Update: 17th July 2020
Most remaining venues and leisure settings to reopen from 1st August
In his most recent statement on the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the majority of remaining leisure settings and venues will be able to reopen as of Saturday 1st August 2020, providing they are COVID-secure. This includes:
- Bowling venues
- Skating rinks
Theatres will also be allowed to open to indoor audiences, assuming the planned pilots are successful, as well as the reintroduction of larger gatherings such as:
- Sports stadiums
- Wedding receptions for up to 30 people
For more information on the return of indoor theatre performances, click here.
For more information on the return of large-scale sporting events, click here.
Read the Prime Minister's full statement here.
Business events and conferences can resume from 1st October 2020
The government is in the process of beginning pilots to discover the safest way to restart indoor business events, with of goal of resuming events and conferences from the 1st October 2020. The restart will get the go-ahead providing the rate of infection stays at the current rate and attendees adhere to social distancing.
To help businesses to prepare for the return of events, the government has updated the COVID-secure guidelines for tourism, indoor and outdoor attractions and events management companies, which is available on the gov.uk website.
When to wear a face-covering
The government has released new guidance detailing when staff should and shouldn't wear face coverings during working hours, as well as a thorough explanation of the settings in which they are recommended and how they should be used and stored. Read it here.
Update: 14th July 2020
OPSS guidance for businesses and local authorities
The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is working with businesses and local authorities to help keep consumers safe from COVID-19. To ensure the NHS and the public have everything need to protect against the virus, OPSS is liaising with businesses to identify where regulatory requirements are preventing them from supplying items such as PPE, hand sanitiser and more to market.
Update: 10th July 2020
More businesses and services allowed to reopen throughout July
The government has announced that more businesses and services can reopen during July, with many allowed to open their doors as early as tomorrow. To reopen, the businesses listed must adhere to COVID-secure guidelines, which vary by industry.
- Saturday 11th July: Performing arts venues can resume outdoor activities from tomorrow, with pilots of socially distanced indoor performances to be trialled in the near-future (more information available here). Outdoor swimming pools can also reopen on this date, with outdoor sports permitted to begin again as long as the new guidelines for recreational sport are followed
- Monday 13th July: Beauty businesses, including tattoo parlours, piercing shops, nail bars and spas are allowed to reopen. However, some services will be prohibited (find out more)
- Saturday 25th July: Indoor gyms, pools and leisure centres can reopen, with new limits in place (find out more)
The government has also updated its rules for meeting people outside of your household, which are available on the gov.uk website.
Update: 9th July 2020
Chancellor's plan for jobs to help the UK's recovery from COVID-19
Yesterday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a package of support measures for jobs across the UK. These measures aim to give businesses the confidence to retain their current staff or hire new team members, as well as provide people with the skills they need to find employment. The announcement hails the second phase of the government's three-phase plan to help the UK recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The first stage was the £160 billion support package for businesses and vital services such as the NHS, which began in March 2020.
The goal of the second phase is to support jobs by developing the skills of young people, creating jobs via investing in "shovel-ready" projects and infrastructure, and protecting existing jobs. The latter includes a Job Retention Bonus to help companies to keep furloughed workers and a VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sectors. Plans for the third and final phase will be announced in the Autumn.
For more information on yesterday's announcement, visit the gov.uk website.
£2 billion Kickstart Scheme announced
The Chancellor also announced a £2 billion Kickstart Scheme to create thousands of new, fully-subsidised jobs for young people around the country, who are one of the groups worst hit by the crisis. The scheme is available for those aged 16-24 who claim Universal Credit and are at risk of long-term unemployment. Funding will cover 25-hour week, six-month placements at the National Minimum Wage, with the option for employers to top this wage up. The programme includes:
- £2,000 to be given to businesses for each apprentice they hire under the age of 25, on top of the current £1,000 offered for apprentices between the ages of 16-18 and those under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan
- A £111 million investment to raise the number of traineeships in 2020-2021
- £17 million in funding to triple the rate of sector-based academy placements in 2020-2021
- £900 million to increase the number of work coaches to 27,000
- £32 million investment in the National Careers Service
For more information, visit the gov.uk website.
Update: 25 June 2020
With the reopening of certain businesses beginning from 4th July 2020, the government has announced new COVID-secure guidelines for industries including:
A guide has also been developed for businesses that provide close contact services such as hairdressers, tailors, massage therapists and more. Find it on the gov.uk website.
The government has also released its plans to help the construction industry get back on its feet after COVID-19. Find out more here.
Update: 24 June 2020
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out further changes to lockdown measures in England. From Saturday 4th July, the Prime Minister has announced that pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to reopen, providing they adhere to COVID Secure guidelines.
From the same date, he has set out that two households will be able to meet up in any setting with social distancing measures, and that people can now enjoy staycations in England with the reopening of accommodation sites.
In order to begin restoring the arts and cultural sector, some leisure facilities and tourist attractions may also reopen, if they can do so safely – this includes outdoor gyms and playgrounds, cinemas, museums, galleries, theme parks and arcades, as well as libraries, social clubs, places of worship and community centres.
In addition, all businesses and venues can reopen from 4 July, except for the list below, which remain closed in law:
- Bowling alleys and Indoor skating rinks
- Indoor play areas including soft-play
- Nail bars, beauty salons and tanning salons
- Massage, tattoo and piercing parlours
- Indoor fitness and dance studios, and indoor gyms and sports venues/facilities
- Swimming pools including water parks
- Exhibition or conference centres must remain closed for events such as exhibitions or conferences, other than for those who work for the business or organisation who run the venue.
Cafes, restaurants and shops that are self-contained and can be accessed from the outside, will still be permitted to open. Further information can be found here
A ‘bounce back’ plan of trade measures for the agriculture, food and drink industry has also been announced to help support businesses that have been impacted by coronavirus. Further information available here
Update: 17th June 2020
The government guidance for employers, employees and self-employed people on working safely during COVID-19 has been updated to mirror feedback from various industries, as well as to incorporate test and trace, safer travel arrangements and managing security risks.
You can find the updated guidance for each industry on the gov.uk website.
Update: 11th June 2020
To help support businesses to reopen safely, the NHS has released webinars to accompany the Back to Work guides released in May 2020. Like the guides, these webinars are tailored to each industry and detail the steps needed to make your workplace COVID-secure.
Watch them here.
Update: 25th May 2020
Roadmap to reopening for retail
The government has announced a roadmap for reopening a wider range of shops, beginning from Monday 1st June 2020. From this date, outdoor markets will be able to reopen - dependent on the premises being COVID-19 secure - as well as car showrooms and garden centres, which generally have substantial outdoor space and can easily apply social distancing.
From Monday 15th June, all other retailers including clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books and electronics stores can reopen. Tailors, auction houses, photography studios and indoor markets can also reopen providing they have met the government's five tests and they adhere to COVID-secure guidelines.
You can find out more about these guidelines here.
Updated safety guidance for the retail sector has also been released and is available to read or download here.
Update: 11th May 2020
Back to work guidelines
On the 11th May 2020, the government published ‘Our Plan to Rebuild,' a report detailing the country's next steps in the response to COVID-19. To read this plan in full, visit the gov.uk website.
Beginning on the 11th May, businesses who cannot work from home are encouraged to return to work. However, to ensure business owners have the knowledge to create safe working environments for their team, eight tailored industry guides have been produced:
Certain businesses and venues must remain closed to the public - a full list can be found by visiting this link. The government will issue further guidance to explain how and when these businesses may reopen.