Business News

Latest Government Announcement – New National Lockdown

Tuesday 5th January 2021

The Prime Minister has announced a national lockdown in England with effect from today:-

  • Requiring people to stay at home, except for specific purposes
  • Closure of all schools, except for children of key workers and vulnerable children
  • All non-essential retail, hospitality and personal care services must close, or remain
  • Restaurants can continue delivery, takeaway or click-and-collect of food and non-alcoholic drinks
  • Advising the clinically extremely vulnerable to begin shielding again https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prime-minister-announces-national-lockdown

Staying at home

People must not leave or be outside of their home except for specific purposes. These include:

  • Shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • Go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • Exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area
  • Meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
  • Seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • Attend education or childcare – for those eligible

This will be put in law. The police can take action by issuing a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400

Businesses and Venues

To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close. These include:

  • All non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment) and market stalls selling non-essential These venues can continue to be able to operate click- and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services
  • Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery
  • Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for providing accommodation or support to the homeless, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
  • Leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, sports courts, fitness and dance studios, riding arenas at riding centres, climbing walls, and golf courses
  • Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas, circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, water parks and theme parks
  • Animal attractions (such as zoos, safari parks, aquariums, and wildlife reserves)
  • Indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open for outdoor exercise
  • Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. These services should not be provided in other people’s homes
  • Community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities, as set out Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services – for example for people who do not have it at home – and for click-and- collect services 

Further Information

New Grants and Discretionary Fund

The Chancellor has announced £4.6 billion in new lockdown grants to support businesses and protect jobs https://www.gov.uk/government/news/46-billion-in-new-lockdown-grants-to-support-businesses-and-protect-jobs

Overview

  • Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are to receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000
  • £594 million discretionary fund also made available to support other impacted businesses
  • This is in addition to existing support already announced such as business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, and the extension of the furlough scheme to

New Grants

  • One-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring
  • The cash is provided on a per-property basis to support businesses through the latest restrictions, and is expected to benefit over 600,000 business properties, worth £4 billion in total across all nations of the UK
  • The new one-off grants come in addition to billions of existing business support, including grants worth up to £3,000 for closed businesses, and up to £2,100 per month for impacted businesses once they reopen
  • The one-off top-ups will be granted to closed businesses as follows:-
    • £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
    • £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
    • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000

Discretionary Fund

  • £594 million is available for Local Authorities and the Devolved Administrations to support other businesses not eligible for grants that might be affected by the Businesses should apply to their Local Authorities
  • Comes in addition to £1.1 billion further discretionary grant funding for Local Authorities, Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month and extension of furlough scheme

Devolved Administrations

  • Business support is a devolved policy and therefore the responsibility of the devolved administrations, which will receive additional funding as a result of these announcements in the usual manner:-
    • Scottish Government will receive £375 million
    • Welsh Government will receive £227 million
    • Northern Ireland Executive will receive £127 million
  • This is on top of the increased funding which has already been guaranteed by the UK Government, to continue to provide the devolved administrations the certainty they need to plan for their COVID-19 response in the months ahead
  • Small businesses in the devolved administrations should also be able to benefit from other UK-wide measures in the

government’s unprecedented package of support for business, including the various business lending schemes (where the repayment terms were made easier as part of the Winter Economy Plan), and the extension of the Self Employment Income Support Scheme

Further Information

Issued 05.01.2021. Events and guidance are changing very quickly in the current circumstances. This is information has been gathered and presented by Creative industry Association from official guidance but we are not experts and we strongly urge you to check with the official sources listed above.

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