COVID – NEWS UPDATE - 17/12/2020
Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced today that a number of areas in England will move into tier three with effect from Saturday, including the whole of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Peterborough, Portsmouth, and Surrey, except Waverley.
Bristol and North Somerset will move from tier three into tier two, while Herefordshire moves to tier one
Local authorities in South Essex, South Hertfordshire, and all of the boroughs of London, had already moved into Tier 3 this week. Access the online postcode checker to find out what tier you are in and a full list of the restrictions that apply.
- Wales will enter a third lockdown from Monday December 28 which will be reviewed after three weeks. There are also tighter restrictions in Wales during the 5-day Christmas relaxation.
- The self-isolation period is reduced from 14 days to 10 days across the UK. This applies to those living with people with coronavirus or coronavirus symptoms, those instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, and those self-isolating after travel to the UK from a country not on the travel corridor list.
- A list of private coronavirus testing providers meeting the governments minimum standards for the Test to Release for International Travel scheme has been published. The scheme cuts the self-isolation period after travel to 5 days for people who choose to take a private test and receive a negative result.
- From February workers will be able to see details of any furlough claims made for them by their employers after 1 December 2020, in their Personal Tax Account on UK.
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance has been updated to explicitly confirm that employers do not need to be facing a wider reduction in demand or be closed to be eligible to claim under the scheme for workers who are clinically extremely vulnerable or at the highest risk of severe illness from coronavirus.
- Updated guidance on Face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own, states that face visors or shields may be worn in addition to a face covering but not instead of one. This is because face visors or shields do not adequately cover the nose and mouth.
- People who have a visa or leave that expires between 1 December 2020 and 31 January 2021, and have not been able to leaver the UK, may request additional time to stay, known as ‘exceptional assurance’.
- New guidance has been published for applicants to the EU Settlement Scheme, Turkish applicants for UK Visas and applicants for documentation issued under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 who have been affected by restrictions associated with coronavirus. The guidance explains how issues such as time out of the country or inability to obtain new travel documents will impact their applications or status.
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