Three-tiered system of local Covid Alert Levels introduced
Following the announcement from the Prime Minister yesterday, a new three-tiered system of local Covid Alert Levels has been introduced. This has been put in place as a response to the rising coronavirus cases across the country. The approach will see different parts of the country placed in different categories dependent on rates of infection within that area. Each category will have slightly different measures in place, in order to help tackle the transmission rate. Through this system they plan to simplify and standardise local rules, with the three levels: medium, high and very high.
- This refers to the majority of the country.
- Consists of the current national measures that are in place, i.e. Rule of six, closure of hospitality at 10pm.
- The majority of the areas already subject to local restrictions will automatically move into this level. In addition, Nottinghamshire, East and West Cheshire, and a small area of High Peak will also move into this level.
- Reflects the interventions in many local areas currently.
- Primary aim is to reduce household-to-household transmission by preventing all mixing between different households or support bubbles indoors.
- Rule of 6 continues outdoors in public areas and private gardens.
Very High Level
- This level is for the areas with transmission rates that are rising rapidly and as a result the NHS could be under unbearable pressure without further restrictions.
- Prohibiting social mixing indoors and in private gardens.
- Closure of pubs and bars.
- Additional closures if it is deemed necessary.
- To help support the wages of any business forced to close the government have extended their job support scheme. It will cover two thirds of the wages of any business, which has been forced to close due to the restrictions.
- In addition to this, they are also providing those businesses with a cash grant of up to £3000 per month payable every two weeks. This is instead of the £1500 they were receiving every three weeks.
- Providing local authorities across England with around £1 billion of new financial support.
- In regard to the areas in the ‘Very High’ tier, further financial support promised for local test and trace, funding for local enforcement, the offer of assistance from the armed forces (to support local services) and the job support scheme as mentioned above.
Details of Extended Job Support Scheme
- It will remain in place for 6 months, with a review point in January.
- Eligible businesses can claim 67% of each employees’ salary up to a maximum of £2100 a month.
- The business will not be required to contribute towards wages and are only asked to cover National Insurance contributions and pension contributions
- Business will only be eligible to claim the grant where they are subject to restrictions. In addition employees must be off for a minimum of 7 consecutive days
- Employees must have been on Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC on or before 23rd September 2020.
As many of you will be aware, Liverpool City Region will be moving into the ‘Very High’ tier from Wednesday (14th October). In addition to pubs and bars; gyms, leisure centres, betting shops, adult gaming centres and casinos will close.
All of these measures will be kept under review, including a four-week sunset clause for interventions in the very high areas.
We understand at HPC this could be a very worrying time for your business, especially if these restrictions are going to have a direct impact on you and your employees.
If you have any concerns or would like to discuss anything further, please get in contact with the HPC team today. We can offer expert advice and guidance.
T: 0844 800 5932