Just as I said there were few new rules for Omicron the Government have made some new announcements.
Masks should now be worn in most indoor public places and on public transport
Work from home if you can
Let fresh air in if you meet indoors – meeting outdoors is safer
If someone tests positive, they should self-isolate for 10 days, but this can be reduced to 7 if they test negative on days 6 and 7
Contacts of those who test positive should also self-isolate unless exempt from self-isolation (e.g. if fully vaccinated)
Fully vaccinated contacts of those who test positive should take a lateral flow test daily for 7 days
A Covid pass, confirming full vaccination, a negative test within 48 hours or exemption, needs be shown for entry to nightclubs, some venues, and large events
The government are encouraging people to get vaccinated and keep on working: –
- If any workers display symptoms of COVID-19, they should self-isolate and get a PCR test.
- Employees that are legally required to self-isolate, and cannot work from home, are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay for every day of work missed for their self-isolation period.
The £500 self-isolation support grant for low-income workers is still available in England
A doctors note or NHS notice is required to support sick leave/pay in excess of 7 days, with shorter periods eligible for self-certification. This is temporarily extended to 28 days for absences starting between 17th December 2021 and 26thJanuary 2022.
The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS) is returning. Small employers (under 250 staff) can claim back up to 2 weeks sick pay per employee from HMRC if employees are off sick or isolating due to covid after 21st December 2021.
The previous SSPRS, covering covid sick leave prior to 30th September 2021, is independent of the new scheme; final claims and adjustments must be made by 31st December 2021.
But – there have been no new announcements on the Furlough scheme which ended 30th September 2021
The government has topped up local authority funds for two new grants
Hospitality grant –solvent hospitality and leisure business ratepayers, including pubs, hotels, restaurants, cinemas, and amusement parks will be entitled to a new premises grant based on rateable value
Rateable value under £15,000 – grant £2,700
Rateable value £15,000- £51,000 – grant £4,000
Rateable value over £51,000 – grant £6,000
Discretionary Additional Restrictions Grants – each council will have their own criteria so do visit your local council website
The Culture Recovery Fund is also to get additional funds for a third round of grants for the period to March 2022.
Covid Recovery Loans
The government is still offering 80% guarantee on loans and overdrafts taken out under the Recovery Loan Scheme; exact terms of such loans are up to the bank to agree.
This scheme has been extended to 30th June 2022, but loans arranged after 1st January 2022 will only be eligible for 70% guarantee.
For more details visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/recovery-loan-scheme