Thursday 15 July 2021
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018: Report on Regulations Made
My hon. Friend the Minister for South Asia and the Commonwealth (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon) has made the following written ministerial statement:
I am today laying before Parliament a report, “Report under section 32 of the Sanctions and Anti- Money Laundering Act 2018 on the exercise of power to make Regulations under section 1 of the Act”.
The report details the regulations made under section 1 of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 during the reporting period from 23 May 2020 to 22 May 2021, with a focus on those regulations which are aimed at dealing with gross violations of human rights.
We have also included information on additional actions the Government have taken related to human rights sanctions, including information on certain designations made in relation to serious human rights abuses or violations.
Government Hospitality Wine Cellar Biannual Report 2018 - 2020
I have today placed a copy of the Government hospitality wine cellar biannual report for the financial years 2018-19 and 2019-20 in the Libraries of both Houses.
Following the outcome of the review of the Government hospitality wine cellar in 2011, this biannual report continues our commitment to reporting to Parliament on the use of the wine cellar, covering consumption, stock purchases, costs, and value for money. The wine cellar has been self-funding since 2011-12, through the sale of some high-value stock and payments made by other Government Departments for events organised by Government hospitality.
The report notes that in 2018-19:
The highest consumption level by volume was again of English and Welsh wine, at 53% of the total (cf. 57% in 17-18);
Purchases amounted to £46,906 (ex-VAT), a decrease of nearly 18% by value cf. £56,976 in 17-18;
The highest volume of purchases was of English and Welsh wines at 49% of the total;
Consumption by volume increased by some 2.8% in FY 2018-19;
Sales of stock amounted to £44,200 (cf. £50,600 in FY 17-18);
Further funds from other Government Departments added £16,985 to the overall receipts (cf. £26,494 in 17-18).
The report notes that in 2019-20:
The highest consumption level by volume was again of English wines, at 56% of the total;
Consumption by volume fell overall by 17.5% in FY 2019-20;
The highest volume of purchases was of English or Welsh wines at 73% of the total;
No sales were achieved due to the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, but funds recovered from other Government Departments added £23,220 to the overall receipts;
Purchases amounted to £73,091, due to major purchases of English still and sparkling wines.
Government Transparency and Accountability
Since 2010, the Government have been at the forefront of opening up data to allow Parliament, the public and the media to hold public bodies to account.
Despite the need to reprioritise resources to respond to the covid-19 pandemic, central Government Departments continue to publish core transparency data. Such online transparency is crucial to delivering value for money, cutting waste and inefficiency, and ensuring every pound of taxpayers’ money is spent in the best possible way.
Following the recent declaration on Government reform, the Government will continue to look at how the range of information published by Government can be improved and made as useful as possible to the public, press and Parliament.
The following subject areas include documents and information that the Government is due to publish. This statement also includes updates on cross-Government work on outcome delivery plans, business appointment rules, information management guidance for public authorities and policy work on ministerial absences.
Outcome delivery plans
The Government are today publishing outcome delivery plans for the financial year 2021-22. Outcome delivery plans form the basis of the revised Government planning and performance framework, building and improving on the previous single departmental plan framework.
Outcome delivery plans set out how each UK Government Department is working towards the delivery of its priority outcomes, which were first and provisionally published at spending review 2020. Priority outcomes capture the Government’s most important long-term policy objectives, from maximising employment and improving skills to achieving net zero by 2050.
In areas where closer working between Departments would achieve better results, 16 outcomes were agreed on a cross-cutting basis between Departments, reflecting the Government’s commitment to breaking down silos and enabling stronger collaboration between Departments. Outcome delivery plans place a greater emphasis on joint working between Departments, enabling Departments to plan together to deliver shared outcomes. The Government have also identified provisional metrics for each outcome at spending review 2020, against which progress towards delivering these outcomes will be measured.
Since the spending review 2020, these priority outcomes and metrics have been further refined and revisions to those are reflected in outcome delivery plans. Priority outcomes and metrics will be reviewed again where appropriate at the next spending review later this year.
In addition to setting out the strategy for achieving priority outcomes, Departments also identify plans for delivering critical enabling activities, which are crucial to the successful delivery of outcomes. These enabling activities include: attracting and investing in skilled people; embracing innovation; and strengthening functional expertise to support the delivery of outcomes. To ensure we deliver on our sustainability commitments and make the civil service the UK’s most inclusive employer, the plans set out how Departments are driving sustainability, how their work contributes to the delivery of the United Nations sustainable development goals and the Government’s equality objectives.
