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LCCI latest policy update - April 2021

April 6, 2021
Covid-19 Updates
Merton Chamber

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry policy updates:

Testing widened to everyone in England

Everyone in England, including asymptomatic people, will be able to access free, rapid Covid- 19 testing from 9 April:

Free testing is being expanded to businesses with over 10 employees where on-site testing is impossible.

The expanded regular testing offer for people without symptoms will be delivered through:
    ▪ Home ordering service, which allows people to order lateral flow tests delivered to their home
     ▪ Workplace testing programmes, on-site or at home
     ▪ Community testing, offered by all local authorities
     ▪ Collection at a local PCR test site
     ▪ Testing on-site at schools and colleges

A new ‘Pharmacy Collect’ service is also launching which will provide an additional route to regular testing.

Government launches Recovery Loan Scheme

HM Treasury has announced that the new Recovery Loan Scheme is now open.

Loans will include an 80% government guarantee and an interest rate cap, from £25,000 to £10 million.

The scheme will run until 31 December 2021.

Restart Grant Scheme opens

From 1 April, businesses in England in the non-essential retail sector will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £6,000, while businesses in the hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym sectors, will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £18,000.

The grants will be delivered via local authorities.

Early findings of Covid-19 reviews published

The Prime Minister has confirmed that the next stage of restrictions will be eased as per the roadmap.

Alongside this announcement, the Government has published initial findings from four reviews into: Covid status confirmation, Global Travel Taskforce, Events Research Programme, and Social Distancing.

The early findings can be found here.

Housing Secretary announces new rules for converting commercial premises

Robert Jenrick has announced new rules on converting commercial premises into residential homes.

The new rules would see new homes delivered through a simpler ‘prior approval’ process instead of a full planning application and will be subject to ‘high standards’.