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UK Government COVID-19 update, 10 July 2020

10 July 2020
Issue 15, 10 July 2020: All of the key coronavirus news and guidance in one weekly legal update.

Chancellor delivered a Plan for Jobs 2020 speech on 8 July: Please find here the Full Plan for Jobs and the Background Briefing. In his speech, the Chancellor announced:

  • £1,000 Job Retention Bonus for each employee retained through to January 2021 after being furloughed;
  • Introduction of Kickstart Scheme, open for applications from August. The Government will pay the wages of 16 – 24 year olds, amounting to a grant of £6,500 per young person;
  • A new £2,000 payment for firms to take on apprentices. £1,500 for apprentices over 25;
  • Doubling the number of job coaches in job centres;
  • More funding for career advisors and traineeships;
  • VAT reduction from 20% to 50%% for the tourism and hospitality sectors for a limited time;
  • Eat Out to Help Out Discount worth £10 per head on eating out in August;
  • £2bn on a new green homes grant. This should make 650,000 homes more efficient, saving families £300 a year;
  • £1bn funding to improve energy efficiency on public buildings; and
  • Stamp duty to be abolished on homes worth up to £500,000. This will take effect immediately and run until 31 March 2021.

£1bn funding to improve energy efficiency on public buildings including schools: The scheme, announced by the Chancellor in his speech of 8 July, “will offer grants to public sector bodies, including schools and hospitals, to fund both energy efficiency and low carbon heat upgrades”. The £1bn is part of a wider £3bn green package in the Chancellor's "mini-budget". The public sector decarbonisation scheme was a pledge in the Conservatives’ 2019 election manifesto. At the time, the party pledged to spend £9.2 billion on it over a five-year period. It is not clear whether today’s announcement of £1 billion just brings forward some of that funding, or whether it is in addition.

European Commission approves Germany's €500 billion COVID-19 State aid scheme raising questions about the 'level playing field': Jonathan Branton, Head of EU Competition at global legal business DWF, has commented on the approval by the European Commission of a €500 billion German fund.

State aid and the aviation sector: KLM and Luftansa benefit from public funding as Ryanair launches challenges: Few businesses have been affected as severely by the Covid-19 pandemic as airports and airlines. In our previous article in which we explored the potential for State aid complaints to arise in the aviation sector and the ways in which governments can support airlines and airports within the State aid rules. In this follow up article, we look into recent State aid approvals in the sector and provide an update on Ryanair's challenges.

Updated COVID-19 guidance for local government: Guidance was updated on 9 July adding new guidance, announcements and speeches.

Government announces gyms and pools to reopen safely: Outdoor pools can reopen to the public from 11 July followed by indoor gyms, pools and leisure centres on 25 July.

West Midlands secures £66m for 'shovel ready' projects: Up to £66m in additional Government funding has been secured by the West Midlands on 3rd July to begin a series of ‘shovel ready’ schemes to support the region’s Covid-19 recovery.

COVID-19: Guidance for the safe use of council buildings: Guidance for those managing council buildings. A new section on gatherings was added on 6 July.

A new deal for Britain: strategy to rebuild and fuel economic recovery: the Prime Minister has set out the first steps in the strategy to rebuild Britain and fuel economic recovery across the UK strategy to rebuild Britain and fuel economic recovery across the UK.

Updated Guidance on responsible contractual behaviour in the performance and enforcement of contracts impacted by the COVID-19 emergency: The Guidance was updated on 30 June 2020.

Local lockdown guidance for social distancing: How you can see people you do not live with if there's a local lockdown during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Local lockdowns: guidance for education and childcare settings: What schools, colleges,nurseries, childminders, early years and other educational settings need to do if there's a local lockdown during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Councils react to Government’s £500m support package: The Government announced arange of support measures for councils on 2 July, including £500m in additional funding, payment deferral, and 75p compensation for every pound lost over 5% of planned income.

COVID-19 FAQs: what you can and can't do: Government guidance updated on 9 July 2020.

Thousands of business advisers to offer free services to 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 COVID-19.


Chancellor's Summer Statement delivers plans for jobs in Wales: On 8 July 2020, the Chancellor set out the next steps in the UK Government’s strategy to secure Wales’ economic recovery from coronavirus, including:

  • An additional £500 million of Covid-19 funding for the Welsh Government through the Barnett formula
  • The investment in the Job centre offer, green new jobs with decarbonisation projects, and modernisations to courts and prisons.

Stay local lifted in Wales: The requirement to stay local was from 6 July.

Review of Lockdown Measures and The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions)(Wales) Regulations 2020: Cabinet written statement by Mark Drakeford MS, First Minister.


Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for museums, galleries and heritage attractions:Practice guidelines for re-opening museums, galleries and heritage attractions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Scots allowed to meet indoors as Welsh pubs and cafes to open outdoors: From 10 July,Scots are able to meet each other indoors and stay overnight for the first time in more than three months, Nicola Sturgeon confirmed as the Welsh first minister also announced some moves towards reopening.

New code of practice for commercial property relationships: Aimed at the commercial property sector the objective of the voluntary code is to provide the right support to those in the chain of commercial property payments – from customers to tenant businesses, commercial landlords and lenders – so that the economy can swiftly and sustainably recover.

Northern Ireland

Relaxations to the Coronavirus Regulations: On 9 July, the Executive confirmed further relaxations to the Coronavirus Regulations and agreed amendments to the International Travel Regulations.

View the government's latest guidance for local councils >

View more insights on our COVID-19 Hub >

View our Public Sector insights >

To view previous editions of the Public Sector COVID-19 Bulletin, please choose a date below:

Further Reading