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Official guidance from UK government

For the latest information and advice, UK employers and business owners should visit the official guidance for employers and businesses. Businesses should check for daily updates and subscribe to receive email alerts to ensure they are acting on the most up to date information.


Official Guidance:


On 23 March the government, stepped up measures to prevent the spread

of coronavirus and save lives ordering businesses and premises and other venues to close for trade from this date as well as implementing the following measures:

    • Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
    • Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
    • Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public


Every citizen must comply with these new measures unless they are considered an essential worker in a listed critical sector.


The relevant authorities, including the police, will be given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.



Length of closure:

The first point of review for these measures will be in three weeks from this date. This review will consider their necessity and effectiveness in light of changing circumstances.


Coronavirus Business Support

A full range of business support measures have been made available to UK businesses and employees.

This page helps businesses find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.


Support to self employed individuals

The Chancellor announced on 26 March that millions of self-employed individuals will receive direct cash grants though the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, a ground-breaking UK-wide scheme for those whose income has been impacted by the coronavirus.


Social distancing

The most effective way to prevent the spread of Covid-19 is to stay at home and away from others by social distancing. Review the official guidance from UK government.


Social distancing for those who are still open:

Employers who have people in their offices or onsite should ensure that employees are able to follow Public Health England guidelines including, where possible, maintaining a 2 metre distance from others, and washing their hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds (or using hand sanitiser gel if soap and water is not available).

View guidance of how to clean non-healthcare settings.


Additional support for business


Education

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Schools will close from Monday 23 March, except for children of key workers and vulnerable children. [link to: Schools, colleges and early years settings to close]

Examples of key workers include NHS staff, police and supermarket delivery drivers who need to be able to go to work to support the country’s fight to tackle coronavirus.

The Department for Education (DfE) has announced proposals to award students a calculated grade for their GCSEs, AS and A levels this summer, and to provide an exam option for those that wish it as soon as is reasonably possible after schools reopen.

Guidance for schools, colleges and local authorities on maintaining educational provision

·To support nurseries at this time, they will be eligible for a business rates holiday for one year and the government will continue to pay funding to local authorities for free childcare entitlements.

Pubs, restaurants and cafes

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On Monday 23 March the UK government announced all non essential businesses are to close. This follows a previous announcement that pubs are restaurants are to close, but granted permission for pubs and restaurants to operate as takeaways.

For employers staying open, it is important to follow social distancing practices using the Public Health England guidelines including, where possible, maintaining a 2 metre distance from others, and washing their hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds (or using hand sanitiser gel if soap and water is not available).

View guidance of how to clean non-healthcare settings.

Trade

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The government has published guidance on DIT and financial support for UK businesses trading internationally: Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for UK businesses

BCC urges banks to deliver financial support to businesses on the ground

BCC Director General Adam Marshall and President Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith have written to bank leaders urging them to get support from CBILS to businesses on the ground as soon as possible.

BCC comments on government support for the self-employed

Welcoming measures outlined by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak to support the self-employed and sole traders whose businesses have been affected by Coronavirus, BCC Director General Dr Adam Marshall said:  

BCC responds to new social distancing measures

BCC Director General Dr Adam Marshall responds to the Prime Minister’s announcement of further restrictions to tackle the spread of Coronavirus

BCC comments on the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Commenting on the introduction of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the BCC's Head of Economics, Suren Thiru, said: