Coronavirus Update

21st January

 

Please circulate this update to all relevant staff within your business.

 

NOTE: There are media reports this morning that Ministers are to consider £500 Covid payment to boost self-isolation rates Click Here. Once there is an official announcement we will send this out on an AIMS update

 

Home Secretary's statement on coronavirus: 21st January 2021 Click Here

 

Yesterday’s Downing Street briefing was given by the Home Secretary. She gave a short address covering the latest figures for coronavirus and announcing fines for those attending house parties. Her key message though was in relation to the vaccine and in particular to those from an ethnic minority background, saying:-

 

“And I want to take this moment and opportunity to counter some of the disinformation about the vaccine – especially any messages targeted towards those from an ethnic minority background. 

 

This vaccine is safe for us all.

 

It will protect you and your family.

 

It is our best chance of beating this virus.

 

So I urge everyone across our wonderfully diverse country to get the vaccine when their turn comes to keep us all safe.”

 

Guidance for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection who do not live with the person Click Here

 

Translations of the guidance (last updated 18th December 2020): Click Here are now available in:

 

 

Check if your business is eligible for the coronavirus Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment Click Here

 

The Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment (CBLP) supports businesses that have been required to close due to the national restrictions that began on 5th January 2021.

 

Eligible businesses may be entitled to a one-off cash grant of up to £9,000 from their local council.

 

Travel to the Netherlands: Click Here

 

From Saturday 23rd January 00:01 (CET) a travel ban will be in effect for all passenger flights and passenger ferries from the United Kingdom. This means that no passengers will be allowed to travel to the Netherlands, apart from exceptional circumstances such as travel for medical reasons. Prior to 23 January, the below entry requirements including testing and self-isolation apply. 

 

Freight traffic is exempt from the travel ban. However, hauliers must have taken a covid test not less than 24 hours before departure and the test result must be negative.

 

AIMS Export Webinar

 

Craig led an AIMS Export webinar yesterday. A recording from the meeting can be found in the Members Resource Area of the AIMS Website www.aims2001.co.uk

 

If you have forgotten the password, please email office@aims2001.co.uk

 

Request from a Member: Fogging

 

An AIMS member has asked us if any of the membership have any views on fogging. Currently they use foam and find that this is sufficient. 

 

Their concern is the fallout from fogging and the residue and whether employees who my suffer an anaphylactic reaction to the chemical in the foggier.

 

If you have any experience of fogging and are will to share them please let us know, office@aims2001.co.uk and we will pass on your details to him.

 

Members in Scotland:

 

Two new Covid testing sites open in Fife Click Here

 

Two new Coronavirus testing centres have opened in Fife;

 

These are at Glenrothes Miners Charitable Society in Glenrothes (KY7 5NL) – To see the location on Google Maps: - Click Here

 

And Dell Farquharson House in Dunfermline (KY12 7DS) – To see the location on Google Maps: - Click Here

 

Members in Northern Ireland:

 

The Northern Ireland Executive have announced that the current restrictions: Click Here will remain in place until Friday 5th March 2021. They will be reviewed on Thursday 18th February.

 

In line with this the Guidance to accompany The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 have been updated: Click Here

 

National Sheep Association (NSA) – Breakfast Club Meeting

 

The next NSA breakfast club meeting will be on Wednesday 27th January 2021 at 08:30: The topic is – ‘Going it alone: An early morning debate about future trade of UK sheep meat’.

 

Joining  the NSA for the webinar will be:

 

  • AHDB International Market Development Director Phil Hadley providing an overview of recent market activity

  • Farmers First Director Mike Gooding discussing how to create opportunities for UK sheep trade and raising standards

  • Ben O’Brien, European Director for Beef + Lamb New Zealand, providing an interesting insight on Competition and collaboration for a successful global trade development. 

 

The Halal market will also be briefly discussed by Phil Hadley during the webinar but will be covered further in a future webinar.

 

To register for your place: Click Here

And Finally…

 

AIMS Supplier Member Collingwood Legal (www.collingwoodlegal.com) will be running a webinar: Managing Employees in a COVID World on Thursday 4th February 2010, 10am to 12 noon.

 

We will cover a number of key topics including:

 

  • An update on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • Employees who refuse to attend work

  • Dealing with sickness/isolation/clinically extremely vulnerable employees

  • Home working arrangements

  • Annual leave

  • Health and Safety issues and protected disclosures.

 

There will be an opportunity to ask questions of our employment lawyers before and during the session.

 

The session costs £75.00 plus VAT, but should you book before 5pm on 29th January 2021 an Early Bird discount will be applied meaning you only pay £50.00 plus VAT. 

