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Connections are crucial to the success of any business. Visit our latest news to keep up to date with the latest business news from across the region.

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Connect


Connections are crucial to the success of any business. Visit our latest news to keep up to date with the latest business news from across the region.

Connect. Support. Grow.
 
Support


Connections are crucial to the success of any business. Visit our latest news to keep up to date with the latest business news from across the region.

Connect. Support. Grow.
 
Training Services


Connections are crucial to the success of any business. Visit our latest news to keep up to date with the latest business news from across the region.

Connect. Support. Grow.
 

Government Guidance and Regulations


Introduction

England has been in the midst of a national lockdown since the 4th of January. On the 22nd of February, the Prime Minister announced his four-step roadmap for gradually easing lockdown restrictions.

Below you will find information on coronavirus restrictions and the government’s roadmap. This page also contains national guidance on COVID-secure workplaces, obligations on engaging with NHS Test & Trace, workplace testing and the government support available for businesses.


National Coronavirus Restrictions

The UK government announced a new national lockdown on the 4th of January, which includes the following measures:

  • You must not leave your house unless you have a reasonable excuse to do so (e.g. for work purposes if you cannot work from home; education, childcare and shopping for essentials)
  • You must not socialise with anyone outside of your household or support bubble and should avoid travelling outside your local area
  • Businesses providing essential goods and services can remain open (food shops, banks post offices, funeral directors etc)
  • Hospitality venues must close, but can continue to operate takeaway (until 11pm), delivery and drive-through services
  • Non-essential retail, hotels, personal care facilities (hair salons etc), entertainment venues (theatres etc) and leisure & sports facilities are also legally required to close

The government has subsequently set out their plan for the re-opening of the economy and you can find more details below.

Click here for more details


Roadmap Out Of Lockdown

The lockdown restrictions in place across England will be lifted in four key steps.

The government have said that the restrictions will only be eased at each stage providing the following four conditions are met:

  • The roll-out of the vaccination programme continues successfully
  • There is evidence that vaccines are leading to a sufficient reduction in the number of deaths or people needing hospital treatment
  • There is no significant spike in the infection rate that risks overwhelming the NHS
  • Assessment of the risks is not ‘fundamentally changed’ by new variants

There will be a minimum of five weeks between each step and the government will provide seven days notice as to whether they will proceed with easing the restrictions.

Please see below for more information on what the Government’s four step approach means for businesses.

 

From the 8th March:
  • Primary schools, secondary schools and colleges are permitted to re-open for face-to-face teaching
  • Businesses providing childcare services can resume where they enable parents to work, seek work and attend education

From the 29th March:

  • Outdoor sports facilities such as gyms, swimming pools and sports courts can re-open
  • Outdoor gatherings are allowed for up to six people or two households

The following will be able to re-open from 12th April:

  • Non-essential retail (e.g. clothing stores, showrooms and electronic goods shops)
  • Personal care facilities and close contact services (e.g. hair, beauty and nail salons)
  • Indoor sports and leisure facilities
  • Hospitality venues (outside service only)
  • Most outdoor attractions
  • Accommodation services where indoor facilities are not shared with other households
  • Public buildings

The following will be able to re-open no earlier than the 17th of May:

  • Indoor hospitality and entertainment venues such as cinemas, theatres and museums
  • Remaining businesses in the accommodation sector
  • Remaining outdoor entertainment venues
  • Some large performances and events (including indoors) subject to capacity limits

Most social contact rules will be lifted in outdoor settings and outdoor gatherings will be allowed for up to 30 people.

The fourth step will potentially see all legal limits on social contact removed and remaining venues such as nightclubs permitted to re-open.

The government is also aiming to lift any remaining restrictions on social contact and large events and relax COVID-Secure requirements on businesses

 

Click below for full details on the re-opening of businesses and venues:

See full details here


International Travel

Some international travel can resume from 17 May. The government has introduced a traffic light system whereby passengers will no longer need to prove they have a valid reason to leave the country.
The system categorises countries based on risk and is designed to protect the public from international Covid-19 variants.

It will work as follows:

  • Green: Passengers will not need to quarantine on return, but must take a pre-departure test, as well as a PCR test on return to the UK
  • Amber: Travellers will need to quarantine for 10 days, as well as taking a pre-departure test and two PCR tests
  • Red: Passengers will have to pay for a 10-day stay in a managed quarantine hotel, as well as a pre-departure test and two PCR tests

See full details here


Workplace and Community Testing

The government has launched a workplace testing programme in which businesses could sign up by 12th April to receive free lateral flow tests to test their employees.

These tests are used to detect the virus in individuals who are not displaying symptoms and can deliver a result within 30 minutes. It is recommended that businesses test staff twice weekly.

If you’ve already registered for this scheme: You can order free rapid lateral flow tests until 30 June 2021.

You can order tests either:
  • to use in the workplace
  • for your employees to collect and take home
If you’ve not registered for this scheme: You can order free rapid lateral flow tests until 30 June 2021.
You can choose to:
  • buy your own tests and set up your own workplace testing
  • pay an approved provider to provide tests or run a test site for you
If you cannot set up testing, you can ask your employees to check if they can get a rapid lateral flow test at home or at a test site on NHS.UK.

Government Support For Businesses

The GBCC are committed to keeping businesses and charities up to date with the latest support being made available by the government to help businesses recover from the disruption caused by Covid-19.

So far, the government has announced a number of support measures including various finance and grant schemes and the extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Please click the link below for a list of the government support measures announced to date.

DOWNLOAD OUR BRIEFING ON THE LATEST SUPPORT


Working Safely During Coronavirus: How to be COVID-19 Secure

The UK Government have issued detailed guidance for employers with certain types of premises on how to be COVID-19 Secure and safely return to, or scale up the number of employees in, the workplace.

It includes a number of detailed measures on social distancing and hygiene in the workplace. Employers must use this advice to:

  • Carry out a Covid-19 Risk Assessment in ‘consultation with unions and workers’
  • Demonstrate that they are doing everything reasonably practicable to minimise the risk to workers
  • Display a five-point notice or declaration in the workplace stating they have undertaken a risk assessment and are taking steps to protect their workforce

For formal Government advice on being COVID-19 Secure Click Here.

DOWNLOAD THE GBCC BRIEFING HERE


Complying with NHS Test & Trace

Hospitality, visitor attraction and close contact services businesses (such as hairdressers) and religious venues are now legally required to collect customer information for the NHS Test & Trace Service which aims to trace the spread of the virus and isolate new infections.

Businesses in these sectors need to:

  • Keep a temporary record of staff shift patterns, customers and visitors in compliance with GDPR and dispose of securely after 21 days
  • Collect the following information from customers and visitors: name, address, date/time of visit and phone number
  • Register for an official NHS QR code and display an official NHS QR code poster at all entrances to the venue so that customers can check in using the NHS COVID-19 app
  • Share the data with the NHS Test and Trace Service if they get in contact

Click here for the government guidance and here for a business toolkit.

The government has also released guidance for employers that wish to introduce their own internal testing programme.

Find out more here


Resources

Official government advice on working safely during COVID-19:

Click Here

For business briefings
and Q&As:

Click Here

Making your workplace COVID-secure during the coronavirus pandemic

Click Here


Resources & Guides

Video

In this webinar, chair of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Martin Temple, around coronavirus (COVID-19) discusses how his organisation is supporting business. 

View Here

Video

In this webinar, BHSF provide advice and guidance to businesses on how to provide a Covid-secure workplace to get employees back to work.

View Here


Get In Touch

Coronavirus Support