The new plans also place greater emphasis on high-quality evaluation, which is critical to understanding what works. This builds on the detailed overviews of evidence bases and valuation plans that Departments provided to inform decisions at spending review 2020.
The Government use regular reporting to monitor progress against outcome delivery plans. Parliament and the public will be able to review how each Department is performing against its priority outcomes in its annual report and accounts, which Departments publish annually after the end of each financial year. More regular performance information for many of the metrics agreed for priority outcomes can be found in official statistics and other public datasets.
Hyperlinks to these datasets have been included in outcome delivery plans to make this data more accessible to the public.
Transparency in delivery of major projects
The Cabinet Office is publishing the “Annual Report on Major Projects 2020-21” (and accompanying quarterly Government Major Projects Portfolio data taken as a snapshot at 31 March 2021). The annual publication on the Government's major projects raises awareness of how Government is improving public services, providing value for money and benefits for citizens through its major projects. The report and accompanying spreadsheets detail the 183 projects on the Government’s major project portfolio.
Departments will be today publishing the routine quarterly ministerial data on external meetings, gifts, hospitality and overseas travel.
Transparency on special advisers and senior officials
Special advisers are a critical part of the team supporting Ministers. They add a political dimension to the advice and assistance available to Ministers while reinforcing the impartiality of the permanent civil service by distinguishing the source of political advice and support.
In line with legislation, each year the Cabinet Office publishes a list of special advisers and their costs. Today, the Cabinet Office will be publishing the list of special advisers in post along with the cost of special advisers from the previous financial year (April 2020 to March 2021).
The Cabinet Office will also be publishing quarterly data on gifts and hospitality received by special advisers, as well as information on special adviser meetings with senior media figures and business appointment rules advice.
Departments will also be publishing routine quarterly data on the travel, expenses and meetings of senior officials and on business appointment rules advice.
Transparency in the civil service
Alongside routine workforce management information and sickness data, Departments will shortly be publishing updated organograms.
Transparency on correspondence
The Cabinet Office is publishing correspondence data on the performance of departments and agencies in responding to correspondence from Members of Parliament and Members of the House of Lords during the calendar years 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Transparency in public bodies and public appointments
The Cabinet Office will today be publishing “Public Bodies 2020”. Public bodies play a vital role in the delivery of public services for all our citizens, covering wide-ranging functions. Well-governed, effective and efficient public bodies enable the Government to deliver its priorities. “Public Bodies 2020” is an annual directory that provides a single transparent source of top-level financial and non-financial data on all Executive agencies, non-departmental public bodies and non-ministerial departments across Government.
The Cabinet Office will also be publishing public appointments data. The public appointments data report provides a breakdown of the diversity of public appointees who were in roles covered by the governance code on public appointments on 31 March 2020 and those appointed to such roles between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020. The latter data is a subset of the information published in the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ annual report.
Management of public authority records and information
The Government are publishing a revised code of practice on records management. Under Section 46(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has a duty to publish, and a right to revise, a code of practice providing guidance to relevant authorities on the management of their records. The code is a technical document aimed at supporting information management professionals in public authorities to discharge their duties under the Act.
In 2018, the National Archives was commissioned to undertake a routine review of the code. The code has since been revised and updated on a principles-based, format-neutral basis, bringing the existing 2009 code up to date with contemporary information management practice and the modern digital working environment. The revised code places information management in the context of broad principles, providing a more accessible framework which outlines how authorities should best manage their information to support appropriate public access under the Act. The code also clarifies the basis on which the Advisory Council on National Records and Archives operates.
Ministerial absences—further work
Following the passing of the Ministerial and other Maternity Allowances Act in March of this year, the Government have continued work considering the practical and policy considerations surrounding other forms of ministerial absence. We are specifically considering whether provision can be extended in circumstances of paternity leave, adoption leave, shared parental leave and sickness leave. These are complex issues which require careful consideration, taking into account modern working practices and the wider constitutional context. The Government have continued to make progress in its consideration of these issues as they relate to Ministers but is mindful of related work in other areas looking at the wider workforce and provisions for MPs, led by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. The Government will present a report focused on ministerial leave provision to Parliament in the autumn, setting out considerations and proposals.
Improving the business appointment rules
As the Government have previously set out, the Cabinet Office is working with the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments to improve the operation and efficacy of the business appointment rules. The work will consider and implement improvements to the scope and clarity of the rules, including the enforcement of the rules with an update to the rules later this year. The Cabinet Office is also working closely with Departments to improve the consistency and proportionality of the implementation of the rules, including improving training on and communication of the rules.
