We are on the road back to normality and as you will have seen, the papers have dissected the journey, but as businesses, what reassurance can we take from the announcements?
The news from yesterday’s announcement offers us and our fellow businesses hope. We must start to plan (if not done so already) steps to reopen our businesses with renewed optimism and enthusiasm. Soon we will be able to meet one another again, for Valtus, this means a return to the offices, meeting with our clients and managers and regaining the confidence that business will bounce back as we see the economy rushing to do the same.
We know that both vaccines have now proven to be effective, one dose reduces hospitalisations and then death by 75% and we accept that no vaccine can ever be 100% effective due to uptake and mutations. We have more than a quarter of the population vaccinated and we are on target to complete all meaningful vaccination by June.
The vaccination programme has been a resounding success, delivered partly by a team of Interim Managers brought in to tackle a problem; it is a great example of British Interim Management at it’s best.
What will happen when lockdown lifts and we go back to our offices? We know that lifting lockdown will increase cases and then deaths, and we must remain clear that there will never be a zero covid world. However, we also know that we cannot keep crippling the economic recovery and we want a one-way road to freedom!
Extracting from what the Prime Minister said, with the plan that we will offer the 1st vaccine dose to every adult by July and the level of infection being similar all over England, restrictions will be eased in the same way nationally.
Four key conditions must be met before making the decision to release lockdown further:
- The coronavirus vaccine programme must go to plan
- Vaccines must sufficiently reduce the number of people dying with the virus or needing hospital treatment
- Infection rates must not risk a surge in hospital admissions
- New coronavirus variants must not fundamentally change the risk level
Before each step the Government will look at the data and this will take four weeks, plus a week’s notice. This means that there will be five weeks between each step.
- Pupils and students in all schools can safely return to schools with bi-weekly tests for high school. Breakfast and afternoon clubs and sports clubs to go back.
- Can meet one person from outside your household in addition to exercise. This includes having a coffee!
- Carehome residents can nominate one person for regular contact
- 29th March – easter holidays, rule of six in private gardens, and two households. Tennis and basketball courts open.
- 29th March no longer legally advised to stay at home
No earlier than 12th April
- Non-essential retail, hairdressers and nail salons open
- Holiday lets restart
- Begin to reopen pubs/restaurants outdoors – alcohol can be sold without food
- Zoos, theme parks and libraries open
No earlier than 17th May
- Limit of 30 outdoors
- Friends and family indoors
- Pubs/hotels/ open indoors/theatres
- Remove all legal limits on social contacts
- Night clubs
- Theatre above limits of step 3
- Increasing testing
Further information on support packages for employees and businesses will be set out next Wednesday in the announcement of the budget on Wednesday next week to further understand the support still to come from the government, however, the message from our PM was that “support packages will continue. We will not pull the rug out”.
Our understanding is that this is a positive move forward that will help our clients. It is conservative, cautious even, but it is a step forward based on science and steady growth.
We stand ready to support you in your business needs, whether it be reopening your doors safely, or restructuring your business in readiness for the new world.
Talk to us now about your next need and how Valtus can help you seize the opportunity.