COVID-19

Updated Government advice:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly

Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

The new guidance for workplaces is detailed here.

COVID-19 Resources

All UK Government guidance can be accessed here.

All NHS guidance can be accessed here.

Guidance for households can be found here.

Protecting vulnerable people information can be found here.

Education and childcare

Guidance for health & critical workers can be found here.

Information on free school meals can be found here.

Department for Education helpline: 0800 046 8687

Support for Businesses

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • A Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
    A 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • A new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • The HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

Find out about the Business Interruption Loan Scheme here.

Resources for Businesses in Oxfordshire can be found here.

Company Debt Resource Hub can be found here.

Business Support Helpline: 0300 456 3565

HMRC Tax Helpline: 0800 015 9559

Support for workers

The Government has instructed all retailers that sell non-essential goods and other non-essential premises to close as part of further social distancing measures. The Government’s advice is to work from home where possible and avoid unnecessary travel.

If you’re self-isolating because of coronavirus (COVID-19), you can get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you’re eligible. You should tell your employer as soon as possible. You’ll be able to get SSP from the first day you’re self-isolating and cannot work.

If your employer cannot cover staff costs due to COVID-19, they may be able to access support to continue paying part of your wage, to avoid redundancies.

If you are liable for self-assessment and cannot pay due to Coronavirus, HMRC has set up a specialist helpline.

The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19, and can provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships.

Guidance for employees can be found here.

Statutory Sick Pay Eligibility information can be found here.

Job Retention Scheme information can be found here.

HMRC Coronavirus Helpline: 0800 015 9559

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme information can be found here.

Travel

As per the Government’s guidance on social distancing, people should avoid travelling within the UK unless absolutely necessary.

Essential travel does not include visits to second homes, camp sites, caravan parks or similar, whether for isolation purposes or holidays. People should remain in their primary residence.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) now advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. This advice takes effect from March 17th and applies initially for a period of 30 days.

The Government and UK airlines are continuing to work closely together to ensure British passengers overseas are able to return home through commercial means in light of the impact on overseas travel.

FCO Travel Advisory Notice can be found here.

Guidance for British People Travelling Overseas can be found here.

FCO Urgent Queries Helpline: +44 207 008 1500

Public Services

Oxfordshire County Council and the Vale of White Horse District Council are both offering dedicated Coronavirus support and services. If you need to find out which council you belong to you can do so here.

Oxfordshire County Council support can be found here.

Vale of White Horse District Council support can be found here.

Healthcare

NHS 111 Online: https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/

Wantage Community Hospital: 01865 904030

Didcot Hospital: 01865 904423

Wallingford Community Hospital: 01865 901000

Housing

The Government has announced a series of measures to support homeowners, renters and landlords who may be impacted by Coronavirus:

  • Introducing emergency legislation to protect renters, so that no one gets evicted if they cannot pay their rent
  • Introducing a three month mortgage holiday for those in difficulty due to Coronavirus – so that people will not have to pay a penny towards their mortgage while they get back on their feet
  • Extending the three month mortgage holiday to landlords whose tenants are experiencing financial difficulty due to Coronavirus

A £500 million Hardship Fund will provide council tax relief to vulnerable people and households to help those affected most, and the Government has also reached an agreement with energy suppliers to ensure vulnerable customers who may fall into debt remain supplied with energy while in self isolation.

Government Hardship Fund can be accessed here

Energy Supplies Agreement information can be found here.

Volunteering

Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action website can be found here.

Oxfordshire Volunteers information can be found here.

Oxfordshire All In website can be found here.

The Royal Voluntary Service has set up NHS Volunteer Responders to support the NHS during the COVID-19 outbreak, with over 400,000 already signing up to help the 1.5m people in England who are at most risk from the virus.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is looking for organisations who can support in the supply of ventilators and ventilator components across the United Kingdom as part of the Government’s response to COVID-19.

NHS Volunteer Responders website can be found here.

Ventilator Support Guidance can be found here.

Coronavirus cases in the UK

You can find more information on the latest number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and the risk level in the UK, as well as Public Health England’s dashboard of reported cases.

Latest Case & Risk Information can be found here.

Public Health England Dashboard can be accessed here.