Copies of associated documents are being placed in the Library of the House and will be published on gov.uk.
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Government Chemist Review 2020
The 24th annual review of the Government Chemist has been received. The review will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses plus those of the devolved Administrations in Wales and Northern Ireland. The review will also be laid before the Scottish Parliament.
The Government Chemist is the referee analyst named in Acts of Parliament. The Government Chemist’s team carry out analysis in high profile or legally disputed cases. A range of referee analysis work was carried out during 2020, which included the evaluation of genetically modified organisms in rice products, honey authenticity and the labelling of a novel food supplement. The Government Chemist continues to work closely with Government Departments, their governance group, devolved Administrations, non-governmental organisations and industry, to address strategic cross-Department issues such as cannabidiol (CBD) and SARS-CoV-2 viral detection.
European Union Finances: Annual Statement
I have today laid before Parliament the “European Union Finances 2020: statement on the 2020 EU Budget and measures to counter fraud and financial mismanagement” (CP472). This is an annual publication and is the 40th in the series. This edition of the statement is the last in this publication series that will cover the period of the UK’s membership of the EU (which lasted until 31 January 2020) and also covers the 11-month transition period that ended on 31 December 2020.
This year, annex E of the statement provides additional detail on the assurance arrangements that HM Treasury has introduced in relation to the financial settlement under the withdrawal agreement, and which were reflected in domestic law in the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020. HM Treasury has worked with the European Commission and its implementing partners to ensure their systems and controls over financial reporting are suitable for the specific requirements of the withdrawal agreement.
The first invoice under the financial settlement was received in April 2021 in relation to payments to be made in the period June to September 2021. The net UK liability under the first invoice was €3.74 billion and the first of four equal monthly instalments was paid at the end of June. A second invoice, covering payments due in the period from October 2021 to April 2022, is due in September.
The document also provides an updated HM Treasury estimate of the total value of the financial settlement. HM Treasury estimate that the current value of the financial settlement is £37.3 billion. This remains within the Government’s previously published reasonable central range, adjusted to take into account the UK’s 31 January 2020 exit date. In annex E, HM Treasury provides an updated summary of the financial settlement, other costs set out in the withdrawal agreement and short-term public expenditure costs.
The 2020 statement also includes a new annex F on UK participation in EU programmes under the trade and co-operation agreement. This sets out an update on the EU programmes the UK is set to associate with later this year.
UK Carrier Strike Group: Phase 1 Update
On 23 May the UK Carrier Strike Group (CSG21) set sail on her maiden operational deployment and has now completed the first phase. The strike group’s route has taken them through the eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean and in the final weeks of June, they were operating in the Black sea and delivering combat missions from the eastern Mediterranean concurrently.
During the first phase CSG21 has undertaken an impressive array of exercises working with NATO allies and key international partners. Exercise Steadfast Defender was the principal NATO exercise during this period, but we also participated in dual-carrier operations with our French allies, with HMS Queen Elizabeth sailing in company with the FS Charles de Gaulle.
The carrier air wing has undertaken a range of air exercises including Atlantic Trident and Gallic Strike with the US and France; Falcon Strike with Italy, the US and Israel; and Tri-Lightning with the US and Israel.
This was also a period of concentrated operational activity and development of the carrier strike capability. We provided support to ongoing NATO operations in the Black sea and NATO’s maritime security operation—Sea Guardian—in the Mediterranean. For around two weeks, CSG21 provided support to Operation Shader, the UK contribution to the coalition effort to defeat Daesh in Iraq and Syria. While in the Black Sea and eastern Mediterranean we had to deal with persistent and often irresponsible harassment by Russian forces. This unfortunate continuation of Russian aggression was dealt with exceptionally by our forces, demonstrating not only the capabilities of the CSG, but also the professionalism and restraint of our service personnel.
Ships from the strike group have conducted port visits to Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Georgia, Israel, Italy, Montenegro, Romania, Spain, Turkey and Ukraine. The programmes and ministerial attendance around those visits helped enhance security, diplomatic and trade relationships that will make the world safer, and will protect and promote prosperity and the rule of law.
We extend our enormous thanks and our great respect to all those nations and armed forces with whom we have engaged and worked alongside. This deployment is the integrated review in action and demonstrates the friendships and alliances that we have in place across the globe. Together with our allies we are developing a joint capability that is cutting-edge.
