Welcome to the Coronavirus Hub (Last Updated: 18/11/2020)
Accessible to all, it is here that we will be sharing the very latest Government advice, together with business support tools, guidance and best practice.
This webpage is being updated constantly. So please keep an eye on the information categorised to the right-hand side, where you will find FAQs and where applicable, a list of British Marine members who are able to provide you with 1-2-1 support.
18/11/2020 Scotland announces 11 areas to go into tier 4 restrictions
05/11/2020 - Extension of the furlough scheme until March 2021
03/11/2020 - The latest financial packages due to the new 4 week lockdown
03/11/2020 Updated Guidance for Marina Operators from TYHA and British Marine
02/11/2020 - Update with the latest information on Englands 4 week lockdown
16/10/20 Updated info on the Welsh 'firebreak' coming into effect 23/10/20
16/10/20 - Updated the latest Northern Ireland restrictions
15/10/20 - Updates on the latest Scottish restrictions announced 7/10/2020
15/10/20 - Maintaining records of staff customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace - Operations Guidance
15/10/20 - Defer your Self Assessment payment on account due to coronavirus - Financial Guidance
15/10/20 - Links to detailed guidance on the Local COVID Alert Levels Added - Operations Guidance
13/10/20 - Job Support Scheme Guidance - Financial Guidance
13/10/20 - What help is available for the self-employed - Financial Guidance
13/10/20 - System of local COVID alert levels in England - Operations Guidance
13/10/20 - Visa Guidance - Operations Guidance
13/10/20 - Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme - Financial Guidance
13/10/20 - New guidance on Job Retention Bonus - Financial Guidance
Don't forget, our Membership Services team is also fully operational and on standby to take your calls (01784 223663/ email@example.com). We offer a wide range of services including legal advice, technical guidance and crisis management support.
Scotland announces 11 areas to move into Tier 4 measures
Scotland has announced that from the 20th November 2020 eleven areas will be moving into the most restrictive COVID prevention measures known as tier 4. This includes the following areas:
East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow City, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire and West Lothian.
For full details please see the Scotland Covid page.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announces an extension to the furlough scheme until March 2021
The UK government today announced the following:
- Extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme further, until the end of March
- Not pay the Job Retention Bonus in February but instead redeploy a retention incentive at the right time
- Increase the third self-employed grant, covering November to January, from 55% to 80% of trading profits.
- Increase the upfront guarantee of funding for the devolved administrations from £14bn to £16bn, on top of their Spring Budget 20 funding.
The chancellor said the following:
Today, we are extending the CJRS until the end of March for all parts of the UK. We will review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more. The Job Support Scheme is postponed.
Eligible employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. Employer flexibility: Businesses will have flexibility to use the scheme for employees for any amount of time and shift pattern, including furloughing them full-time.
Employer contribution: There will be NO employer contribution to wages for hours not worked. Employers will only be asked to cover National Insurance and Employer pension contributions for hours not worked. For an average claim, this accounts for just 5% of total employment costs or £70 per employee per month. We will review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.
Payment: The extended CJRS will operate as the previous Scheme did, with businesses being able to claim either shortly before, during or after running payroll. Claims can be made from 8am Wednesday 11 November. Claims made for November must be submitted to HMRC by no-later than 14 December 2020. Claims relating to each subsequent month should be submitted by day 14 of the following month, to ensure prompt claims following the end of the month which is the subject of the claim.
Employee eligibility: Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously claimed or have been claimed for under CJRS to make a claim under the extended CJRS (if other eligibility criteria are met). An employer can claim for employees who were employed and on their PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020. The employer must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee.
Employees that are re-employed: Employees that were employed and on the payroll on 23 September 2020 (the day before the Job Support Scheme announcement) who were made redundant or stopped working afterwards can be re-employed and claimed for. The employer must have made an RTI submission to HMRC from 20 March 2020 to 23 September 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for those employees.
HMRC will publish details of employers who make claims from December onwards under the extended scheme. Full details of this will be within the detailed guidance to be published next week.
Further details on how to claim are available today on gov.uk and full guidance will be published on Tuesday 10 November.
UK Government announcement 31/10/2020
England to go into national lockdown for four weeks from 05/11/2020
The UK’s prime minister Boris Johnson announced on Saturday 31/10/2020 that England would be returning to a national lockdown for four weeks from 05/11/2020 through to the 02/12/2020.
