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Coronavirus Update

The following information is current as at 9:00 am on Friday 20 March.

The Government, local authorities and governmental agencies are continuing to provide daily updates and publications on their measures to deal with the disruptions caused by COVID-19. Included in the recent updates and publications is information on Self-Isolation, School Closures, Transportation, HMRC Time To Pay Arrangements and Companies House Filing Requirements.

Self-Isolation

The government has published guidance for households with possible COVID-19 infection detailing how, when and for how long to self-isolate.

The basics are if you have a recent onset of either a new continuous cough and / or a high temperature:

• If you live on your own self isolate for 7 days from when your symptoms started
• If you live with others you must stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started but all others in your household must stay at home for 14 days
• If anyone else in your household starts displaying symptoms they should stay at home for 7 days regardless of when their 14 day isolation period started

Full guidance can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection .

School Closures

Schools and other educational institutions will be closed from Monday to all students excepting those that are children classed as vulnerable or who have parents that are classed as Key Workers.

A list of workers classed as Key Workers has been released by the Government. This includes individuals working in Health and Social Care, Education and Childcare, Key Public Services, Local and National Government, Food and Other Necessary Goods, Public Safety and National Insurance, Transport and Utilities, Communication and Financial Services. Only one parent needs to be classed as a Key Worker to be able to continue to obtain educational services / care for their child.

Full guidance can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision .

Transportation

Transport for London is currently running a reduced service with 40 tube stations closed. Due to a fall in demand trains operators across Britain will gradually reduce services from Monday next week.

HMRC Time To Pay Arrangements

HMRC has previously announced a dedicated helpline for businesses to arrange time to pay arrangements for their tax liabilities. The number to call is 0800 0159 559. When calling this number you will be presented with a message stating few advisors are available due to COVID-19 measures and if it is not urgent to call back in a few days.

Anecdotally we have been hearing that called are being answers and time to pay arrangements are being put in place within 30 minutes to an hour. The wait time will vary throughout the day and from day to day but for those businesses where delaying payment due to COVID-19 is essential we advise you persist with the wait times.

Companies House Filing Requirements

Companies House have announced that businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can now apply to Companies House to request an extension to file their accounts, reports and confirmation statements. The maximum extension is three months, but stringent conditions apply, the most important being that any appeal must be lodged before a company’s filing deadline.

We will be managing this for our clients as and when it becomes an issue.

We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed. If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. Like you we are doing our best to deal with the situation and we must all pull together during the next few weeks.

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