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Today’s Coronavirus news update

Stockport warns of rising Covid-19 levels
Posted – 12 Oct 2020

Today’s daily news update includes the imminent announcement from the Government regarding the latest restrictions to be announced across the North West of the UK. 

Latest UK data:
Positive tests:                        603,716 have tested positive (+ 12,872new cases)
Loss of life:                            *42,825 across all settings (+65 in last 24 hours)
Cases in Stockport:             720 cases 29 Sept – 5 Oct (+454 on previous week) Cases in Stockport:                257 cases per 100,000 (England area average: 79)
Deaths in Stockport:            371 coronavirus-related registered to 25 September  
Total cases in Stockport:    3,968 to 07 October   (+285 on previous week)

*Daily reported COVID deaths are measured across the UK as deaths that occurred within 28 days of the first laboratory-confirmed positive COVID test

The R number and growth rate in the UK
The latest reproduction number (R) and growth rate of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK. The R number range in England is 1.2 -1.5 and the growth rate range is +4% to +8% per day as of 9 October 2020.

Coronavirus cases in the UK: daily updated statistics
The latest number of coronavirus (COVID-19) tests, cases and deaths in the UK. The way deaths are reported is based on a 28-day limit between the date of a positive lab-confirmed test and date of death.

Slides, datasets and transcripts to accompany coronavirus press conferences
Slides, datasets and transcripts from press conferences at 10 Downing Street in response to coronavirus


This morning’s BREAKING NEWS:

The Prime Minister will hold a briefing at 6pm this evening
He is expected to announce a three-tier lockdown system for England today – ‘medium’, ‘high’ and ‘very high’ – following this morning’s COBRA meeting. He will address parliament on the new rules at around 3.30pm this afternoon ahead of this evening’s briefing where he is expected to be accompanied by the Chancellor and the Chief Medical Officer.

11am this morning: Professor Jonathan Van-Tam led a Downing Street briefing
Ahead of this evening’s briefing, a medical update was given by Professor Van-Tam, Dr Jane Eddleston, Greater Manchester medical lead and Professor Steve Powis.

  • The number of cases by date in the UK shows a ‘marked pickup from early September.
  • The number of hospital admissions are increasing and currently rate to the number of infections from 3 weeks ago. Areas across the North West, North East and North of England are of significant concern. Increases of cases in the 60+ age range is of concern.
  • Professor Steve Powis, NHSE medical director warned that without new measures there could be 11,000 patients in intensive care.
  • The North West currently accounts for 40% of all UK Cases. In Greater Manchester there has been a three-fold increase in intensive care beds in the past 3 weeks; 30% of all critical care beds are taken up by coronavirus cases.
  • The Government and PHE will take a more localised approach to control and manage the number of cases of coronavirus.
  • They will call upon the use private hospitals and the Nightingale Hospitals to lessen the strain on the NHS so that those with other medical conditions can be seen and treated. Key to the success of this is working to lessen the outbreaks in the local communities and ensure that those with other medical conditions can be seen
  • NHS staff in high risk areas will be tested regularly
  • NHS: data briefing 12 October

New Covid-19 support for hospitality businesses forced to close
Workers are to get 67% of their pay if their places of work are forced to close in areas of a high incidence of coronavirus. Chancellor Rishi Sunak has extended the Government’s recently announced Jobs Support Scheme to support businesses forced to close by through additional coronavirus restrictions or lockdowns.
The Job Support Scheme has been introduced to replace the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – furlough – and will run from 1st November for a period of 6 months.
Mr Sunak announced on Friday October 9, that any firms whose premises are ‘legally required to shut’ due to local or national restrictions will get grants worth up to two thirds of each employees’ salary (or 67%), up to a maximum of £2,100 a month. Mr Sunak said: “It will provide a safety net for businesses across the UK who are required to temporarily close their doors, giving them the right support at the right time.”
Under the expanded JSS scheme, employers will not be required to contribute towards wages but will have to cover National Insurance and pension contributions. The Government says: “It is estimated that around half of potential claims are likely not to incur employer NICs or auto-enrolment pension contributions and so face no employer contribution”. Businesses will only be able to claim the support while subject to restrictions. Employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days.  

