The 21 June was expected to see further lockdown easing take place across England. But increasing infection levels and a new variant of the COVID-19 virus have resulted in a delay to these plans.
We look at what was expected to happen in terms of the 21 June lockdown easing, how the expected roadmap has changed and what this means for businesses.
What lockdown restrictions were expected to change from 21 June
Stage 4 of the government’s lockdown easing plan was expected to take place no earlier than 21 June.
It was hoped that the fourth and final stage would mark the end of all legal limits on social contact.
In effect this would have meant:
- All remaining businesses allowed to open e.g., nightclubs
- No limits to the number of people or families who can gather in an indoor setting
- The removal of capacity limits for pubs, theatres, restaurants and cinemas etc
- No limits to the numbers of people who can attend weddings or other life events
It was also expected that a review of social distancing measures such as the 1 metre plus rule, the wearing of face coverings and other long-term measures such as the work from home guidance would be completed. This review was expected to inform timings as to when these measures could be lifted.
What changes are set to happen from the 21 June
The government have always said that lockdown easing will follow the data, and not be confined to certain dates. And as a result of this approach, the 21 June lockdown easing has been delayed by 4 weeks.
In a press conference held on 14th June, Boris Johnson announced that the changes expected under Stage 4 of the reopening plan will be delayed by 4 weeks until the 19th July.
In essence this means:
- Capacity limits will remain in place for pubs, sporting events and cinemas etc
- Nightclubs will remain closed
- The rule of 6/two household rule will remain in place for those gathering indoors
- A limit of 30 people will continue to apply to outdoors gatherings
One of the changes set to be made from the 21 June is that there will be no legal limits on numbers who can attend a wedding. But venues will need to continue to implement social distancing measures which will likely limit the number of guests who can attend
What rules will business need to adhere to in the face of changes to the 21 June lockdown easing?
In effect, there will be very little change for businesses from the 21 June as a result of the delay to the lockdown easing roadmap. Businesses will need to continue to adhere to all of the rules set out by the government including:
- Adhering to capacity limits/rules on numbers of people meeting in groups within their venues
- Implementing social distancing including the 1m+ rule
- Complying with COVID secure guidance
Businesses will still be able to access all of the financial support that they are eligible for such as the furlough scheme which is set to run until the end of September. Businesses also continue to be encouraged to implement a robust COVID-19 testing programme for their employees to manage the risk of COVID-19.
We appreciate that the news that the 21 June lockdown easing will be delayed will be difficult for many businesses. Do get in touch with us at Anthony Jones if you have any questions about an existing business insurance policy or are reviewing your business insurance needs at this time. Contact us on 020 8290 9080or email us at email@example.com.