Responding to the Prime Minister’s statement updating the tiering system of coronavirus restrictions, Roger Barker, Director of Policy at the Institute of Directors, said:
“Advanced information on restrictions is what directors need to plan, and confirmation of the end of the national lockdown is a relief. However, today’s announcement is a decidedly mixed bag for business.
“Opening non-essential retail is a huge boost. The run-up to Christmas will be vital for companies, many of whom have invested significantly in becoming Covid-secure. It is now imperative that directors ensure their organisations and customers stick to the distancing guidelines.
“However, businesses in the hospitality sector and their supply chains will be reeling. It’s vital the Government reinstates and extends insolvency protections until the Spring. Further grant support and tax deferrals should also be considered, as firms could now see reduced income for months.
“The prospect of improved testing capacity is tantalising, reduced isolation periods could be crucial for the economy until a vaccine is ready. However, directors will be waiting to see action on the ground before getting their hopes up."