Home / News / 30th November: Today’s latest coronavirus updates

30th November: Today’s latest coronavirus updates

Coronavirus Latest News Updates
Posted – 30 Nov 2021

Help Stockport Council to improve the support they give to employers 
Stockport Council is working with researchers at the Behavioural Insights Team to better understand the needs of employers to support youth employment. We will use your feedback to improve our services. Please click the button below to take part in the survey. The survey takes no more than 5 minutes. Take the survey here

Stockport saw a surge in unemployment figures for young people 16-25 years old in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Stockport Council is already working with young people to get them ‘work ready.’ This research explores ways to increase the number of paid work placements for young people in Stockport. We will use your feedback to improve the support we give to employers. 

STOCKPORT GRANT SCHEMES:

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).

ARG Grant data as at 26/11/2021:
Applications received:         221
Applications allocated:        24%
Value of Grants issued:      £174,500

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

Locality Boost Grant data as at 26/11/2021:
Applications received:         17
Applications processed / in process: 100%

GOV & BBC UK daily data: 

There have been more than 10 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and sadly nearly 145,000 people have died, government figures show. Nearly 51 million people have now received a first dose of the vaccine, 89% of people in the UK aged 12 and over. 81% have had their second and 31% have had a booster.

Total UK Cases: 10,189,059 positive tests
Latest UK daily figure: 
42,583 new cases
Number in UK hospital: 
7,530, 111 fewer than on previous day
New deaths across UK: 35
Total UK deaths: 144,810
England Cases per 100,000: 
449
R number in UK: 
0.9 to 1.1

Vaccine data:

Total 1st doses given: 50,941,327 – 89% of UK aged 12+
Total 2nd doses: 81%
Daily 1st doses: 21,493
Daily 2nd doses: 29,445
Daily Booster doses: 285,335

Latest Stockport data:

There was a rise of 20 per cent in cases in Stockport over the week ending November 23, and the infection rate is now 383.8 cases per 100,000 population.

Stockport recorded 1141 positive Covid-19 tests over the seven-day period, and that is 199 more than the previous week

Total Stockport cases: 50,912 to 29 November
Cases in the latest week: 1,141, 199 more than previous week
Total deaths: 786 to November 12th
Cases per 100,000: 388 per 100,000 week ending 23 November

Stockport vaccine data:                  

1st dose: 84% of over 12s to 23 November
2nd dose: 77%

The R value and growth rate
The R range for England is 1.0 to 1.1 and the growth rate range for England is -1% to +2% per day as of 26 November 2021.

UK NEWS UPDATES:      

Mask-wearing in England compulsory again in some settings.

  • People will have to wear face coverings in shops and on public transport
  • Secondary school pupils are also being “strongly advised” to wear masks in communal areas, as are staff and visitors at all schools and childcare settings
  • The police will enforce the regulations “where it is necessary to do so”, says the National Police Chiefs’ Council which represents police leaders across the UK.
  • Retailers will tell customers about the rule change with signs and in-store announcements, says the the British Retail Consortium – which represents shops across the UK. It says enforcement is for the police, but customers should respect the rules and be considerate to other shoppers and staff.
  • The rules won’t be extended to hospitality venues in England for practical reasons, Health Minister Edward Argar told the BBC
  • Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own guidelines, with face coverings already mandatory on public transport and many indoor areas.

Omicron: What are the new Covid rules for travelling to the UK?
New rules around international travel follows concerns about the newly identified Omicron variant of Covid, which has also led to quarantine being reintroduced for travellers from some African countries. The PM said the new rules were temporary and would be reviewed after three weeks.  

