England national lockdown 5 November 2020

England national lockdown from 5 November 2020 till 2 December 2020 starting today. People in England must follow the national restrictions implemented by the government as follows:

National restrictions during the national lockdown from 5 November 2020

Meeting indoors

You cannot meet anybody socially indoors unless they are in your household or support bubble.

Meeting outdoors

You can meet with 1 person from another household in outdoor public spaces, following social distancing. Children under 5 and anyone dependent on continuous care do not count towards the 2 person limit.

Weddings and funerals

Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies can only take place where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover. Funerals can take place with up to 30 people in attendance.

Working from home

You must work from home if you can. If you cannot work from home you should continue to go to work (unless you are clinically extremely vulnerable).

Essential shops

Open. Essential retail should follow COVID-Secure guidelines.

Non-essential Retail

Closed. Can only open for click-and-collect and delivery services.

Exercise

You can exercise outside on your own or with your household; your support bubble; or one person from another household.

Leisure and gyms

Closed, except for allotments and outdoor playgrounds.

Hospitality

Closed except for takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through and other delivery services. Takeaway not permitted after 22:00.

Education

Early years, schools and FE colleges open. Universities must reflect wider restrictions.

Healthcare services

You can leave home for any medical reason.

Residential care

Care homes are encouraged to provide safe, COVID-secure visiting opportunities. See the guidance for details on how to keep visits safe.

Travel

You must not travel in the UK or overseas other than for permitted reasons, including work, education, medical reasons, caring responsibilities or for essential retail.

Public transport

You may still use public transport but should only travel for permitted reasons and should look to reduce the number of journeys you make, avoid travelling at peak times and walk or cycle where you can.

Overnight stays

Overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences are not allowed, except for work and other educational purposes.

Entertainment and tourism

Entertainment venues are closed. Public gardens at visitor attractions are open.

Vulnerable people

If you are 60+ or clinically vulnerable, be especially careful to follow the rules and minimise contacts with others. If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you are advised to stay at home as much as possible, except to go outdoors for exercise or to attend essential health appointments.

Worship

Closed. Except for: funerals, broadcasting acts of worship, and individual prayer.

Childcare

Registered childcare and childcare activities open to enable parents to work, or for respite care. Parents can form a childcare bubble with another household for informal childcare, where the child is 13 or under.

Youth clubs and activities

Some youth services are able to continue, such as 1:1 youth work and support groups, but most youth clubs and groups will need to cease for this period.

Download national restrictions poster

You may download the England national lockdown 5 November 2020 to 2 December 2020 national restrictions poster here.

Businesses to close during England national lockdown from 5 November 2020

Businesses and venues must close or open with restrictions apply to reduce social contact.

Non essential retails

Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services.

Cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars

Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and drink for takeaway (before 10pm; and not including alcohol), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery
Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites. Except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where they cannot return home, for homeless people, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes.

Leisure and sports facilities

Leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts, golf courses, fitness and dance studios, climbing walls, archery, driving, and shooting ranges.

Cinemas, theatres, arcades, museums etc.

Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, soft play centres and areas, circuses, funfairs, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks, theme parks.

Botanical gardens, heritage homes

Indoor attractions at botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open.

Hair and nails salons

Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. It is also prohibited to provide these services in other peoples’ homes.

Community centres

Community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities as set out below Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services – for example for people who do not have it at home – and for click-and-collect.

Churches and mosques

Places of worship, apart from for the purposes of independent prayer, and service broadcasting and funerals.

Businesses can open with exempt activities

These businesses and places will also be permitted to be open for a small number of exempt activities, including:

  • Education and training (including for schools to use sports and leisure facilities where that it part of their normal provision).
  • Childcare purposes and supervised activities for children.
  • Blood donation and food banks.
  • To provide medical treatment.
  • For elite sports persons (in indoor and outdoor sports facilities), professional dancers and choreographers (in fitness and dance studios).
  • For training and rehearsal without an audience (in theatres and concert halls) and for the purposes of professional film and TV filming.

Businesses and venues which can remain open

Other businesses are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 Secure guidelines. This includes those providing essential goods or services, including:

  • Essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, hardware stores, building merchants and off-licences.
  • Petrol Stations, car repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses.
  • Banks, building societies, post offices, loan providers and money transfer businesses
  • Funeral directors
  • Launderettes and dry cleaners
  • Medical and dental services
  • Vets and pet shops
  • Agricultural supplies shops
  • Storage and distribution facilities
  • Car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas.
  • Outdoor playgrounds

Companies House filings

You can submit your company documents to Companies House online. You would require your company’s authentication code to do so. The authentication code is the electronic equivalent of your company’s director(s) signatures. Hence, you must keep it safe.

