Covid-19 updates

COVID-19 Update 78

Wednesday 8 July 2020

Dear AOA Member,

Today the Chancellor delivered his “summer economic statement”. There was nothing of specific note for the aviation sector, however there were some useful announcements that will be of benefit to the sector in terms of jobs. As the statement focused on how the UK faces ‘significant’ jobs losses, the Chancellor announced the furlough scheme will end at the end of October but if an employer brings back some of its furloughed staff and employs them until January 2021 the Government will pay the company a £1000 bonus. The Chancellor announced his “Kickstart scheme” where employers will be paid directly to create new jobs for any 16-24 years old at risk of long term unemployment; the Government will pay employers £1,000 to take on trainees; companies can receive £2,000 each to encourage them to hire apprentices and £1,500 to hire those over 25. Rishi Sunak also announced a VAT cut from 20% to 5% for hospitality and tourism sectors from 15 July until 12 January 2021.

The devolved administrations have been continuing their internal discussions regarding whether to bring border health measures into line with the changes England announced last week. In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that all “green” and “amber” countries on the English exempted countries list would be exempt from quarantine in Scotland, apart from Spain and Serbia. In Northern Ireland, the Executive is due to make a decision on Thursday, before the Friday 10 July implementation date; unfortunately it seems things might be heading in the opposite direction, with the latest advice from the Chief Medical Officer in Northern Ireland stating that all arrivals from Great Britain should also be quarantined. The AOA wrote to the NI Executive this morning to push for the right decision to be made. In Wales, the Government is due to make a decision shortly with the expectation that it will follow England on the repeal of quarantine measures.

Finally, the AOA successfully hosted its first webcast today in collaboration with our Gold Member Starr Insurance Companies on Covid-19 Road to Recovery. It was a well-attended session with 50 delegates; many thanks to our attendees and our appreciation to Starr Insurance Companies and their panel of experts for helping to deliver the webcast.

Best wishes,

Karen Dee
Chief Executive