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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

COVID-19 cases are now rising again and additional measures are being brought forward at pace. Below you will find information on national measures, local measures, national guidance on COVID-secure workplaces, obligations on engaging with NHS Test & Trace and the government support available for businesses.


National Coronavirus Restrictions

From the 5th November until at least the 2nd December strict new COVID-19 regulations will be in place:

Non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues will be closed. Click and collect services can continue and essential shops, including supermarkets, will remain open.

Pubs, bars, restaurants must close, except for takeaway and delivery services.

People should work from home wherever possible. Workplaces should stay open where people cannot work from home – for example, in the construction or manufacturing sectors.

Everyone must stay at home, and may leave only for a limited set of reasons. These include:

  • For education;
  • For work, if you cannot work from home;
  • For exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household, support bubble or on your own with one person from another household;
  • For all medical reasons, appointments and to escape injury or harm;
  • To shop for food and essentials;
  • And to provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.

Single-adult households will still be able to form an exclusive support bubble with one other household, and children can move between homes if their parents are separated.

All businesses will be able to continue to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) which has been extended for 1 month. Businesses required to close will be able to access “tier 3” grants of between £1,300 and £3,000 a month. Find out more about the support available here.

The GBCC is continuing to lobby for enhanced support for local businesses, find out more here.


Local Coronavirus Restrictions

At present, the above national restrictions apply across England and will remain in place until at least the 2nd December. After these restrictions are lifted, the Government is currently proposing a return to the “three tier” system previously in place.

If you are unsure about the coronavirus restrictions in your local area, you can use the government’s postcode checker here. See below for more information on what the Government’s three tier system means for businesses.

 

Local Areas in Tier 1: The restrictions in Tier 1 areas include:
  • You must not socialise in groups of more than 6 people, indoors or outdoors (unless they are a part of your support bubble or a legal exemption applies)
  • Hospitality venues must close between 10pm and 5am but delivery and drive-through services can continue after 10pm. Table service must be used
  • Venues in hospitality, the tourism and leisure industry, close contact services and local authority facilities are legally required to collect customer, visitor and staff data to support NHS Test & Trace
  • Face masks must be worn in a number of indoor settings including retail, hospitality, close contact services (e.g. hair salons), public transport and private hire vehicles
  • You should work from home where possible. Anyone unable to work from home should go to their place of work providing it has been made COVID-secure.

Click here for full details

Local Areas in Tier 2:

Prior to the introduction of national restrictions, across the West Midlands, Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Staffordshire, Walsall, Wolverhampton were all tier 2 areas

The restrictions in Tier 2 areas include:

  • You must not socialise indoors with anyone outside of your household or support bubble including in hospitality venues. Businesses will need to ensure that customers comply with these rules on their premises.
  • You can socialise with people outside of your household or support bubble in outdoor settings, but in groups of no more than 6 people

Please note that these restrictions are in addition to the measures outlined in tier 1.

Click here for full details

The restrictions in Tier 3 areas include:

  • You must not socialise with anyone outside of your household or support bubble in any indoor setting, private garden or outdoor hospitality venues
  • You can socialise with people outside of your household or support bubble in outdoor spaces, but in groups of no more than 6 people
  • Pubs and bars are required to close but can remain open when operating as a restaurant. Alcohol can only be served as part of a main meal.
  • While residents are advised against travelling, there is no restriction on travelling in and out of tier 3 areas to get to work

Please note that these restrictions are in addition to the measures outlined in tiers 1 & 2.

The government has stated that tier 3 areas are likely to be subject to further measures in addition to the ones outlined above as negotiated with local authorities. Therefore, if you are in a tier 3 area, you should use the government’s postcode checker to see if any additional restrictions have been implemented.

Click here for more information


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