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New national measures
I am sure you are familiar with the new national restrictions which came into effect today, and which end on 2nd December. You can find the overview of the regulations HERE and the relevant legislation HERE

I thought it might be helpful to outline some of the support measures available, plus some other news which may have slipped under the radar during the blizzard of news we have experienced this week.  

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – known as the furlough scheme – will be extended until the end of November to cover the new restrictions with employees receiving 80 per cent of their current salary for hours not worked, up to £2,500 a month. Businesses will have flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis or furlough them full-time. More information on that HERE.

Self-employed support
We will provide even more generous support to the self-employed by increasing the support to the self-employed from 40 per cent of trading profits to 80 per cent for November. These grants are calculated over three months, meaning the maximum grant will increase to £5,160. This is £4.5 billion of support to the self-employed through November to January alone, with a further grant to follow covering February to April. This comes on top of £13 billion of support provided to between 2.5 million and 3 million self-employed people so far, one of the most comprehensive and generous support packages for the self-employed anywhere in the world. Further information HERE

Support for businessesExtending the application deadline for loan guarantee schemes – that is, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme – to the end of January 2021. This will give businesses two extra months to make loan applications (relative to the current deadline of 30 November).  Furth information on financial support for businesses HERE.Adjusting the Bounce Back Loan Scheme rules to allow those businesses who have borrowed less than their maximum (i.e. less than 25 per cent of their turnover) to top-up their existing loan. Businesses will be able to take-up this option from next week; they can make use of this option once. We understand that some businesses did not anticipate the disruption to their business from the pandemic would go on for this long; this will ensure that they are able to benefit from the loan scheme as intended. Extending mortgage holidays. Mortgage holiday will be extended to reassure homeowners. These were due to end on 31 October, but borrowers who have been impacted by coronavirus and have not yet had a mortgage payment holiday will be entitled to a six month holiday, and those that have already started a mortgage payment holiday will be able to top up to six months without this being recorded on their credit file. Some further information on that HERE. Supporting businesses forced to close. Business premises which are legally forced to close to receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month in England. This is worth over £1 billion a month with the new restrictions in place, and will benefit over 600,000 business premises. Providing additional support for local authorities. £1.1 billion will also be provided to Local Authorities to enable them to support businesses which are not forced to close but are facing reduced demand due to the new national restrictions. Care home visits
New guidance was released yesterday for care homes on how to continue to enable safe visits, which can be tailored to each home. You can read that HERE

Guidance for the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable
New guidance for those who fall into the clinically extremely vulnerable category has been published. This includes those who suffer from certain cancers and auto-immune conditions. You can find out more HERE, which also includes a link on how to seek assistance if you need it.  

Vaccine update
There are some really positive developments for some of the candidate vaccines, which I have summarised HERE

Testing update
You may have heard about the new rapid testing programmes, which are being trialled in Liverpool. You can read more about testing progress HERE

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