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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Business briefing – 30 September 2020

Government keeps emergency measures but Prime Minister wants to avoid ‘second lockdown’

MPs have voted to allow the government to keep its existing coronavirus emergency measures as the Prime Minister urges ‘forbearance’ with the restrictions as he tries to avoid a second national lockdown.

Speaking at his first Prime Minister’s COVID-19 Press Conference since September 9 – when he outlined the “rule of six” – Boris Johnson said he will “not hesitate” to impose further restrictions if needed but he wants to avoid another national lockdown, stating that his priorities are to “keep the economy moving” and keep children in education.

The Prime Minister said there had been a tragic increase in daily deaths, which is proof the country should stick to the government’s plan, and he urged the public to follow the rules, showing a collective response in order to avoid ‘more costly measures.”

The Prime Minister’s statement can be viewed in full here.

Additional updates and guidance

Green Homes Grant opens for business

Starting today, homeowners can sign up for savings on upgrades to their homes under the government’s £2 billion Green Homes Grant, with an additional £1 billion announced to improve the energy efficiency of publicly owned buildings.

The Green Homes Grant scheme will see the government fund up to two-thirds of the cost of home improvements, up to £5,000. Those homeowners with low incomes, including those on certain benefits, are eligible for a grant covering up to 100% of the cost of works, up to £10,000. The scheme will improve the energy efficiency of more than 600,000 homes.

Grants will be offered to cover green home improvements ranging from insulation of walls, floors and roofs, to the installation of double or triple glazing when replacing single glazing, and low-carbon heating like heat pumps or solar thermal.

The launch of the Green Homes Grant forms part of a wider plan to upgrade the nation’s buildings expected to support an additional 120,000 jobs. Apply for a Green Homes Grant or if you are a tradesperson, register to become an installer.