This is a trade facing website. Visit the ACTís consumer site thecyclingexperts.co.uk for information and advice on cycling and find your local independent cycle retailer.

COVID-19 Updates

The ACT will be providing regular updates on the Coronavirus.

Watch this space for the latest information and advice tailored for retail businesses operating in the cycle sector.

The ACT have been working with partner members of the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC) to bring you the most up to date retail focussed advice, particular credit is due to the Association of Convenience Stores, our leading IRC political advocacy partner, for their input.

 


Devolved nations timelines  

Published 29th April 2021

England

  • 17th May - Indoor socialising will be allowed within the rule of six or two households, this also applies to hospitality. Groups seated outside must be smaller than 30 people.
  • Before 21st June - Government social distancing review will take place before stage four on 21st June can commence.
  • 21st June - Government hopes to remove all legal limits on social contact.

Wales

  • 3rd May - Two households can socialise indoors as an extended household.
  • 13th May - Three week review.
  • 17th May - Indoor hospitality to reopen (subject to election result).

Scotland

  • 17th May - Mainland Scotland moves to level two. Up to four people from two households can socialise indoors and six from three households outside in public places. Hospitality can reopen and sell alcohol indoors until 10.30pm.
  • 7th June - Mainland Scotland moves to level one.

 


Reminder: Business Rates Reliefs

Published 29th April 2021

Business rates reliefs in England will be changing from 1st July. From this date, relief will be set at 66% for all convenience store properties with a cap of £105,000 on relief that can be claimed per business. Retailers currently receive 100% rates relief until 30th June. Councils have also been provided with business grant funding to distribute which retailers may wish to enquire about and retailers can choose to opt out of receiving relief via local councils. In Scotland and Wales, no business rates bills will be paid by retailers until April 2022.

 


Matt Hancock Press Conference

Published 28th April 2021

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock delivered a press conference this afternoon to update on the situation in India and vaccinations.

The current data shows that;

  • Over 33,843,580 have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
  • 2,685 people testing positive for Covid-19 in the last 24 hours.
  • There has been 17 deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test in the past 24 hours.

The Health Secretary began by talking about the Covid situation in India, which is seeing soaring infections. The Government has sent more medical supplies to support India.

The Secretary announces that new data gives concrete evidence that vaccines do reduce transmissions in households and those who have had their first doses and contract Covid-19 are 50% less likely to pass on the disease in their household.

Matt Hancock also announced that the Government has secured an extra 60 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to help support a booster vaccination programme beginning in the autumn. Hancock celebrated the uptake of the vaccine and the progress the UK is making in its vaccine rollout.

 


Home Testing Rollout Extended

Published 28th April 2021

Everyone in England, Scotland and Wales is now eligible for twice-weekly free rapid Covid-19 lateral flow (LFD) tests. In England, rapid LFD testing is available for people without symptoms and is being delivered through a home ordering service and Pharmacy Collect whereby individuals can collect boxes of test from local pharmacies. Colleagues of stores with fewer than 10 employees are being encouraged to use this offer and can order tests and find further details here. If testing at home, colleagues must register results online here or by calling 119.

For businesses with over 10 employees, home testing kits can be ordered via the workplace testing programme here. In Wales, home rapid testing is available for those who cannot work from home and can be ordered here. LFD tests are also available to collect from certain test sites across Wales, further details are available here. In Scotland, free LFD home test kits are available to collect from local walk-in or drive-through test sites from 3.30pm each day, or by ordering online or by phone. More information is available here.

 


Wales moved to alert level 3

Published 28th April 2021

The Welsh Government has moved to alert level 3 of Covid restrictions meaning that businesses in Wales can now sell alcohol beyond 10pm.

Under the latest version of the Health Protection Regulations (Wales) there is a new definition for alert level 3 that no longer includes a reference to previous restrictions on alcohol sales beyond 10pm.

The Welsh Governments' current restrictions FAQ's state that: There are no longer any additional restrictions in place on alcohol sales, normal licencing laws now apply. However, licensed premises may only sell alcohol for consumption outdoors or off the premises. Available here.

This means that all Convenience and fuel retailers can now revert back to selling alcohol according to their alcohol licence.

