Non-essential shops, gyms, hairdressers can reopen as planned next Monday as well as hospitality settings allowed to serve customers outdoors the Prime Minister has confirmed.
As part of the governments roadmap to recovery, phase 2 will continue as planned and see a number of businesses re-open as infection rates continue to drop.
Businesses have been faced with a tough start to the year, with most of it spent in lockdown preventing businesses from opening. The continuation of the phased exit out of lockdown along with continuation of the vaccine rollout will provide businesses with optimism for the future.
Responding to the news that phase 2 of the roadmap out of lockdown for England will go ahead on April 12:
Claire Walker, Co-Executive Director of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:
“This is great news. Many firms will be breathing a huge sigh of relief that they will soon be able to reopen their doors to customers. The last year has taken a heavy toll on firms across the country and they will be counting down the hours until they can begin trading and rebuilding their businesses.
“However, the route back to a full reopening of the economy is still a long way off, with continued uncertainty for some sectors about whether, and when, the next roadmap steps will be met, and many more firms asking questions, yet to be answered, about when they can open at full capacity or with fewer restrictions.
“To translate hope of renewal into reality there must be a coherent strategy for growth which empowers and enables businesses to lead the economic recovery from Covid-19. Firms will need time to get back on their feet, with the security of knowing Government will support them should the roadmap falter.”
Sharon Smith, Chief Executive of Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, said:
“As businesses begin to prepare for a grand re-opening, many have cause to be optimistic that this will be the last lockdown that they will face. A continuation of the vaccine rollout together with a clear an concise long-term plan will maintain this confidence and contribute toward a full recovery of the economy.
“We are glad that businesses are being given time to prepare to re-open and this has been communicated clearly to them in advance. After more than 12 months of uncertainty it is the hope that now we can begin looking forward to the future rather than fearing the worst which has led to lost confidence and a hit on cash flow for many businesses.
“With the recent news that government rapid testing scheme is expanding to businesses I would like to encourage all businesses who can to sign up to the scheme in order to protect their employees.”
The government also are “hopeful” international travel will resume in the next lockdown easing measures in May. traveling abroad is essential to many businesses and government will be analysing data and evidence ahead of any final decision.
Commenting on International Travel, Claire Walker, said:
“The sectors which rely on international travel and their supply chains have been hit extremely hard over the last year and have faced one of the longest periods of uncertainty about when they would be able to resume normal operations.
“It is absolutely vital that the Global Travel Taskforce provides certainty as soon as possible about what level of restrictions will apply on travel to, and from, specific countries in advance of the proposed resumption of international travel on May 17.”