 

To book your place: Click Here

Everyone at AIMS is here to support any members, please email if you have any questions.

MORE THAN EVER PLEASE STAY SAFE – STAY WELL

Click Here to return to Members Area

21st January

Please circulate this update to all relevant staff within your business.

 

Asymptomatic testing to be rolled out across the country starting this week Click Here

 

Local authorities will be encouraged to target testing at people who are unable to work from home during the national lockdown.

 

Expansion of asymptomatic testing will identify more positive cases of COVID-19 and ensure those infected isolate, protecting those who cannot work from home and our vital services. 

Community testing Click Here

 

Further local authorities have been added to the list of community testing programme areas in the:

 

East MidlandsClick Here

 

East of EnglandClick Here

 

North WestClick Here

 

South WestClick Here

 

For the full list of all local authorities with community testing Click Here

 

For further information about community testing in your area please visit your local authority’s website. To find your local authority: Click Here

 

Private providers of coronavirus testing Click Here

 

Further providers have been added to the lists for:

 

  • Test to Release for International TravelClick Here

 

Pay VAT deferred due to coronavirus (COVID-19) Click Here (For Welsh Translation: Click Here)

 

The guidance has been updated with a new section on 'Correcting errors on your VAT returns relating to the VAT payments deferral scheme': - Click Here

 

The section includes information on how to defer any extra payments resulting error corrections and HMRC VAT assessments.

 

And Finally…

 

The latest digital edition of Meat Management has been published (Hard copies will follow by post to subscribers). To read the current edition on line: Click Here

 

Norman’s column is on page 38

 

Everyone at AIMS is here to support any members, please email if you have any questions.

 

MORE THAN EVER PLEASE STAY SAFE – STAY WELL

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20th January

Please circulate this update to all relevant staff within your business.

 

COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection Click Here

The following translations have been added

 

Arabic - Click Here

Bengali - Click Here

Chinese (simplified) - Click Here

Chinese (traditional) - Click Here

French - Click Here

Gujarati - Click Here

Polish - Click Here

Portuguese - Click Here

Punjabi - Click Here

Urdu - Click Here

 

Test and Trace Support Payment scheme: claiming financial support Click Here

 

The Guidance booklet Click Here 'eligibility' section: Click Here has been updated:-

 

You can make a claim for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme or a discretionary payment up to 28 days after the first day of your period of self-isolation.

 

How to treat certain expenses and benefits provided to employees during coronavirus (COVID-19) Click Here (For Welsh Translation: Click Here)

 

The section 'Coronavirus (COVID-19) tests' has been updated: Click Here

 

Coronavirus tests provided by the government, as part of its national testing scheme, are not treated as a benefit in kind for tax purposes.

 

This means that if you employ healthcare workers and other eligible front-line staff who get a test through this programme, there is no tax due and you do not need to report a benefit to HMRC.

 

More information on the national testing scheme can be found in the essential workers: get a test today to check if you have coronavirus guide Click Here

 

If you’re providing antigen testing kits to your employees, outside of the government’s national testing scheme, either directly or by purchasing tests that are carried out by a third party, no Income Tax or Class 1A National Insurance contributions will be due.

 

Similarly, employers and their employees will not be liable to any Income Tax or National Insurance contributions, where an employee receives money from their employer for obtaining a test.

 

Private providers of coronavirus testing Click Here

 

Further providers have been added to both lists:

 

  • Test to Release for international travel - Click Here

 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): how to self-isolate when you travel to England Click Here

 

The guidance booklet: Click Here has been updated with information about pre-departure testing for anyone entering England

 

All international arrivals who have departed from or transited through any country outside the Common Travel Area in the previous 10 days will be required to both take a pre-departure test, and self-isolate immediately for 10 days on arrival. This includes British and Irish nationals.

 

  • You must have proof of a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test to travel to England.

 

  • You must take a test even if you are a UK citizen.

 

  • You must take the test in the 3 days before you start your journey to England.

Members in Scotland:

 

Review of restrictions Click Here

 

Following a Scottish Government Cabinet meeting the First Minster has announced that there will be no changes to the current restrictions and that the current lockdown measures Click Here will stay in place across mainland Scotland and some island communities until at least the middle of February

 

New Covid testing site opens in Paisley Click Here  

 

A new walk-through coronavirus testing centre is now open at Bridge Street Car Park in Paisley (PA1 1XN).

 

To view the site on Google Maps: Click Here

Click Here to return to Members Area

 

19th January

Please circulate this update to all relevant staff within your business.