Hospitality business during this period will be asked to close again (food outlets i.e. marina cafes etc can stay open for deliveries/takeaway only).
Manufacturing and other business that cannot be carried out with working from home can stay open with COVID-19 secure protocols in place
Non-essential retail will need to close but can remain open for click and collect, this means shops such as marine chandleries will need to revert to only click and collect/online sales and deliveries.
Vehicle showrooms will need to shut, it is British Marine's current understanding that this includes all marine brokerage.
There can be no physical socialisation between households/bubbles inside and you can only meet with one other person from outside your household/bubble outside in public areas (no socialising in private gardens etc).
Travel should be restricted for either work purposes or for essentials e.g. shopping such for food, travel to work (where you can’t work from home) and for essential appointments such as medical appointments.
Additional Finance Support:
With the announcement of another national lockdown the UK government also announced the full furlough scheme is being extended until December. The level of the grant will mirror levels available under the CJRS in August, so the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 and employers will pay employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions only for the hours the employee does not work. Employees do not need to have been furloughed on the previous furlough scheme in order to eligible. The part time furlough scheme will also stay open for those that can bring employees back part time.
To be eligible to be claimed for under this extension, employees must be on an employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 30th October 2020. This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 30th October 2020.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension: The grant is being extended from 1 November 2020. The grant will be increased from the previously announced level of 40% of trading profits to 80% for November 2020. Find out if you are eligible and how much you can get.
Business Grants: Business premises forced to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for the following:
- For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks;
- For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks;
- For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks.
Business grant policy is fully devolved. Devolved Administrations will receive Barnett consequentials which they could use to establish similar schemes.
Government announcement 22/10/20
The Treasury has published a press release detailing the new packages of economic support. See details from the press release below and do get in touch if you have any queries.
- open businesses which are experiencing considerable difficulty will be given extra help to keep staff on as government significantly increases contribution to wage costs under the Job Support Scheme, and business contributions drop to 5%
- business grants are expanded to cover businesses in particularly affected sectors in high-alert level areas, helping them stay afloat and protecting jobs
- grants for the self-employed doubled to 40% of previous earnings
In recognition of the challenging times ahead, the Chancellor said he would be increasing support through the existing Job Support and self-employed schemes, and expanding business grants to support companies in high-alert level areas. This builds on agreements reached with Local Authorities moving to Alert Level very high, with extra support for businesses, jobs and the economic recovery.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:
“I’ve always said that we must be ready to adapt our financial support as the situation evolves, and that is what we are doing today. These changes mean that our support will reach many more people and protect many more jobs.
I know that the introduction of further restrictions has left many people worried for themselves, their families and communities. I hope the government’s stepped-up support can be part of the country pulling together in the coming months.”
Job Support Scheme (JSS)
Recognising the pressure businesses in some sectors and areas are facing, today’s announcement lightens the burden of keeping on staff.
When originally announced, the JSS – which will come into effect on 1 November – saw employers paying a third of their employees’ wages for hours not worked, and required employers to be working 33% of their normal hours.
Today’s announcement reduces the employer contribution to those unworked hours to just 5%, and reduces the minimum hours requirements to 20%, so those working just one day a week will be eligible. That means that if someone was being paid £587 for their unworked hours, the government would be contributing £543 and their employer only £44.
Employers will continue to receive the £1,000 Job Retention Bonus. The Job Support Scheme Closed for businesses legally required to close remains unchanged.
Today’s announcement increases the amount of profits covered by the two forthcoming self-employed grants from 20 per cent to 40 per cent, meaning the maximum grant will increase from £1,875 to £3,750.
This is a potential further £3.1 billion of support to the self-employed through November to January alone, with a further grant to follow covering February to April.
The Chancellor has also announced approved additional funding to support cash grants of up to £2,100 per month primarily for businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sector who may be adversely impacted by the restrictions in high-alert level areas. These grants will be available retrospectively for areas who have already been subject to restrictions, and come on top of higher levels of additional business support for Local Authorities moving into Tier 3 which, if scaled up across the country, would be worth more than £1 billion.
These grants could benefit around 150,000 businesses in England, including hotels, restaurants, B&Bs and many more who aren’t legally required to close but have been adversely affected by local restrictions nonetheless
Job Support Scheme - open
- The JSS starts to operate from 1 November and covers all Nations of the UK. For every hour not worked, the employee will be paid up to two-thirds of their usual salary.
