Boris Johnson announced in February a roadmap to ‘irreversibly reopen’ the economy.
The news put everyone in a position of hope, as the combination of vaccines and lockdown started to make progress.
In this blog we wanted to help you to understand when your business will be allowed to reopen fully, and how you might need to adjust as the rules are relaxed over the coming months.
Step One: Getting Workers Back
8th March 2021
The first restrictions were lifted on the 8th March with the only significant changes occurring in schools.
From the 8th March all year groups were reopened, and it meant that business owners with young children were able to focus on their workflow in a way in which the full lockdown didn’t allow.
This also meant that the majority of staff with young children were able to focus solely on work once more.
Step Two: The Rule Of Six
29th March 2021
The next big restriction to be lifted involves social gatherings.
From the 29th March the ‘rule of six’ returns, meaning that groups of up to six people, or two households of any size, will be able to meet in outdoor settings.
If this impacts your business – then you should consider preparations to offering outdoor friendly services, such as takeaways, and outdoor seating, as the demand will likely be larger.
The ‘stay at home’ slogan will be replaced with ‘stay local’ – which small businesses should also consider working into their marketing strategy.
The following restriction dates are estimates – and will largely depend on the statistics surrounding the pandemic at the time.
Therefore, it’s important to prepare for all options, including the following dates getting pushed back.
Step Three: Many Businesses Can Reopen
April 12th 2021 (tbc)
The plan, for now, is to reopen the hospitality industry, including pubs and restaurants on the 12th April… however this will only be for outdoor purposes.
Other industries such as non-essential retail, hairdresser, gyms, zoos, theme parks, libraries, and holiday accommodation will also re-open.
When this stage of restrictions are lifted – businesses can expect a sharp uptake, and must be prepared for this new wave of potential customers.
Taking staff off of furlough, or hiring apprentices should be a consideration.
Step Four: Households Mix Indoors
17th May 2021 (tbc)
From the 17th May – the expectation is to allow up to 30 people to gather outdoors, and the rule of 6 to apply indoors.
This is where pubs and restaurants will start feeling more ‘normal’ – whilst the economy also sees hotels, cinemas, conferences, performances and sports events welcome in customers.
This step will be the closest to ‘normality’ for most businesses – and will give owners a good idea of how their business can expect to operate post-covid restrictions.
Step Five: The End Of The Road
21st June 2021 (tbc)
Finally, the roadmap ends on 21st June where all legal limits on social contact will be lifted.
This will allow businesses to operate as they did before the pandemic started in March 2020.
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