20/07/2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Businesses and Employers Bulletin 17 July 2020  

Please see the most recent COVID-19 bulletin below.

CONTENTS

The next chapter in our plan to rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy
The Prime Minister has set out the plans for moving to the next phase of the UK Government’s response to the virus. The strategy sets out a cautious roadmap to easing existing measures in a safe and measured way, subject to successfully controlling the virus and being able to monitor and react to its spread. The roadmap will be kept constantly under review as the epidemic, and the world’s understanding of it, develops.

Lifting restrictions from businesses in England
In England, from 1 August, if prevalence remains around or below current levels, and COVID-19 Secure guidelines are followed, the government will:

  • Give employers more discretion on how they ensure employees can work safely. Working from home is one way to do this, but workplaces can also be made safe by following COVID-19 Secure guidelines.
  • Reopen most remaining leisure settings, namely bowling, skating rinks and casinos, accompanied by COVID-19 Secure guidelines. This will not include particularly high-risk activities and settings such as nightclubs, which will be kept under review.
  • Enable the restart of indoor performances to a live audience, subject to the success of pilots that are taking place as soon as possible. More information is available here.
  • Enable all close contact services to resume, including any treatments on the face such as eyebrow threading or make-up application.
  • Carry out pilots in venues with a range of sizes of crowds including sports stadia and business events. If plans progress in line with expectations, pilots will expand to build up to and prepare for a full, socially distanced return in the autumn.
  • Enable wedding receptions; sit-down meals for no more than 30 people, subject to COVID-19 Secure guidelines. Over time, we will assess whether gatherings of this type for other purposes can be made possible and when larger wedding receptions can take place.
  • In September, schools, nurseries and colleges will open for all children and young people on a full-time basis.

All businesses and venues which are listed to reopen on 25 July or 1 August must remain closed until those dates.

People are advised that they may now use public transport but are encouraged to consider alternative means of transport where possible.

More information is available here.

Containing and managing local coronavirus outbreaks
As of 18 July, local authorities will have new powers to close specific premises, close public outdoor spaces, and cancel events. These powers will enable local authorities to act more quickly in response to local outbreaks, where speed is paramount to prevent them from spreading more widely. Local lockdown will remain a last resort when other actions have been insufficient. More information is available here.

Leicester lockdown: businesses and venues
Following a review, all additional lockdown restrictions will end in areas outside of Leicester City, Oadby and Wigston on 18 July. Some additional restrictions will continue in Leicester City, Oadby and Wigston but some restrictions will be relaxed on 24 July. The next review will take place by 1 August.

  • Non-essential shops that reopened in June will be closed until 18 July apart from in Leicester City, Oadby and Wigston, where they will reopen on 24 July
  • Bars, restaurants and hairdressers outside of Leicester City, Oadby and Wigston will remain closed until 18 July. In Leicester City, Oadby and Wigston they will remain closed until at least the next review
  • Schools and educational settings will reopen on 20 July but in Leicester City, Oadby and Wigston will remain closed until 24 July, except to vulnerable children and children of key workers

More information can be found here.

New Updates and Guidance

UK Internal Market Consultation
The UK government are consulting on new measures to protect internal trade within the UK when powers return from the EU in January 2021. Measures will protect the UK’s economy by preventing new burdens on cross-UK business and provide certainty to support coronavirus recovery. The proposals aim to ensure that devolution can continue to work for everyone; that all devolved policy areas stay devolved, while maintaining certainty for business by ensuring that rules and standards across the UK are mutually recognised, so that trade is as easy for business as possible. A 4-week consultation opened on 16 July, sourcing views from businesses across all 4 nations of the UK. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy are consulting on the options set out in the white paper. Please respond by close of play on 13 August. Find the paper here.

Face coverings at work
Guidance on face covering, their role in reducing the transmission of coronavirus, the settings in which they are recommended, and how they should be safely used and stored is available here. It is not compulsory for shop or supermarket staff to wear face coverings in England, although employers should consider recommending their use where appropriate and where other mitigations are not in place. There is no universal face coverings guidance for workplaces because of the variety of work environments in different industries. Employers should continue to follow COVID-19 secure guidelines to reduce the proximity and duration of contact between employees.

Government scheme to help universities and colleges in financial difficulties
Universities in England facing severe financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus will now be able to apply for further Government support.  The scheme will review providers’ circumstances and assess the case for restructuring support, including last resort financial support, through repayable loans. Find out more here.

Pilots announced for return of spectators to elite sports events
Sporting events will allow fans to return from 1 October with social distancing in place, if it is safe to do so. The Government has announced that a small number of sporting events will be used to pilot the safe return of spectators through late July and early August – with a view to reopen competition venues for sports fans, with social distancing measures in place, from October 2020. Find out more here.

Planning update on cultural venues and holiday parks
The government has published a written ministerial statement to support the culture and tourism sectors by both preventing the loss of theatres, concert halls and live music performance venues, and encouraging local planning authorities to exercise their discretion in relation to planning conditions for caravan and holiday parks.  Find out more here.

Companies House authentication code can be sent to a home address temporarily
Users can request to have the authentication code sent to a home address instead of the company’s registered office. This is a temporary service in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Find out more here.

Destroying spoilt beer during coronavirus
Guidance on how spoilt beer can be re-purposed has been updated.

Guidance for managing playgrounds and outdoor gyms
Guidance for owners and operators of playgrounds and outdoor gyms has been updated to reflect additional requirements on face coverings.

Higher education: reopening buildings and campuses
Guidance for higher education providers in England on when and how to reopen their campuses and buildings has been updated with information on performing arts, transport and international students and self-isolation.

Requests for Business Intelligence and Assistance
Offer coronavirus support
Tell us how your business might be able to help with the response to coronavirus by using our online service

Share the impact coronavirus is having on your organisation 
Let us know how the outbreak is impacting your business.  Please send your intelligence to intel@beis.gov.uk. Commercially sensitive information will be treated accordingly.  Please note that this inbox is only for receiving intelligence and does not provide business advice

Help us shine a light on the stories of key workers 
Tell us about key workers you know that are helping to keep the UK moving during the Coronavirus pandemic. Please fill in this online form for key workers in the following sectors: manufacturing, construction, consumer goods, scientists/researchers, servicing, postal workers, and  oil/gas/electricity/water/sewage/chemical workers.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

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