Black Country Chamber comments on latest Government instruction to businesses

24 Mar 2020

Published in: Black Country Chamber of Commerce News

Businesses across the country will close but many in certain sectors can stay open as coronavirus lockdown begins

Businesses across the country will close but many in certain sectors can stay open as coronavirus lockdown begins as disease battle reaches crucial stage.

Most businesses have now been told to shut and people encouraged to stay at home, with only essential services remaining open.

More businesses around the UK have been forced to close after the Prime Minister’s latest plea to the public to stay at home as much as possible last night.

The UK has been placed on effective lockdown as the Government attempts to slow the spread of the disease so that the NHS is not overwhelmed with new cases.

Supermarkets and other food shops have been allowed to remain open because of the essential service they provide.

A number of other service providers have been allowed to remain open such as pharmacies, petrol stations, newsagents, bicycle shops, home and hardware stores, launderettes and dry cleaners, garages, pet shops, post offices and banks.

Food delivery services and takeaways are being encouraged to stay open, and while outdoor and indoor markets must close, market stalls offering essential services, such as fruit and vegetable stalls, can stay open.

Communities and housing secretary Robert Jenrick has said that construction sites can remain open as long as workers observe social distancing protocols, but this has been questioned by many in the industry.

Meanwhile hotels, hostels and caravan parks have been shut, though people who live permanently on such sites, allowed to remain.

Corin Crane, CEO of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce said, “We welcome the response from the Government to keep everyone safe and prevent extra pressures placed upon the NHS.

“As a business support agency, we would welcome additional clarity and appreciate that everyone has a part to play, these are unprecedented times but some business sectors still require clarification.

“We will continue to support our businesses and are here to help and guide them through this uncertainty.”

Responding to the lockdown measures, British Chambers of Commerce Director General Adam Marshall said: “Businesses must play their part to help limit the spread of Coronavirus.

“As the UK goes into lockdown, ministers must be crystal-clear about which businesses can continue to operate, and those which must now shut their doors.

"The new restrictions make it all the more important that the massive package of financial support announced by ministers last week is delivered to firms and employees on the ground as quickly as possible.” 

Guidance: Further businesses and premises to close - read here

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