FAQs

Business Doncaster

FAQs

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can’t do

Frequently asked questions on what you can and can’t do during the coronavirus outbreak have been updated. This guidance applies in England.  

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Doncaster to enter Tier 3 restrictions from 00:01 on Saturday 24th October - what does this mean for you?

  • All pubs and bars must close unless serving substantial meals
  • Also closing: betting shops, adult gaming centres, casinos and soft play centres
  • £30m support for business
  • £11m for local authorities to support public health measures
  • No household mixing indoors or private gardens
  • Rule of six on mixing outdoors in public spaces
  • Gyms will remain open but classes will not be allowed and social distancing guidelines should be followed between people from different households.

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What should I do if one of my employees has one or more of the coronavirus symptoms?

If someone has one or more of these specific symptoms they should not be in work. If they are already in work when symptoms develop, you should send them home. At this point, it is advised that they get a coronavirus test.

Other than to get the test done, if not using a home test kit, the symptomatic person should not leave the home until the results of the test are known.

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How do they get a test?

Your employee will need to go to www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/ and pre book an appointment at a test centre. They can also order a home kit if they cannot get to a test site.

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How will this affect other employees?

Once the employee has ordered the test, they’ll be asked by NHS Test and Trace to provide details of anyone who they have been in close recent contact with.

A close ‘contact’ is a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 anytime from 2 days before the person was symptomatic up to 10 days from onset of symptoms (this is when they’re infectious to others). 

The contact tracers will not consider the wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE) as a mitigation when assessing whether a recent contact is likely to have risked transmitting the virus. Only full medical-grade PPE worn in health and care settings will be considered.

If other employees: 

  • have face-to-face contact with someone less than 1 metre away (this will include times where you have worn a face covering or a face mask)
  • spending more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of someone
  • travelling in a car or other small vehicle with someone (even on a short journey) or close to them on a plane

then they will need to self isolate – this will be advised by the NHS Test and Trace system or Public Health professional.

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Who alerts the close contacts?

When someone first develops symptoms and orders a test, they will be encouraged to alert the people that they have had close contact with in the 48 hours before symptom onset. If any of those close contacts are co-workers, the person who has developed symptoms should consider asking their employer to alert those co-workers.

Close contacts at this stage do not need to self-isolate unless requested to do so by NHS Test and Trace or a public health professional, but they should:

  • avoid contact with people at high increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus, such as people with pre-existing medical conditions
  • take extra care in practising social distancing and good hygiene
  • watch out for symptoms and self-isolate if they also show signs of coronavirus

Employers may need to keep staff informed about COVID-19 cases among their colleagues. However, employers should not name the individual. If a co-worker is at risk because of close contact with the positive case, then they will be notified to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. Employers should make sure their workplaces are safe by regular cleaning and by encouraging good hygiene practice.

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What happens if Track and Trace don’t contact them but I think my employee has had close contact with a positive case at work?

If you think the employee meets the definition of ‘close contact’, you can ask staff to self isolate. You can seek advice from Public Health in doing so.

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What happens if the test is negative?

If the test is negative then they, their household and support bubble no longer need to self-isolate.

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What happens if the test is positive?

If the test is positive, it means coronavirus is confirmed.

They must now stay at home for at least 10 days from when the symptoms started.

Anyone who lives in the same household, and anyone in the household’s support bubble, must self-isolate for 14 days from when you started self-isolating.

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What should I do if I have one or more of the coronavirus symptoms?

If you have one or more of these specific symptoms you should not be at work. If they are already in work when symptoms develop, you should go home. At this point, it is advised that you get a coronavirus test.

Other than to get the test done, if not using a home test kit, you should not leave the home until the results of the test are known.

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Do the rest of the household need to self-isolate as well?

Yes. The person with symptoms and everyone who lives in that household must self-isolate at home until the results of the test are known.

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What about our support bubble?

A support bubble is a close support network between a household with only one adult in the home (known as a single-adult household) and your household. Anyone in your support bubble must also self-isolate until the results of the test is known.

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What should I do if I’ve been in contact with someone at work who has symptoms?

When someone first develops symptoms and orders a test, they will be encouraged to alert the people that they have had close contact with in the 48 hours before symptom onset. If any of those close contacts are co-workers, the person who has developed symptoms should consider asking their employer to alert those co-workers.

A close ‘contact’ is a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 anytime from 2 days before the person was symptomatic up to 10 days from onset of symptoms (this is when they’re infectious to others). 

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What happens if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus at my place of work?

Your employer may inform you that there has been a confirmed case of coronavirus at your place of work. NHS Test and Trace will contact you if you have been in ‘close contact’ with the person who has tested positive.

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How will I know if I need to self-isolate?

NHS Test and Trace will contact you if you are considered to have been in ‘close contact’ with person who has tested positive for coronavirus and give you the details and dates that you should be self-isolating for.

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What happens if Track and Trace don’t contact me but my employer thinks I have had close contact with a positive case at work?

If your employer thinks that you meet the definition of ‘close contact’, they can ask you to self isolate.

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Do the rest of the family need to self-isolate at this point, too?

No. Anyone else living in the same house, as well as your support bubble, do not need to self-isolate unless anyone in the household or support bubble starts showing one or more symptoms of coronavirus. If this is the case, that person should get a coronavirus test and everyone in the household and support bubble should self-isolate at home immediately until the results of the test is known.