- The government will provide up to 61.67% of wages for hours not worked, up to £1541.75 per month (more than doubling the maximum payment of £697.92 under the previous rules). The cap is set above median earnings for employees in August at a reference salary of £3,125 per month.
- Example: a typical full-time employee in the hospitality industry is paid an average of £1,100 per month. Under the Jobs Support Scheme for open businesses, they will still take home at least £807 a month. All the employer needs to pay is a total of £283 a month or just £70 a week; the government will pay the rest.
- Employers using the scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus (JRB) for each employee that meets the eligibility criteria of the JRB. This is worth £1,000 per employee. Taking JSS-Open and JRB together, an employer could receive over 95% of the total wage costs of their employees if they are retained until February.
- The government will provide two taxable SEISS grants to support those experiencing reduced demand due to COVID-19 but are continuing to trade, or temporarily cannot trade.
- It will be available to anyone who was previously eligible for the SEISS grant one and grant two, and meets the eligibility criteria.
- Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering 3 months. The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November 2020 until the end of January 2021. The government will pay a taxable grant which is calculated based on 40% of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £3,750.
- The second grant will cover a three-month period from the start of February until the end of April 2021. The government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.
- We are providing additional funding to allow Local Authorities (LAs) to support businesses in high-alert level areas which are not legally closed, but which are severely impacted by the restrictions on socialising. The funding LAs will receive will be based on the number of hospitality, hotel, B&B, and leisure businesses in their area.
- LAs will receive a funding amount that will be the equivalent of:
- For properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under, grants of £934 per month.
- For properties with a rateable value of between £15,000-£51,000, grants of £1,400 per month.
- For properties with a rateable value of £51,000, grants of £2,100 per month.
- This is equivalent to 70% of the grant amounts given to legally closed businesses (worth up to £3,000/month).
- Local Authorities will also receive a 5% top up amount to these implied grant amounts to cover other businesses that might be affected by the local restrictions, but which do not neatly fit into these categories.
- It will be up to Local Authorities to determine which businesses are eligible for grant funding in their local areas, and what precise funding to allocate to each business – the above levels are an approximate guide.
- Businesses in Very High alert level areas will qualify for greater support whether closed (up to £3,000/month) or open. In the latter case support is being provided through business support packages provided to Local Authorities as they move into the alert level. The government is working with local leaders to ensure the Alert Level very high packages are fair and transparent.
Government announcement 12/10/20
The Prime Minister has today set out how the government will further simplify and standardise local rules by introducing a three tiered system of local COVID Alert Levels in England.
The Prime Minister has announced the new three tier Alert System in outline, but undoubtedly there more detail that will follow over the next few days.
Three Tier Alert Level System
The Government announced the new three Tier System for Coronavirus Control, which will come into effect in Wednesday. Every part of England will be designated as of the following three Alert zones:
Local COVID alert levels: what you need to know
Information on local COVID alert levels, including what they mean and what the different levels are
The most important restrictions relate to Very High Alert Level area and advise against non-essential travel in or out of the area and staying overnight in or outside the area
Local COVID Alert Level - Medium
This is for areas where national restrictions continue to be in place. This means:
- All businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-Secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law, such as nightclubs.
- Certain businesses selling food or drink on their premises are required to close between 10pm and 5am.
- Businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-thru.
- Schools, universities and places of worship remain open
- Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees
- Organised indoor sport and exercise classes can continue to take place, provided the Rule of Six is followed
- People must not meet in groups larger than 6, indoors or outdoors
Local COVID Alert Level - High
This is for areas with a higher level of infections. This means the following additional measures are in place:
- People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
- People must not meet in a group of more than 6 outside, including in a garden or other space.
- People should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible. If they need to travel, they should walk or cycle where possible, or to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport.
Local COVID Alert Level - Very High
This is for areas with a very high level of infections. The Government will set a baseline of measures for any area in this local alert level. Consultation with local authorities will determine additional measures.
The baseline means the below additional measures are in place:
- Pubs and bars must close, and can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant - which means serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal. They may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal.
- Wedding receptions are not allowed
- People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor or outdoor setting, whether at home or in a public space. The Rule of Six applies in open public spaces like parks and beaches.
- People should try to avoid travelling outside the ‘Very High’ area they are in, or entering a ‘Very High’ area, other than for things like work, education, accessing youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if they are in transit.
- People should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if they are resident in a ‘Very High’ area, or avoid staying overnight in a ‘Very High’ area if they are resident elsewhere.
