Updates to guidance on travel, and change to Christmas Bubble rules

As you’ve no doubt seen and heard over the weekend, the current advice on travel and the rules for Christmas have now changed.  

In terms of travel, the Government are asking everyone, in all tiers, to stay local.  People should carefully consider whether they need to travel abroad and follow the rules in their tier. 

On 25 December you may choose to form a Christmas bubble if you feel you really need to (this only applies to people who do not live in the new Tier 4 area – London and the South East of England). 

A Christmas bubble can meet in a private home, a place of worship or an outdoor public space. In all other settings, if you do form a Christmas bubble, you must still follow the rules for the tier you meet in.  There is no longer a 5 day period when you can do this. 

The updated restrictions can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/guidance-for-the-christmas-period and the Prime Minister’s announcement on Saturday can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/prime-ministers-statement-on-coronavirus-covid-19-19-december-2020

Update to guidance on ‘What is a contact’

A contact is a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.  You can be a contact anytime from 2 days before the person who tested positive developed their symptoms, and up to 10 days after, as this is when they can pass the infection on to others.  A contact can be:

  • anyone who lives in the same household as someone with COVID-19 symptoms or who has tested positive for COVID-19
  • anyone who has had any of the following types of contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 with a PCR test: 
  • face-to-face contact including being coughed on or having a face-to-face conversation within one metre
  • been within one metre for one minute or longer without face-to-face contact
  • sexual contacts
  • been within 2 metres of someone for more than 15 minutes (either as a one-off contact, or added up together over one day)
  • travelled in the same vehicle or a plane

The full guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-contacts-of-people-with-possible-or-confirmed-coronavirus-covid-19-infection-who-do-not-live-with-the-person/guidance-for-contacts-of-people-with-possible-or-confirmed-coronavirus-covid-19-infection-who-do-not-live-with-the-person

Loan Applications Extended

The guidance for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans and the Bounce Back Loan schemes have been updated to confirm they are open for applications (or top up applications) until 31 March 2021.  

The information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-the-coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme ; https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-the-coronavirus-large-business-interruption-loan-scheme ; https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-coronavirus-bounce-back-loan

Christmas opening hours for Government’s Business Support helpline

You can contact the government’s business support helpline for free advice on Phone: 0800 998 1098 or Email: enquiries@businesssupporthelpline.org or Webchat: talk to an adviser using the webchat 

The opening hours are – Phoneline and webchat open Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm.

Helpline opening times over Christmas and New Year – The helpline will be open as usual from Monday to Friday, except:

  • Friday 25 December (Christmas Day) – closed
  • Monday 28 December (Bank Holiday) – 10am to 4pm
  • Friday 1 (New Year’s Day) and Saturday 2 January 2021 – 10am to 4pm

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