The Prime Minister will host a press conference this afternoon (Monday 12th July) to confirm whether England can move to step 4 of the Roadmap. Step 4 is expected to begin on Monday 19th July if the government’s “four tests” for easing Covid restrictions have been met.
The Health and Social Care Secretary will announce the plans to parliament.
The four tests are:
- The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
- Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
- Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
- The government assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern
The Prime Minister is expected to urge the public to remain vigilant and exercise caution, praising the efforts of the country for the progress made so far while warning that the pandemic is not over and that caution will be key in the coming weeks. The latest data will be presented, with current modelling suggesting that Covid cases will continue to rise as restrictions are eased. Hospitalisations, serious illness and deaths will also continue, albeit at a much lower level than before the vaccination programme.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“Cases will rise as we unlock, so as we confirm our plans today, our message will be clear. Caution is absolutely vital, and we must all take responsibility so we don’t undo our progress, ensuring we continue to protect our NHS.”
The full announcement can be fund here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prime-minister-to-urge-caution-ahead-of-move-to-step-4
Launch of Culture Recovery Fund Emergency Resource Support for England’s Cultural Organisations
The Culture Recovery Fund: Emergency Resource Support programme has been established to provide emergency funding for culturally significant organisations in England. Those which were financially sustainable before coronavirus (COVID-19) but are now at imminent risk of failure, having exhausted all other options for increasing their resilience, are being supported. Through the programme, Arts Council England will offer funding to meet shortfalls between applicants’ operating costs and income up to a point where they can demonstrate a return to financial viability, but no later than 31 December 2021. From an overall budget of £20 million, grants of between £25,000 and £3 million are available. (For profit-making commercial organisations, the maximum is £1 million.)
The grants can support a range of measures, including staff salaries and fixed/operational costs, projects that are essential to continued operations, COVID-related debt, one-off costs arising from organisational development, and one-off building/capital expenditure.
Applications are open to cultural organisations in England that are properly constituted with a governing document. They must be able to demonstrate, via cashflow forecast, they are at risk of ceasing to trade viably within 12 weeks of the point of application.
For this programme, the Arts Council defines ‘cultural’ as sitting within the remit of Arts Council England. Its supported artforms or disciplines are music, theatre, dance, combined arts, visual arts, museums, or literature. Comedy venues are also eligible for this fund.
Applicants must first complete a ‘Permission to Apply’ form by 30 September 2021. Where permission is granted (normally within five working days), applicants will be invited to make a full application within five working days. The application portal will open for full applications on 15 July 2021 and close on 14 October 2021.
More information is available here: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/culture-recovery-fund-emergency-resource-support#section-1
Culture Recovery Fund Launches Emergency Resource Support for Heritage Organisations
The Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage is provided by the Government and administered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Historic England. The Fund is part of the £1.57 billion rescue package announced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to safeguard cultural and heritage organisations across the UK from the economic impact of COVID-19.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund is distributing £40 million of the third round of the Culture Recovery Fund. This round of funding will have two strands:
- Strand One: Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage: Emergency Resource Support – for organisations that are in severe need and have not yet received support from the Culture Recovery Fund.
- Strand Two: Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage: Continuity Support – for organisations that are in need and have already received support from the Culture Recovery Fund.
The funding will be distributed between the two strands of funding based on the level of demand. The first allocations from this funding round will be for strand one.
There is a total funding pot of £40 million for round three. Grants of between £10,000 and £1 million are available.
The deadline for Expressions of Interest (EOI) is 30 September 2021 (12pm).
More information is available here:https://www.heritagefund.org.uk/funding/culture-recovery-fund-emergency-resource
Free Furlough Webinar
A recorded webinar has been uploaded about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and you can watch it here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-and-support-if-your-business-is-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19 . You will learn about:
- the extension of the scheme
- how employers will be affected
- flexible furloughing
- key dates
- support available