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UK Government COVID-19 Update, 12 June 2020

12 June 2020
Issue 11, 12 June 2020: All of the key government coronavirus news and guidance in a weekly legal update.

UK Government updates guidance to public bodies in respect of Covid-19 supplier relief measures: The UK Government has issued the new PPN 04/20 guidelines to public bodies inviting them to review and consider implementing appropriate exit plans for any relief measures which they have put in place to assist their "at risk" suppliers pursuant to the PPN 02/20 guidelines issued in March 2020.

COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility: £18.8 billion of public funding provided to over 50 businesses including Tottenham Hotspur, Ryanair and Rolls Royce: On 4th June 2020, the Bank of England published details of the awards it has made using the COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility ("CCFF"). Since March 2020, over £18 billion of short term liquidity support has been provided to large, investment grade businesses, many of which are household names. The announcement of the awards is likely to increase the pressure on the UK Government to extend the CCFF to other businesses.

Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund Ring-Fenced Grant 2020: Local Authority Circular: A Department of Health and Social Care circular sets out the conditions upon which the grant, which will support adult social care providers to reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission in and between care homes, is paid and local authorities.

£63 million for local authorities to assist those struggling to afford food and other essentials: New funding confirmed for local authorities to help those struggling financially as a result of COVID-19.

Procurement Policy Note 05/20: The Outsourcing Playbook V2.0: This Procurement Policy Note sets out guidance on the updated Outsourcing Playbook and the series of new guidance notes have been developed to improve how the Government delivers public services.

Policy discussions ongoing surrounding "local lockdowns" to combat spikes in regional cases of COVID-19: On 8 June, Matt Hancock stated "where there is evidence of a specific cluster or flare-up, we will take local action" and "we hope very much to be able to publish more and more granular, localised information and to work with local leaders to deliver on what is needed". In response to a question on what funding and resources will be in place for local authorities to deal with local lockdowns, Hancock stated "we have already allocated £300 million for precisely that task." In the House of Lords on 9 June, Lord Bethall stated "Rather than focusing on local lockdowns, we are focusing on local action plans with a wide variety of measures, perhaps including behavioural changes as well as clinical and diagnostic interventions […] That holistic approach is the one we are pursuing."

Highways England’s pumps £85 million into getting people back on bikes: Following unprecedented levels of walking and cycling across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, the enhancements to the cycle network have given more people a choice when considering alternatives to public transport when they need to travel, making healthier habits easier and helping to make sure the road network is ready to respond to future increases in demand.

Advice on staying secure during COVID-19: Guidance from the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure for businesses and insolvency office holders on managing security risks during the pandemic.

Thousands of high street shops, department stores and shopping centres to reopen safely in England: Shops in England selling non-essential goods will be able to reopen from Monday 15 June, the Business Secretary has confirmed.

Updated European Structural and Investment Funds Q&A, Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response: The ESF Q & A has been updated with amended answers to existing questions. A new question and answer has also been added on 9 June 2020.

Newcastle City Council launches £3m SME support fund: Newcastle City Council launched a £3m Coronavirus Discretionary Grant Fund on 5 June 2020 for grants of up to £5,000 to support small businesses that haven’t had been eligible for previous emergency business grant schemes.

Covid-19 crisis means England's local authorities could go bust, warn mayors: As the impact of the crisis hits local authorities, the mayors of London, Greater Manchester, Sheffield and Liverpool have issued a joint call to highlight the seriousness of the issue and urge the PM to respond.

Northern Powerhouse Rail ‘phasing’ plan being drawn up to accelerate construction: TfNis working up a “phasing strategy” for the Northern Powerhouse Rail project. By splitting construction into a number of “defined projects”, TfN bosses believe the £39bn scheme can be “accelerated”.

Flexible Furlough: The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until October, with new flexibilities introduced from 1 July allowing furloughed employees to return to work part-time.Guidance on how employers should calculate claims is expected to be released on 12 June (at the time of issue of this update, the advice was not yet available).

Wales

More than £680 million reaches businesses in COVID-19 support: Business support grants worth more than £680 million have reached businesses across Wales to help them respond to the financial challenges of COVID-19, Ministers have announced.

Contact tracing system for Wales rolled-out: A population-wide contact tracing system is being rolled out across Wales as lockdown restrictions are eased, Health Minister Vaughan Gething has  announced.

National Procurement Service: revised pipeline: The NPS pipeline has been reviewed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Economic Resilience Fund - Find out if your business is eligible for support from the next phase: Businesses can now find out if they are eligible to apply for financial support from thenext phase of the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund.

Scotland

Support for tourism industry: Further measures have been announced by Tourism Secretary Fergus Ewing to support Scotland’s vital tourism industry.

Initial Test and Protect data published: The first set of data from week one of the COVID-19 Test and Protect system has been published.

Northern Ireland

Mallon announces budget to aid economy kick start and community transformation:Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon sets out her plans to support communities through recovery, while promoting economic growth and transformation through capital spend.

Executive confirms changes to Covid-19 regulations: Ministers agreed to minor relaxations after being updated on the course of the epidemic and the current COVID-19 transmission rate by medical and scientific expert advisers.

View the government's latest guidance for local councils >

View more insights on our COVID-19 Hub >

View our Public Sector insights >


To view previous editions of the Public Sector COVID-19 Bulletin, please choose a date below:

Further Reading

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