Lockdown 2.0: What Do New COVID-19 Government Regulations Mean for Your Business?

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Restaurant closed

The UK’s second national lockdown will bring in new restrictions, with varying rules across industries. Here’s our guide to the Covid-19 government regulations and the business support on offer.


So far, the government has protected more than nine million jobs across the UK and provided over £13 billion to self-employed individuals. It’s also given billions of pounds for tax referral schemes and business grants. As the second national lockdown begins, the government will continue to support companies across Great Britain. 

The UK’s second national Covid-19 lockdown

The second Covid-19 lockdown will be in place from Thursday 5th November until Wednesday 2nd December. With several exceptions, people must stay at home and avoid mixing with those outside their household. Non-essential businesses must close and anyone who can work from home must do so.



List of essential businesses and venues

According to Covid-19 government regulations, the following businesses can stay open, but they must adhere to health and safety measures:

  • Food shops and supermarkets
  • Garden centres
  • Retailers providing essential goods and services
  • Playgrounds 

List of non-essential businesses and venues

The following businesses must close: 

  • Retailers selling non-essential items - e.g. clothing, vape and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, tailors, car washes, travel agencies, betting shops, auction houses
  • Indoor and outdoor leisure venues - e.g.bowling alleys, leisure centres, gyms, sports facilities, golf courses, public stables, soft play facilities, shooting ranges, water parks
  • Entertainment venues - e.g. cinemas, theatres, museums, galleries, casinos, arcades, zoos, botanical gardens
  • Personal care facilities - e.g. hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, non-medical acupuncture facilities

Exceptions

  • Non-essential retailers can provide delivery and click-and-collect services
  • Hospitality businesses can provide delivery and takeaway services, except for alcohol products
  • Hotels, hostels and other accommodation can only open for people who are travelling for work (see the GOV.UK website for more information)
  • Facilities offering essential, face-to-face aid or therapy can continue with up to 15 people - this includes childcare and support groups, such as those relating to crime, illness, bereavement, sexuality or gender, drugs and alcohol 

Travelling for work

The Covid-19 government regulations state you should avoid travelling on public transport whenever possible. Aim to walk or cycle and always practise social distancing. 

You can make overnight stays for work or education, including in a second home. 

Over the past eight months of this crisis, we have helped millions of people to continue to provide for their families. But now - along with many other countries around the world - we face a tough winter ahead. I have always said that we will do whatever it takes as the situation evolves. Now, as restrictions get tougher, we are taking steps to provide further financial support to protect jobs and businesses. These changes will provide a vital safety net for people across the UK.

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the furlough scheme)

The CJRS was introduced to help employers retain their staff. It was due to end at the start of November but the government has now extended the scheme until December to support workers during the second national lockdown. 

The government will fund 80 percent of employees’ salaries, up to a total of £2,500 each per month. Employers must pay National Insurance and Pension contributions, and can make up the remaining 20 percent of salary if they choose. 

All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes are eligible for the CJRS, no matter their size and even if they’re charitable or non-profit. You don’t need to have claimed from the CJRS before. 

The government doesn’t expect publicly funded organisations to use the CJRS. However, if your business is only partially reliant on public funds and your private revenues have been reduced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, you may be eligible.  

In October, the government paid 60 percent of employees’ wages, and the Job Support Scheme planned for December will offer grants of up to 66.67 percent of workers’ salaries. So, the extended CJRS - or furlough scheme - is more generous than other support packages. 

Grants

Businesses forced to close their premises in England as a result of Covid-19 government regulations are eligible for payments of up to £3,000 a month. The Local Restrictions Support Grant will provide: 

  • £1,334 per month or £667 per fortnight for properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
  • £2,000 per month or £1,000 per fortnight for properties with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 
  • £3,000 per month or £1,500 per fortnight for properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over

The government is also supporting businesses by providing £1.1 billion to Local Authorities, which can distribute £20 per head as one-off payments. 

More Covid-19 business support 

The government has introduced various other schemes to support employers and employees throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Visit www.GOV.UK to find detailed information on the additional options available to business owners, including: 

  • Statutory sick pay support
  • VAT deferrals
  • Self-assessment payment deferrals
  • Business rates relief
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan 
  • Coronavirus Future Fund
  • Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan
  • Job Retention Bonus
  • Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility
  • Local Restrictions Support grant
  • The Kick-Start Scheme grant

The GOV.UK website also has a number of resources to provide extra support, including: 

  • Business support helpline: 0800 998 1098
  • HMRC helpline: 0800 0159 559
  • A selection of informative webinars
  • Local Growth Hubs (support and funding advice)
  • The Skills Toolkit (free online digital and numeracy courses)
  • Find A Job (job vacancies)

More articles on how to navigate Covid-19 government regulations 

Our informative guides cover topics across every industry and aspect of business. See the articles below for more information on maintaining positive performance amid Covid-19 government regulations. 

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