UK Government announcement on 31 July 2020

The UK government made an announcement on 31 July 2020 (today) to tackle the local COVID-19 outbreak in Greater Manchester, Lancashire and West Yorkshire and to respond accordingly to stop the spread of the virus.

Local outbreaks

  • Greater Manchester:
    • City of Manchester
    • Trafford
    • Stockport
    • Oldham
    • Bury
    • Wigan
    • Bolton
    • Tameside
    • Rochdale
    • Salford
  • Lancashire:
    • Blackburn with Darwen
    • Burnley
    • Hyndburn
    • Pendle
    • Rossendale
  • West Yorkshire:
    • Bradford
    • Calderdale
    • Kirklees

These areas must follow strict social contact guideline and some businesses must close. Read the guidance here.

The UK government announcement on 31 July 2020 also includes extending the list of places where people must wear face-covering list from 8 August 2020. At the same time, plans for clinically extremely vulnerable people, businesses involve close contact with customers and so on were also announced.

Great news. Luton and Leicester outbreaks were brought under control and some businesses in the areas are allowed to reopen from 3 August 2020.

Read the full announcement here

Companies House filings during COVID-19 pandemic

Companies House also gear up to support UK businesses during COVID-19 pandemic. They automatically extend your company’s filing deadline. This will help your company to avoid a late filing penalty if you are unable to deliver your company accounts on time. You do not need to do anything. You just need to go to Companies House website to check your new filing deadline.

Concurrently, your confirmation statement filing deadline will also be extended. You would have 6 weeks to file your confirmation statement. Similarly, for the events driven filings, you will have 42 days (6 weeks) to notify Companies House instead of the usual 14 days filing deadline.

In addition, Companies House also created an interim paperless filing service to accept documents which would normally require a live signature.

You are encouraged to file your company documents to Companies House digitally. You can use the web filing service to submit the following documents to Companies House.

To file online, you would require your company’s authentication code. The authentication code is the electronic equivalent of your company’s director(s) signatures. Keep safe your authentication code.

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

Places you have to wear a face-covering from 8 August 2020

The UK government announced today the list of places you have to wear a face-covering compulsorily from 8 August 2020 in England.

  • funeral directors
  • premises providing professional, legal or financial services
  • cinemas
  • theatres
  • bingo halls
  • concert halls
  • museums, galleries, aquariums, indoor zoos or visitor farms, or other indoor tourist, heritage or cultural sites.
  • nail, beauty, hair salons and barbers – other than where necessary to remove for treatments
  • massage parlours
  • public areas in hotels and hostels
  • place of worship
  • libraries and public reading rooms
  • community centres
  • social clubs
  • tattoo and piercing parlours
  • indoor entertainment venues (amusement arcades, funfairs, adventure activities e.g. laser quest, go-karting, escape rooms, heritage sites etc)
  • storage and distribution facilities
  • veterinary services.
  • auction houses

The above list of places where you have to wear a face-covering from 8 August 2020 are additions to the following list of places where you have to wear a face covering by law.

  • You must wear a face-covering when you are taking the public transport and in indoor transport hubs like the airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals. This law comes into effect from 15 June 2020.
  • You are also required to wear face-covering in shops and supermarkets. This law comes into force from 24 July 2020.
  • Other places you must wear face-covering include indoor shopping centres, banks, building societies, and post offices, credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses.
  • NHS settings, including hospitals and primary or community care settings, such as GP surgeries. 

If you are going to buy a face-covering ensure that the face-covering you bought comply with the product safety regulations.

Read the Government guidance here.

Make your own face-covering

You can make your own face covering if you are unable to get surgical masks from the shops. The UK government has also published guidance on how to wear and make a face cloth covering.

You don’t need to buy a sewing machine to make your own cloth face covering. You can use your old T-shirt.

The guidance comes with step by step how to make your own face covering with pictures illustration. It is very simple to follow.

The benefit of using cloth face-covering is that it is washable and reusable, it would be more cost effective in the long run. Additionally, you are also saving the environment by reducing waste from surgical masks.

More businesses reopening in July 2020 with COVID-19 secure measures in place

More businesses to reopen in July 2020. Every business must implement and comply with the COVID-19 secure measures requirements.

Companies House filings during COVID-19 pandemic

Companies House also gear up to support UK businesses during COVID-19 pandemic. They automatically extend your company’s filing deadline. This will help your company to avoid a late filing penalty if you are unable to deliver your company accounts on time. You do not need to do anything. You just need to go to Companies House website to check your new filing deadline.

Concurrently, your confirmation statement filing deadline will also be extended. You would have 6 weeks to file your confirmation statement. Similarly, for the events driven filings, you will have 42 days (6 weeks) to notify Companies House instead of the usual 14 days filing deadline.

In addition, Companies House also created an interim paperless filing service to accept documents which would normally require a live signature.

You are encouraged to file your company documents to Companies House digitally. You can use the web filing service to submit the following documents to Companies House.

To file online, you would require your company’s authentication code. The authentication code is the electronic equivalent of your company’s director(s) signatures. Keep safe your authentication code.

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

International travel restrictions

International travel restrictions during COVID-19 pandemics can be challenging. Many countries closed their borders and cancel all their international flights.

To help you to plan your essential travel, you may use this Interactive Coronavirus (Covid-19) Travel Regulations Map created by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). You can get up-to-date information about each country current travel restrictions imposed by their governments. The map is very easy to use. You can click on the country you wish to know their current restrictions. For example, below is Australia’s current international travel restrictions published on the Interactive Coronavirus (Covid-19) Travel Regulations Map.

Australia’s current international travel restrictions

The restrictions were published on 27.05.2020.

1. Passengers are not allowed to enter Australia.This DOES NOT apply to nationals of Australia, the immediate family members of nationals of Australia.
The restriction also does not apply to permanent residents of Australia and their immediate family members.
If you are a national of New Zealand residing in Australia, this rule does not apply to you too.
Diplomats accredited to Australia and currently resident in Australia, and their immediate family members are also exempt from this restriction.
2. Passengers and airline crew are required to self-isolate for a period of 14 days at their first arrival location in Australia. If their duration of stay is less than 14 days, they must self-isolate for the entire duration of stay.This does not apply to airline crew with the appropriate personal protective equipment.
3. Airline crew who are nationals or residents of Australia must self-isolate at their place of residence (or hotel) between flights, or for 14 days, whichever is shorter.
Airline crew who are not nationals or residents of Australia must self-isolate in their hotel on arrival until their next flight.
4. When passengers transit through Australia for 8 to 72 hours, they must go to mandatory quarantine at the state-designated facility until the time of the departing flight.
5. For repatriation charter flights, airlines are advised to contact the Australian Border Force (ABF) as early as possible in the planning process. Airlines should not confirm or schedule flights before discussing arrangements with the ABF repatriation team.
Source: IATA

If you are a British citizen, currently in Australia, would like help, please contact the British Embassy in Australia.

Support and help available Companies House

There is support and help from Companies House for company directors that currently abroad to comply with witth UK company’s legal filings requirements.

 You can submit the following documents online with Companies House.

All you need is your company’s authentication code issued by Companies House. The authentication code is the electronic equivalent of your company’s director(s) signatures. Keep safe your authentication code.

If you are unable to complete your company accounts due to the interruption from this COVID-19 outbreak, you can apply to Companies House to extend your company accounts filing deadline without incurring a late filing penalty.

Companies House also created an interim paperless filing service to accept documents which would normally require a live signature.

If you require help with your UK company’s filings, contact us. Our accountants can help you.

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