Phase 2 of the of the deployment, began on 7 July, and will involve transiting the Suez canal into the Red sea ahead of the group crossing the Indian Ocean and on to the Indo-Pacific.
Whilst operating in the eastern Mediterranean HMS Diamond experienced some technical issues and has detached from the task group for maintenance, inspection and defect rectification. She is expected to rejoin the task group during the Indo-Pacific phase of the deployment.
During phase 1, as part of routine testing, covid-19 cases were detected on four vessels within the strike group. All deployed personnel on CSG21 are fully vaccinated and tested regularly and appropriate protocols were put in place to isolate the cases where possible.
All personnel who are symptomatic are experiencing mild symptoms only and to date there has not been a single covid-19 admission to sickbay. The strike group is currently at sea, has only contactless activity planned for the coming weeks, and will have had at least two weeks at sea before its next planned visits. We take nothing for granted in that regard and are working closely with partners to understand how we can balance engagement and interaction with safety for all concerned.
It is also with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence can confirm that a Royal Navy sailor from HMS Kent died on 10 July 2021. The individual’s next of kin have been informed and have requested privacy at this difficult time. The Ministry of Defence offers its profound condolences to the individual’s family and friends. The ship’s company of HMS Kent are in our thoughts during this difficult time.
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
National Lottery Products: Consultation on Sales by 16 and 17-year-olds
The national lottery has made a huge contribution to life in the UK since it was launched in 1994, raising over £43 billion for arts, sports, heritage and community projects. More recently, it has contributed over £1.2 billion to those affected by the coronavirus pandemic, supporting everything from our outdoor spaces to our museums, theatres and sports clubs, helping to keep us active, entertained and safe.
Following a consultation, the Government announced last year that they was raising the age at which national lottery tickets can be bought and sold from 16 to 18, protecting young people from the possible risk of gambling harm. The legislation comes into force on October 1 and the operator and retailers have already stopped selling tickets to anyone aged below 18.
Since then, it has emerged that the increase to 18 for the minimum age to sell in particular may lead to operational difficulties for some retailers who employ young people aged 16 and 17.
In order to balance the need for a smooth transition for retailers with the intent of the original policy, this consultation published today seeks views on a minor technical easement which would introduce an approved sales mechanism for national lottery products. This will be based on the systems already in place for alcohol sales in England, Wales and Scotland, and sales of tobacco and nicotine vaping products in Scotland, through which a designated person aged 18 or over can approve a sale by someone under 18 years old. This approach therefore builds on an existing framework and maintains the intent of the original policy.
I look forward to hearing views of interested parties during the consultation.
Skills for Jobs
Today, as the Government continue to build back better from the pandemic and begin the critical work of levelling up our country, the Department for Education is announcing the next steps towards delivering the ambitious reforms set out in the skills for jobs White Paper.
This includes announcing the skills accelerator trailblazer areas, a further expansion of skills bootcamps, publishing the national skills fund consultation, and launching a consultation seeking views on simplifying funding for adult skills and strengthening the accountability of colleges.
These reforms will help to put employers at the heart of the system, making sure people have the skills they need to get good jobs in the areas our economy needs. They will also ensure people have the opportunity to train, retrain and upskill at any stage, while empowering and enabling providers to deliver these reforms.
The skills accelerator programme will give employers a central role working with colleges, other providers, and local stakeholders to shape technical skills provision so that it meets labour market needs. It establishes partnerships led by employer representative bodies, developing local skills improvement plans that will drive investment in the skills sector.
We are now taking the next step towards delivering the skills accelerator, by announcing 18 development fund pilot areas, of which eight will also be local skills improvement plan trailblazer areas. Details can be accessed here at Skills Accelerator, trailblazers and pilots - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)'>www.gov.uk)'>www.gov.uk)'>www.gov.uk).
The new employer-led plans will ensure that technical education and training is well-aligned to what employers need. Ultimately, this will support learners to develop the skills that will enable them to get a well-paid and secure job, no matter where they live, and in the sectors that are critical to our future economic success.
Members of the pilot development fund collaborations will deliver their proposals, which will enable and enhance strategic partnerships between employers and post-16 providers, and test how these alliances will help shape future technical skills provision.
Skills bootcamps expansion
Since the Prime Minister set out his vision for the lifetime skills guarantee last year, the free courses for jobs and skills bootcamps have been helping adults to gain valuable skills that employers need. Both these adult skills offers are funded through the national skills fund, a long term, substantial investment of £2.5 billion to drive adult retraining at the advanced and higher technical skills levels the nation needs.
