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How have the government responded to coronavirus so far?

A summary of the key announcements, guidance and temporary policies on coronavirus from the government as of 3 November.

04 November 2020

The spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) across the UK has had a huge impact on businesses, jobs and households, leading to several significant temporary changes to UK economic policy.

The government have made a number of announcements, outlining economic support for businesses, jobs and households that have been affected by coronavirus.

A full list of government support for businesses can be found on the GOV.UK website and a summary of links to the most relevant and updated guidance below.


Bounce Back Loan Scheme for small businesses

The government has introduced a 100% guaranteed Bounce Back Loan scheme aimed at supporting small businesses that have been affected by coronavirus.

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan

This scheme helps medium and large sized enterprises that have been affected by coronavirus to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £200 million. The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan

This scheme provides government backed loans of up to £5 million to small and medium businesses affected by coronavirus.


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

The CJRS is designed to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by the virus.

Job Support Scheme

Note that this will not be introduced until the Job Retention Scheme ends.

Job Retention Bonus

This involves a one-off payment of £1,000 to employers that have used the CJRS for each furloughed employee who remains continuously employed until 31 January 2021. Find out if you’re eligible and what you need to do to claim it.

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

This scheme has been extended, if you were eligible for the previous grants and can confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, find out what support is now available.

Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

This scheme allows small and medium sized employers to apply to HMRC to recover the costs of paying Statutory Sick Pay to their employees due to coronavirus.

Kickstart Scheme grant: 29 or less job placements

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment. If you are an employer looking to create 29 or less jobs placements for young people, find out more here.

Kickstart Scheme grant: 30 or more job placements

The Kickstart Scheme provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment. If you are an employer looking to create 30 or more jobs placements for young people, find out more here.

Planning updates

Temporary changes to the planning system

An update from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) on planning matters, including temporary measures to make it easier to operate the planning system during the outbreak of coronavirus.

Guidance from the planning inspectorate

In response to the spread of coronavirus, the Planning Inspectorate has published guidance on site visits, hearings, inquiries and events.

Guidance for businesses

Going to work

As of 1 November 2020, government guidance states that in order to help contain the virus, everyone who can work effectively from home must do so.

Social distancing in the workplace during COVID-19: sector guidance

The government has published updated guidance for employers in the construction sector on social distancing during COVID-19.

Reporting outbreaks of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Guidance for businesses and organisations on how to recognise, contain and report incidents of coronavirus

Holiday entitlement and pay during coronavirus

Guidance from the government on how holiday entitlement and pay will operate during the coronavirus pandemic, where it differs from the standard holiday entitlement and pay guidance.

Updates for businesses

Gender pay gap reporting deadline suspended

Due to coronavirus, the government have taken the decision to suspend enforcement of the gender pay gap deadlines for this reporting year (2019/20). This means there will be no expectation on employers to report their data if they haven’t done so already.

Businesses can apply for more time to file accounts

Guidance for businesses to apply for a three month extension to file their accounts with Companies House. Those affected by coronavirus must cite this in their application.

Business rates revaluation postponed

A revaluation of business rates will no longer take place in 2021 to help reduce uncertainty for firms affected by the impacts of coronavirus.

Staying COVID-19 secure in 2020 notice

Once you have carried out a risk assessment you should display this notice in your workplace to show that you have complied with the guidance on managing the risk of coronavirus.

Covid corporate financing facility

This facility is designed to support liquidity among larger firms, helping to bridge coronavirus disruption to cash flows through the purchase of short term debt in the form of commercial paper.

Updates for individuals

Coronavirus mental health campaign

Public Health England’s (PHE) Every Mind Matters platform has launched advice focused on looking after people’s mental wellbeing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

How can I find out more about the support that is available to businesses?

Free business advice for small firms

Thousands of expert professional and business services advisers have signed up to offer free online advice to help small businesses bounce back from coronavirus.

Coronavirus Business Support Hub

This brings together key information for businesses including on funding and support, business closures, responsibilities as an employer and managing your business during the outbreak of coronavirus. The hub also includes information for self-employed people and sole traders.

Coronavirus business support finder tool

A new ‘support finder’ tool has been launched to help businesses and self-employed people across the UK to quickly and easily determine what financial support is available to them during the coronavirus pandemic.

Government coronavirus information service on WhatsApp updated for businesses

You can receive information via Whatsapp on business support measures.

Webinars to help businesses understand the support available

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy are hosting a series of webinars to help businesses understand the support available.

HMRC seminars

These HMRC videos provide an overview of the support available to help businesses, self-employed individuals and employers and their employees deal with the economic impact of coronavirus.

We will continue to update this page regularly as further details are announced.

Visit the RIBA's coronavirus page for regularly updated advice and guidance for architects.

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