9 February 2021
This update covers:
- Lockdown dates across the four nations.
- Wales: business rates to be frozen for 2021/22.
- England: updates to apprenticeship guidance during the pandemic.
- More time and flexibility to repay Bounce Back Loans.
Lockdown dates across the four nations
England: England is currently under lockdown. The government plans to publish a ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown week beginning 22 February 2021.
Wales: Wales is currently under lockdown. The measures are reviewed every three weeks. The most recent review was 28 January 2021 when it was decided that Wales should remain in lockdown.
Scotland: Mainland Scotland is currently under lockdown until at least the end of February.* The Scottish Government will review this decision two weeks after the announcement was made on 2 February 2021.
Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland is under lockdown. The current regulations are in place until 5 March 2021 but will be reviewed on 18 February 2021.
*The only exceptions to the lockdown in Scotland are:
- Na h-Eileanan Siar (Western Isles)
- The following islands within Argyll and Bute: Coll, Colonsay, Erraid, Gometra, Iona, Islay, Jura, Mull, Oronsay, Tiree, and Ulva
- All islands in Highland, with the exception of Skye.
In these areas:
- Salons and barbershops can open.
- Mobile hairdressing and barbering can operate.
- Close contact services delivered from a salon, shop or other static site such as a home treatment room can operate.
- All other types of mobile close contact services including beauty are not permitted.
Wales: business rates frozen
Business rates in Wales are to be frozen for 2021/22. Find out more on the Welsh Government website.
Make sure you claim all the financial support you are entitled to. Find out more on our website:
England: updates to apprenticeship guidance during the pandemic
The government has updated its apprenticeship guidance for England with new information on face-to-face training and when to consider a break in an apprenticeship. Training and assessment must take place remotely wherever possible, but there are some exceptions. For example:
- Face-to-face training and assessment can continue in colleges, training providers’ premises and assessment venues for vulnerable young apprentices and the children of key workers who need it.
- Apprentices who were planning to take end-point-assessments in January or are planning to do so in February or March can attend educational settings for face-to-face training where their training cannot be completed remotely.
The updated guidance also states that there can be a break in learning if it is not possible for an apprenticeship to be delivered properly via remote learning.
More time and flexibility to repay Bounce Back Loans
The government has announced that it will allow more time and flexibility to repay Bounce Back Loans. Businesses will have the following options:
- Extend the length of the loan from six to ten years.
- Make interest-only payments for six months, with the option to do this up to three times throughout the loan.
- Pause repayments entirely for up to six months.
Lenders will contact borrowers about their options under this new ‘Pay as You Grow’ scheme.
- Read our four nations FAQs.
- Find out what financial support is available across the four nations.
- Rules for mobile stylists and therapists.
- How to cope with local lockdowns.
- Our coronavirus FAQs are regularly updated. Check back often for the latest information.
- Read our regularly updated job retention scheme FAQs.
- NHBF Members can download an information poster, email and social media message for clients.
- Members can call our membership team, Monday-Friday, 9-5, on 01234 831965. Please be patient due to the extremely high level of calls we are currently getting.
- For legal advice, Members can login to get our 24/7 legal helpline number. Again, please be patient. The legal team is also dealing with a huge number of calls.