From today until December 2nd, those of us in England are under another strict lockdown. We know that essential shops and restaurants are closing their doors, but the rules for businesses don’t seem to be as clear cut. So, we’re taking the chance to clear up what you can and can’t do in business.
While you’re encouraged to work from home, your offices are allowed to stay open for those unable to work at home. Similarly, travelling for work is discouraged but allowed if absolutely necessary.
The Alt View: It is a tricky balance but from our conversations many will continue, where it is materially important to meet in a respectful way. Board meetings may work to some extent on Zoom but at this moment when there are complex decisions to be made – biochemical responses and feelings need to be considered as well as just the facts.
It’s strongly discouraged to meet people outside your household. Where possible, host any meetings virtually. If you must meet in person for business purposes, remember to wear a mask and keep socially distanced. And if the weather permits, meeting outdoors is safer than indoors.
The Alt View: If you need to meet for business – take the pragmatic approach and walk and talk where possible. It will fulfil the requirement, allow you to exercise and from a Covid perspective is simply much ‘safer’ than any office environment will be.
If you need to travel for work, you’re allowed to do so but you should walk or bike when able. If you’re currently abroad for work and are a British National, you don’t need to return home immediately, but it’s advised to check with your travel operator as some flights may be cancelled or delayed.
The Alt View: The real consideration here is, do we really need to do this? Recycled air on planes has never been the nicest. Consider the business need versus the likely result. That being said, if travel is critical, it is critical.
This is the list of businesses that must close their doors, taken from the government’s website:
- all non-essential retail, including, but not limited to clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops.
- indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks,
- entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens;
- personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons.
Hospitality venues such as restaurants and pubs must close their doors but if they provide delivery services, they can continue to do so. Hotels can stay open only for those needing to travel for work or other absolutely necessary reasons.