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Covid-19 Recovery Brief: Monday, July 6

Covid-19 Recovery Brief: Monday, July 6

Each day, our Public Policy team will be reporting on the latest news in the evolving situation. To view the previous day’s summary, please click here.

Reports suggest Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is to make available £111m to prepare young people for full-time work, with companies being asked to play their part

  • Report suggest companies in the UK are to be offered a payment of £1,000 for every trainee to whom they offer a work experience placement, as part of a drive to avert a rise in youth unemployment.
    • Sunak will set out the measures as part of the Financial Statement on Wednesday. The £111m will be invested to triple the number of traineeships — ensuring more 16 to 24-year-olds have the basic skills needed to secure full-time work.
    • A traineeship lasts from six weeks to six months and is different to an apprenticeship. It offers young people training in maths, English and CV writing as well as guidance on what they should expect in the workplace.
    • They will also receive a high-quality work placement of 60 to 90 hours, with companies receiving a £1,000 bonus for each individual given work experience.
    • The expanded scheme will be in place in England from September 2020 but £21m will also be provided for devolved administrations.

The Government has pledged £1.57 billion to protect cultural, arts and heritage institutions across the UK

  • The £1.57bn support package is designed to protect the future of Britain’s museums, galleries and theatres. Independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues are also eligible for the emergency grants and loans. The package includes:
    • £1.15 billion support pot for cultural organisations in England delivered through a mix of grants and loans. This will be made up of £270 million of repayable finance and £880 million grants.
    • £100 million of targeted support for the national cultural institutions in England and the English Heritage Trust.
    • £120 million capital investment to restart construction on cultural infrastructure and for heritage construction projects in England which was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic.
    • The new funding will also mean an extra £188 million for the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland (£33 million), Scotland (£97 million) and Wales (£59 million).
  • Decisions on awards will be made by DCMS working alongside expert independent figures from the sector including the Arts Council England and other specialist bodies such as Historic England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.
  • Further details of the scheme will be set out when it opens for applications in the coming weeks.
  • Arts Council England, the Royal Opera House, the Society of London Theatre & UK Theatre, and the Music Venue Trust were among those to welcome the funding.
  • It came as Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said guidance for a phased return of the performing arts sectors is expected to be published by the Government shortly.
  • Dowden also said that while he hopes outdoor performances can return “shortly”, there remains a “real risk” of Covid-19 transmission inside theatres.

Only 25 countries of the 74 countries and territories that the Government has exempted from quarantine rules will allow UK visitors 

  • Last week the Government published a list of 74 countries and territories from where people will not need to quarantine if they return to or visit England from 10 July. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office also published a separate list of 67 destinations which are exempt from its advisory against all non-essential travel.
    • The list included countries such as France, Spain, Germany and Italy and apply to only people arriving in England as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland decided against easing travel restrictions.
    • However just 25 locations included on the lists do not have border controls that stop English visitors entering.
    • Others, such as Australia, New Zealand and Vietnam are either closed to international flights or impossible to enter without quarantine or Covid-19 testing.

Other news

  • Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has said that will announce a date for reopening gyms, theatres and nail salons this week.
  • The Government has extended the existing £9bn affordable homes programme by a year in order to allow registered providers extra time to deliver schemes in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown. It is estimated that construction of 53,000 affordable homes had stalled in the crisis.
  • Sports Premium for schools have been confirmed by the Education Secretary, costing £320m for the next academic year. The Premium is a ring-fenced grant for primary schools, and allocations are to be determined by a formula based on pupil numbers.
  • High-street sandwich chain Pret A Manger is to close 30 of its 410 UK outlets as part of a Covid-19 related restructuring. Sales are down 74% year-on-year, the company reported.
  • Today in Scotland, people can go to beer gardens and outdoor cafes for the first time since the lockdown in March. As well as following strict distancing and hygiene rules, customers will have to leave their contact details so they can be traced in the event of an outbreak. Scotland’s pubs and restaurants should be able to welcome customers indoors from 15 July.
  • Greece has just announced that as of 15 July, it will be lifting its ban on travel from the UK and permitting direct flights to popular destinations nationwide.
  • In Wales, outdoor attractions have reopened as first minister Mark Drakeford also lifted a five-mile travel limit, with pubs and restaurants expected to reopen outdoor areas on 13 July. Those wishing to visit from across the border in England with the lifting of the travel limit have been urged to behave respectfully.
  • The UK is in talks to join a European Union plan to secure supplies of potential Covid-19 vaccines.
  • NHS England has said it was launching a new service for people with ongoing health problems after catching Covid-19
  • The Scottish government has announced its own £10m fund to help theatres and performing arts venues survive the Covid-19 lockdown.
  • The majority of children currently considered extremely clinical vulnerable to Covid-19 will be able to be removed from the shielded patient list in England, the Government has confirmed in the latest shielding guidance.
  • Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has said that driverless trains should be a condition of the funding settlement for Transport for London this autumn.
  • The Government has now abandoned attempts to provide a daily figure for the number of individuals being tested for Covid-19.
  • Nando’s will be reopening its doors at 10 sites across England from Wednesday 8 July.
  • The Culture Secretary has announced agreements that allow selected sporting events and production on film and television to go ahead safely. A number of sports stars and their support teams, alongside international film and high-end television stars, directors and producers, will be exempt from quarantine – where they are essential to the event or production. Exempted individuals will live and work in controlled “bubbled” environments behind closed doors.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have recorded no new deaths in the last 24 hours.

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