on 26 November at 10pm: Barton Park, Beaconsfield, Birchanger Green, Cornwall Services, Ferrybridge Services, Fleet southbound, Heywood Distribution Truck Stop, Leicester Forest East northbound, Michaelwood South, Tamworth Services and the Stockyard Truckstop Rotherham.


Approved COVID-19 vaccines and countries and territories with approved proof of vaccination
Approved vaccines and list of countries and territories with approved COVID-19 proof of vaccination for travel to England. Belarus, Bolivia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, the Faroe Islands, Laos, Libya, Malawi, Mozambique, Samoa, Senegal, Vanuatu, Zambia and Zimbabwe added to the list of countries and territories with approved proof of vaccination for travel to England. Sinovac-CoronaVac, Sinopharm Beijing and Covaxin added to list of approved vaccines.  

REACT-1 study shows COVID-19 infection still high but falling, with high vaccine effectiveness
Full findings from the latest report of the government-backed REACT-1, one of the largest studies into COVID-19 infections in England, have been published today. 

Travel to England from another country during coronavirus (COVID-19)
Check what COVID-19 tests you need to take and the quarantine rules for travel to England. Travel to England rules for children no longer depend on their place of residence.

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 – updated section “If you’re applying to enter the UK or remain on the basis of family or private life”.

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.


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:

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.  

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:

Government – Guidance on Returning to Work safely

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:

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:

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

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.



    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)