COVID-19: New Announcements And Updates

19th May 2020
Paul Brooks

Additional Covid-19 symptoms: https://bit.ly/GuidanceCV19Symptoms

The UK Chief Medical Officers have today released a statement saying that individuals will need to self-isolate immediately if they develop a new continuous cough or fever or, as of today, anosmia.

Anosmia is the loss of or a change in the normal sense of smell. It can also affect the sense of taste as the two are closely linked.

Expansion of testing to everyone across the UK: https://bit.ly/TestingExpansion
From yesterday, everyone in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who is showing coronavirus symptoms is eligible to book a swab test to find out if they have the virus.

Full details of Matt Hancock’s statement to Parliament can be found using the link above.

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme: https://bit.ly/SSPRebateScheme

The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid to current or former employees.

The repayment will cover up to 2 weeks starting from the first qualifying day of sickness, if an employee is unable to work because they either:

Have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms;
Cannot work because they are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms; or
Are shielding and have a letter from the NHS or a GP telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks
The online service you’ll use to reclaim SSP is not available yet. HMRC will announce when the service is available and the guidance linked above will be updated.

Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre: https://bit.ly/VaccineCentre

The government will invest up to £93 million to accelerate construction of the new Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) which, when completed, will have capacity to produce enough vaccine doses to serve the entire UK population in as little as six months. The funding will ensure the centre opens in Summer 2021, a full 12 months ahead of schedule.

Future Fund update: https://bit.ly/3cxPyJL

Eligibility details for the Future Fund, which was set up to provide government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors, has been updated.

Please note that applications for the Fund will open on Wednesday 20 May 2020.

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