18 January 2022

This week’s update covers:

  • Check eligibility for Additional Restrictions Grant
  • Welsh Government: Plan to ease alert level 2 protections announced
  • Update: Self-isolation for those with COVID-19
  • Scottish Government Guidance - Close Contact Services
  • Mask survey
  • Be fraud aware
  • COVID-19 guidance

Check if you're eligible for the coronavirus Additional Restrictions Grant

Funding was first made available through the scheme in the financial year 2020-21 and was expected to be used in 2020-21 and 2021-22. The Chancellor announced a £100m top-up to the fund in December following the Omicron surge and the Government has made clear it that expects the funding to help businesses that have been severely impacted by the restrictions and the rise of the Omicron variant. Local authorities have been encouraged to distribute funding to businesses which require support as soon as possible.


Local councils have the freedom to determine the eligibility criteria for these grants.

Local councils are encouraged to support:

  • in allocating the first ARG top-up payment: businesses from all sectors that may have been severely impacted by restrictions but were not eligible for the LRSG and CBLP Grant schemes
  • in allocating the second 2 ARG top-up payments: businesses from all sectors that may have been severely impacted by restrictions but were not eligible for the Restart Grant scheme, and those sectors that remained closed or were severely impacted by extended restrictions, even if those businesses had already been in receipt of Restart Grants
  • in allocating the third ARG top-up payment: businesses severely impacted by the rise of the Omicron variant

The government’s guidance to local authorities on distributing the grants makes clear that this can includes the personal care sector (paragraph 28). However, we have heard of some councils which have decided not to include personal care businesses.

If your council has told you that it is not giving these grants to businesses like yours, please let us know by emailing enquiries@nhbf.co.uk, so that we can make the Department for Business (BEIS) aware.

How to apply

Visit your local council’s website to find out how to apply.


Welsh Government: Plan to ease alert level 2 protections announced

The latest public health data from Wales suggests coronavirus cases have started to fall back from their very high levels. A wide range of information, including case rates, wastewater surveys, the results of the ONS infection survey and hospital admissions data, shows positive signs of recovery, although levels of infections in the community continue to be high.

The phased plan will see measures on outdoor activity removed first as Wales gradually moves out of alert level 2 and fully back to alert level 0 from 28 January.

Read full announcement.


Update: Self-isolation for those with COVID-19

Since Monday, 17 January, people with COVID-19 in England can end their self-isolation after five full days, as long as they test negative on day five and day six.

After careful consideration of modelling from the UK Health Security Agency, the decision has been made to support essential public services and workforces over the winter.

It is crucial that people isolated with COVID-19 wait until they have received two negative lateral flow tests on two consecutive days to reduce the chance of still being infectious.

Read the full Government statement.


Scottish Government Guidance - Close Contact Services

The Scottish Government has updated its guidance and checklist for close contact services such as hairdressers and beauty therapists. You can view the latest close contact update on the Scottish Government’s website.

The main changes are incorporating the relevant protection measures set out in the safer business and workplace guidance. These include introducing physical distancing regulations for spas, hydrotherapy pools, saunas and steam rooms.

The Scottish Government has committed £19m in financial support to the hair and beauty sector in Scotland; they are currently developing the fund which is likely to be available to access in early February.

Mask survey

The Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) is exploring the opinions of workers and the public on the wearing of face coverings in small consulting rooms within a retail environment, such as pharmacies, opticians, hairdressers or beauty salons. You can fill in the online survey or visit the project website.


Be fraud aware

The Take Five campaign is ramping up its efforts to help make small and medium-sized businesses more fraud-aware, to stem millions of pounds of losses to this insidious form of crime every year. Take Five is a national campaign offering straightforward, impartial advice that helps prevent email, phone-based and online fraud – particularly where criminals impersonate trusted organisations.

The campaign wants organisations, businesses, and individuals to spread the message and get involved in the campaign so we can all help protect the nation against financial fraud.

COVID-19 guidance – recent updated with the latest Omicron guidance

Read our four nations’ FAQs which include links to the latest government guidance that must be followed.

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 considerable number of calls.