  • Every traveller entering the UK now needs to take a PCR test within 48 hours of arrival
  • If you are entering the UK from a foreign country (apart from Ireland), you have two days to take a PCR test – a lateral flow test will no longer be accepted  
  • The PCR test must be booked before you travel and bought privately from a government-approved list of providers. Free NHS tests are not valid for this purpose
  • While you are waiting for a result, you must self-isolate – whether or not you have been vaccinated. You can stop self-isolating if your test is negative.
  • Ten southern African countries have been added to the UK’s travel red list, because of fears about Omicron
  • These are South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini Angola, Namibia, Mozambique and Zambia.
  • The only people allowed to enter the UK from these countries are UK or Irish nations, or UK residents.
  • All contacts of suspected Omicron cases will be required to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of a person’s vaccination status
  • They will have to pay for and self-isolate in a pre-booked government-approved hotel for 10 days
  • Rates are:
  • 10 days (11-nights) for one adult – £2,285
  • Additional adult (or child over 11) – £1,430
  • Children aged five to 11 – £325

All UK adults will be offered a Covid booster, the government has announced.

A series of changes have been announced by the government, amid concerns about a new Covid variant. England’s deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam said people should come forward “the moment you are called by the NHS”, to help fight the Omicron variant.

  • 18- to 39-year-olds will be offered booster jabs
  • Boosters will be prioritised according to age and for at risk groups
  • The minimum gap between receiving a second Covid vaccine dose and booster will be halved to three months
  • Children aged 12 to 15 will be offered a second dose, three months after the first
  • Severely immunosuppressed people will be offered a fourth dose of the vaccine, as a booster
  • The booster will either be the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine

G7 joint statement on the Omicron variant
The joint statement issued by the G7 Health Ministers on the global threat of the new variant of COVID-19 following their meeting.

REGIONAL & LOCAL NEWS:   

Business confidence remains above average despite November dip
Business confidence fell across most of the country according Lloyds Bank’s November Business Barometer, however optimism in the economy remains high and above the long-term average. The monthly survey of businesses by the high street bank found that declines in firms’ own prospects led to the overall slip in confidence of three percentage points to 40%; despite the drop, business confidence still remains well above the long-term average of 28% recorded by the Business Barometer. Wales and the South-East were the only UK regions to record growth in optimism, with the retail sector also bucking the wider trend and raising hopes for a strong Christmas trading season for the high street.

Clean Air Zone Financial support svcheme for HGVs live today
A financial support scheme for Greater Manchester-registered HGV owners has gone live from 30th November to help businesses prepare for the Clean Air Zone which comes into force from 30th May 2022. The first round of funding will aim to support Greater Manchester’s smallest businesses, sole traders and the voluntary sector owning non-compliant vehicles. Financial support will be available as a lump sum grant, contribution towards vehicle financing, or a combination of the two. 
Letters to all registered keepers of non-compliant HGVs based in Greater Manchester began to be delivered from late November using DVLA data to directly contact the registered keepers of non-compliant HGV who would pay a charge from 30 May 2022, notifying them that funding applications open at the end of the month. 

Entrepreneurs and Investors reconnect at GC Angels & Hallidays Pitch Event

GC Angels in partnership with Hallidays are celebrating the return of their live and in person pitch events, which will be taking place at Hallidays in Stockport on Wednesday 8th December. The event brings together entrepreneurs and investors looking for an opportunity. Pitchers hope to secure investment from angels to support their investment round ranging from £100k-£1m to enable their businesses to grow rapidly. Investors seek interesting and scalable businesses to invest in and offer expertise with a view to making high returns in the future, as part of their portfolios.

Tech giant to create 1,500 jobs in the north of England
Accenture, the global professional services firm, which already employs hundreds of people at its North Tyneside delivery centre at Cobalt Business Park, aims to boost its UK workforce by 3,000 over the next three years, with half of the roles set to be based outside of London. That means hundreds of jobs are set to be created at the firm’s offices in Newcastle, Manchester, Leeds and Edinburgh, significantly boosting its existing UK workforce of approximately 11,000 people.

Small Business Saturday 4th December Stockport

Small Business Saturday takes place on 4th December – Find out all the ways you can get involved on Small Business Saturday website.  This year HubSpot are supporting Small Business Saturday – to aid in helping as many businesses as possible to achieve their dreams and accelerate businesses growth. To do this, they have created a one-stop shop for everything small businesses to get your business online. In Essential Resources to Digitalise your Business, you can access 15+ resources to aid in growing your marketing, sales and customer service efforts, all for free. 
Are you a big business and interested in supporting Small Business Saturday? If so, please do get in touch.

