Is July 19th really “Freedom Day”?
Boris Johnson has confirmed the easing of all remaining Covid-19 restrictions in England will go ahead and the country can move to stage four of the plan to lift measures on July 19th, dubbed “Freedom Day”.
He warned that cases will rise as restrictions are lifted and the legal requirement to wear face masks is removed.
Not everyone in the UK has had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine but this should be complete by mid-September, the Government said. Are we right to fully relax and go about our business as usual?
Of course, there is no way of knowing what the future holds which makes long-term planning difficult, but all business owners should keep an eye on the statistics on the coming months.
If anything has been learned in the last eighteen months, it is to expect the unexpected.
We recommend adopting a flexible planning process. Rather than fixing your financial plans, review and revive them on a regular basis. Key events that could impact your plans in the coming months could include:
- Continuing COVID uncertainties.
- Bank interest rate rises.
- Continuing supply issues as we become adjusted to the EU withdrawal.
- Travel costs and restrictions.
Although we may enter “Freedom Day” next week and can travel to amber listed countries without quarantine, there are still restrictions in place.
Travellers whether vaccinated or not, will still need to pay for multiple Covid tests when returning from destinations on the amber or green lists.
The cost of these tests may be prohibitive for some and recent reports are that tests for a family of 4 could potentially approach £1,000 which is not insignificant.
Returning to work
The government fully expects that not all employees will return to the workplace on 19th July. Regardless, employers will need to perform risk assessments.
As an employer, you must protect people from harm. This includes taking reasonable steps to protect your workers and others from coronavirus. This is called a COVID-19 risk assessment and it’ll help you manage risk and protect people.
- Identify what work activity or situations might cause transmission of the virus.
- Think about who could be at risk.
- Decide how likely it is that someone could be exposed.
- ct to remove the activity or situation, or if this isn’t possible, control the risk.
- If you have fewer than five employees, you don’t have to write anything down, but it might help if you do.
More here, next review due on 19th July:
Proceed with caution
So although we may be free from legal requirements relating to Covid-19 next week, cautionary guidance has also been published. It recommends:
- Meeting in well-ventilated areas where possible, such as outdoors or indoors with windows open.
- Wearing a face covering where you meet people you do not normally meet in enclosed and crowded spaces.
- Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day.
- Covering your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze.
- Staying at home if unwell, to reduce the risk of passing on other illnesses onto friends, family, colleagues, and others in your community.
- Considering individual risks, such as clinical vulnerabilities and vaccination status.
If you need help creating or revising your financial plans as we enter stage 4 and “Freedom Day”, please get in touch.