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Business leaders call for early clarity on post-lockdown restrictions

Business leaders in Coventry and Warwickshire have backed calls for the Government to publish without delay details of what new Coronavirus restrictions will look like post-lockdown.

The current national lockdown, which has been in place since November 5, is due to expire on December 2 but ministers have yet to confirm exactly what will replace it.

Business leaders call for early clarity on post-lockdown restrictions

The British Chambers of Commerce wants the Government to publish its approach to national Coronavirus restrictions in England at least one week ahead of December 2.

It also wants scientific evidence for any continuing restrictions on specific business sectors to be published and an economic impact assessment of the continued business restrictions and closures on communities and the wider economy.

Louise Bennett, Chief Executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We have said throughout the pandemic that the number one priority remains the safety of the public.

“What businesses really need is for the Government to communicate any changes that it’s planning to make to restrictions as early as possible.

“This is one of the most uncertain economic climates in living memory, and businesses need to know with as much certainty as possible what’s coming next so they can plan and adapt accordingly, whether that’s further national restrictions or a return to the previous localised plan.

“Allowing too much time for speculation and rumour ahead of any announcement is unhelpful, so we call on the Government to be on the front foot and to be clear without delay about what the next stage will look like for businesses across our region.”

BCC Director General Adam Marshall said: “Nine months into the pandemic, business communities are still crying out for timely information and a clear strategy from government so that they can survive and rebuild. 

“Delays and imprecision mean people lose their livelihoods. Firms are taking difficult decisions every day about their futures, and are tired of being left to rely on speculation and rumour. The government must urgently set out the exit plan for the end of national restrictions in England on 2nd December – and make it crystal-clear which businesses can operate, and under what conditions. 

“Business communities – whether in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland – cannot take another year of rushed stop-start restrictions from governments while vaccines are rolled out. Broad-based workplace testing would help bridge the gap, maintaining employee confidence and helping as many businesses as possible remain open and trading at this crucial time.”

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