Business want guidance after July 19 opening, says Lancashire-based organisation
A Blackpool based business support organisation has welcomed the government’s plans for a full re-opening on July 19.
The Federation of Small Businesses said the announcement would bring hope to thousands of small businesses but called for more details.
The call for clarity was echoed by the British Chambers of Commerce.
National chairman Mike Cherry said: “Reopening on July 19 will come as a huge relief especially to those who have been closed or restricted during most of the pandemic, including those in the nightlife sector as well as events and hospitality.
"We've waited a long time for this moment, and we need to see the economy restart and rebound as soon as possible.
“But small businesses want to see the new guidance being proposed by the Government, to replace the legal rules, and the proposed ideas for voluntary certification and mask use in crowded indoor settings.
"While we all want this moment to be irreversible, there is a potential for a challenging winter and so this summer needs to be a season of strong, safe trading.
“Small business owners and their staff deserve to be able to work free from intimidation and we would ask everyone to please respect that businesses are trying their best, and to treat those who run and work in them with respect – as we know the vast majority of the public will do.
""Crucially, safe operation will not be possible without clear workplace guidance. We want to see small businesses able to make the choices and decisions that will benefit them the most as they get back on their feet, while protecting the health of their workforce as well as customers."
Meanwhile Claire Walker, Co-Executive Director of the British Chambers of Commerce said: "
“This is the news that firms across England have been waiting for and many will be sighing with relief to hear the Health Secretary finally give the green-light to reopening.
“But they still don’t have the full picture they desperately need to properly plan for unlocking.
“Business leaders aren’t public health experts and cannot be expected to know how best to operate when confusing and sometimes contradictory advice is coming from official sources.
“Without clear guidance there could be real uncertainty on how companies should operate from July 19 and what they should be doing to keep staff and customers safe.
"The government must give clarity on the issues of employment law, health and safety requirements and liability. Firms need to know what will happen if they remove some, or all, COVID-safety measures and then have a large outbreak linked to their premises.”