 

Yesterday’s Downing Street statement Click Here was given by the Health Secretary and focused on progress being made in the vaccination programme. Possibly the only thing of real note for members in the statement was: “And we’ve got to stick at it and especially with our plans for all adults in the UK to be offered a COVID vaccine by September.”

 

During the questions he was asked about next priority groups however he failed to mention anything about priority for critical workers in the food production sector. AIMS is working with other trade associations to lobby for early vaccination for our collective workforce.

 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

 

You can now make January claims

 

You can now submit your claims for periods in January. These must be made by Monday‌‌ ‌15th February.

 

You can claim before, during or after you process your payroll. If you can, it’s best to make a claim once you’re sure of the exact number of hours your employees will work so you don’t have to amend your claim at a later date.

 

You and your employees do not need to have benefitted from the scheme before to make a claim.

 

HMRC Publishing information on claims

On Tuesday 26th ‌‌ ‌January HMRC will be publishing a list of employer names who have claimed CJRS for periods from December onwards, on GOV‌‌‌.UK.

From February, HMRC will publish the names, an indication of the value of claims and Company Registration Numbers (for those who have one) of employers who make CJRS claims for periods starting on or after 1st ‌‌ ‌December. The published value of your claim will be shown within a banded range – to find a list of these, visit 'Check if you can claim for your employees' wages' Click Here

HMRC will not publish details of employers claiming through the scheme if they can show that publicising these would result in a serious risk of violence or intimidation to individuals, or those living with them. To request for your details not to be published, complete the online application form – go to GOV‌‌‌.UK and search 'Check if you can claim for your employees' wages': Click Here

 

If you need to do this, we will not publish your details until a decision has been made and you have been informed. You'll only need to apply once, as the decision will cover all CJRS claim periods starting from 1st December 2020. You must make the application yourself, and it can’t be made by an agent on your behalf.

 

Details of CJRS claims will now be published monthly as part of HMRC’s commitment to transparency and to deter fraudulent claims.

 

Questions from a Members

 

We have a staff member (critical worker) who lives with someone who has tested positive. He has tested negative.   Does our staff member need to self-isolate? And, if so, for 10 or 14 days?

 

The short answer is ‘Yes’

 

The rules can be found on Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection Click Here

 

This guidance is for:

 

  • People with symptoms that may be caused by COVID-19, including those who are waiting for a test

 

  • People who have received a positive COVID-19 test result (whether or not they have symptoms)

 

  • People who currently live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 symptoms, or with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19

 

If you live in the same household as someone with COVID-19

 

  • Stay at home and self-isolate. Do not go to work, school, or public areas and do not use public transport or taxis.

 

  • Your isolation period includes the day the first person in your household’s symptoms started (or the day their test was taken if they did not have symptoms, whether this was an LFD or PCR test), and the next 10 full days.

 

  • This means that if, for example, your 10 day isolation period starts on the 15th of the month, your isolation period ends at 23:59 hrs on the 25th and you can return to your normal routine.

 

  • If you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 yourself, you do not need a test. Only arrange a test if you develop COVID-19 symptoms or if you are asked to do so as part of a wider testing scheme. If for any reason you have a negative test result during your 10 day isolation period, you must continue to self-isolate. Even if you don’t have symptoms, you could still pass the infection on to others. Stay at home for the full 10 days to avoid putting others at risk.

 

  • If you develop symptoms while you are isolating, arrange to have a COVID-19 PCR test. If your test result is positive, follow the advice for people with COVID-19 to stay at home and start a further full 10 day isolation period.

 

  • This begins when your symptoms started, regardless of where you are in your original 10 day isolation period. This means that your total isolation period will be longer than 10 days.

 

  • If other household members develop symptoms during this period, you do not need to isolate for longer than 10 days.

 

Your employee should also Check if you can claim a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Click Here

 

The NHS Website also contains useful information on Self-isolation: Click Here

 

Question:

 

We have some engineers coming in from Denmark to undertake some essential maintenance on equipment which we purchased from a Danish manufacturer. Will these engineers be exempt? Will they need to self-isolate will they need an negative test.

 

The people who have been removed from the exemptions are in the main Journalists and those in performing arts.

 

As regards you’re the engineers you are bringing in they would be exempt. Whilst the rules say You do not need to present a negative COVID-19 result test prior to departure it is our view that as they are to be working in a food production environment that they should take a test 72 hours or less before setting off from Denmark and that test result must be negative. Furthermore, as many will recall Denmark did until recently have a serious issue with regards to Coronavirus and mink farms which, at the time, resulted in the UK banning all travel to and from the country.