Job Support Scheme expanded to firms required to close due to Covid Restrictions


Stockport’s Covid-19 heroes among those included in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Congratulations to all the unsung heroes and heroines in Stockport who have been doing amazing things throughout the current crisis.

Some have been awarded medals in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, congratulations to the following people:

. Order of the British Empire, Simon Richard LEA

General Store Manager, Asda Ltd. For services to the Covid-19 response Stockport Greater Manchester

. Order of the British Empire, Tracey Ann PEARSON

Senior Care Worker, Grove Lodge Care Home. For services to Care Home residents during Covid-19 Stockport Greater Manchester

For community initiatives:

. Order of the British Empire, Henry Stuart OWEN-JOHN

For services to Heritage Protection Stockport Cheshire

. Order of the British Empire, Sarabjit Singh PUREWAL

Principal Specialist Inspector, Health and Safety Executive. For services to Health and Safety and to Cyber Security Stockport Greater Manchester

. Order of the British Empire, Alison CRESSWELL

Lately Head of Participation and Education Services, Stockport Borough Council. For services to Education, Training and Apprenticeships Congleton Cheshire

. Order of the British Empire, Dr Ibrar Mohammed MAJID

For services to Healthcare and Community Development in Manchester Stockport Greater Manchester

. Order of the British Empire, Dr Helen Louise SANDERSON

Founder and Chief Executive, Wellbeing Teams. For services to Adult Social Care Stockport Greater Manchester

. Order of the British Empire, Tanya Faith BENNETT

Commissioner, Goyt Division, Girlguides and Senior Coach, Spartac Gymnastics Club, Ormskirk. For voluntary service to Young People in North West England Stockport Greater Manchester

Stockport Council accepting applications from businesses for Kickstart Jobs Scheme
Earlier this month, further details were announced about the Government’s Kickstart Jobs Scheme. The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create 6-month job placements for 16 to 24 year olds.  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.

Check if you’re eligible for the coronavirus Local Restrictions Support Grant
The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) supports businesses that have been required to close due to temporary COVID-19 local lockdown restrictions imposed by the government.

By working in collaboration, Stockport can become united and encouraged to build a better future for everyone by supporting the local economy, connecting communities and promoting health & wellbeing. Find out more at www.onestockport.co.uk  


HMRC issue update to support schemes to help through Covid-19

Expansion of Job Support Scheme
9th October: The government announced an expansion of the JSS, to provide temporary support to businesses whose premises have been legally required to close as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions.

Under this expansion, affected businesses will receive grants towards the wages of employees who have been instructed to and cease work. This will cover businesses that, as a result of restrictions set by one or more of the four governments of the UK, are legally required to close their premises, or to provide only delivery and collection services from their premises. The government will pay two thirds of employees’ usual wages, up to a maximum of £2,100 per month. You will not be required to contribute towards wages, but do need to cover employer National Insurance and pension contributions. You can apply for the JSS including the new expansion even if you haven’t previously used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). JSS is available for six months, from 1‌‌‌ November, with payment of grants in arrears from early December. The scheme will be reviewed in January.

Job Support Scheme 
The government ‘s recently announced Job Support Scheme (JSS) is to protect jobs where businesses remain open but are facing lower demand over the winter months due to COVID-19. The government will contribute towards the wages of your employees if they are working fewer than normal hours due to decreased demand. You will continue to pay the wages for the hours your staff work. Employees must work at least 33% of their usual hours. For the hours not worked, you and the government will pay a third each of their usual wages (the government contribution is capped at £697.92 per month).

