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25th Jun, 2022

Where now? Call for direction on eve of easing Covid restrictions

BUSINESS leaders have called for ‘meaningful guidance’ on how the lifting of remaining Covid-19 restrictions will work for businesses after the government confirmed it will press ahead with its plans for July 19.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Sajid Javid both confirmed that all elements of social distancing will be removed from next Monday – including limits on how many people can meet, the one-metre plus rule and the legal requirement to wear face coverings.

Henrietta Brealey, chief executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “Businesses need clarity on how this will work in practice.

“They are not public health experts and need meaningful guidance on what exactly being ‘responsible’, ‘high risk’ and returning to work in a ‘gradual’ fashion mean in a business context.

“The business community wants to get back to doing what it does best.

“The confirmation of progress to Stage 4 of the roadmap is very welcome and there is much to be positive about in the effectiveness of the vaccine rollout and generally optimistic business sentiment.

“But they need to be reassured that concrete details on workplace guidance will be published; plans to support businesses with the rising issue of self-isolation notifications will be brought forward; and support will remain in available for those firms facing severe hardship.

“The support provided to date has been incredibly welcome and unprecedented and we know that certain sectors – such as international travel – are still a long way from business as usual despite the real progress starting to be made.”

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