 

Specialist technical workers - goods and services

Applies to:

 

Workers with specialist technical skills for essential or emergency works or services (including construction, commissioning, installation, maintenance, and repairs and safety checks) to ensure the continued production, supply, movement, manufacture, storage or preservation of goods.

 

  • You will need complete a passenger locator form: Click Here before you travel to the UK.

 

  • You do not need to present a negative COVID-19 result test prior to departure.

 

  • You will not need to self-isolate.

 

  • You should show a letter from your company which includes:

  1. Your personal details, such as name and address

  2. Contact details for your employer

  3. Contact details for the business or organisation you’ll be completing work for in the UK

  4. What work you’ll be doing

 

If your employer issued you with photo identification, you should bring this with you to the UK

 

You’ll need to show that your travel to the UK is essential for your work here, for example a letter from your employer, a consignment note or your operator’s licence.

 

We were also contacted by a member asking exactly which Jobs will no longer qualify for travel exemptions.

 

As of 4am Monday 18th January 2021 the following jobs no longer qualify for travel exemptions:

 

  • Advertising productions

  • Business directors bringing jobs and investment to the UK

  • Journalists

  • National Lottery

  • Performing arts professionals

  • Television production

  • High-end television production and film

  • Ornamental horticulture workers

 

As you can see none of these effect employees within our membership.

 

We were also asked about Furlough for caring responsibilities Click Here

 

Employees can ask to be furloughed because they have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus, such as caring for children who are at home as a result of school or childcare closing. You can place them on furlough and claim for them under the CJRS.

 

Everyone at AIMS is here to support any members, please email if you have any questions.

MORE THAN EVER PLEASE STAY SAFE – STAY WELL

Click Here to return to Members Area

 

17th January

Prime Minister's statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 15th January 2021 Click Here

 

“…to protect us against the risk of as yet unidentified new strains, we will also temporarily close all travel corridors from 04:00 on Monday. [Monday 18thJanuary 2021]

 

Following conversations with the devolved administrations, we will act together so that this applies across the whole of UK

 

This means that if you come to this country, you must have proof of a negative Covid test that you have taken in the 72 hours before leaving and you must have filled in your Passenger Locator Form, and your airline will ask for proof of both before you take off.

 

You may also be checked when you land and face substantial fines for refusing to comply

 

And, upon arrival, you must then quarantine for ten days – not leaving your home for any reason at all, or take another test on day 5 and wait for proof of another negative result.

 

And we will be stepping up our enforcement – both at the border and in-country.

Travel advice: coronavirus (COVID-19) Click Here

 

The new requirements coming into effect from 4am Monday 18th January 2021

 

  • Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home.

 

  • You must not leave home or travel, including internationally, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so.

 

  • From 4am on 18 January, if you intend to travel to England, Scotland, or Wales, including UK nationals returning home from travel abroad, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure.

 

  • If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival.

 

  • You must also self-isolate when you enter the UK from any foreign country except Ireland, unless you have a valid exemption*. All other current entry requirements and restrictions continue to apply.

 

  • If you are legally permitted to travel, check our advice on your country of destination. Some other countries have closed borders, and may further restrict movement or bring in new rules including testing requirements with little warning.

 

  • There is a short film on YouTube covering pre-departure testing for travellers to the UK: Click Here

 

*Coronavirus (COVID-19): jobs that qualify for travel exemptions Click Here

 

NOTE: Some changes have been made to the list Click Here of those jobs which no longer qualify for travel exemptions from 4am Monday 18th January.

 

The jobs which are relevant to AIMS members and which qualify for travel exemption, most notably, hauliers and vets, remain on the list

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): travel corridors Click Here

 

  • Travel corridors will be suspended from 4am on Monday 18th January.

 

  • Anyone arriving in the UK after 4am on Monday 18th January will need to self-isolate for 10 days.

 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested Click Here

 

Several updates have been made to the web page

 

  • Added information about Lateral Flow Antigen Tests

 

If you had a rapid swab test (lateral flow test), you should get your result within 2 hours.

 

You must report a positive result to the NHS.

 

We also ask that you report negative and invalid results: this helps the NHS to monitor the spread of the virus and support communities across the UK.

 

You can report your result online Click Here by telephone: England, Wales and Northern Ireland: 119 (free from mobiles and landlines) or in Scotland: 0300 303 2713 (charged at your standard network rate).

 

You do not need to report the results of tests that are processed at our labs (PCR tests).

