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Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
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12:16 PM 23rd June 2020

Business Responds To Prime Minister’s Announcement On Further Easing Of Lockdown Restrictions

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s announcement of further easing of Coronavirus restrictions from July 4 in England, including the reopening of culture, tourism and leisure venues as well as a relaxation of the two-metre rule, BCC Director-General Adam Marshall said:

"These steps will enable more companies to reopen and will be cautiously welcomed in our business communities.

“While the relaxation of the two-metre rule will help more firms increase capacity, we are still a long way from business as usual. Broader efforts to boost business and consumer confidence will still be needed to help firms trade their way out of this crisis.

“A comprehensive test and trace system, including a mass testing regime, must be in place to realise the benefits that the easing of restrictions could bring to firms across the UK, many of whom are relying on the swift return of consumer confidence.

“Businesses also need a clear roadmap to recovery, including fresh support for the worst-affected sectors and geographic areas, and broader fiscal measures to get the economy moving again.”

Edwin Morgan, Director of Policy at the Institute of Directors, said:

“Reducing the 2m rule will undoubtedly bring relief to many businesses.

"A quarter of our members have said that under current social distancing rules they are likely to operate at less than half capacity. For many, this simply isn't sustainable, particularly with the furlough scheme set to wind down.

"This change isn't a panacea, and doesn't mean safety can take a backseat. If anything, the onus is now even more on directors to ensure rigorous mitigating measures are in place. In some cases, this won’t be easy or cheap. With many firms already strapped for cash, the Treasury should consider supporting companies to make the necessary adjustments, particularly as some haven't been able to access schemes so far."