Coronavirus: Latest News

2nd April Updates

On 2nd April 2020, the Health Secretary sets out a plan to carry out 100,000 coronavirus tests a day.

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31st March Updates

On 30 March 2020, the Foreign Secretary announced new measures to help British people who are abroad to get home.

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The Department of Education has announced a new voucher scheme for children that are eligible to have free school meals

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Latest Updates to the NHS

29th March Updates

On 29 March 2020, the Government and Public Health England launched new guidance to support people with their mental health during the Covid-19 outbreak.

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27th March Updates

Yesterday, the Chancellor announced a new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme to make sure people who work for themselves are getting the financial support they need.

  • We know many self-employed people have been deeply anxious about the support available for them; our new Self-Employed Income Support Scheme will help many of them - the musicians, the sound engineers, the plumbers, the electricians, the taxi drivers, the hairdressers, the childminders, the driving instructors, and many others. 
  • Through this scheme, the Government will pay self-employed people a grant worth 80 per cent of their average monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month, for three months – but we will extend for longer if necessary. It is one of the most generous schemes in the world. 
  • We know there are challenging times ahead, but we are confident that the measures we have put in place will support millions of people, businesses and self-employed workers to get through this, and emerge on the other side both stronger and more united as a country.

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On 27th March 2020, the Government also announces the launch of a new drive on coronavirus tests for frontline NHS staff.

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26th March Updates

On 26 March 2020, the Home Office announced new enforcement powers for the police to ensure people stay at home during these unprecedented times.
 

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25th March Updates

Update on Emergency Legislation

The Health Secretary has announced that a new hospital will open in London to provide support for thousands more patients with Coronavirus.

  • In the face of this unprecedented global emergency, we are taking exceptional steps to increase NHS capacity so we can treat more patients, fight the virus and save lives.
  • With the support of military planners and engineers, we are setting up a new NHS Nightingale Hospital at the Excel Centre in East London, equipped with oxygen and ventilators, which will be able to accommodate up to 4,000 patients.
  • Despite the amazing measures of our NHS and Armed Forces, we must help them by continuing to follow medical advice - stay at home, stop the virus spreading, and save lives.

The NHS has issued a call for volunteers to support the 1.5 million extremely vulnerable people who have been asked to stay at home to shield themselves from coronavirus for twelve weeks.

  • It’s essential that we all pull together as part of the national effort to protect the most vulnerable, reduce pressures on our NHS and care system so we can save lives.
  • That is why we are calling on people to sign up to become an NHS Volunteer Responder and join an army of 250,000 volunteers helping the most vulnerable people in our communities. Doing so will mean you can make a real difference to some of the households who have been most affected by the outbreak – from delivering essential prescriptions to calling to check on the wellbeing of those self-isolating.
  • Helping vulnerable people is one exception for which people can leave home; however the most important thing everyone must do to stop the spread of the virus is continue to follow the latest public health advice – which is to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.

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Stay at home

You must stay at home, only leaving for the following very limited purposes:

  • Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible.
  • One form of exercise a day – for example, a run, walk or cycle – alone or with members of your immediate household.
  • Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.

Protect the NHS

You must stay at home to protect the NHS:

  • The NHS only has a limited number of doctors, nurses and specialist equipment.
  • We are working around the clock to increase NHS capacity.
  • The more people who get sick, the harder it is for the NHS to cope.
  • We must slow the spread of the disease so that fewer people are sick at any one time.

Save lives

You must stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. The police will have the powers to enforce the following restrictions:

  • Dispersing gatherings of more than two people in public, excluding people you live with.
  • Issuing fines to anyone who does not comply with these rules.
  • Closing shops that are not essential, as well as playgrounds and places of worship.

You can find full guidance on staying at home and away from others here

You can find the up to date medical advice here

You can volunteer to become an NHS Volunteer Responder here

 

23rd March Updates:

Updates on Exams here

On 23rd March 2020, we announced that we were ramping up delivery of personal protective equipment for NHS staff fighting coronavirus.

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The Department for Transport we announced emergency measures to support and sustain necessary rail services for frontline workers.

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21st March Updates:

On 21st March 2020, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government announced measures to protect England’s most vulnerable.

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20th March Updates:

Competition laws relaxed to allow supermarkets to work together on coronavirus response.

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Arrangements for exams which have been cancelled The exam regulator, Ofqual, and exam boards will work with teachers to provide grades to students whose exams have been cancelled this summer.

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Ibuprofen use and Coronavirus: There is currently no strong evidence that ibuprofen can make coronavirus (COVID-19) worse.

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Update for Schools:

On 18 March 2020, the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson MP, announced schools would be closed for the vast majority of pupils until further notice.

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Update on Emergency Legislation HERE

Update for Homeowners and Renters:

On 17th and 18th March 2020, support was announced to homeowners, renters and landlords who may be impacted by Coronavirus by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick MP. 

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The Chancellor's Update:

On 17th March 2020, the Chancellor announced new financial measures to support those affected by the outbreak to do 'whatever it takes'. This includes £330 billion being made available. 

Find out how it helps individuals and public services

Find out how it helps businesses

Update on Rough Sleepers:

On 17th March 2020, The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick MP, announced £3.2 million in emergency support for rough sleepers during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Update for restaurants and pubs:

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick MP has also announced on 17th March 2020 that Planning rules will be relaxed so pubs and restaurants can operate as hot food takeaways during the coronavirus outbreak. These changes will provide vital flexibility to pubs and restaurants and will ensure people are able to safely stay at home while still supporting some of the great local businesses across this country. Read more

Find out more here

17th March

The Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab MP is now advising against all but essential travel outside of the UK for the next 30 days. Read more

 

16th March:

The Government has announced new measures to save lives and protect the NHS. On the 16th of March, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stated the following measures:

  • public gatherings such as pubs, clubs, and theatres should be avoided
  • if it possible to work from home, do so
  • avoid all non-essential travel and contact
  • Self-isolate for 14 days if you or anyone in your home has Coronavirus symptoms. If you live alone and have these symptoms, you should self-isolate for 7 days. 
  • Pregnant women, people over the age of 70 and those with certain health conditions should consider the advice particularly important.

I  can understand that these measures may sound dramatic, but it is necessary to protect everyone.

 

15th March:

Urgent request from the PM: Calling all manufacturers who can support our national effort to combat Coronvirus with ventilator production

 

If you can help, please contact the Government Business Support team:

 

0300 456 3565 or ventilator.support@beis.gov.uk