COVID-19: THE LATEST
See our Covid-19 hub for news and updates.
From today (April 12) non-essential retail, including hairdressers, nail salons and outdoor hospitality venues can reopen. People can meet outside in groups of six from any number of households, or in a group of any size from up to two households.
Earlier this month saw a range of coronavirus restrictions eased in Scotland, with hairdressers and barbers allowed to operate and more retailers opening their doors.
From today (12 April) all non-essential retailers will be permitted to operate on a click and collect basis. Also, outdoor retail such as car washes; car, vehicle and caravan retailers; garden centres and plant nurseries will be allowed to open to customers.
The First Minister has made a further announcement on reopening the Welsh economy, including indicative dates for tourism and hospitality businesses. FSB Wales continues to advocate on behalf of members ensuring that businesses are given the best possible support.
The transition period came to an end on December 31 2020. If you are a UK business which trades with Europe, you will need to change your procedures and complete additional paperwork. See FSB's transition hub for further advice.
Exporter testers wanted
HMRC is looking for volunteers to test the forthcoming CDS export declaration service. HMRC is keen to hear from traders who export inside and outside the EU, export to the EU only, or are new to exporting. The research will take place from the end of April till the end of July. Research sessions will be conducted remotely. To participate, e-mail us.
NEWS & ADVICE
Tax break to employ veterans
Last week, following the success of FSB's campaign A Force for Business, and in partnership with X-Forces Enterprise, the government introduced a new employer National Insurance Contributions holiday for businesses to employ Armed Forces veterans, enabling more small businesses to benefit from the unique skills of veteran employees.
Cycle to Work Scheme
A report published by the Cycle to Work Alliance urges the government to widen access to the scheme to ensure it's accessible for as many people as possible. FSB's Craig Beaumont said: "These solid policy recommendations will expand the scheme's success to millions of small businesses and the self-employed, removing barriers."
Free rapid testing
Everyone in England will be able to access two free Covid-19 rapid testing kits a week from their pharmacist from April 19. Small businesses can also register to order free rapid lateral flow tests under the Workplace Testing scheme, although the registration window closes this evening (April 12).
Recovery loan scheme
The new Recovery Loan Scheme was launched by the government last week (April 6). Loans will include 80 per cent government guarantee and interest rate cap and ensure businesses continue to benefit from Government-guaranteed finance until 31 December 2021.
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