Job Retention Bonus – guidance now live
You’ll be able to claim a one-off payment of £1,000 for every eligible employee you furloughed and claimed for through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and kept continuously employed until at least 31‌‌‌ January 2021. You do not have to pay this money to your employee. To be eligible, employees must earn at least £1,560 between 6‌‌‌‌‌‌ November 2020 and 5‌‌‌ February 2021 and have received earnings in the November, December and January tax months. Employees must also not be serving a contractual or statutory notice period for you on 31‌‌‌ January 2021.
You will be able to claim the bonus from 15‌‌‌ February until 31‌‌‌ March, once you have submitted PAYE information for the period up to 5‌‌‌ February 2021. We’ll let you know how you can make a claim when further guidance is published by the end of January. You can still claim the Job Retention Bonus if you make a claim for the same employees through the Job Support Scheme, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria for both. Further information can be found on GOV.‌‌‌UK by searching ‘Job Retention Bonus Guidance’.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – changes from 1‌‌‌ October  

From 1‌‌‌ October, HMRC will pay 60% of usual wages up to a cap of £1,875 per month for the hours furloughed employees do not work. 

You will continue to pay your furloughed employees at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. You will need to fund the difference between this and the CJRS grant yourself

The caps are proportional to the hours not worked. For example, if your employee is furloughed for half their usual hours in October, you are entitled to claim 60% of their usual wages for the hours they do not work, up to £937.50 (half of £1,875 cap). You must still pay your employee at least 80% of their usual wages for the hours they don’t work, so for someone only working half their usual hours you’d need to pay them up to £1,250 (half of £2,500 cap), funding the remaining portion yourself. For help with calculations, search ‘Calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ on GOV‌.‌‌‌UK.

You’ll also continue to pay your furloughed employees’ National Insurance and pension contributions from your own funds. 

Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Claim for some of your employee’s wages if you have put them on furlough or flexible furlough because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The JRS scheme closes on 31‌‌‌‌‌‌ October and you will need to make any final claims on or before 30‌‌‌ November. You will not be able to submit or add to any claims after 30‌‌‌ November. 

VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme 

If you deferred VAT payments that were due between 20‌‌‌‌‌‌ March and 30‌‌‌ June 2020, then these payments need to be made to HMRC by 3‌‌‌1‌‌‌ March 2021. You can use the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme to spread these payments over equal instalments up to 31‌‌‌ March‌‌‌ 2022. Alternatively, you can make payments as normal by 3‌‌‌1‌‌‌ March 2021, or make Time To Pay arrangements with HMRC if you need more tailored support.  More information on the VAT Deferral New Payment Scheme will be available on GOV.‌‌‌UK in the coming months.

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 about the extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and flexible furloughing has been updated.

Updates to the Covid Corporate Financing Facility
The Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) has provided £30billion of direct support to some of the economy’s largest firms, who are responsible for almost 2.5 million jobs in the UK.

Help employers apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant (Kickstart gateway)
Information for organisations who want to be a Kickstart gateway and help employers apply for 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.

Stockport Jobs Match launch campaign for Christmas & Seasonal Temp Work

Stockport Jobs Match is advertising over 60 seasonal job opportunities available in Stockport for those looking for paid employment in the run up to Christmas.

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 – skbusinessrecovery.co.uk to support businesses through the phases of recovery.  



COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection
Stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection – added information on actions to take in case of a negative test result, enforcement of self-isolation, and aerosol transmission. 



Qualifications in COVID-19 support packages
The qualifications Education and Skills Funding Agency will fund to support economic recovery following the COVID-19 outbreak – an updated list of the level 2 and level 3 qualifications included in the high value courses for school and college leavers offer has been added.

How to complete the educational setting status form
This data will help the government monitor the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on settings, focus support more effectively and keep children safe – revised the existing list of questions for schools, (which have now been reformatted as a PDF file), clarified when settings should submit the form and published a separate list of questions for FE settings.

