Coronavirus (COVID-19): how to stay safe and help prevent the spread

Update 30 Nov 2021: In England, temporary measures have been put in place to respond to the Omicron variant to slow its arrival and spread. Check the guidance on GOV.UK for what this means for you.

Update 29 Nov 2021: Targeted testing has been introduced in Brentwood following a confirmed Omicron Covid-19 case. For more information, go to our news story.

For information on getting tested, vaccines, coronavirus news and data, and support for businesses and residents, go to the Coronavirus hub.

Brexit information for businesses and employers

Visit GOV.UK for the new Brexit rules for businesses and organisations.

If you're a business moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, you can register with the Trader Support Service.

Employees and recruitment

Job applicants from the EU, EEA or Switzerland are no longer able to use their passport or national identity card to prove their right to work. You’ll need to check their right to work in the UK.

Irish citizens can continue to use their passports to prove their right to work in the UK.

You do not need to recheck any employees who began working for you in the UK before 30 June 2021. Visit GOV.UK for more information on right to work checks.

The Withdrawal Agreement provides for on-going recognition of qualification decisions made before the end of the Transition Period. There are changes from 1 January 2021.

Goods crossing borders

There are significant changes to the processes for goods crossing borders between the UK and the EU. These are detailed in the Border Operating Model.

There will be further changes to border controls on:

  • 1 October 2021
  • 1 January 2022
  • 1 March 2022

To assist hauliers, government has published an online Haulier Handbook. This details the changes that hauliers need to be aware of as well as giving locations for drop in advice sites.

Hauliers must follow ferry and port operator’s booking and shipping processes. Those for the Stena services from Harwich to Netherlands can be found online.

An Inland Border Facility opened at North Weald in Essex on 1 January 2021. This is for specific CTC, ATA and TIR customs process. An online service will let you pre-notify HMRC if you are attending the site.

Further advice

The UK Government operates two online forums where you can access key information and ask questions:

ECC Trading Standards’ Business advice service can provide tailored business advice and provides links to free advice.

There are also a number of government helplines that may be useful:

  • HMRC Customs & International Trade helpline - 0300 322 9434
  • HMRC Imports and Exports general enquiries - 0300 200 3700
  • DVSA Vehicle Operator Licensing enquiries - 0300 123 9000
  • DVSA International Road Haulage Permits - 0330 678 1117
  • The Office for Product Safety and Standards - 0121 345 1201
  • Rural Payments Agency (RPA) Trader team - 0330 041 6500
  • Animal, Plant and Health Agency (APHA) - 0300 1000 313
  • Defra Rural Services - 0300 020 0301
  • Fish Exports helpline - 0330 159 1989
  • The Intellectual Property Office - 0300 300 2000
  • BEIS business support lines, England - 0800 998 1098
  • Home Office, UK Visas & Immigration helpline - 0300 790 6268
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