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.
From the 5th November until the 2nd December strict new COVID-19 regulations are in place (see below). For the “tier system” measures that will be implemented from the 2nd December see the next section.
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:
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.
At present, the above national restrictions apply across England and will remain in place until the 2nd December. After these restrictions are lifted, the Government will implement a stricter version of using the “three tier” system previously in place with tighter restrictions.
The following West Midlands local authority areas will be “tier 3” (very high alert): Birmingham & Black Country, Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent and Warwickshire, Coventry & Solihull
The following West Midlands local authority areas will be “tier 2” (high alert): Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin
See below for more information on what the Government’s three tier system means for businesses.
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:
Please note that these restrictions are in addition to the measures outlined in tier 1.
The restrictions in Tier 3 areas include:
Please note that these restrictions are in addition to the measures outlined in tiers 1 & 2.
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.
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:
For formal Government advice on being COVID-19 Secure Click Here.
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:
The government has also released guidance for employers that wish to introduce their own internal testing programme.
In this webinar, chair of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Martin Temple, around coronavirus (COVID-19) discusses how his organisation is supporting business.
In this webinar, BHSF provide advice and guidance to businesses on how to provide a Covid-secure workplace to get employees back to work.