6th July 2021
Covid-19 England – I am sure all of you will now be aware of the Government’s intention (subject to final confirmation on the 12th), to remove all the legal covid-19 restrictions on July 19th. Here is a summary of business related restrictions that will go:
- All businesses will be able to reopen, including nightclubs.
- Face masks will no longer be legally required.
- Social distancing rules will no longer apply.
- All legal limits on indoor and outdoor meetings will go.
- People will no longer be told to work from home.
- Test and trace will continue, but the government wants to replace isolation with daily testing.
- Covid-status certificates will not be required by the government to access venues. But businesses can choose to use them.
Members may wish to read a more detailed document published last night at COVID-19 Response: Summer 2021 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Some key additional points of interest from that document are:
- The legal requirements to wear a face covering will be lifted in all settings. To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, published guidance will advise that wearing a face covering will reduce your risk and the risk to others, where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet in enclosed and crowded spaces.
- Social distancing rules (2 metres or 1 metre with additional mitigations) will be lifted. You should continue to consider the risks of close contact with others, particularly if you are clinically extremely vulnerable or not yet fully vaccinated. Social distancing will only be required in limited circumstances: ports of entry for passengers between disembarkation and border control in order to manage the risk of Variants of Concern being transmitted between individuals; and people who are self-isolating should also continue to socially distance from others, particularly where they have had a positive test. Health and care settings will continue to maintain appropriate infection prevention and control processes as necessary, and this will be continually reviewed. Guidance will be updated based on the latest clinical evidence this summer.
- For individual settings where the risks of rapid spread are particularly acute, Directors of Public Health, in consultation with setting operators and relevant departments, will be able to advise that social distancing is put in place if necessary to control outbreaks. This should be targeted, time limited, and apply to settings characterised by enclosed and vulnerable communities such as prisons, immigration removal centres and homeless shelters.
- Regulations that place COVID-secure requirements on businesses, including table service, and distancing between tables, will be lifted. ‘Working Safely’ guidance will be updated to provide examples of sensible precautions that employers can take to reduce risk in their workplaces. Employers should take account of this guidance in preparing the risk assessments they are already required to make under pre-pandemic health and safety rules.
- Businesses must not require a self-isolating worker to come to work, and should make sure that workers and customers who feel unwell do not attend the setting.
- Businesses will be encouraged to ask staff and customers to clean their hands regularly and clean surfaces that people touch regularly. The Government will provide guidance on how businesses can reduce unnecessary contact in the workplace, where it is practical. Operators will still be encouraged to use outside space where practical, and to consider the supply of fresh air to indoor spaces. Carbon dioxide (CO2) monitors could be used to help identify where a space is poorly ventilated with businesses encouraged to take steps to improve ventilation if CO2 readings are consistently high.
- Businesses will be encouraged to display QR codes for customers to check in using the NHS COVID-19 app, to support NHS Test and Trace, although it will no longer be a legal requirement.
Members in Scotland and Wales have been updated previously on the situation for those countries.
Rates Reform – Following consultation with business last year on business rates, the Government last week came forward with proposals to make revaluations more frequent: three years as opposed to five. I am sure members will support this move and look forward to further proposals from Government on its rates reforms.
Safer Gambling Week (1-7 November 2021) – Below is the July Briefing on SGW 2021. It details the bacta minimum commitments for SGW and provides all the guidelines for the use of the collateral whether in arcades, pubs or on machines.SG-Week-2021-GB-Briefing-July-FINAL.pdf (26 downloads)