 

  • Added how-to videos section, including: 'How to take a coronavirus self-test swab' - Click Here

 

REMEMBER:

 

Your staff are classed as critical (Essential) personnel working in the production and distribution of food, drink and essential goods, including:

 

  • Those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery

 

  • Those critical to the provision of other essential goods, such as medical supply chain and distribution workers, and testing (such as PHE labs), and veterinary medicine

 

  • Workers critical to the continuity of essential movement of goods

 

Employer referral for essential workers:

 

Employers can refer essential workers for testing if they are self-isolating because either they or member(s) of their household have coronavirus symptoms.

 

They can do this by uploading the names and contact details of self-isolating essential workers to the secure employer referral portal.

 

Referred essential workers will then receive a text message with a unique invitation code to book a test for themselves Click Here (if symptomatic) or their symptomatic household member(s) at a regional testing site.

 

To get a login to the employer referral portal, employers of essential workers should email portalservicedesk@dhsc.gov.uk with the following information:

 

  • Organisation name

  • Nature of the organisation’s business

  • Region

  • Names (where possible) and email addresses of the 2 users who will load essential worker contact details

 

Once employer details have been verified, 2 login credentials will be provided for the employer referral portal.

 

Private providers of coronavirus testing Click Here

 

The lists of private coronavirus testing companies has been updated:

 

  • Test to Release for international travel - Click Here  NOTE: We believe that this scheme will no loner be available from Monday 18th January 2021

 

 

Members in Wales:

 

Welsh Government to strengthen legislation to ensure workplaces and shops are safer Click Here

 

Businesses in Wales will have to carry out a specific coronavirus risk assessment under new Welsh Government legislation

 

These risk assessments will be the starting point for implementing the reasonable measures that are required to be taken to minimise exposure to the coronavirus on premises open to the public and in workplaces.

 

This involves considering issues such as:

 

  • Whether ventilation is adequate

  • Hygiene

  • Ensuring physical distancing is taking place

  • Use of PPE and face coverings.

 

It will also include considering how employers maximise the number of people who can work from home

Click Here to return to Members Area

15th January

Reporting outbreaks of coronavirus (COVID-19) Click Here

 

The guidance Click Here has been updated in the 'When to call your local health protection team' section: Click Here

 

“Organisations should see individual business action cards for further information.”

 

The relevant Action Cards for member’s businesses are:

 

 

Download a template if you're claiming for 100 or more employees through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Click Here

 

The XLS Click Here (Version 7) and XLSX Click Here templates used for submitting a claim for 100 or more employees have been updated

 

Travel from South American destinations, Portugal, Panama and Cape Verde banned to prevent spread of new variant Click Here

 

From 4am, today, Friday 15th January 2021, passengers who have been in or transited through Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Cape Verde, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Panama, Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores), Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela in the last 10 days will no longer be granted access to the whole of the UK.

 

British, Irish and third country nationals with residence rights in the UK who arrive after 4am and have travelled from or transited through these destinations in the last 10 days will have to self-isolate immediately along with their household

 

There will also be a flight ban on any countries with direct flights to the UK. These are Argentina, Brazil, Cape Verde and Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores). This excludes cargo and freight without passengers.

 

The decision to ban travel from these destinations follows the discovery of a new coronavirus variant first identified in Brazil, that may have spread to countries with strong travel links to Brazil.

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): travel corridors Click Here

 

From 4am, Saturday 16th January 20201 if you arrive in England from Aruba, Bonaire/St Eustatius/Saba or Qatar, you will need to self-isolate.

 

Private providers of coronavirus testing Click Here

 

Further businesses have been added to the lists for:

 

  • Test to Release for international travel - Click Here

 

 

National lockdown: Stay at Home Click Here

 

The guidance has been updated in respect to the ‘Staying Local’

 

  • If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local - unless it is necessary to go further, for example to go to work.

 

  • Stay local means stay in the village, town, or part of the city where you live.

 

Help and support if your business is affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) Click Here

 

A link to a YouTube video about the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension has been added: Click Here

 

Environment Secretary's letter to the food and drink industry Click Here or download here

 

Environment Secretary George Eustice has written an open letter to all those working in the food and drink supply chains thanking them for the work done during the pandemic.

 

Click Here to return to Members Area

Association of Independent Meat Suppliers 

PO Box 125

Northallerton

North Yorkshire DL6 2YG

Telephone: 01609 761547

Fax: 01609 761548

Email: office@aims2001.co.uk

The Association of Independent Meat Suppliers is a company limited by Guarantee. Company Registration No. 04389636. VAT Registration No. 772 1907 22 Registered office address; 19 East Parade, Harrogate HG1 5LF

© 2020 by AIMS.