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UK Government COVID-19 update, 14 August 2020

18 August 2020
Issue 19, 14 August 2020: All of the key coronavirus news and guidance in one weekly legal update.

Getting Building Fund: Government publishes £900m allocation for “shovel ready projects”: In response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 lockdown, the Government launched the “Getting Building Fund” a £900m programme administered by England’s Local Enterprise Partnerships. All awards will need to comply with State aid law and in this article we explore some of the ways this can be achieved.

State aid: €6 billion public funding approved to help German public transport services recover from COVID-19 pandemic: The European Commission has granted State aid approval for a €6 billion scheme to help regional and local public transport services in Germany recover from the impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

NHS Test and Trace service to strengthen regional contact tracing: NHS Test and Trace and Public Health England will extend its partnership with local authorities to reach more people testing positive and their contacts.

New digital workplace framework launched with £75m potential savings: A new procurement framework developed by NHS Shared Business Services has been launched to assist public sector organisations to purchase cost-effective IT solutions, potentially saving an estimated£75m.

£1.3 billion investment to deliver homes, infrastructure and jobs: Funds to deliver up to 45,000 homes, create up to 85,000 jobs and upgrade skills and infrastructure to help fuel a green economic recovery announced.

£20 million to improve small business leadership and problem-solving skills in the wake of coronavirus: Two new leadership programmes to help small business leaders grow their companies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic were launched on 3 August 2020.

COVID-19 Community Infrastructure Levy guidance: In response to the spread of COVID-19, MHCLG has published guidance for local authorities on Community Infrastructure Levy matters.

The future of State aid law in the UK – should the UK adopt strong or weak rules?: The Financial Times reports that the UK Government is split on the design of the UK’s future State aid regime, with a faction led by Dominic Cummings arguing that the UK should adopt a “vague and nonstatutory”regime.

Hundreds of additional school improvement projects get green light: £560 million investment fast-tracked to improve school buildings

Data authority sets new standards to improve data sharing across government: The Data Standards Authority has recommended the use of new open data standards to improve data sharing across government.

Businesses urged to sign up to offer green homes improvements: Alok Sharma calls on tradespeople to register to offer home improvement services under the new Green Homes Grant scheme.

Updated guidance for working safely during Coronavirus: Updated guidance on consulting the workforce before returning to work (section 2) and protecting people who are at higher risk (section2.1).

TfN outlined £5bn northern infrastructure pipeline proposals: A 30-year investment plan of infrastructure projects designed to underpin greener growth has been revealed by Transport for the North.

Restrictions on household gatherings to continue in parts of the North West and West Yorkshire: The current rules on social gatherings will continue in parts of the North West, West Yorkshire and Leicester, following a review of all local restrictions on 6 August 2020 by government and local authorities.

Coronavirus support measures help every region and nation in the UK: New data published today reveals how businesses continue to be supported through government-backed coronavirus loan schemes.


Written Statement: Non-Domestic Rates Revaluation for Wales: Postponing the revaluation to 2023 will mean that the rateable values on which rates bills are based will better reflect the impact of COVID-19.

Minister launches Welsh Government’s Clean Air Plan for Wales to improve air quality: On 6 August 2020, the Welsh Government outlined the measures it will take to improve the country’s air quality under its Clean Air Plan for Wales: Healthy Air, Healthy Wales.


Helping young people into work: A total of £60 million will be invested in a Youth Guarantee to give all young people access to work, training or education, Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop has confirmed.

Northern Ireland

£650 million package of investment for Northern Ireland: On 7 August 2020, the UK Government has announced a £650 million package of investment to provide support to traders as well as for peace, prosperity and reconciliation projects in Northern Ireland. The support includes:

  • a new free-to-use Trader Support Service backed by funding of up to £200 million will complete digital processes on behalf of businesses importing goods into Northern Ireland;
  • £155m to fund the development of new technology to ensure the new processes can be fully digital and streamlined; and 
  • £300 million confirmed funding for the PEACE Plus programme will help to support peace,prosperity and reconciliation projects on the island of Ireland.

Executive outlines decisions on Coronavirus response: The Executive has taken a number of decisions as part of its ongoing response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

New Legislation

COVID-19: English Regulations requiring wearing of face coverings extended: On 6 August 2020, the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) (England)(Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/839) (amended Regulations) were made. The amended Regulations amend the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place)(England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/791) and came into force on 8 August 2020. They have the effect of requiring the public to wear face coverings in a wider range of places in England than previously provided for. The government has updated its guidance to reflect the amended Regulations.

COVID-19: Scottish Regulations make changes to face covering and social distancing requirements: On 7 August 2020, the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland)Amendment (No 10) Regulations 2020 (SSI 2020/236) (Regulations) were made, further amending the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 (SSI 2020/103) (Principal Regulations) that were made in Scotland in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Regulations came into force on 8 August 2020.The Scottish government has published guidance on its COVID-19 measures.

COVID-19: Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 2) (Wales) (Amendment)(No. 4) Regulations 2020 made: On 7 August 2020, the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions)(No. 2) (Wales) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/843) (the Regulations) were made.The Regulations further amend the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 2) (Wales)Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/725) (Principal Regulations), in order to effect a further easing of the lockdown restrictions in Wales. They also strengthen the powers of local authorities to enforce regulation 12 of the Principal Regulations. The Regulations came into force on 10 August 2020.

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Further Reading