SECTOR SPECIFIC CORONAVIRUS-RELATED NEWS: 

BUSINESS & ECONOMY:

easyJet makes £1bn before tax loss in 2021 and orders 19 new aircraft
easyJet has declared a before tax loss of £1.1bn in the 2021 financial year. Passenger revenue decreased by 57 per cent to £1bn (2020: £2,303 million) as we flew an optimised schedule with a focus on domestic and continental Europe where there was the least number of restrictions over travel. However, according to the airline, demand is accelerating with key periods such as October half term, ski and Christmas seeing strong performance. It also continues to add capacity and expects to fly c. 70 per cent of 2019 capacity in Q2 2022 and expect that Q4 summer capacity will be at near 2019 levels. In addition, easyJet has confirmed an agreement with Airbus a firm commitment in respect of an additional nineteen (19) aircraft with deliveries between financial year 2025 and financial year 2028. This results in 118 firm Airbus A320 NEO family aircraft outstanding orders at the date of this announcement.  

Check if you can claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
If you’re an employer, find out if you can use the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to claim back employees’ coronavirus-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)
Find out how to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in your workplace – Hotels and guest accommodation – Information box added on new measures (face coverings, self-isolation and testing after international travel) because of the Omicron variant. Face coverings are legally required indoors in shops, personal care services and public transport in England, from 4am Tuesday 30 November. Further information on these measures will be added shortly.

COMMUNITY:      

COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection
Updated guidance for contacts of people identified as a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and on PCR testing. Removed translations and easy read versions.

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 – updated guidance for contacts of people identified as a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and on PCR testing. 

Face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make one
This page explains when to wear a face covering, exemptions from wearing one, and how to make your own face covering – updated to add transport hubs to the list of settings where face masks are required.

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 – updated the general list of providers.

CONSTRUCTION:

Opportunities for new construction work will arise across key sub-sectors and regions over the next two years reports Glenigan forecast.
The outlook for the construction industry may be mixed as the economy rebounds fully from the pandemic, but as Glenigan’s newly released UK Construction Industry Forecast for 2022-23 shows, various key sub-sectors and regions continue to stand out as offering good opportunities for new construction work and contracts.
New construction work is set to grow significantly next year in the industrial building sector, particularly warehousing and logistics and in hotel & leisure, helped by recovery in the travel business. Meanwhile, construction workloads in the north of England and the Midlands will benefit from the government’s focus on ‘levelling-up’ whilst the work pipeline for civils contractors will be bolstered by public sector investment in major infrastructure projects.

EDUCATION:

Protective measures for holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
Protective measures for providers of community activities, holiday or after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school settings offering provision to children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – updated information about isolation, vaccinations for under 18 year olds, face coverings and international education visits.

HEALTH & WELLBEING:

Minimum standards for private sector providers of COVID-19 testing
Sets out the minimum standards that providers must meet to be listed as a private sector coronavirus (COVID-19) testing provider – revised minimum standards for private providers of COVID-19 to reflect travel testing changes coming into force from 30 November.

MANUFACTURING:

October boost for UK commercial vehicle production
UK commercial vehicle production grew by almost 20 per cent during October but remained below pre-pandemic levels, according to new figures.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said that 7,892 units left factory lines during the tenth month of the year, a jump of 17.2 per cent and the highest uplift since June this year. October’s rise was driven by domestic demand, which grew by 29.8 per cent, whilst the number of CVs built for export also increased. About 58,813 CVs have been produced in the year-to-date, an increase of 15.6 per cent against a Covid-hit 2020. When compared to the five-year pre-Covid-19 average, however, output remains 18 per cent down.

TRAVEL:

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. People who qualify as fully vaccinated must quarantine and take a PCR test before the end of day 2 after they arrive in England. Lateral flow tests will not be accepted.

How to quarantine at home after international travel
What to do when you need to quarantine at home or in the place you’re staying after you arrive in England from abroad – added further details on the new rules for fully vaccinated arrivals, including how long to quarantine for depending on the results of your day 2 PCR test.

Covid-19 Webinars:

ACAS – run a series of courses to help businesses with transition from lockdown

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)