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East Midlands Chamber News

Chamber reacts to easing of lockdown

Prime Minister Boris Johnson today announced a raft of measures aimed at easing the lockdown and restarting the economy as it looks to recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

He said that pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers will all be able to open from 4 July, with a new ‘one metre plus’ social distancing rule in place.

Theatres and music halls will also be allowed to reopen, but they will not be able to hold live performances, while weddings will also be allowed to take place with up to 30 guests. However, a large number of businesses including nail bars, conference centres and leisure venues will remain locked down for the time being.

And families and households will be able to meet indoors for the first time since March under new guidelines announced today.

Scott Knowles, Chief Executive of East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire), said: “A lot of businesses across the East Midlands are chomping at the bit to restart their operations and the measures and guidance announced today will enable some of them to reopen safely and start building the recovery.

“The relaxation of the two-metre rule will help firms to reopen their premises and increase capacity, although the ongoing need to protect health and prevent the spread of the virus means that we won’t see a return to business as usual for some time.

“The key thing many businesses need right now is focused support to help them transition their staff out of furlough and back into the workplace, adapt their operations, and return to pre-lockdown levels of economic performance.

“Recent economic data has made for grim reading, but broader efforts to boost business – on top of the numerous and welcome interventions that Government has made – should help to unlock pent-up demand, boost business and consumer confidence and help firms to build a swift and sustainable recovery.”