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COVID-19 - Business Update 15/10/2020

Published: Thursday, 15th October 2020

The latest COVID-19 Southend business update for 15th October 2020

COVID-19 Alert levels

Earlier this week the Prime Minister made a statement, on the response to the pandemic. He set out a three-tiered system of local COVID-19 Alert Levels in England – medium, high, and very high. Southend on Sea Borough currently sits within the Medium level and Essex has moved into High.

Information on local COVID alert levels has been released, including what they mean, why they are being introduced and what the different levels are. New alert level posters are now available to simply show what you are able to do at each level.

o   A postcode search is released to check local area restrictions.

o   Information on local COVID alert levels is updated.

Hospitality Sector

We have had a lot of calls and messages today with regard to the fact that Essex has moved to the High alert level and questioning if clients from Essex will be able to mix  under the rule of 6 inside Southend hospitality establishments. In response, anyone from a tier 2 or tier 3 area must abide by the rules of that tier regardless of their location. Therefore, tier 2 or tier 3 visitors to Southend can only socialise inside with people from their own household/bubble. Businesses should endeavour to ensure this law is adhered to when they take bookings or on entry.

In order to support and consult with the Hospitality sector Krishna Ramkhelawon, Director Public Health and Cllr Trevor Harp, Cabinet member for Health and Adult Social Care, would like to host a virtual conversation with Hospitality businesses to discuss the Borough’s response to COVID-19 on 23rd Oct 2020 at 1:30pm. We would be grateful if you could attend. Click here or email

Guidance is updated for shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19.

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is keen to create a register of businesses who are able to support residents who are asked to shield. Any businesses able to do home delivery of groceries or medical supplies are asked to contact Southend-on-Sea Borough Council in order to add their details to our Livewell website, where our residents will be directed to access these services. To add your business to this website you will first need to create an account. You then need to go to the ‘Add an entry’ button at the top of the website. This brings up a simple form that needs to be completed. The form allows you to enter a short description of your service, opening hours, availability, costs and so much more. After the form has been completed your service will be visible on the website once the administrators have approved it. If you need further assistance adding your service go take a look at the guidance’s on the Site Help page or email 

Redundancy Support

Sadly, we are aware that a number of businesses have had to reduce their workforces during this difficult time. If this is the case, please could we ask that you share information with any staff or individuals who are made redundant at this time. Click here for more information

The new Test and Trace Support Payment scheme

If you or a member of your staff has been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and told to self-isolate on or after 28th September 2020, you are under a legal obligation to do so and could be eligible for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment. Payments are administered by local authorities for more information on how to apply please click here.

The government’s Job Support Scheme (JSS)

The government’s Job Support Scheme (JSS) will be expanded to protect jobs and support businesses required to close their doors as a result of restrictions. Please click here to learn more.

COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF)

New support with The COVID Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) providing £30bn of direct support to some of the economy’s largest firms, who are responsible for almost 2.5m jobs in the UK.

Kickstart Placements

The Guidance for businesses wishing to take on a Kickstart placement has been updated. These Kickstart trainees are aged 16 – 24 years old and will be funded by the government for 25 hours at the minimum wage for their age group. Trainees must be on Universal Credit and will be referred by the Job Centre. Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has registered to become a gateway employer so Southend Businesses will be able to take on one or more trainees and we will reimburse employers with the salaries, in arrears. Trainees through the Southend-on-Sea Borough Scheme will be expected to take part in one day of training support to enhance their chances of securing employment after the end of the placement. If you would like to know more or to register your interest in recruiting a Southend Kickstart trainee, please click here.  Employers of all sizes can apply to recruit a Kickstart trainee.

Advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents

Advice has been updated for visa customers and applicants in the UK, visa customers outside of the UK and British nationals overseas, who need to apply for a passport, affected by travel restrictions associated with coronavirus. If you employ staff who are currently on a visa that has expired, it is important to refer to the guidelines. As travel routes are opening up, individuals are expected to take reasonable steps to return home or to apply for the relevant visa to stay. Click here for the latest information.