The national skills fund has successfully delivered the first wave of skills bootcamps and we are pleased to announce the next wave of this exciting, transformational programme, this expansion will roll out more in-demand skills to approximately 16,000 adults by the end of March 2022.
These innovative, flexible courses of up to 16 weeks will continue to give adults aged 19 and over the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer. These skills bootcamps cover a wide range of digital, technical and construction skills, including software development, data analytics, construction site management and retrofitting.
We are expanding the skills bootcamps so they are available to adults across the country and registration for the first of these is open now, with more becoming available over the coming weeks. Details are available here at Free courses for jobs - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)'>www.gov.uk)'>www.gov.uk)'>www.gov.uk).
National skills fund consultation
Through the national skills fund, we are already delivering the free courses for jobs offer which provides adults across England with the opportunity to achieve their first full level 3 qualification by giving access to around 400 fully funded courses. While free courses for jobs and skills bootcamps are already enabling thousands of adults to gain valuable skills, we know there is much more to do and the potential for what we could do through the fund is great.
That is why today we are launching a national consultation to help us ensure that we use national skills fund investment effectively to meet the skills needs of adults and employers to the end of this Parliament.
We are keen to hear from a wide range of stakeholders in response to the consultation, as it presents stakeholders with an excellent opportunity to feed back on the free courses for jobs and skills bootcamps which are already being funded through national skills fund investment. The consultation also requests views on meeting critical skills needs to help us ensure we deliver valued skills that will help us build back better.
Funding and accountability consultation
Today we are also launching a consultation seeking views on simplifying funding for adult skills and strengthening the accountability of colleges. This consultation delivers a key commitment of the skills for jobs White Paper. The proposed changes aim to:
make sure colleges and other providers are better supported to focus on helping their students into good jobs employers are recruiting for, now and in the future;
reduce the complexity of adult funding through the skills fund;
define clearer roles and responsibilities for Ofsted and the Further Education Commissioner. The consultation closes on 7 October and can be accessed via Reforms to further education (FE) funding and accountability - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Today's announcements are key milestones in the delivery of our ambitious skills for jobs reform programme which will transform the whole skills system so that we can train the dynamic and flexible workforce needed to rebuild our economy, build back greener, and compete globally.
Health and Social Care
Mental Health Act Reform: Consultation Response
The Government have today published the joint Department of Health and Social Care and Ministry of Justice consultation response to the White Paper Reforming the Mental Health Act, published in January this year.
The publication of this report represents a significant milestone on the road to reform of the Mental Health Act, a once-in-a-generation reform programme. It summarises the invaluable and constructive responses that we have heard from the public and stakeholders, and takes us a step closer towards the fulfilment of two manifesto commitments:
That we “will legislate so that patients suffering from mental health conditions...have greater control over their treatment and receive the dignity and respect they deserve”.
That we “will make it easier for people with learning disabilities and autism to be discharged from hospital and improve how they are treated in law".
In January we published a Mental Health Act White Paper, responding to the independent review of the Mental Health Act which was conducted by Sir Simon Wessely and published in 2018.
This White Paper set out that we will be accepting the vast majority of the recommendations and asked a series of consultation questions on the detail and implementation of the proposals.
Since the consultation closed in April, we have analysed more than 1,700 responses. In parallel to the consultation, our Departments have held policy development workshops to get richer insights from service users, clinicians, and those with lived experience of detention under the Act, on the details of the proposals.
The consultation response, published today, includes no new policy announcements, and instead reports on the feedback from clinicians, service users, those with lived experience of detention, and other key stakeholders on the 35 questions posed in the White Paper to gather views on the best way to implement the reforms and ensure they achieve their aims, and inform further policy development as we progress towards a Bill to reform the Act, which we will bring forward when parliamentary time allows.
The response has been overwhelmingly positive, with general support for the proposals and direction of travel set out in the White Paper. The responses have provided valuable insights on the practicalities of implementation, which our Departments will work through, and continue to engage as we do so. We are committed to continue the open policy making approach, in order to bring forward a Bill which will improve how the Act works for everyone. There are a small number of areas where the consultation response did not support the direction of travel set out in the White Paper, or there were mixed views on the proposals. We will reflect on the feedback received, and continue to engage with key stakeholders, prior to taking final policy decisions to inform the Bill.
Housing, Communities and Local Government
Delivery of Food and Essential Goods
I wish to update the House on the measures the Government are taking to ensure the availability of food, sanitary and other essential goods.