Regulations for all three Covid local alert levels are being laid today. They will be debated and voted on tomorrow, before coming into force on Wednesday. People will be able to check what alert level any particular areas is in through an online postcode checker
Job Support Scheme Guidance Updated
The Guidance for the Job Support Scheme has been amended to include businesses required to close as a result of the new Alert Scheme. It has also been updated to clarify the support for businesses with different rateable values
- Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under will receive grants of £667 per two weeks of closure (£1,334 per month).
- Properties with a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive grants of £1,000 per two weeks of closure (£2,000 per month).
- Properties with an rateable value of £51,000 or over will receive grants of £1500 per two weeks of closure (£3,000 per month).
Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme
The Government has published guidance on the Test and Trace Payment Support Scheme. People contacted through the Test and Trace system in England and told that they need to self-isolate are eligible for a £500 payment if they meet the following criteria:
- they’re employed or self-employed
- they’re unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating
they’re currently receiving at least one of the following:
- Working Tax Credit
- income-based Employment and Support Allowance
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit
- Pension Credit
People in England who do not fulfil the above criteria for the Test and Trace Support Payment, could be eligible for a £500 discretionary payment if they meet the following criteria:
- they have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
- they are employed or self-employed
- they are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating
- they are not currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit
- they are on a low income and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while you are self-isolating
Visa Guidance Update
The guidance on applying for visas has been updated to say that customers can now apply for a visit visa from any VAC
Government announcement 24/09/20
The Chancellor of the Exchequer had made a statement setting out further economic measures to support businesses and workers as we enter the winter period. Please see the keys point below.
VAT reduction extended for tourism and hospitality businesses
- The VAT reduction for the tourism and hospitality sectors is being extended. The level of VAT will now stay at 5% for eligible businesses until the end of March 2021.
New Job Support Scheme
- The Chancellor announced a new Job Support Scheme to support businesses facing falling demand as a result of the pandemic.
- Businesses in every part of the UK must pay employees their wages for the time they spend working. The rules will say that employees must work at least one third of their usual hours. The support scheme will then see the Government and employer pay a further third of the hours not worked.
- All SMEs will be eligible; however larger firms must be able to evidence that the pandemic has had a significant impact and led to reduced turnover.
- Scheme will start on 1st November.
Self-Employed Income Support
- British Marine understands that the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme is being extended and will cover 20% of average monthly trading profits. This will be provided in the form of a Government grant.
Delays to VAT and loan repayments
- The announcement also confirmed that businesses will be given more time to pay back coronavirus loans, including Bounce Back Loans and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans.
- Businesses will also be able to pay the VAT they deferred and, instead, make a series of interest free payments and extend their outstanding bill over 12 months from next January.
New Restrictions and the 'Rule of Six'
Earlier this month Boris Johnson announced new restrictions on social gatherings in England, introducing the so-called rule of six. This new rule limits the numbers of people that can gather in social settings. It took effect on Monday 14 September - meaning it is now not possible to gather in groups greater than six.
The new rule replaces the previous advice on the size of gatherings and covers both indoor and outdoor social settings. Some businesses are now legally required to collect contact details for their staff and customers, and to retain these for a period of 21 days. More information on the requirements and the NHS QR code and app which should be used wherever possible can be found here.
Our members in England should note that following the statement from the Prime Minister on 22 September, face coverings have become mandatory in more settings and the advice is, once again, to work from home wherever possible.
These measures apply in England, and in the devolved nations there is some divergence. You can find more information about the situation in the Devolved Administrations on the related pages.
British Marine successfully campaigns for VAT reduction to apply to hire holiday boat sector
British Marine has secured a welcome win for the holiday hire boat sector as HMRC reverse their decision on the applicability of the VAT rate reduction. HMRC have now confirmed that the temporary reduction to 5% for holiday accommodation does apply to those hiring out boats (inland and coastal) which are to be used for overnight accommodation.
On 14 July, confirmation was received from HMRC that the reduction of VAT to 5% for holiday accommodation would not apply to those businesses hiring recreational craft with overnight accommodation. British Marine immediately mobilised to challenge this position taken by HMRC with the belief that by not including the leisure marine industry within the scope of holiday accommodation for VAT purposes, HMRC would be supporting anti-competitive activity by favouring other industries in the tourism sector.
An emergency meeting hosted by British Marine along with representatives of the trade formed the basis for lobbying HMRC to ensure a level playing field for all holiday accommodation providers.