The next 3-week review for Wales will take place on 13th May.

 


Non-essential retail in Northern Ireland to reopen on April 30 

Published 28th April 2021

Northern Ireland has set out the next steps for its exit from lockdown with non-essential retail reopening from Friday, April 30, and beauty services and hairdressers from tomorrow (April 23).

Outdoor hospitality for up to six people from two households also opens from 30 April.

Northern Ireland has been under a strict Covid-19 lockdown since 26 December and schools have just opened this week.

First Minister Arlene Foster for Northern Ireland said: "We are now entering brighter and better times."

Northern Ireland is the last country of the United Kingdom to all the reopening of non-essential retail. In England and Wales, such stores reopened on April 12, while in Scotland, non-essential retail resumes trade on Monday, April 26.

 


Recovery Loan Scheme: current accredited lenders 

Published 21st April 2021

Nineteen approved lenders are now open for applications to the Government-backed Recovery Loan Scheme. 

Visit the British Business Bank website here to view the full list of approved lenders.

More about the Recovery Loan Scheme

The new government-backed loan scheme was launched earlier this month (6 April) to provide additional finance to those businesses that need it. 

With non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality reopening next week, Ministers have ensured that appropriate support is still available to businesses to protect jobs. From today, businesses - ranging from coffee shops and restaurants, to hairdressers and gyms - and can access loans varying in size from £25,000, up to a maximum of £10 million. Invoice and asset finance is available from £1,000.

Eligibility

You will be able to apply for a loan if your business:

  • is trading in the UK

You will need to show that your business:

  • is viable or would be viable were it not for the pandemic
  • has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic
  • is not in collective insolvency proceedings - further details will be provided in due course

Business that have received support under the existing COVID-19 guaranteed loan schemes will still be eligible to access finance under this scheme, if they meet all other eligibility criteria.

Full information can be found here.

 


NHS Test and Trace in the workplace update

Published 21st April 2021

The Government have updated the NHS test and trace guidance now that retail has reopened.

The rules on what you need to do when a group enters your venue have changed. You must ask every customer or visitor to scan the NHS QR code using their NHS COVID-19 app, or provide their name and contact details, not just a lead member of the group.

This is to ensure that everyone receives the necessary public health advice in a timely manner.

Read the Government's guidance on NHS test and trace here

 


Prime Minister press conference 

Published 20th April 2021

Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a press conference this afternoon alongside medical director of primary care for NHS England, Dr Nikita Kanani.

The latest information is below:

  • There have been 2,524 new cases of Covid-19 reported over the last 24 hours
  • In the last 24 hours, 33 people have died within 28 days of a positive Covid test
  • The total number of UK doses of the coronavirus jab has now reached over 33.4 million and 10,425,790 people have had both doses of a vaccine

The Prime Minister said that he sees nothing in the data now which would mean that we have to deviate in any way from the roadmap, but we must continue to follow the guidelines as scientists are "firmly of the view there will be another wave of COVID at some stage this year".

He also announced the introduction of a new Antivirals Taskforce which will identify and deploy new effective treatments for Covid and the aim is to introduce treatments that can be taken as a tablet or capsule available as early as this Autumn. People would be able to take them at home following a positive test or exposure to the virus to reduce the chance of spreading the virus and speed up recovery time.

Dr Nikita Kanani said that the vaccination programme has met its first two targets and is going from strength to strength. She also urged the public to continue coming forward for their jabs when they are eligible and thanked those who have already had their vaccines.

 


Nicola Sturgeon press conference

Published 20th April 2021

This afternoon the Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, provided an update on the easement of Covid-19 restrictions.

On level of restrictions, Sturgeon confirmed mainland Scotland will move down to level 3 from Monday 26th April and Scotland will then move to level 2 on 17th May, subject to case rates etc. She added that the intention is to move mainland Scotland to level 1 on 7th June.

From Monday 26th the following easements will be made;

  • All non-essential shops and close contact services can open
  • Hospitality venues can open until 20:00 indoors, but without alcohol
  • Alcohol can be served outdoors under local licensing restrictions
  • Up to six people from two households can socialise indoors in a public place
  • Unrestricted travel within Scotland, England and Wales (subject to local restrictions)
  • Those who have been shielding can also return to work if they cannot work from home on Monday 26th April.

