Lockdown restrictions were first eased in March and then further again on the 12th April. As we move into May a further relaxing of the restrictions is expected from the 17th.
Here we look at the 17 May restrictions and which businesses can open in England. Restrictions across the UK are being eased at different rates so do refer to the relevant information if your business is located outside of England.
17 May Restrictions – what is set to change?
The 17th May marks step 3 of the governments proposed 4 step route out of lockdown. And with the vaccination campaign progressing well and levels of COVID-19 remaining at a lower level, it has been announced that step 3 will go ahead as planned.
The changes planned from the 17th May include:
- Gatherings of up to 30 people will be permitted outdoors
- The rule of 6 or 2 household rules will apply to indoor gatherings
- A wider range of businesses will be able to reopen. This includes:
- indoor dining for the hospitality industry (abiding by the rules above)
- the reopening of indoor entertainment venues such as museums, cinemas & children’s play areas
- the reopening of hotels, hostels and B&B’s
- restarting of adult indoor exercise classes and group sports
- Easing of limits on larger performances and sporting events
- A review of the ability to travel internationally
If your business can reopen, how can you ensure you stay safe?
COVID-secure guidance will remain in place for all sectors and businesses as restrictions ease so it will be vital for your business to abide by these rules. Fines are in place for businesses who break the rules and there is also a risk to your business of COVID-19 related personal injury claims from employees if you do not abide by the rules and uphold your duty of care.
Steps you can take as you reopen your business include:
- Carrying out a robust COVID-19 risk assessment
- Adhering to the relevant rules and not allowing gatherings larger than the legally permitted limits on your premises
- Working within COVID-secure guidelines when reopening your business
- Engaging with COVID-19 testing programmes
How are restrictions expected to ease further in June?
Looking further ahead, the 4th and final step of the lockdown easing plan is currently set to happen no earlier than the 21st June.
At this stage it is expected that all businesses will be able to open. This includes sectors of the economy such as nightclubs which have been shut since March 2020 when the first lockdown was introduced.
It is also hoped that all legal limits on social contact will be removed at this point. But ongoing reviews are still being carried out at this stage. Information on the gov.uk website states that ahead of Step 4 a review of social distancing and other long-term measures will be completed and inform policy relating to:
- The 1 metre plus rule
- the wearing of face coverings
- working from home guidance
At Anthony Jones we appreciate the challenges which businesses have faced over the past year and the difficulties which ongoing lockdowns have presented. If you have any questions about an existing business insurance policy or are reviewing your business insurance needs at this time do not hesitate to get in touch with our team of friendly experts who will be more than happy to help. Contact us on 020 8290 9080 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org