Chambers respond to new tiered system for Coronavirus restrictions

Commenting on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement of a new, tiered approach to local Coronavirus restrictions in England – and following the introduction last week of deeper restrictions in other nations of the UK, BCC Director General Adam Marshall said:

“Intensified restrictions will be a real blow to business and public confidence at a delicate time for the economy.  Firms have put hard work and precious cash into making their businesses Covid-secure, and must be allowed to operate unless there is overwhelming and clear evidence to the contrary.  Businesses cannot be subjected to a rollercoaster of stop-start restrictions with no end in sight.

“Speculation and rumour have badly eroded trust between Westminster, local government, and our businesses communities.  At a time when clarity and transparency are critical, local business leaders must be more deeply involved in decision-making, so that the real-world consequences for livelihoods and communities are understood.  The introduction of any new restrictions must go hand-in-hand with the appropriate level of financial support, both now and into the future.

“Above all, businesses need to see an exit strategy to prevent economic paralysis. Mass testing, faster processing and proportionate financial support for those forced to self-isolate are crucial to supporting businesses and communities in the months ahead.”

Also commenting on the Prime Minister’s announcement, Chris Sargisson, Chief Executive of Norfolk Chambers said:

“Whilst Norfolk currently remains in the lower tier, the Coronavirus infection rates in our region are rising.  It is therefore imperative that the Government ensures that the test and trace system is functioning effectively and efficiently.  Norfolk is not London, Manchester or Liverpool and there are many of our geographic areas and vulnerable sectors that will be adversely impacted by a tighter restrictions - despite the implementation of support measures from the Government.

“Norfolk Chambers wants to see the Government working on a strong and clear strategic response to the pandemic.  Businesses have had enough of short term, reactive measures.  The Government must deliver a clear plan for Covid-19 and roadmap for supporting the most impacted businesses - both through the immediate autumn and winter crisis and into recovery next year.”

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