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COVID-19: urgent clarification on new government restrictions

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement regarding COVID-19 isolation policies on 23 March, we’ve had many calls from business owners, concerned that the new, stricter measures announced by the government will mean that they have to shut their business for the next three weeks.

We wanted to take this opportunity to reassure that this is not the case. Under the latest instruction, travelling to and from work is an acceptable reason to leave home, provided that the work absolutely can’t be done from your home. Even then, you should minimise the time spent outside of the home and practice social distancing by staying two metres apart from people outside of your household.

The list of additional businesses which must now close is as follows:

  • All non-essential retail stores – this will include clothing and electronics stores; hair, beauty and nail salons; and outdoor and indoor markets, excluding food markets.
  • Libraries, community centres, and youth centres.
  • Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, arcades and soft play facilities.
  • Communal places within parks, such as playgrounds, sports courts and outdoor gyms.
  • Places of worship, except for funerals attended by immediate families.
  • Hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses for commercial/leisure use (excluding permanent residents and key workers).

There are 2 exceptions to the rule that there should be no public gatherings of more than 2 people.

  1. Gatherings of members who live in the same household
  2. Where the gathering is essential for work purposes – but workers should be trying to minimise all meetings and other gatherings in the workplace.

Earlier this morning, following some confusion, UK Housing Minister Robert Jenrick confirmed that builders can carry on working, but only where absolutely necessary and must practice social distancing. Plumbers are also allowed to visit homes but must not be in the same room as the people living in the house at any one time.

The government guidance on this remains brief. If you’d like to read their full advice, you can find it here.

The spread of COVID-19 in the UK, and the government measures to tackle it, are fast-paced and ever-changing. We understand that this can be overwhelming for many business owners as we face a time of unprecedented change.

The experts at our sister company, Citation are following these updates closely and are working hard to bring you updates, guidance and clarification as they happen. Keep an eye on our latest articles, free resources and social media for regular updates.

If you’re a Citation client, they’re here to help, guide you and reassure you on how these changes will affect your business. You can call their experts on our 24/7 advice line on 0345 844 4848.

If you’re not yet a client of theirs and you want to discuss how these measures will affect your business, and what they can do to help, give their friendly team a call on 0345 844 1111.