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TIER Updates

Message on behalf of TIER: COVID-19 update (22 January)

In his press conference today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was joined by Patrick Vallance and Chris Whitty for an update on vaccinations and more detail about the latest scientific data on the three variants.

The Prime Minister said that it was his intention to reflect on the situation on 15 February, however the infection rates are currently still too high to reduce restrictions.

When asked about closing borders to inbound travellers, the Prime Minister said that we had already stopped non-UK nationals coming in from SA, and that everyone had to produce a negative test, passenger locator form, and have a quarantine of 10 days (or 5 if following Test to Release), he did not rule out going further to protect our borders.

It was reiterated that measures would need to be rolled back slowly and this is dependent on a number of things. We will have to live with COVID in some way for a long time the Prime Minister acknowledged. The first thing to reopen would be schools.

The slides are available here, the video of the press conference will be available here shortly.

The Welsh Government announces £3 million of funding for everyday economy projects

The Welsh Government is providing a further £3 million for projects which support, improve and deliver the everyday goods and services across sectors such as care and health services, food, housing, energy, tourism, construction and retail.

Read the press release.

Information regarding the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) – third grant has been added to GOV.UK

The Help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus page has been updated to include a YouTube video explaining how to claim the SEISS third grant.

The fourth SEISS grant will cover February to April 2021. The government will set out further details, including the level of the fourth grant in due course. There will also be a series of live webinars about claiming the fourth grant - more details will follow shortly and we will keep you updated.

Details of support schemes available in Northern Ireland

The Large Tourism and Hospitality Business Support Scheme (LTHBSS) will provide support to large businesses, with NAV over £51K, in tourism and hospitality which have been significantly impacted by the Health Protection Regulations put in place by the Executive. The scheme will provide additional financial support to help these businesses meet fixed costs and overheads associated with the survival of their businesses and the protection of jobs.

Eligible businesses will be contacted by the Department directly and provided with an application form to complete. The single grant payment will cover eight weeks of support for the period of restrictions to 11 December 2020 (10 weeks in the case of businesses located in the Derry City and Strabane District Council Area) plus six weeks of support the period of restrictions from 26 December 2020 to 6 February 2021. The grant will be calculated on NAV value, for example:

  • Businesses where the NAV is £51,001 to £60,000 will receive £2,400 per week. This will increase to £2,900 per week for businesses where the NAV £60,001 to £70,000 and £3,400 per week for businesses where the NAV is £70,001 to £80,000. This pattern continues up to a NAV of £600,000
  • From £600,001 onwards the NAV bands are widened to £100,000 with increments of £2,500. For example, £31,900 per week for a business with a NAV of £600,001 to £700,000 and £34,400 per week for a business with a NAV of between £700,001 and £800,000.
  • Finally business where the NAV is £1,000,001 or greater will receive a maximum of £41,900 per week.  

Read the press release here.

Northern Ireland’s Limited Company Director’s Support Scheme open for applications
In a previous TIER note we mentioned that the Minister for the Economy had announced details of the Limited Company Director’s Support Scheme, designed to provide financial support to company directors who have personally been impacted by COVID-19.

The grant available through this scheme has been increased from £1,000 to £3,500. The Scheme opened for applications yesterday and is open until 18.00 on 18 February 2021.

More information and an eligibility checker is available here.

The NI Executive agree a total of £290 million in COVID-19 funding as a result of the January Monitoring round

The Finance Minister announced that the Department for the Economy will receive £94.5 million for Research and Development, replacement of European Social Fund funding in this financial year and various schemes supporting tourism and hospitality, small businesses and Company Directors. This along with the £60 million previously held centrally provides the Economy Minister with £154.5 million to provide support to individuals and businesses in this financial year.

After meeting all departmental bids and amalgamating COVID and non-COVID funding, £346.4 million Resource, £28.3 million Capital and £55.7 million FTC remains unallocated. The Finance Minister has encouraged Executive Ministers to work on further ways to utilise additional funding in this financial year and further allocations are anticipated next week.  

Read the full statement and details of allocation here.

Other guidance updates

The requirements to provide public health information to passengers travelling to England page has been updated to include requirements for transport operators to ensure provision of coronavirus information.

Transport operators are required to ensure that passengers travelling to England by sea, air or rail from outside the common travel area are provided with information about coronavirus, and related duties and public health guidance. From 22 January changes are being made to the required information at Box A, including to highlight the requirement for passengers to have proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 3 days of departure to England will apply.

Passengers must be provided with information at 4 stages of the passenger journey:

  • at the booking stage
  • at check-in stage
  • notification 24 to 48 hours prior to departure to UK 
  • on board the vessel, aircraft or train

Find out more information here.


  • International Travel Update

There are three updates to international travel:

    • Southern African Travel Ban Extended

The Government has decided to maintain the ban on direct flights from South Africa and entry bans on passengers arriving or transiting through those Southern African countries listed on 7th January.

    • Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo Added to Travel Ban List

From 4am this morning, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo Added have been added to the Southern Africa Travel Ban List meaning that passengers who have been in, or transited through, in the previous ten day are banned from entry into the UK

    • UK - Netherlands travel ban

The Dutch Government has announced additional border measures and banned passenger travel from the UK to the Netherlands via air and sea. This ban comes into effect at 00:01 on Saturday (23rd January) but does not apply to freight hauliers provided that they demonstrate a negative antigen test. In addition, repatriations, travellers with serious medical reasons, travellers who need to see family, and diplomats will be exempt. The ban will last for at least 1 month or until new legislation passes through Parliament which allows enforcement of self-isolation for travellers (previously this had been an advisory measure).

  • Social Impacts of Coronavirus

ONS have produced the results of another survey on the social impacts of Coronavirus. One of the key findings for tourism businesses from this is that:

    • The proportion of adults who felt that it will take more than a year for life to return to normal has risen from 20% to  25% continued since New Year
    • Correspondingly, the proportion of adults who feel life will return to normal in six months or less has declined from 25% to 22% since New Year
    • This is the first time since November that the proportion of people thinking life will return to normal within 6 months has been lower than the proportion thinking that it will take more than a year.

This fall in expectations about the future has implications regarding the need to rebuild consumer confidence regarding travel and tourism.

  • CJRS Calculator

The guidance on the CJRS has been updated to explain that employers cannot use the calculator if their employees have variable pay, were not on their employer's payroll on or before 19 March 2020 and have been on more than one period of furlough after 1 November 2020.

  • R Number and Growth Rate

The figures for this week are 0.8 to 1.0 for the R Rate and -4% to -1% for the Growth Rate, which are more positive that the REACT-1 figures produced yesterday and down significantly from last week’s figures of 1.2 to 1.3 and +2% to +5% respectively.

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