HMRC have now officially published official confirmation in VAT Notice 709/3, specifically under section 5.1, which says:
“The hire of a boat will qualify for the temporary reduced rate provided that it is suitable for holiday accommodation and is being held out in this way. Boats being hired for a day to enjoy the activity of sailing for example will not qualify for the temporary reduced rate as they are not being used for holiday accommodation."
British Marine and HMRC continue to work together to develop further leisure marine industry guidance to ensure that other parts of our industry, such as mooring providers, are not treated unfairly and are aligned with other sectors, such as caravan parks.
Further information for eligible businesses
For those members who are eligible to reduce their VAT to 5% for qualifying goods and services (such as holiday accommodation in houseboats or food in restaurants), British Marine’s VAT advisors, PKF Francis Clark have provided a useful update for members.
Members can also contact PKF Francis Clark directly for further assistance. Please follow the link below for more information and to take advantage of this service.
For the sake of clarity the new VAT rate is applicable is on all invoices raised on or after 15 July 2020. Any invoices raised prior to this date a 20% VAT rate is applicable.
Where a price has been agreed with a customer, but no invoice raised, British Marine believes that the price should now be the agreed price plus 5% VAT. To ensure that customers are treated fairly there should be no alteration of the price (excluding VAT) to reflect the change in VAT. During this time, members should also remind themselves of British Marine’s code of practice which requires members to treat customers fairly and courteously.
Schedule 3, Section 2.2 Dealing with Customers states:
i) Members should strive to maintain the best practicable standard of service to their customers, having regard to the nature and price of the goods and services supplied, at all times. Customers must always be treated fairly and courteously.
ii) Members shall not deliberately mislead their customers in any way and must ensure that all promotional material is accurate.
iii) Members shall provide their customers with accurate and reliable information as to price, specification and time of delivery of their products or services.
To view our full Code of Practice, please visit https://www.britishmarine.co.uk/Membership/Code-of-Practice
What help is available from the Government?
British Marine would encourage its members to visit our list of Frequently Asked Questions for further information on the support available and details of how they should access this support.
Full details of the measures announced by Government can be found here.
How British Marine can help you
We would encourage our members to read the most up to date information and advice from the Government. Members can visit the dedicated NHS webpage which provides further information on symptoms and what to do if you think you might have the Coronavirus.
For advice on hire conditions and cancellations related to COVID-19, members should contact our membership services team for details of the Epoq legal helpline.
Please contact us If your business is affected to ensure we can discuss the support available with you.
The information on this webpage is provided as general guidance. Although British Marine tries to ensure that all of the information is accurate and up to date, this cannot be guaranteed owing to the very fast moving situation. Members should review the Government’s full guidance themselves by following the links in this webpage and should keep up to date with the Government’s latest announcements. The information on this webpage should not be construed as constituting professional advice and we would always advise that members consider seeking appropriate professional advice before taking or refraining from taking any action.
24 Sep 2020
Today, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak made a statement setting out further economic measures to support businesses and workers impacted by COVID-19.
17 Sep 2020
BOATS2020 which was due to take place from 11-20 September 2020 and was cancelled on the evening of Thursday 10 September, despite having a licence which was issued on 28 July, and having been setup to the strict requirements of Southampton City Council’s Public Health England COVID-19 secure requirements, has failed in its appeal to the Secretaries of State for Public Health and Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
16 Sep 2020
The recent announcement and implementation of the new ‘rule of six’ in England has reversed the private hire side of the passenger vessel industry’s exemption of the 30-person cap on gatherings.
15 Sep 2020
British Marine understands that this week the High Court ruled that some insurance companies should have made pay outs to businesses in relation to COVID-19.
15 Sep 2020
From Friday 18 September some types of businesses will have an additional legal requirement to collect contact information for staff, customers and visitors.
15 Sep 2020
The Government has announced that grants from £50,000 to £5 million are now available to help the nation to recover in a greener way from the COVID-19 pandemic.
15 Sep 2020
Earlier this week the UK Government published the statutory instrument which sets out the ‘rule of six’ requirement.
14 Sep 2020
The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) is looking to gain feedback around outcomes for furloughed apprentices and how to sustain apprenticeships over the coming months.
09 Sep 2020
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published guidance this week on the use of fog, mist and vapour chemicals and equipment.
26 Aug 2020
As BOATS2020 presented by Southampton International Boat Show Ltd approaches, British Marine is delighted to report that the event is receiving exceptional support from the industry in many ways.