Hampshire County Council: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update 19

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National context




Government's daily press conference

Michael Gove chaired today’s press conference. The UK experienced its highest number of deaths yesterday, a total of 1,789 people have died, a rise of 381. 10,667 people have been admitted to hospital with coronavirus symptoms, with the highest number admitted in London.


In addition to expanding the number of staff in the NHS, the Government will also increase oxygen supplies, used to treat coronavirus patients. New ventilators are being procured from abroad, and the manufacturing of ventilators in the UK has improved.  The UK previously had a lack of domestic manufacturing capacity for mechanical ventilators but due to the positive response from industry, this has been significantly boosted.  The first deliveries of the new UK ventilators will be distributed to hospitals next week. Medical helicopter services are also being set up to move patients and equipment across the UK.




Free school meals voucher scheme

Parents and carers of children eligible for free school meals will receive a weekly £15 voucher through their child’s school to spend on food in a range of shops. The Department for Education has also published new guidance on free school meals to help schools and parents prepare.




Letter to the construction sector

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has written to the UK’s construction sector to thank the industry for supporting the joint national effort. Mr Sharma highlights that Site Operating Procedures have been published by the Construction Leadership Council and that they will be updated as necessary to align with the most up to date Public Health guidance.




Changes to Coronavirus guidance for the charity sector

The Charity Commission have updated the Coronavirus guidance for the charity sector adding a section on charitable objects, and which objects may allow them to help the effort to tackle coronavirus.




Temporary changes to right to rent and right to work checks

The Home Secretary has announced that right to rent and right to work checks have been adapted to make it easier for landlords and employers to carry them out during the coronavirus outbreak.




Recreational general aviation

The Government has published guidance on recreational general aviation which states people should not take part in recreational flying during the current coronavirus outbreak. This is in line with government guidance to stay at home unless absolutely necessary.





In a joint statement, the Tenant Farmers Association and the Country Land and Business Association, with DEFRA’s support, are appealing to all rural landlords and tenants to work together collaboratively and compassionately. The plea is made in respect of all tenancy matters, but particularly rent payments, notices to quit and finalising new tenancy agreements.


Industry leaders have issued an urgent plea for British people to work on farms as travel restrictions and tighter border controls are having a significant effect on the seasonal workforce.





In line with national guidance, individuals and families will not have to leave asylum accommodation once their claim or appeal has been decided for the next three months, to be reviewed in June. Reporting requirements and substantive interviews are also postponed.




EU funding

The EU has adopted the necessary legislation for the EU’s ‘Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative’. One of the acts amends the rules of structural and investment funds, while the other extends the scope of the EU Solidarity Fund. The EU’s legislation will come into force on 1 April. EU law, including state aid rules, continue to apply to the UK during the transition period.




NHS frontline workers visas extended

The Government has announced that doctors, nurses and paramedics with visas due to expire before 1 October 2020 will have them automatically extended for one year. The extension will also apply to their family members.




Protecting vulnerable people

The LGA has published a briefing on protecting vulnerable people during the COVID-19 outbreak specifically for councils. The document will be updated as and when necessary.  The LGA also aim to supplement the briefing with examples and case studies from councils.




Supporting disabled people

A joint statement has been published from Justin Tomlinson MP, Helen Whately MP and Vicky Ford MP outlining how the government plans to support disabled people, their carers, and their families during the coronavirus outbreak.




Local context




Supporting vulnerable residents

The County Council launched its new Coronavirus Hampshire Helpline – Hantshelp4vulnerable - for frail or vulnerable residents who do not have existing support networks and require urgent assistance. Depending on need, residents may be directed to one of eleven district based Local Response Centres, or to the County Council’s specialist support team. The helpline can be contacted on
0333 370 4000 and is available seven days a week, from 9am-5pm. More information is set out on the helping Hampshire residents most in need webpage.




Supporting Hampshire's economy

The County Council’s Economic Development team is working with partners to engage with and support Hampshire businesses as restrictions on travel and movement affect them. Details of the various forms of national support available for businesses in response to the Covid-19, including funding support schemes for businesses, can be accessed on the Business Hampshire webpage.




Solent LEP funding

The Solent LEP have announced that they will redirect £600,000 from their Local Growth SME fund to ensure micro and small businesses can access emergency funding. For full details on the “Pay it Forward campaign” see the Crowdfunder page and Solent LEP’s Press Release.




Additional links




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