Yesterday the Scottish and English governments announced national lockdowns with schools being closed. The net result being all of England and Scotland must stay at home except for a handful of permitted reasons. Wales has already been on a lockdown since mid December.
If you had been looking at the daily cases of COVID-19 it was becoming increasingly obvious that the current restrictions were just not working. This email sets out what you need to know from yesterday’s announcements. To read the English government announcement click here.

The Stay At Home Order
People cannot leave their homes apart from for essential medical needs, food shopping, exercise and work for those who cannot do so from home. If you do leave your home for a permitted reason, you should stay local. They are saying that exercise should only be once per day. Unlike March’s Stay At Home order this seems a little less restrictive as children’s parks can still remain open.

Help for businesses
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has just announced new grants for businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure to help keep them afloat until spring. The grants will be worth up to £9,000 per property, the Treasury says. This help is in addition to business rates relief and the furlough scheme which has been extended until the end of April 2021.  Separately, £594m will be made available to affected businesses outside these sectors.

The grants will be made available from your local authority if you have been forced to close. The self-employed grant schemes are still running to April 2021.

What has to remain closed until 15 February

  • All schools, colleges and university. Learning will move online. But schools will remain open for key workers and vulnerable children.
  • Outdoor sports venues such as tennis, golf and outdoor gyms
  • Non-essential retail – but can still operate a ‘click and collect’ service.
  • Amateur Team Sports
  • Entertainment venues
  • Restaurants, pubs and hotels – but can offer a takeaway service
  • Beauty and hair salons

What about nurseries?

  • In England these can stay open, but in Scotland and Skye they will close.

What is defined as essential retail? Here are a few of the main categories, but the full list can be found here

  • Food shops, supermarkets
  • Banks, building societies, post offices
  • Medical, dental and veterinary services
  • Agricultural supplies
  • Repair services
  • Fuel stations

Any other key changes?

  • Restaurants and pubs can still offer takeaway food but can no longer offer takeaway alcohol.

The government is pinning all its hopes on getting the first dose of the vaccine out to the top 4 priority categories by mid-February. With a view that when this has happened restrictions can be slowly lifted as the most vulnerable in our society will be protected.

What does this mean for you and your business?

  1. Do these lockdown announcements mean you can trade for the next 6-7 weeks
  2. Review your resourcing requirements but also how many of your staff will now have childcare duties
  3. Rethink your business plan, cash flow plan and also revisit your contingency plans
  4. Are you eligible for a new grant from your local authority

If you need help with any of these points, please give us a call on 0117 9675215, email or fill in the the form below.