Doncaster business leaders call for clearer guidance if Covid-19 cases continue to rise
A body representing over 100 Doncaster businesses has called on the government to provide ‘clear guidance’ to firms as they start to fully reopen against rising Covid-19 cases.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that from next week, the country will move away from legally imposed restrictions and instead, individuals will be asked to make their own informed decisions to manage the virus.
This means that the wearing of masks in crowded and enclosed public spaces will be expected and recommended but not enforced. Working from home requirements will cease, with a ‘gradual return to work’ expected.
The one metre plus rule on social distancing will come to an end, as will legal limits on the number of people who can gather indoors and outdoors.
Speaking after the Prime Minister’s announcement, Dan Fell, CEO of Doncaster Chamber, said businesses in the borough welcomed the decision to press ahead with fully reopening the economy but clearer advice is needed if cases continue to increase.
He also called on local and national government to ‘keep listening and supporting’ businesses in Doncaster in order to rebuild the economy.
“Businesses want to be able to do what they do best, which is trade in an open and competitive economy,” Mr Fell said.
“This is not the end of the uncertainty however, and for some businesses, this development will cause as much consternation as it does relief.
“The summer will present many challenges too as thousands of people will, almost certainly, be forced to self-isolate as infection rates rise causing significant disruption to numerous companies.
“It is not yet a given that autumn and winter will be free from additional restrictions. Government therefore needs to tell businesses now if that is a genuine risk and what the mitigation and support measures would be in such a scenario.
“The pandemic is far from the only challenge facing the Doncaster business community at present. The after effects of Brexit are still being felt and many firms – including those in sectors such as haulage and hospitality – are reporting acute skills shortages.”