The Government focus this week has been on controlling the spread of the virus nationally and specifically the South East as there has been a spike in cases and a new variant announced. Several of the recent guidance changes we have reviewed are about the reduction in self-isolation from 14 to 10 days and these have been widely reported already so we have not included them in our newsletter. Below is a roundup of other relevant news.
Test and Trace Support Payment scheme: claiming financial support
If you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and told to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020, you are under a legal obligation to do so, and could be eligible for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment. This guidance sets out who can claim support and explains how to apply.
Travel corridors – England
The list of countries, territories and regions from where you can travel to England and may not have to self-isolate has been updated.
Test to Release for international travel – England
Details have been released about paying for a COVID-19 test to find out if you can reduce the self-isolation period after international travel. The Test to Release for International Travel scheme is for people who need to self-isolate on arrival in England. Under the scheme you can choose to pay for a private COVID-19 test. If the result is negative, you can stop self-isolating. The earliest you can take the test is 5 full days after you left a place not on the travel corridor list. The scheme is voluntary and applies to those self-isolating in England only. If you do not want to opt into the Test to Release scheme, you will need to self-isolate until 10 full days have passed since you were last in a place not on the travel corridors list.
The Government states the move will give passengers the confidence to book international trips in the knowledge that they can return home and isolate for a shorter period if they receive a negative result.
List of private providers of coronavirus testing
The Department of Health and Social Care is aware of the following private sector (non-NHS) providers who may be able to conduct tests for the presence of coronavirus.
These are listed in alphabetical order. They have declared that they meet the government’s minimum standards for providers of Test to Release for international travel or minimum standards for private sector providers of general COVID-19 testing (the Declaration). Both lists are continually updated by the Department of Health and Social Care as providers declare that they meet the required standards and are reviewed by UKAS.
Income Tax and National Insurance contributions exemption for employer-reimbursed coronavirus antigen tests
This Tax Information and Impact Note is about an exemption from Income Tax and NICs for employer-reimbursed coronavirus antigen tests. This measure aims to make sure the use of relevant antigen testing procedures by employers are not subject to an Income Tax and National Insurance contributions charge.
Coming to the UK for seasonal agricultural work on English farms
Advice for seasonal agricultural workers coming to England to pick fruit and vegetables on farms, and their employers.