Action has been taken as the Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a “squeezing of the break pedal” pausing the easing of restrictions across England that were due to take place over the weekend amid concerns of an increase in Coronavirus cases.
Wedding receptions of up to 30 people will not be allowed to go ahead, bowling alleys, casinos ice skating rinks and indoor performances will have to wait to return to a sense of normality as well for at least another two weeks where the measures will be reviewed.
Face coverings will also be mandatory in more public settings such as cinemas, galleries and places of worship.
The Prime Minister also reviled new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) where there is “now evidence to suggest a slight increase in the number of people in England testing positive on a nose and throat swab in recent weeks.”
This announcement coming after the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock announced people in northern England will see new restrictions in place, banning separate households from meeting each other at home after a spike in cases.
This will be a monumental blow to those businesses that were preparing to welcome customers back over the weekend and a reminder to many that we are not out of the woods as of yet. The government has reaffirmed its stance on reacting when necessary altering the level of restrictions and imposing more locally targeted measures.
British Chambers of Commerce Co-Executive Director, Claire Walker, said: “While tackling the public health emergency must be the priority, these announcements – made at short notice – will be a hammer blow to business and consumer confidence at a time when many firms were just starting to get back on their feet.
“Businesses communities need as much clarity as possible from government if they are to plan ahead and rebuild their operations in the coming months. Ministers must also consider extending support to all firms, many of whom will be forced to close for an even more prolonged period, as well as targeted measures to help businesses placed under localised lockdowns.”
For further information on the support and advice available to businesses please visit our Coronavirus Support Hub.