Easing of COVID-19 Restrictions

On 22nd February, the roadmap for exiting the current lockdown restrictions was announced.

Below are the details for the four stages of the roadmap and what they mean for your business.

Step 1: 8th March & 29th March

On the 8th March, with children returning to school, wraparound care for all children (including sport) will be permitted.

On the 29th March the following businesses can reopen:

  • Organised outdoor sports
  • Outdoor sport and leisure facilities
  • All outdoor children’s activities
  • Outdoor parent and child group (up to 15 parents)
  • Funerals can have up to 30 attendees
  • Weddings and wakes can have up to 6 attendees
Step 2: No earlier than 12 April

Subject to reviews, the following businesses can reopen:

  • All retail
  • All personal care
  • Libraries and community centres
  • Most outdoor attractions
  • Indoor leisure facilities, including gyms
  • Self-contained accommodation
  • All children’s activities
  • Outdoor hospitality
  • Indoor parent and child groups
  • Funerals can have up to 30 attendees
  • Weddings, wakes and wedding receptions can have up to 15
Step 3: No earlier than 17 May

Subject to reviews, the following businesses can reopen:

  • Indoor hospitality
  • Indoor entertainment and attractions
  • Organised indoor sport
  • All accommodation providers
  • All outdoor entertainment (including live performances)
  • Significant life events can have up to 30
  • Indoor events can have 1,000 guests or 50%
  • Outdoor seated events can have 10,000 guests or 25%
  • Outdoor non-seated events can have 4,000 guests or 50%
Step 4: No earlier than 21 June

Subject to reviews, the following is permitted:

  • The reopening of all remaining businesses, including nightclubs
  • International travel
  • Life events with no social limit
  • Larger events

The progression of these steps is reliant on the COVID-19 data at the time of each review. The assessment will be based on the following four points:

1. The vaccine deployment programme continuing successfully.

2. Evidence showing vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.

3. Infection rates not risking a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.

4. Assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern.

If you require any further assistance to help your business restart or recover, speak to one of our Growth Hub advisers about the support that could be available to you.

To find out about the financial support available to you during this time, visit this page.

New National Restrictions

The Government has ordered a national lockdown in which certain businesses are required to close. These include:

  • All non-essential retail
  • Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities
  • Entertainment venues
  • Personal care facilities
  • Hospitality venues (unless providing takeaway or delivery options)

A full list of business closures will be published and set out in law. Find out more here. This guidance should be followed immediately.

The chancellor has announced one-off grants to businesses within the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors worth up to £9,000. For information on this grant scheme and other financial support contact the Growth Hub here.

Additional Restrictions Funding

If your business has been affected because of local or national lockdown restrictions, you can apply for financial support.

Hospitality, leisure and non-essential retail businesses are eligible to receive a one-off payment grant, based on their rateable or rental values, to help them whilst restrictions are in place. Businesses that have no rateable value and have been forced to close or been adversely affected will also be eligible. These grants will be based on rental value and are in addition to the Government support already announced.

There is also financial support available for supply chain businesses who service the hospitality, leisure, tourism and events sectors.

Please get in touch with your local authority to check your eligibility and to apply.

Sheffield businesses.
Barnsley businesses.
Rotherham businesses.
Doncaster businesses.

Local restrictions and your business

Whilst in Tier 3, South Yorkshire secured £30m of support from Government to help local businesses affected by coronavirus restrictions. Businesses can now apply for the Local Restrictions Support Grant. Please do get in touch with the Growth Hub to discuss the best support available for your business.

You can find the latest government information on the government website.

Paying employees during national restrictions

In light of the latest national restrictions announced, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) is being extended further until the end of April 2021.

The Job Support Scheme, which was due to start on 1 November 2020, has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends.

Workers in any part of the UK can retain their job, even if their employer cannot afford to pay them, and be paid at least 80% of their salary (up to £2500 a month).

Employers will now be asked to pay just National Insurance and Pensions contributions for their staff. Find out more here.

Grants for business owners and the self employed

Government is increasing cash grants available to businesses in England shut in local lockdowns to support with fixed costs. These grants will be linked to rateable values, with up to £3,000 per month payable every two weeks. Find out more here.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant has also been extended to cover November 2020 to April 2021. The grant extension provides critical support to the self-employed in the form of 2 further grants, each available for 3 month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021. The overall level of the grant has been increased to 80% of trading profits covering November to January for all parts of the UK, in line with the support that businesses are receiving.

Guidance for sectors affected by coronavirus

Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has now published guidance with industry partners to assist relevant sectors that will be affected by the coronavirus restrictions. The guidance has been drafted up to support businesses in the cultural, arts, hospitality and events industries. You can access the full list of guidance through the partner websites here. Please do get in touch with the Gateway team at the Growth Hub who can guide you through support available.

NHS Test and Trace Service

It is now mandatory for certain businesses to have a system to collect NHS Test and Trace data, and to retain customer details for 21 days.

The NHS COVID-19 app allows people to check in to venues by scanning a QR code, helping the NHS trace individuals who may have coronavirus. Display NHS QR code posters at your business to support contact tracing.

Find out what this means for your business here. 

If your business does experience a coronavirus outbreak, there is guidance on reporting this.

Working from home and public transport

The Government guidance asks everyone able to work from home to do so.

Those unable to work from home are encouraged to walk or cycle where possible, or to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. The Government has also asked people to reduce the number of journeys they take and to avoid travelling in to or out of the region.

Travel South Yorkshire have up to date information and advice on using public transport to share with employees and colleagues.

How we are helping

The Business Growth Hub is working to support you and your business to build back better following coronavirus.

Experienced local business consultants can support you to get your business back on track with Re-Start to Growth, a free support initiative where skilled experts will help you to assess, plan and restart your business.

South Yorkshire Mayor Dan Jarvis and the Local Enterprise Partnership have also developed an ambitious £1.7 billion plan for not just recovery, but renewal. The Renewal Action Plan supports people, businesses and places across South Yorkshire with interventions designed to make Sheffield City Region’s economy stronger, greener and fairer.