The documents you can file online includes:

Companies House has also created an interim paperless filing service to accept documents which would normally require a live signature during COVID-19 pandemic. You can easily upload your documents to the Companies House website.

If you require help with your company’s filings, contact our accountants. They will be more than happy to assist you.

Tenant Fees Act Landlord must know

Tenant Fees Act landlord must know. The law is to protect tenants from paying excessive fees associated with renting a property in England. The Tenant Fees Act comes into effect from 1 June 2019.

Prohibited tenant fees from 1 June 2019

Private landlords and letting agents are banned to ask tenants to pay the following fees for tenancy contract entered into AFTER or on 1 June 2019.

  • Referencing
  • Administration
  • Inventory check-in and check-out report fee
  • Renewal of tenancy fees

Grace period

Except where tenants entered into a contract with you BEFORE 1 June 2019. In this circumstance, you can ask your tenants to pay for renewal and check out fees up to 31 May 2020.

However, if your tenant signed a tenancy renewal contract with you, say 13 October 2019 to 12 October 2020 then you cannot charge your tenant a renewal fee because the contract was signed after 1 June 2019 not before 1 June 2019.

Some letting agents were charging tenants renewal fees after the grace period claiming that they could do so up to 31 May 2020. This is unlawful. Your tenant can make a complaint to the enforcement authority.

From 1 June 2020, landlords and letting agents are banned to charge referencing, administration, inventory check-in, inventory check out report fee including tenancy renewal fee.

Permitted tenancy fees from 1 June 2019

If you are running a property letting business in England, you can ask your new tenants to pay the following.

  • The agreed rent.
  • a refundable 5 weeks tenancy deposit where the total annual rent is less than £50,000, or 6 weeks’ rent where the total annual rent is £50,000 or above.
  • Ask your potential tenant to pay one week refundable holding deposit to reserve your property. No more than 1 week.
  • Tenant to pay the associated early termination of the tenancy fee, when requested by the tenant
  • You can charge your tenant for the variation, assignment or novation of a tenancy. The payment is capped at £50 or reasonably incurred costs, if higher.
  • payments in respect of utilities, communication services, TV licence and Council Tax of the rented property.
  • a default fee for late payment of rent and replacement of a lost key/security device giving access to the housing, where required under a tenancy agreement.

Further reading about the Tenant Fees Act, click here.

Companies House filings

If you are running your property letting business through a limited company registered with Companies House, you must comply with the Companies Act too.

You can submit your company documents to Companies House online. You would require your company’s authentication code to do so. The authentication code is the electronic equivalent of your company’s director(s) signatures. Hence, you must keep it safe.

The documents you can file online includes:

Companies House has also created an interim paperless filing service to accept documents which would normally require a live signature during COVID-19 pandemic. You can easily upload your documents to the Companies House website.

If you require help with your company’s filings, contact our accountants. They will be more than happy to assist you.

Change of principal business activity

You must inform Companies House and HM Revenue and Customs If you change your principal business activity.

Inform HMRC of your new principal business activity

You can report the change of principal business activity in your corporation tax return (CT600) and HMRC would pick up this information from your tax return. Usually, your company accounts accompany with your corporation tax return filing would also require to state the change in your trading activity.

Report change to Companies House

Every limited company must submit their confirmation statement to Companies House every year. You may take this filing opportunity to report your new trading activity with Companies House. You may report the change of your principal business activity by updating your SIC code. In other words, you choose the code that closely represents your current business activity. That’s it.

For example, say, your original principal activity was wholesale of flowers and plants, your SIC code would be 46220 then. Now, you are retailing flowers and plants and no longer wholesale, then your SIC code would be 47760.

You can report your new SIC code at the same time filing your confirmation statement with Companies House. You do not need to file the change separately like you would when there is a change in director appointment or change of registered office address.

Another document you must report your new principal activity is your company accounts. You must declare there is a change in principal business activity during the year in your director’s report page.

Check your company’s principal activity

You can check your principal business activity currently registered with Companies House. Companies House publish your company’s details for public inspection.

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