CARDIFF CAPITAL REGION COVID-19 UPDATE
The Cardiff Capital Region is committed to keeping you up-to-date with all the latest information relating to the Coronavirus so everybody can stay safe and informed across the region.
See below for links to key official sources of information. All of these links are continuously refreshed and will provide the very latest position.
Links to Prime Minister and Chancellor addresses
Thursday 26th March
Here are the key points:
- Launch of Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. The Government will pay self-employed people across the whole UK who have been adversely affected by coronavirus 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 it for longer if necessary.
- Self-employed people who are eligible will be contacted by HMRC directly, asked to fill out a simple online form, and HMRC will pay the grant directly into their bank account. We expect people to access the scheme by the beginning of June.
- The scheme will only be open to those with trading profits up to £50,000, leaving 95 per cent of people who are majority self-employed eligible for the scheme. HMRC will also ask people to demonstrate that the majority of their income comes from self-employment, and, to minimise fraud, only those who are already in self-employment, and who have a tax return for 2019, will be able to apply.
Here are the major points from the PM’s speech on Monday 23rd and the rules we should now all abide by:
- From tonight, people in Britain will be allowed to leave their homes for only “very limited purposes” – shopping for basic necessities; for one form of exercise a day; for any medical need; and to travel to and from work when “absolutely necessary”
- People are warned not to meet friends or family members who they do not live with
- Shopping is only permitted for essentials like food and medicine, and people are advised to do it “as little as you can”
- Police have powers to enforce the rules, including through fines and dispersing gatherings
- All shops selling non-essential goods, such as clothing and electronic stores, are ordered to close
- Libraries, playgrounds, outdoor gyms and places of worship are to close
- All gatherings of more than two people in public – excluding people you live with – are banned
- All social events, including weddings and baptisms are banned
- Funerals are not included in the new restrictions
- Parks will remain open for exercise but gatherings will be dispersed
- Restrictions “under constant review” and will be checked again in three weeks. They will be relaxed “if the evidence shows we are able to”
Here are the key points from Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s speech:
- The government will step in to help pay people’s wages through a coronavirus job retention scheme.
- Businesses can apply for a grant of up to £2,500 a month to cover 80% of salary for those retained but not working.
- VAT for all businesses is being deferred until the end of June and the business loan scheme will now be interest free for 12 months.
- Universal Credit allowance increases £1,000 a year and the next tax self-assessments will be deferred until the start of next year.
- He also announces the self-employed will get full Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to statutory sick pay, and a further £1bn to cover 30% of house rental costs.
In this particular statement, the PM confirmed
- That we have put the first British corona patient into a randomised trial for drugs that may treat the disease
- UK experts and scientists expect to start trials for the first vaccine within a month
- We are in negotiations today to buy a so called antibody test
The Queen also made a statement on the 19th March
Links to best official general updates
The best UK Government rolling page with updated information for Welsh businesses and individuals alike is the Wales Office page which you can find here:
The UK Government has also launched its new Business Support Hub, which provides information on the UK wide schemes
Welsh Government also have an updated business support page
Detail on provisions for Businesses / Employees
For detail on eligibility and process pertaining to the following list of topics click HERE to read the latest Welsh Government summary tabulated in this consolidated PDF.
- Business rate reductions
- Development bank of Wales facilities incl 3 month capital and fee repayment holidays
- Business Interruption Loan scheme for SME’s
- Corporate Financing facilities- purchase of debt by Bank of England
- Financial account filing extension of 3 months
- HMRC time to pay extensions
- Vat deferral processes
- Universal credit allowances
- Eviction protection for Commercial tenants
- Job retention scheme for PAYE employees
- SSP rebates
- Rented housing allowances
- Insurance interventions to ensure Covid 19 is covered under Commercial insurances with “unspecified disease cover”
Self Employed Scheme:
Initial details on how the scheme will work can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme
Job Retention Scheme:
To check if your employer is eligible, and how much your employer can claim if they’re unable to operate or have no work for you to do because of coronavirus look here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme
More information has been released about the 3 months deferral of VAT payments – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/deferral-of-vat-payments-due-to-coronavirus-covid-19
The Welsh Government has announced that some of its business grants will start reaching businesses next week – https://gov.wales/grants-start-reaching-businesses
And has given further guidance on Business Rate Relief
In addition, there are 3 schemes to help exporters deal with Coronavirus:
Direct Lending Facility: http://ow.ly/v57X50yP6Bp
Export Working Capital Scheme: http://ow.ly/r4Hk50yP6Br
Export Insurance Policy: http://ow.ly/ZiAQ50yP6Bo
The Welsh Government has also announced that caravan parks, campsites, tourist hotspots and popular beauty spots will be closed to visitors from Monday 23rd.
They also announced that local authorities would be enforcing the closure of pubs throughout Wales following reports some are flouting the shutdown, which was introduced on Saturday. Licenced premises, which continue to trade, will risk losing their licence. Further details are available at: https://gov.wales/tough-new-measures-slow-spread-coronavirus-introduced-today
Detailed guidance on which businesses must close and acceptable exceptions see here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance
Health and Wellbeing
Powers to enforce coronavirus social distancing have come into force in Wales.
If people do not comply with these new laws:
- They can be directed to return home or removed from where they are and returned home
- They may have to pay a fixed penalty notice of £30, which if not paid within 14 days will double to £60, and if they are issued with a second or subsequent notice the charge will be £120
- Individuals who do not pay a fixed penalty notice under the regulations could be taken to court, with magistrates able to impose unlimited fines. If an individual continues to refuse to comply, they will be acting unlawfully, and the police may arrest them. More info here:
The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations 2020 have come into force – these regulations enforce the strict new stay-at-home rules, which will help to save lives and protect the NHS in Wales. They are available at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/wsi/2020/353/pdfs/wsi_20200353_en.pdf
The government has updated the guidance on the new measures introduced by the Prime Minister on Monday 23rd March with regard to staying at home and social distancing
Public Health Wales statement on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is updated daily HERE
Coronavirus guidance for the NHS, people working in social, community and residential care HERE
Advice and Guidance from the NHS to protect yourselves and others HERE
Advice and guidance for staying at home HERE
Age Cymru has now launched its ‘Check-in-and-chat’ telephone service for over 70s in Wales who live alone – https://www.ageuk.org.uk/cymru/information-advice/age-cymru-advice/check-in-and-chat/
Read advice about looking after your mental wellbeing HERE
111 is available across Wales for advice on COVID-19. You do not need to call 111 if self-isolating and symptoms are mild. Please only call 111 if symptoms worsen or you don’t feel better after 7 days. Help keep lines free for those in most need. For the NHS Wales Coronavirus COVID-19 Symptom Checker HERE.
The UK is now the biggest contributor to the international coalition to find a vaccine with £210m further funding announced taking the total amount of UK aid spent fighting coronavirus to £544m – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-announces-record-funding-to-find-a-coronavirus-vaccine
The Welsh Government has published support and guidance for renters in the private rented sector – https://gov.wales/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-tenants-in-the-private-rented-sector-html
The UK Government is taking emergency measures to support and sustain necessary rail services as operators face significant drops in their income – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-ensures-ticket-refunds-and-protects-services-for-passengers-with-rail-emergency-measures
All new jury trials in England and Wales have been halted until they can be conducted safely – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52000213