Author Archives: Amelia Jones

Self Employment Income Support Scheme Grants

The Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is made up of four taxable government grants for self-employed individuals. These grants are lump sums rather than paid as a monthly salary. For those that qualify, the grants are based on average profits from the past three tax years. 

Use Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) and include the link to the GOV.UK page for the first use of the term in each section. Refer to it as SEISS after that. 

Use first grantsecond grant and third grant to refer to the different stages of the grant. 

SEISS is different to furlough and should be referred to as “support for the self-employed”, “self-employed support” or “self-employed support grants”. 

The term furlough should only be used to refer to those who are employed by an employer and meet various qualifying dates and criteria, for example, on a Pay As You Earn (PAYE) roll by 30 October 2020. 

Vaccines and vaccinations 

Vaccines are substances that stimulate the immune system into producing immunity to a specific disease. 

Vaccination is the act of administering a vaccine into the body. 

Immunisation is the process whereby someone becomes protected against a disease after they have been vaccinated. It is often used interchangeably with vaccination. For consistency, use vaccination. 

Vaccines against the coronavirus (COVID-19) should be referred to as “COVID-19 vaccines”.  

When discussing COVID-19 vaccines in general, use “a COVID-19 vaccine” rather than “the COVID-19 vaccine”. This is because there are multiple types of vaccines and so we need to make it clear we are talking about all vaccines. 

Only refer to a specific type of COVID-19 vaccine by name if you need to make the distinction between the vaccine types clear. There are currently three COVID-19 vaccines being administered in the UK: 

  • Moderna  
  • Pfizer-BioNTech 
  • Oxford-AstraZeneca 

When discussing vaccine doses, refer to them as the first dose and the second dose. 

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was approved for use in January 2021. 

More than 23,000 people have received the first dose of their vaccine.  

The number of people receiving their vaccinations has doubled. 

Vaccination centres have been set up across the UK. 

View the full GOV.UK coronavirus style guide for more COVID-19 terms and phrases. 

New variants of the coronavirus

There are different variants of COVID-19 that have emerged throughout the pandemic. In June 2021, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that Greek letters would be used to name different variants, instead of referring to them by the country they originated in.

Letters will be used to refer to variants of concern and variants of interest and there is a full list of names available on the WHO website.

Support bubble

A support bubble is a close support network that can be formed between a household of any size and a household with either: 

  • only one adult 
  • one adult and one or more people who were under the age of 18 on 12 June 2020 in the home (known as a single-adult household) 

Once a support bubble is formed, the households can act as a single household and can have close contact with each other.

NHS Test and Trace

Each country of the UK has introduced its own test and trace service to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). These are:

Unless specifically referring to services in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, use NHS Test and Trace or NHS Test and Trace service. Include the link to the GOV.UK page for the first use of the term in each section. 

Do not use: 

  • Test and Trace 
  • Test and Trace service 
  • test and trace with lower case 
  • testing and tracing 


Shielding was introduced in the UK in March 2020 at the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The shielding guidance advised those most at risk of serious harm from COVID-19 to stay at home to protect themselves. It applied to people, including children, who are clinically extremely vulnerable to developing serious illness if they are exposed to COVID-19 because they have a particular serious underlying health condition. 

Specific shielding guidance for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland was published. People were asked to stop shielding in August 2020 and to instead follow the national rules and restrictions.

Refer to “those who were shielding” and the “shielding guidance”.


People typically have to self-isolate if any of the following reasons apply: 

  • they have symptoms of COVID-19 
  • they have a positive COVID-19 test 
  • they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive 
  • they have travelled from a country not on the banned travel list but have to self-isolate 

Use self-isolation (noun). 

Use self-isolate or self-isolating (verb). 

Include the link to the GOV.UK guidance pages for the first mention in each section. 

Do not use quarantinein quarantine or quarantining unless referring to quarantine after travelling from a country on the banned travel list. See quarantine. 

Pre-coronavirus, pre-pandemic and pre-lockdown

“Pre-coronavirus” can be used for talking about time periods before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Avoid using the phrases “pre-pandemic” and “pre-lockdown” as these are not clear and may lead to misinterpretation of the data. The “start” of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic may also be subjective or have a different meaning or impact for different topics. Be as clear and specific as possible when referring to time periods.

When referring to the period before the coronavirus pandemic, use:

  • the exact dates if you are talking about a specific and clear time period or event, for example, “before the national lockdown started on 23 March 2020”
  • the month, such as “February 2020” if you are talking about the first full month before the effects of COVID-19 were seen in the UK
  • “early 2020” for a more general time period relating to the months before the pandemic

Rather than using “pre-lockdown”, either state the month you are talking about or use “before the national lockdown in March 2020” to make it clear what date you are talking about.

The level of GDP output remains below the levels seen in early 2020, before the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) were seen.

Local lockdowns and restrictions

Local lockdowns or restrictions apply to a particular local authority or local council area. Each country of the UK introduced its own set of restrictions to manage the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in local areas when the rates of infection began to increase after the summer of 2020. 


In England, a three-tier COVID Alert Level system was introduced on 14 October 2020 to help control the spread of coronavirus in local areas. This included Tier 1 (medium), Tier 2 (high) and Tier 3 (very high), with increasing restrictions depending on the alert level for the area. This system was replaced by national lockdown restrictions for England on 5 November 2020.

Use “Tier” when referring to a specific COVID Alert Level category in England but use lower case “tier” when referring to multiple categories or in general use.


In Wales, local restrictions were introduced in local authority areas with a high or rising number of cases to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. These local lockdowns were introduced from September 2020 for varying amounts of time depending on the local area. These measures were replaced with the firebreak restrictions on 23 October 2020 and have since been replaced with national restrictions on 9 November 2020.

Use the phrase “local restrictions” when referring to local measures used in Wales.


In Scotland, a five-tier COVID-19 local protection levels system was introduced on 2 November 2020. Local areas that are categorised as protection level 0 have the lowest levels of restrictions, while protection level 4 areas have the highest levels of restrictions. More detail on Scotland’s COVID-19 protection levels by area system is available. 

Use “protection level” in lower case when referring to categories of restrictions in Scotland. These protection levels are sometimes also referred to as “tiers” in lower case but try to be consistent.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, a national set of restrictions was introduced on 16 October 2020 for a period of four weeks. Prior to this, local restrictions were in place for certain areas.

See Lockdown for information on the first national lockdown on 23 March 2020.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was introduced by the UK government to support employers and businesses as part of its response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This allowed all UK employers with employees on a Pay As You Earn (PAYE) scheme to designate some or all employees as “furloughed workers”. See Furlough for more information.

The scheme allows employers to access government support to continue paying 80% of their furloughed employees’ salaries, and potentially protect their employees from redundancy.

The first phase of the scheme finished at the end of June 2020 and a second flexible phase ran between June and October 2020. The scheme has now been extended into a third phase from November 2020 to March 2021.

Use upper case and write in full where possible. Avoid using the abbreviation CJRS where possible.