COVID-19 Updates

ActSmart will be providing regular updates and resources on the Coronavirus.

Watch this space for the latest information and advice tailored for retail businesses.

ActSmart have been working with partner members of the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC) to bring you the most up to date retail focussed advice, particular credit is due to the Association of Convenience Stores, our leading IRC political advocacy partner, for their input.

 


England to return to Plan A restrictions  

Published 19th January

In an address to Parliament, the Prime Minister announced that Plan B measures will not be renewed beyond the expiry date of 26th January 2022. From next Thursday, face coverings will no longer be a legal requirement, but will still be advised to be worn in indoor public spaces.

The current data shows that;

  • 94,432 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 24 hours
  • 36,546,583 people have received their booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine
  • Sadly, there were 221 Covid-19 related deaths recorded yesterday

The Prime Minister informed that England will be returning to Plan A restrictions and Plan B regulations will expire. From Thursday next week, mandatory certifications will end, however organisations will still be able to use the NHS covid certification voluntarily if they wish. Additionally, the government is no longer advising work from home and is encouraging discussions between employers and employees about returning to the office.

From next Thursday (27th January), face coverings in indoor public spaces will no longer be a legal requirement. The government will continue to recommend face coverings in indoor enclosed public spaces, however this will be up to the judgement of the public and can no longer be criminalised.

Plan A measures include the legal requirement to self-isolate upon receiving a positive covid-19 test result. Currently in England the self-isolation period is five full days provided a negative result is produced on day five and day six. The Prime Minister informed that when the self-isolation regulations expire on 24th March 2022, they are expected not be to renewed and the legal requirement to self-isolate will be removed.

 


Scotland to remove all Covid restrictions 

Published 19th January

The Scottish First Minister announced that from next Monday Scotland will remove all restrictions introduced prior to Christmas.

The current data shows that;

  • 7,752 people in Scotland have tested positive for covid-19 in the last 24 hours
  • There are currently 1,546 people in hospital with covid-19 and 59 in intensive care
  • Sadly, there were 31 covid-19 related deaths reported in the last 24 hours

Nicola Sturgeon MSP, announced that Scotland will lift the protective measures enforced before Christmas on Monday. The restrictions removed will include limits on attendees at indoor events, physical distancing in indoor public spaces, the requirement for table service for hospitality venues serving alcohol and the closure of nightclubs. Additionally, also on Monday, the advice on limits for social gatherings will also be removed.

The First Minister informed that restrictions being removed is a result of the success of the booster programme, however it is important that restrictions are removed in a phased manner for the virus to be monitored. Therefore, the Minister also informed that the Scottish government will shortly begin working with businesses on how to return to work in a hybrid manner from February.

 


Change to Covid-19 self-isolation period

Published 17th January

The UK Government has announced that the self-isolation period for positive cases of Covid-19 will be reduced from seven days to five full days in England.

Self-isolation can now finish on after day five of isolation, provided that a negative test result is received on days five and six. The self-isolation period in Scotland is currently seven days from when symptoms show and seven days in Wales.

Welsh Government First Minister Mark Drakeford MS has also announced an easing of restrictions. From tomorrow, limits on attendees at outdoor events will be increasing, and as of next week limits on all outdoor activities will be removed. It is expected that the following week Wales will move to level 0 restrictions for both indoor and outdoor events, subject to case numbers continuing to decrease.
 

 


Changes to Covid-19 testing measures

Published 7th January

Changes to Covid-19 testing measures have been introduced to reduce demands for PCR testing.

Individuals returning a positive result on a lateral flow device no longer need to complete a PCR test and should instead immediately self-isolate. This has already come into effect in Scotland and Wales and will be in place in England from 11th January.

The Prime Minister also announced that workers in critical sectors, including those who work in critical national infrastructure, national security, transport, and food distribution and processing will be receiving lateral flow testing kits directly to their business or organisation from January 10th for every working day.

Businesses included in the scheme will be contacted directly by the government to receive their daily testing kits. No changes to restrictions have been announced in any UK nations.
 


Covid-19 restrictions update - England, Scotland & Wales

Published 5th January

The Prime Minister provided a covid-19 statement in parliament today on the changes to covid-19 testing regulations.

