Hoped to do these updates once a day but not looking likely:
Estate agents, and letting agents to be exempted from business rates
Estate agents, lettings agencies and bingo halls that have closed as a result of Covid-19 measures to restrict the spread of the virus will be now be exempted from business rates in 2020-21.
This measure comes after the Chancellor announced in the Budget that, in response to Covid-19, the business rates retail discount would be increased to 100% next year and would be expanded to the hospitality and leisure sectors.
Today the government has announced that some of the exclusions for this relief have been removed, so that retail, leisure, and hospitality properties that have closed as a result of the Covid-19 restriction measures will now be eligible for the relief.
This will ensure that estate agents, lettings agencies and bingo halls that are required to close will not pay any business rates next year.
Vehicle owners will be granted a 6-month exemption from MOT testing, enabling them to continue to travel to work where this absolutely cannot be done from home, or shop for necessities.
All cars, vans and motorcycles which usually would require an MOT test will be exempted from needing a test from 30 March 2020. Vehicles must be kept in a roadworthy condition, and garages will remain open for essential repair work. Drivers can be prosecuted if driving unsafe vehicles.
Staying at home – guidance
You should only leave the house for one of four reasons:
- shopping for basic necessities, for example, food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
- one form of exercise a day, for example, a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
- any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
- travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home (other travel not considered essential).
These four reasons are exceptions – even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.
These measures must be followed by everyone. Separate advice is available for individuals or households who are isolating, and for the most vulnerable who need to be shielded. Where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes.
The Government has also identified a number of critical workers whose children can still go to school or their childcare provider. This critical worker definition does not affect whether or not you can travel to work – if you are not a critical worker, you may still travel to work provided you cannot work from home.
Critical workers and parents of vulnerable children may leave the house to take children to and from school or their childcare provider.