For all hospitality, businesses must maintain the 1 metre distance between two people from separate households and venues must display their capacity limits. Customer details have to be taken for all customers, not just one lead customer also.

On testing, the First Minister confirmed that lateral flow testing that can be conducted at home will be available to everyone in Scotland from Monday. Tests can be ordered online for home delivery or collected from Covid testing centres. Further information is available here.

 


Matt Hancock press conference

Published 19th April 2021

This afternoon, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock gave a statement in the House of Commons to update on Covid-19.

The current data shows that;

  • Over 32,932,448 people have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
  • In the last 24 hours, 4 people died within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test.
  • 2,963 people tested positive in the past 24 hours.

The Health Secretary highlighted that given the current data, NHS efforts can now put into the vaccination programme as the hospitalisation Covid-19 patients has reduced significantly. Hancock also celebrated the uptake of the vaccinations, particularly within BAME communities and continued to encourage people to get their vaccinations when offered.

The Government are now also working on plans to offer booster shots of the vaccinations later this year. They are currently working with suppliers to work out which vaccines are suitable as a booster and can be used to mitigate the spread of new variants. The booster is important as it will help protect against new variants, but Hancock stressed we must remain vigilant still.

The Government have been piloting the pharmacy collect model for rapid testing and today it was confirmed that it will now be rolled out to over 9 in 10 pharmacies. This means everyone in England can collect free Covid-19 tests from their local pharmacy.

The Health Secretary spoke about the prevalence of new variants. He noted that around 2/3rds of these cases are related to international travel and have been detected during mandatory isolation testing. However, a small amount of community transmission has been detected and in turn surge testing has been deployed to control and mitigate the variants. Hancock urged everyone to get tested regularly through the Governments' extended testing offer and to attend surge testing if deployed in your local area.

Finally, Hancock spoke about a new variant has been detected from India and it has now been classified as a variant of concern. This means that unless you are a UK resident, you will not be able to travel to/from India until announced otherwise and those UK residents who must travel for essential purposes will have to complete mandatory isolation upon return to ensure the variant is not transmitted.

 


Free lateral flow Covid tests in Wales for those unable to work at home 

Published 14th April 2021

Anyone who cannot work from home in Wales will be able to get free rapid Covid home testing kits, the Welsh government said.

The lateral flow tests will be available to be picked up from local Covid-19 test sites from Friday.

Officials said they were also looking at making other locations available to collect self-test kits, as well as posting them out to individual homes.

Testing in schools will also be extended for all pupils from Year 7.

The Welsh government said the latest measures were an step forward in the fight against the virus, especially for those unable to carry out their jobs at home.

"It is hoped that improving the availability of lateral flow tests will make regular asymptomatic testing for coronavirus more convenient and accessible for people not covered under existing schemes at workplaces, childcare settings, schools, colleges and universities," an official said.

It follows an announcement by the UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock earlier this month that two lateral flow kits a week would be offered to everyone in England.

 


London surge testing extended over variant cases 

Published 14th April 2021 

Surge testing will take place in two more London boroughs after cases of the Covid-19 South African variant were found in both areas.

Residents in "targeted areas" within the SE16 postcode in Southwark and N3 postcode in Barnet are being urged to get tested.

It comes after 44 confirmed and 30 probable cases were identified in Wandsworth and Lambeth.

All identified cases are isolating or have completed their isolation.

Testing has begun in the Rotherhithe ward of Southwark and Covid-19 tests are being delivered to properties in the immediate area.

Residents can also collect and drop off a Home Testing kit from Canada Water Library Theatre between 09:00 and 17:00 BST every day.

A temporary testing site is being opened at Deal Porter Square, next to the library.

Testing will begin in Barnet on Thursday after one confirmed case was identified in N3.

 


'Mix and match' UK Covid vaccine trial expanded

Published 14th April 2021 

A mix and match Covid vaccine trial is being expanded as we await the results of the first stage of the study. The UK trial is looking at whether two-jab vaccines can be mixed with different types. More than 800 people have so far taken part in the Com-Cov study, with the results expected next month. Experts are trying to find out whether combining vaccines might give broader, longer-lasting immunity against the virus and new variants of it, and also offer more flexibility for vaccine rollout. Health experts generally agree that mixing and matching vaccines such as Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs should be safe and the trial will check for any side-effects or unwanted reactions. If you're an adult over 50 who has had a first dose of Pfizer or AstraZeneca you can apply to take part.