The Scottish First Minister updated that no new changes to covid-19 restrictions will be introduced, however the current restrictions will be in place for at least the next week. Nicola Sturgeon MSP, informed that there will be changes made to self-isolation and testing requirements that will come into effect this week.

England

The Prime Minister informed the House of Commons that Plan B restrictions will continue with the continued recommendations of working from home and wearing face coverings on public transport and in indoor public settings. The Prime Minister announced that if a positive result is returned on a lateral flow device, and you do not have symptoms, you will not be required to take a PCR test anymore to confirm the result. You will be required to immediately isolate. This change will come into effect from 11th January.

Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon MSP, announced changes to self-isolation rules to allow anyone with a positive covid-19 result to end self-isolation on day seven provided that they return two negative lateral flow test results, one on day six and one 24 hours after, and have no fever. The First Minister also informed that close contacts of a positive covid-19 case will no longer need to self-isolate but will be required to complete daily lateral flow tests for seven days. If a positive result is returned, self-isolation will be required. This only applies to fully vaccinated individuals who have also received a booster dose. Both of these self-isolation changes will come into effect from midnight tonight.

From tomorrow, following from the announcement in England, the First Minister informed that if a positive result is returned on a lateral flow device, and you do not have symptoms, you will not be required to take a PCR test anymore to confirm the result. You will be required to immediately isolate.

The First Minister informed that restrictions on large gatherings and the requirement for distancing between groups of people in indoor public places will remain in effect until 17th January. The First Minister added that the government is advising people to continue limiting contact with other households and limiting indoor household interactions to a maximum of three households.

Wales

In a written statement issued today by Welsh Health Minister, Eluned Morgan MS, the Welsh government has announced that people who are un-vaccinated contacts of positive cases and are self-isolating for 10 days should now take a lateral flow test on day two and day eight instead of a PCR test. This will help to increase PCR testing capacity. This change will come into effect immediately.

Secondly, following announcements from England and Scotland, if a person showing no symptoms has a positive lateral flow test they will no longer be advised to have a follow-up PCR test to confirm the result, unless they are in a clinically vulnerable group.
 

 


No new restrictions added to Plan B measures

Published 4th January

The Prime Minister announced that there will be no new restrictions added to the current Plan B measures in place.

The current data shows that;

  • 218,724 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 24 hours
  • 34,363,986 people have received their booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine
  • Sadly, there were 48 related deaths recorded yesterday

The Prime Minister informed that the booster programme was going well and providing significant protection to the public allowing schools and businesses to stay open.

He also informed that workers in critical sectors will be receiving lateral flow testing kits directly to their business or organisation from January 10th for every working day.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is seeking information and views on implementing a further relaxation to EU driver's hours rules for a period after 9th January 2022 in order to provide further support to driver shortages and supply disruption. We would welcome your views on this and the impact it will have on your business.

DEFRA's workforce absence survey is also open here, your response is extremely valuable.

 


Covid-19 Update

Published 4th January

NHS England has met its target to offer all adults a booster jab before the end of January, while the UK Health Security Agency is making almost eight million additional test kits available in pharmacies before New Year's Eve. PCR test appointments are available again to book but in high demand.

The Scottish Government is now prioritising convenience store workers for PCR tests via a tickbox function during the booking process.

The Welsh Government has updated its business guidance to reflect changes to self-isolation rules. Colleagues in Wales testing positive for Covid-19 must now self-isolate for seven days and take lateral flow tests (LFTs) on days six and seven. If either LFT is positive, they should remain in isolation until 2 negative LFTs or after day ten, whichever is sooner.

COVID-19 Updates - December 2021

COVID-19 Updates - November 2021

COVID-19 Updates - October 2021

COVID-19 Updates - September 2021

COVID-19 Updates - August 2021

COVID-19 Updates - July 2021

COVID-19 Updates - June 2021

COVID-19 Updates - May 2021

COVID-19 Updates - April 2021

COVID-19 Updates - March 2021

COVID-19 Updates - February 2021

COVID-19 Updates - January 2021

COVID-19 Updates - December

COVID-19 Updates - November

COVID-19 Updates - October

COVID-19 Updates September

COVID-19 Updates - August

COVID-19 Updates - July

COVID-19 Updates - June

COVID-19 Updates - May

COVID-19 Updates - April Part 1

COVID-19 Updates - April Part 2

COVID-19 Updates - March