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What are the new restrictions on businesses and venues in England?

From 24 September, businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants), social clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement arcades (and other indoor leisure centres or facilities), funfairs, theme parks, and adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls, must be closed between 10pm and 5am. This will include takeaways, but delivery and drive-thru services can continue after 10pm.

In both indoor and outdoor licensed premises, food and drink must be ordered from, and served at, a table. Licensed and unlicensed businesses must also take all reasonable steps to ensure that the customer remains seated whilst consuming the food or drink on the premises. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can continue beyond 10pm, but only if the performance started before 10pm, and food and drink cannot be served after 10pm.

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Can work gatherings exceed 6 people?

Work gatherings are exempt from the gatherings limit of 6. Where a group includes someone who is working, they are not counted as part of the gatherings limit. This means a tradesperson can go into a household of six without breaching the limit, if they are there for work.

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What is CBILS?

CORONAVIRUS BUSINESS INTERRUPTION LOAN SCHEME (CBILS) is a Government Backed Loan to support SME businesses that will be available through banks and other finance providers from now. Details are available via the British Business Bank

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How will the Wage subsidy be paid?

The government will pay the wages of employees unable to work due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

It will pay 80% of salary for staff who are kept on by their employer, covering wages of up to £2,500 a month.

It is understood that the wage subsidy will apply to firms where bosses have already had to lay off workers due to the Coronavirus, as long as they are brought back into the workforce and instead granted a leave of absence.

The wages cover, which relates to gross paywill last until the end of October.

You can only claim for furloughed employees that were on your PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020 and which were notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020.

Employees that were employed as of 28 February 2020 and on payroll (i.e. notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 28 February) and were made redundant or stopped working for the employer after that and prior to 19 March 2020, can also qualify for the scheme if the employer re-employs them and puts them on furlough.

From 1 July, employers can bring back to work employees that have previously been furloughed for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for their normal hours not worked. When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours; employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week.

HMRC have produced this step by step guidance on how to make a claim. There is also a calculator to help you work out your claim. The system can process up to 450,000 applications per hour and employers should receive the money within 6 working days of making an application. 

You can access the service here 

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What happens while I am on furlough?

Once you are on furlough you will not be able to work for your employer. You can undertake training or volunteer subject to public health guidance, as long as you’re not:

  • making money for your employer or a company linked or associated to your employer
  • providing services to your employer or a company linked or associated to your employer

If workers are required to, for example, complete training courses whilst they are furloughed, then they must be paid at least their appropriate minimum wage (NLW, NMW or AMW) for the time spent training, even if this is more than the 80% of their wage that will be subsidised.

Whilst furloughed your employer cannot ask you to do work for another linked or associated company.

If your contract allows, you may undertake other employment while your current employer has placed you on furlough, and this will not affect the grant that they can claim under the scheme. You will need to be able to return to work for the employer that has placed you on furlough if they decide to stop furloughing you, and you must be able to undertake any training they require while on furlough. If you take on new employment, you should make sure you complete the starter checklist form with your new employer correctly. If you are furloughed from another employment, you should complete Statement C. Any activities undertaken while on furlough must be in line with the latest Public Health guidance during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Your employer can still make you redundant while you’re on furlough or afterwards.

Your rights as an employee are not affected by being on furlough, including redundancy rights

If your employer chooses to place you on furlough, you will need to remain on furlough for a minimum of 3 consecutive weeks. However, your employer can place you on furlough more than once, and one period can follow straight after an existing furlough period, while the scheme is open. The scheme is open until the end of October 2020.

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We are a large company; what financial support is there for us?

Under the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies.

This will support your company if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities.

Find out more about eligibility and accessing the scheme here 

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Am I eligible for a 100% Business Rates discount?

Most businesses in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector are eligible for the 100% business rates discount. Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • for assembly and leisure
  • as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

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Do businesses need to register/have additional building control measures for a change of use to takeaway/delivery during the Coronavirus outbreak?

The planning laws have been relaxed for the duration of the this pandemic & any premises that wishes to change to a takeaway then there will be no enforcement.

You can find out more on the Government website here

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What do businesses need to do to move from retail to delivery during the CoVid-19 period? In particular around vehicle specs and insurance for drivers as well as hygiene issues?

Food Hygiene will be taken from the Food Safety and Standards team's last visit to businesses and the hygiene number will remain BUT businesses cannot change premises (e.g. moving the cooking to home), it must be the same premises the inspection was taken.

Check with your insurance company for advice around delivery for Car (delivery) & liability insurance.

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We’re in the sport and physical activity sector – is there any help for us?

There is various support/funding opportunities available both locally and nationally for groups/organisations involved within the sport & physical activity sector.

They can be found here

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Should my business close?

For further guidance on which businesses are to close as part of further social distancing measures please visit the government's website here

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Additional guidance on social distancing in the workplace

To support businesses that remain open during this period in England, the government has published additional guidance to assist employers, businesses and their staff in staying open safely during coronavirus (COVID-19). For specific settings please refer to sector specific guidance. Guidance has been published for:

These guidelines are not intended to be comprehensive or to represent every business situation, but are illustrative examples. Businesses should also look at the advice being published by trade associations and similar groups on how to apply government guidance in their sector. Read the general guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus

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Where can I find out more?

Keep up to date with the latest news and advice by visiting our web page and sign up to receive our e-newsletter here.