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Housing Secretary Statement On CoronaVirus (Covid-19)

The Housing Secretary on the government’s response to COVID-19 and the plan to safely restart, reopen and renew the housing market.
When the lockdown was announced in March, we changed the rules so that people could only move home if they thought it was “reasonably necessary”.

That meant that more than 450,000 buyers had to put their plans on hold.
And each month 300,000 tenancies come up for renewal as well.
A significant proportion of these will result in people needing to or wanting to move home. The pressure to move for some was becoming acute, with serious legal, financial and health implications.

During an already very difficult time, these people have been stuck in limbo. Now they can carry on with their house moves and add some certainty to their lives. So, from today:

  • estate agents’ offices can re-open
  • viewings – whether virtual or in person – are permitted
  • show homes can open
  • and removal companies and the other essential parts of the sales and letting process are re-started with immediate effect

For most people moving home is not a luxury. People decide to move home because their personal circumstances change.


The Welsh Government have recently updated their guidance on what you and your business can and cannot do during the COVID19 outbreak and what happens if the new laws are broken.
The new rules are now in force, which means you must stay at home to save lives and protect the NHS. These rules may differ to other parts of the UK, so it is important you understand them.

Read full press release here:


Due to the high volume of applications received for the SME Economic Resilience Fund, many businesses are being contacted to let them know that their applications are being dealt with as quickly as possible.

If you have yet to receive communication, please be assured that you will be contacted as soon as possible.

If you require any further support, please visit the Business Wales website:


A recently released phased five-stage plan for slowly moving out of quarantine has been published by the NI Executive.
In making decisions regarding easing restrictions in the future, the Executive will consider three key criteria:

  • The most up-to-date scientific evidence
  • The ability of the health service to cope
  • The wider impacts on our health, society, and the economy

The steps are indicative, and the process will need to be flexible so that it can adapt to new evidence and developments and the Executive can review and refine the approach to decision-making.
The ‘Pathway to Recovery’ plan includes general indicators used to inform risk evaluation easing of restrictions on business activities at each stage:
Step One

  • Outdoor activities (work and leisure) during which social distancing can be maintained for individuals who do not share a household contact and where there is no shared contact with hard surfaces.
  • Encouragement to those unable to work from home to return to the workplace on a phased basis subject to legal requirements and best practice arrangements being in place.
  • Large outdoor-based retail can open (such as garden centres – yet associated cafes and restaurants are only able to offer takeaway).

Step Two

  • Indoor activities involving limited contacts of less than 10 minutes and interactions of only two to four people that maintain social distancing and prevent congregating in places for an extended period.
  • Outdoor activities involving small groups of less than 10 people during which it may be difficult to maintain social distancing but where contacts are brief (less than 10 minutes).

Step Three

  • Indoor activities that involve a larger number of people where social distancing can be maintained for individuals who do not share a household connection.
  • Outdoor activities involving larger groups of less than 30 people during which it may be difficult to maintain social distancing but where contacts are brief (less than 10 minutes).

Step Four

  • Indoor activities involving larger numbers of individuals where social distancing cannot be consistently maintained but contacts are limited and last less than 10 minutes or longer if effective mitigation is possible.
  • Outdoor gatherings involving larger numbers of individuals where social distancing cannot be easily maintained, and multiple contacts of less than 10 minutes are likely.

Read full press release here:


In partnership with BBC Arts and Northern Ireland Screen, will give up to six emerging animators based in Northern Ireland the opportunity to create their own two-minute film.

The commissioned films will be shared on BBC platforms, with some potentially being screened on BBC Four.

This competition will be open to animators aged 16+. Ideas should be focused on the theme of ‘connection’. All types of animation will be accepted, whichever best suits your storytelling, style and talent.

Up to six chosen filmmakers will be given an industry mentor and a production fund of £2,000 towards realising their cinematic vision. These original stories and perspectives will give the audience an insight into the creative minds of local filmmaking talent.

The closing date for receipt of entries is Friday 22 May 2020.

Read the full press release here:

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