Updated Information on how small businesses and the self-employed can weather Covid 19 – February 23rd, 2021

Last night the Prime Minister addressed the nation and outlined a roadmap for removing the various restrictions that are currently in place due to Covid 19. It is extremely important to note that the Prime Minister stressed many times throughout the press conference that beyond Step 1, the dates are not set in stone and could be changed – it will depend on the data that is gathered at each step as to whether the next step is able to proceed as planned.

This is just a brief summary of the roadmap and you can read more here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021/covid-19-response-spring-2021-summary

Step 1

The first step will begin on March 8th, 2021 and see the following happen:
– all schools will re-open with all children returning to face-to-face education
– breakfast and after-school clubs will be able to open, and outdoor after-school sports and activities will also be allowed to restart
– there will be twice-weekly rapid testing for secondary and college pupils – with the tests being done at home after the first 3 tests are administered at school
– students who are on practical courses at Universities in England can return to classes
– people will be able to go outside for recreation and exercise with their household or support bubble, or to meet with one other person from another household in outdoor public spaces like parks
-care home residents can have one regular visit

The second phase of Step 1 will start on March 29th, 2021:
– outdoor gatherings, including in private gardens, of either 6 people or two households will be allowed
– outdoor sports facilities (tennis courts, basketball courts etc) and open-air swimming pools can open
– organised adult and children’s sports can resume
– while the “stay at home” rule will end on March 29th, many restrictions will still remain in place such as continuing to work from home where possible, travel abroad will still be prohibited

Step 2

Step 2 will not happen any earlier than April 12th, 2021 – however, this date is not yet set in stone and could be subject to change depending on the data gathered once Step 1 is in place:
– all non-essential retail can open
– all close-contact service business can open
– public buildings – including libraries and community centres can open
– indoor leisure facilities such as gyms can re-open but ONLY for use by people in their own household groups
– most outdoor attractions and settings (zoos, theme parks, drive-in cinemas) can open
– self-contained accommodation – campsites, holiday lets – where indoor facilities are not shared with other households can open
– hospitality venues can open and serve to people outdoors – people will not need to order a substantial meal with alcohol and the curfew will be lifted – only table service will be allowed, and the wider social contact rules are still going to be in place to prevent indoor mixing between households
– funerals can continue with up to 30 people
– 15 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions and commemorative events

Step 3

Step 3 will not happen any earlier than May 17th, 2021, however, this date is not yet set in stone and could be subject to change depending on the data gathered once Step 1 and Step 2 are in place:
– rule of six will look to be abolished and replaced with a limit of 30 people outdoors
– the rule of six or two households will still apply to indoor mixing
– indoor hospitability venues can re-open – the curfews and rule about ordering a substantial meal will no longer be in place, but only table service will be allowed
– other indoor entertainment venues – cinemas, children play areas – can re-open
– accommodation sector including hotels, hostels, B&Bs can open
– indoor adult group sport and exercises classes can start
– some larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues with a capacity or 1,000 people or half-full (whichever is the lower number) can start
– some larger performances and sporting events in outdoor venues with a capacity of 10,000 people or a quarter-full (whichever is the lower number) can start
-up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions, funerals and wakes

Step 4

Step 4 will not happen any earlier than June 21st, 2021, however, this date is not yet set in stone and could be subject to change depending on the data gathered once Step 1, Step 2 and Step 3 are in place:
– remaining parts of the economy would be able to open – nightclubs
– restrictions on large events and performances that were in place in Step 3 would start to be eased
– potential for all legal limits on social contact to be removed

I am continually monitoring the updates that the government and other business-related departments release and will continue to share that information for as long as I feel that it is beneficial to all businesses in the UK.

The information and policies are continually being updated by the government, so I urge you to keep on top of the information by visiting the relevant website for your area.

UK:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses
Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/
Wales: https://gov.wales/business-and-employers-coronavirus
Northern Ireland: https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/

I will be trying to keep myself as informed as possible and will share relevant information on my fb business page: https://www.facebook.com/ihelmenterprises/

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