What’s New For Small Businesses This Week? – 09/04/2020

What’s New For Small Businesses This Week? – 09/04/2020

We have gone through this week’s news and have attempted to pull out the most relevant announcements for this round-up.  

Here is a brief look at the news you need to know: 

  • England’s lockdown to ease as planned on 12 April 
  • High Street sales tipped to surge 50% on 12 April 
  • Tests to be offered twice-weekly to all in England 

 

England’s lockdown to ease as planned on 12 April 

Pubs and restaurants serving outside can reopen as planned next Monday, along with non-essential shops, gyms, and hairdressers, as England’s lockdown is further eased. 

The prime minister also said the government was “hopeful” that international travel could resume on 17 May for the next stage of lockdown easing but cautioned against the effects of the surge of coronavirus in other parts of the world. 

What is changing from 12 April in England? 

  • Hospitality venues can serve food and alcohol to customers sitting outdoors, with no curfew 
  • All non-essential shops are allowed to open 
  • Hairdressers, beauty salons, and other close-contact services can open 
  • Gyms and spas can reopen, as can zoos, theme parks, drive-in cinemas, and drive-in performances events 
  • Members of the same household can take a holiday in England in self-contained accommodation 
  • Public buildings such as libraries and community centres will also reopen 
  • Close-contact services such as beauty and nail salons can reopen 
  • Weddings attended by up to 15 people can take place 
  • The number of care home visitors will also increase to two per resident 

For more information visit: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-56641596

 

High Street sales tipped to surge 50% on 12 April 

Springboard predicts a 48% rise in sales when lockdown restrictions are lifted on 12 April. Their analysis shows that during the four-day bank holiday, footfall in central London and other large British cities was three times greater than for the same period in March 2020, which was just after the first coronavirus lockdown began. 

The analyst says that the fact more consumers are visiting retail parks and do shopping from those essential shops allowed to stay open indicates a “pent up demand” to make shopping decisions in person in bricks and mortar stores, rather than online. 

According to PwC’s consumer markets lead Lisa Hooker, people were forced to do savings during lockdown which has led to record levels of optimism and a number of ‘firsts’ such as all regions being positive since we started the survey in 2008. Consumers have missed their favourite activities such as shopping, eating out, and going on holiday and so there is ample opportunity, over the spring and into the summer, for operators to maximise this appetite to spend. 

For more information visit: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56667980

 

Tests to be offered twice-weekly to all in England 

Everyone in England is to be given access to two rapid coronavirus tests a week from Friday, under an extension of the government’s testing programme. The lateral flow kits, which can provide results in around 30 minutes, will be available for free at testing sites, pharmacies, and through the post. 

The rapid tests are aimed at those without any Covid symptoms and can be taken at home. But critics of the programme say it risks becoming a “scandalous” waste of money. 

The government introduced lateral flow testing for secondary school children and staff earlier this year, under plans to reopen classes in England by March. In February, the scheme was extended to the families of all school and college-age children in England. Kits were also offered to those who cannot work from home in the pandemic, so they can be tested twice a week. 

From 9 April, kits will be available through: 

  • Community testing sites operated by local authorities 
  • Collection from a nearby PCR test site during specific time windows 
  • Existing workplace testing programmes 
  • An online home ordering service with kits then delivered through the post 
  • Participating local pharmacies where a box of 7 tests can be collected to be used twice a week at home 

For more information visit: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-56632084

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