Once more we have some changes in how we are to control the spread of Covid-19 – just when we have planned spaces and bought the signs for a 2m spaced working environment, the Prime Minister’s announces changes to England’s lockdown from 4th July. For once though, official guidelines for businesses have been published at much the same time as the announcement.
The 2m social distancing rule will be relaxed to “one metre plus” where 2m is not possible – but people will be encouraged to have mitigation in place to reduce transmission. This is confusing and will businesses want to, or be able to, police how this operates in practice and in different places? The works kitchen may have different rules from the office or the factory floor.
However, it is great news that our hospitality sector can reopen, indoors and outdoors, with safety measures such as table-only service. Hotels, B&Bs, campsites, caravan parks, hairdressers, playgrounds, museums, galleries are among the businesses that can reopen. I have booked a B&B in Cornwall to go and see my parents-in-law – even though I can’t go into their house but can at least talk to them across the garden.
And none of us can be complacent. All this comes in the wake of an open letter in the British Medical Journal from health leaders who are calling for an urgent review as to whether we are properly prepared for the “real risk” of a second wave of coronavirus with further loss of life. How will businesses cope if there is another lockdown, even in specific areas?
You can view the government guidelines in full at: https://bit.ly/2BwzfzR
Late last week the government announced its Code of Practice for commercial property relationships during the Covid-19 pandemic to help landlords and tenants work constructively to find solutions that keep their businesses open and people in work.
The pandemic has created severe cashflow problems for many SMEs who will need time to rebuild and recover. The Code sets out principles for landlords and tenants to work together and stresses that transparency and collaboration is needed to manage the issues and situation as we move to a post lockdown environment.
You can view the Code of Practice in full on the gov.uk website : https://bit.ly/3dsC2XO
If you want to talk to us about any business issues, you can call our switchboard on 01782 202222 or call the Stoke and Staffs Growth Hub Helpline on 0300 111 8002. We also have a Twitter hour each Tuesday and Friday from 11am – 12noon #StaffsChamberChat