The prime minister has now announced that England is going to start “reclaiming our freedoms” – with all legal limits on people’s social contact set to end by 21st June and details of financial support to be announced later.
Setting out his roadmap for easing England’s third Covid-19 lockdown, Mr Johnson told MPs that the dates in his four-stage plan were not set in stone and were the earliest possible point at which the restrictions could be lifted.
“Right now, with vaccination roll out proceeding at pace and rates of infections coming down; we have every reason to be optimistic that the current lockdown has had an effect, but we don’t want to have any more setbacks and businesses need clarity and assurance that plans for reopening will be adhered to.
“There are still many sectors who have been largely closed for nearly 12 months and many more businesses have experienced significant disruption to trading conditions and operations.
We will continue to ensure that focus is maintained on supporting all of our clients during this period, making sure that procedures are kept tightly under control allowing us to remain safe during this period of transition.
- Key dates:
12th April at the earliest: Non-essential retail, hairdressers, nail salons, gyms and outdoor areas in hospitality venues (such as beer gardens) set to reopen – along with libraries, museums, zoos and theme parks. Self-contained accommodation will reopen, but people will only be able to stay with members of their household
- 17th May at the earliest: Pubs, restaurants, cinemas, hotels, B&Bs and children’s play areas set to open their doors once more, with fans allowed back into sporting events.
Most rules on social contact outdoors will be lifted, while mixing of different households will be allowed indoors.
Up to 30 people will be allowed at weddings, funerals, wakes, receptions and christenings
The easing of restrictions will be done in four stages.
Step four will begin no earlier than 21st June, at which point there will be no legal limits on social contact, enabling nightclubs to reopen and large events to go ahead.
Before proceeding to each stage, data will be assessed to determine whether the following four conditions are being met:
- The vaccine deployment programme is continuing successfully.
- Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.
- Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
- The assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants.
With the UK now entering it’s 3rd COVID-19 lockdown it’s more important than ever that we continue to support each other.
West Midlands House will continue to support it’s resident business and will remain open during this time offering safe workspace and reception services to keep those businesses that are able to continue trading moving during these first few months of 2021.
Tough restrictions are required to fight the spread of the virus and as with the first lockdown and subsequent tier systems at West Midlands House we have put policies and systems in place to protect all of our staff and visitors. The restrictions we have adopted must be adhered to all times.
The good news is that there is light at the end of the tunnel and the new vaccine is already looking set to allow us more freedom by the Spring. If you have any questions about us or our policies please contact us. Stay safe.
With the announcement of the second wave of new lockdown measures about to come into force earlier today. Our business community will face more challenges and restraints.
West Midlands House will not close and your space will remain accessible but we ask that you continue to observe the social distancing and face-covering policies at all times when in the building.
For those working from home, we will be assisting with mail and message forwarding and supporting you through the coming weeks. Our Team are here and ready to help!
These new lockdown measures include:
- The closure of all pubs, bars and restaurants to the public. Though those able to provide takeaway service or delivery can continue to operate.
- The closure of all non-essential retail, leisure, hairdressers, gyms and entertainment venues.
- They are ceasing all mixing of people inside home settings – although exceptions are made for childcare and other support needs.
- Travel within England to be discouraged and also between other areas of the UK.
- You can only travel internationally for work only.
- You can only have overnight stays away from home for work purposes.
Courts, schools and universities will remain open and other sectors including manufacturing and construction are being actively encouraged to operate in line with COVID-19 secure safety guidelines. Those who can work from home should continue to do so.
The Prime Minister also announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or ‘Furlough’ scheme will now be extended until the 2nd December. This will cover 80% of employee wages.
Please contact us for further information.