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 and 29th March

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

On 29th March the following businesses reopened:

  • 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: 12th April

The following businesses reopened:

  • 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 (up to 30 attendees)
  • Weddings, wakes and wedding receptions (up to 15 attendees)
Step 3: No earlier than 17th 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 21st 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.

Paying employees during national restrictions

In this year’s budget, it was announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) is being extended further until the end of September 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.

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 here.

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.