COVID-19 Business Update: 17th March 2021

Please see below this week’s business update from the London Business Hub. The Covid-19 public dashboard is attached HERE.

  Pandemic overview

  • In the most recent week of complete data, 4 March to 10 March, 3,583 cases were identified in London, a rate of 40 cases per 100,000 population. This compares with 4,055 cases and a rate of 45 for the previous week.
  • In the same set of data, 33,016 cases were identified in England as a whole, a rate of 59 cases per 100,000 population. This compares with 37,245 cases and a rate of 66 for the previous week.
  • Up to and including 07 March 2021 2,295,644 people in London had received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 108,977 had received two doses.
  • You can see the full latest epidemiological data here and the latest SCG dashboard is linked above.

With ongoing reductions in the infection rates across London, over 2.5M vaccines being administered and the implementation of the national roadmap there is cause for optimism, but the route through the next few months as restrictions are eased is critical to ensuring London’s recovery is sustained.   We must be alert to the threat from new variants by ensuring the testing programme is understood and normalised across London. 

There is currently surge testing underway in targeted postcodes in Barnet, Brent, Croydon, Lambeth, Redbridge, Southwark and Wandsworth with Ealing having an even greater focus on variants of concern through widespread testing. As restrictions are eased in accordance with the national roadmap, it is vital that we don’t threaten London’s recovery.

Early indicators are that schools testing have not caused pressures on testing or mobility infrastructure in the city, and that infection levels remain under control. The England-wide stay at home order remains in place until 29 March, and thereafter continued homeworking will allow for the continued control of the spread of infection, and to allow those who have to travel during peak times to their place of work to be able to do so while distancing from others. 

GLA Updates

  • HIGH STREET RECOVERY: The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has announced a £544m investment in London’s jobs and high streets to help the capital recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Alongside the spending plans, he will also announce an Anchor Institutions’ Charter, which will bring together some of the city’s largest organisations in a bid to create new jobs for young Londoners.
  • WORKPLACE TESTING REMINDER: The requirement for firms to have 50 employees in order to set up an ATS for workplace testing has now been removed. This means firms of all sizes are able to register on the portal. However, 31 March deadline remains, and we would greatly appreciate your continued support in getting this message out.

 Other news and updates

  • TESTING FOR BUSINESSES WEBINAR: London Business Hub is hosting a free webinar this Friday, 19 March, to talk through the business COVID testing options for those without symptoms. In preparation for returning to the workplace on a more regular basis, this webinar will inform you about the suite of testing routes available to businesses. You will hear from Ben Stimson, Chief Customer Officer at NHS Test & Trace, on the options available to your business, how to access testing, and have the opportunity to ask questions. The webinar will be chaired by the Deputy Mayor of London for Business. Sign up for the event here.
  • BUSINESS CONFIDENCE: According to IHS Markit’s global business outlook survey, business confidence now stands at 32%, up from 26% in October 2020 and the highest level in three years. The increase has been driven by the success of the vaccine rollout, which has left firms more confident that restrictions will soon be lifted.
  • HOSPITALITY: Two of the biggest names in hospitality have threatened to take the government to court over its plans to release England from lockdown, asking the government to seek specific advice from scientists “whether it is justifiable to prevent the hospitality industry opening whilst, at the same time, allowing non-essential shops to open”.
  • OFFICES: Citigroup has started offering COVID-19 tests to London-based employees as part of the investment bank’s plan to bring staff back to the office in the UK as lockdown restrictions are gradually eased. The move comes as other banks start to move back to office working.
  • OFFICES: Half of workers say their colleagues should be required to have a coronavirus vaccine before they return to the office, according to a new study. A survey of 2,000 people by jobs site Glassdoor also found two-thirds believe social distancing and mask-wearing should remain compulsory until everyone at work is vaccinated against COVID-19.

Key links and resources

GLA: – GLA coronavirus news feed

London Councils: – Latest London Councils information and messaging. 

Transport for London: – Safer travel guidance and advice.

NHS: – Latest NHS information and advice about COVID-19 including Social distancing, Testing and tracing, Self-isolation and Vaccination.

PHE: – Up to date coronavirus campaigns and resources

 Key data sources

UK Government: Official UK Government website for data and insight on Coronavirus (COVID-19). This includes a UK summary, an interactive map of the latest picture across the UK and the ability to view data for a specific area within the UK.

GLA:–COVID-19–cases – A summary of key data for London based on Public Health England daily updated data on confirmed cases of COVID-19-19 and related data published by NHS and Office of National Statistics.

ONS: – Latest data and analysis on COVID-19 in the UK and its effect on the economy and society.