The food sector is facing a new, exceptional challenge resulting from the acute shortage of HGV drivers across the distribution network. This is resulting in missed deliveries of food and other essential goods and has the potential to lead to significant shortages. The Government want to respond to this proactively by ensuring the industry has the tools available to effectively respond to these pressures to minimise any disruption to the public.
My colleague the Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Grant Shapps), introduced measures on 12 July 2021 aimed at proactively addressing this issue, through the temporary relaxation of HGV driving time regulations. I wish to complement these measures by making this written ministerial statement about the enforcement of planning conditions relating to delivery hours to retailers of food, sanitary and other essential goods. This will allow for both measures to work in tandem, providing the industry with much-needed logistical flexibility. We believe these measures will provide supermarkets, other retailers of food and essential goods and their suppliers with increased flexibility over deliveries to ensure a consistent supply of essential goods.
Many supermarkets, food retailers and distribution centres in England are subject to controls which restrict the time and number of deliveries from lorries and other delivery vehicles, particularly at night. These include planning conditions, which are necessary to make the development acceptable to local residents who might otherwise suffer from traffic, noise and other local amenity issues as a result of these deliveries.
The national planning policy framework already emphasises that planning enforcement is a discretionary activity, and local planning authorities should act proportionately in responding to suspected breaches of planning control.
The purpose of this written ministerial statement, which comes into effect immediately, is to make clear that local planning authorities should take a positive approach to their engagement with food retailers and distributors, as well as the freight industry, to ensure planning controls are not a barrier to deliveries of food, sanitary and other essential goods.
Local planning authorities should not seek to undertake planning enforcement action which would result in unnecessarily restricting deliveries of food, sanitary and other essential goods during this period, having regard to their legal obligations. The Government recognise that it may be necessary for action to be taken in relation to the impacts on neighbours of sustained disturbance due to deliveries outside of conditioned hours, particularly where this affects sleep. In this case a local planning authority should consider any efforts made by retailers to manage and mitigate such disturbance, taking into account the degree and longevity of amenity impacts.
On 13 March 2020, I made a similar statement to the house in response to the covid-19 pandemic. We kept this under review and extended the provisions with additional statements as necessary. This statement will replace all my previous statements on the matter.
This written ministerial statement only covers England and will expire on 31 January 2022, giving direction to the industry and local planning authorities over the next six months. We will keep the need for this statement under review.
Traffic Light System Update: Foreign Travel
From 04:00 BST 19 July, the following countries will be added to the Government’s green list:
Croatia and Taiwan will also be added to the green watchlist, signalling to passengers that these countries are potentially at risk of moving from green to amber at short notice, should swift action be required in order to protect public health in England. Passengers arriving from green list destinations need to provide evidence of a negative covid-19 test result prior to travel and take a further test on day 2 of their arrival in the UK.
The following countries are being added to the amber list:
British Virgin Islands
As announced on 8 July, arrivals from amber list countries who have been fully vaccinated under the UK vaccination programme (plus 14 days), will no longer need to quarantine or take a day 8 test if they can provide proof of their vaccination status to carriers in advance of travel to England. This policy will also apply to those on a formally approved UK covid-19 vaccine clinical trial, and children under the age of 18. These changes will also take effect from 04:00 BST Monday 19 July.
Non-vaccinated passengers arriving from amber countries need to provide evidence of a negative test result prior to travel, self-isolate at home for 10 days, and take a test on day 2 and day 8 after arrival. As before, these passengers will have the option to take a further test on day 5 and end their 10-day self-isolation early, upon receipt of a negative test result.
The following countries are being added to the red list as they present a high public health risk to the UK from known variants of concern, known high-risk variants under investigation or as a result of very high in-country or territory prevalence of covid-19:
Passengers arriving from these destinations, irrespective of vaccination status, will be required to self-isolate in a managed quarantine hotel, provide a valid notification of a negative test result prior to travel and take a test on day 2 and 8 after their arrival.
All arrivals into the UK must continue to complete a passenger locator form.
As health matters are devolved, the devolved Administrations will confirm their respective positions in due course.
Work and Pensions
Bereavement Benefits Remedial Order
My hon. Friend the Under Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (The Baroness Stedman-Scott) has made the following written statement:
We have today laid the draft proposal for a Bereavement Benefits (2021) Remedial Order. Copies of the draft proposed remedial order and explanatory memorandum are available in the Journal Office and the Vote Office (Commons) and the Printed Paper Office (Lords).