Early years healthy development review: call for evidence
Share your evidence to help inform a new review into improving health and development outcomes of babies and young children in England – the questionnaire has been extended by one week to help capture a wide range of responses. The new closing date is 11:59pm on Friday 23 October.


REACT-1 study of coronavirus transmission: October 2020 results
Results of real-time assessment of community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) during October 2020.

UK SMI V 58: SARS-CoV-2 serology
UK Standards for Microbiology Investigations V 58: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2(SARS-CoV-2) serology

Largest testing study for coronavirus publishes latest findings
Findings show 1 in 170 people in England had the virus between 18 September and 5 October, with 45,000 new infections every day.

SCWG: COVID-19 and care homes – update paper, 23 September 2020
Paper prepared by the Social Care Working Group (SCWG).

Drivers of the higher COVID-19 incidence, morbidity and mortality among minority ethnic groups, 23 September 2020
Paper by the ethnicity sub-group of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).

SAGE meetings, September 2020

Scientific evidence supporting the government response to coronavirus (COVID-19)
Evidence considered by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).


Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace
Updated information to add further clarification on the venues in scope of the policy. Also added guidance to hospitality venues on how to verify whether an individual has checked in on the NHS COVID-19 app. Designated venues in certain sectors must have a system in place to request and record contact details of their customers, visitors and staff to help break the chains of transmission of coronavirus.


HMCTS weekly operational summary on courts and tribunals during coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
Update for week commencing Monday 12 October published.


Coronavirus (COVID-19): requirements to provide public health information to passengers travelling to England
Information that transport operators must ensure is provided to passengers and how to provide it – updated to align with amendments to the regulations coming into force on 30 October 2020.


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 ‘Applying for a visa if your VAC is closed’ to add that customers can now apply for a visit visa from any VAC.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): travel corridors
List of countries, territories and regions from where you can travel to England and may not have to self-isolate. Lesvos, Santorini, Serifos and Zakynthos added to the England travel corridor list at 4am Saturday 10 October 2020.

The Italian Tourist Board has moved to reassure UK visitors following a change to Italy’s entry requirements.

It was announced on Thursday (8 October) that UK travellers to Italy will now need a negative Covid-19 test on arrival in the country.  

Flavio Zappacosta, manager for UK and Ireland at the Italian Tourist Board (ENIT), said: “Health and safety measures remain a key priority for visitors coming to Italy which is why Covid-19 tests are now required when entering the country. We believe this will help reassure British visitors intending to travel to Italy and significantly increase consumer confidence in the destination at a time when international travel is both uncertain and unstable.”

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.

Make your workplace COVID-secure:
You can find recordings of webinars covering other types of workplace here


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 to view webinar

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/

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


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.

Find someone to apply for a Kickstart Scheme grant on your behalf
Find a Kickstart gateway in England, Scotland or Wales who have expressed interest in helping employers get a Kickstart Scheme grant.

Kickstart Scheme
The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to employers to create job placements for 16 to 24 year olds.

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.

Coronavirus Act report: September 2020
The third two-monthly report on which powers in the Coronavirus Act 2020 are currently active.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant extension
The grant is being extended from 1 November 2020. Find out if you’re eligible and how much you can get.

Hospitality venues in England are now legally required to enforce the rule of 6 or face a fine of up to £4,000.
Designated businesses and organisations, including hospitality, close contact services and leisure venues, will also be legally required to log details of customers, visitors and staff for NHS Test and Trace and required to display official NHS QR code posters under law

NHS Test and Trace service in the workplace
Guidance on the NHS Test and Trace service for employers, businesses and workers updated to reflect the new legal requirements for designated venues to collect contact details and display official NHS QR code posters from 24th September

Visit the Stockport Council website to report details of any outbreaks online.  


The SMBC website and produce a form for completion online if anyone wants to report an outbreak. The links are now live and are below:


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.

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can’t do
Frequently asked questions on what you can and can’t do during the coronavirus outbreak – guidance updated in line with new regulations coming into force on 4 July.

Business Survey:

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.

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