 


ACT COVID-19 Reopening Resources and Guidance 2021 

Published 7th April 2021

The ACT have created a guidance document for shops that are now reopening after previously closing.

The guide provides:

  • Advice on getting back up and running safely after business closure
  • Advice on sourcing materials for shielding/social distancing
  • A COVID-19 re-opening an empty building checklist
  • How to let the UK know that you are open
  • Advice on workplace COVID-19 testing
  • How to use social media to invite customers back
  • Addition resources

Download the ACT COVID-19 Reopening Resources and Guidance Document 2021



Recovery Loan Scheme launches

Published 7th April 2021  

A new government-backed loan scheme launched yesterday (6 April) to provide additional finance to those businesses that need it. 

  • new loan scheme will provide further support to protect businesses and jobs
  • loans will include 80% government guarantee and interest rate cap
  • government has backed £75 billion of loans to date as part of unprecedented £350 billion wider support package

With non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality reopening next week, Ministers have ensured that appropriate support is still available to businesses to protect jobs. From today, businesses - ranging from coffee shops and restaurants, to hairdressers and gyms - and can access loans varying in size from £25,000, up to a maximum of £10 million. Invoice and asset finance is available from £1,000.

Eligibility

You will be able to apply for a loan if your business:

  • is trading in the UK

You will need to show that your business:

  • is viable or would be viable were it not for the pandemic
  • has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic
  • is not in collective insolvency proceedings - further details will be provided in due course

Business that have received support under the existing COVID-19 guaranteed loan schemes will still be eligible to access finance under this scheme, if they meet all other eligibility criteria.

Full information can be found here.

 


Non-essential retail to reopen in Wales on April 12 

Published 7th April 2021  

Non-essential retail in Wales will be able to reopen from Monday, April 12, 2021, it has been confirmed.

First Minister Mark Drakeford announced the move at a press conference on Thursday, April 1, as he confirmed the road map to easing lockdown restrictions.

As in England, non-essential retail and close contact services such as hairdressers in Wales will reopen on April 12, although outdoor hospitality will not return until April 26.

In Scotland non-essential retailers will be closed until April 26, and Northern Ireland are yet to set an offical reopening date.

More information here.

 


Prime Minister press conference

Published 6th April 2021  

Yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave a press conference alongside chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance. The latest information is below:

  • Over 31.6 million people have now had their first vaccine dose
  •  Yesterday it was reported that 15 people who tested positive for coronavirus died in hospital in England

The Prime Minister confirmed that on 12th April, England will be moving to Stage 2 of the roadmap, which means the re-opening of shops, gyms, zoos, holiday campsites, personal care services including hairdressers, beer gardens and outdoor hospitality of all kinds. He also announced that rapid, twice-weekly COVID tests will now be offered to everyone in England from Friday 9th April.

Tests will be available through:

  • A home ordering and delivery service - which allows people to order lateral flow tests online
  • Workplace testing programmes - on-site or at home
  • Community testing - offered by local authorities
  • Collection at a local PCR test sites during specific test collection time windows
  • Testing on-site at schools and colleges
  • "Pharmacy Collect" service - people over 18 without symptoms will be able to visit a participating local pharmacy and collect a box of seven rapid tests to use twice a week at home

Professor Chris Whitty highlighted the continuing success of the vaccine programme noting that the data shows there is a "significant reduction" in people being admitted to hospital after the first dose.

 

COVID-19 Updates - March 2021

COVID-19 Updates - February 2021

COVID-19 Updates - January 2021

COVID-19 Updates - December

COVID-19 Updates - November

COVID-19 Updates - October

COVID-19 Updates - September

COVID-19 Updates - August

COVID-19 Updates - July

COVID-19 Updates - June

COVID-19 Updates - May

COVID-19 Updates - April Part 2

COVID-19 Updates - April Part 1

COVID-19 Updates - March