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Roadmap to end lockdown puts spotlight on Budget

Prime Minister Boris Johnson today unveiled his exit plan for the England lockdown. But businesses will have to wait until the 3 March Budget for news on the economic support package and the Covid support scheme extensions.

22nd Feb 2021
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Downing Street press conference
Simon Dawson/ No 10 Downing Street

Johnson’s “crucial but irreversible” roadmap for re-opening the country starts with schools returning on 8 March, much to the relief of accountants who have juggled tax returns and homeschooling

The four-stage lockdown timetable focuses first on social interaction outside, with gyms, hospitality and non-essential businesses having to wait until 12 April at the earliest. Under step two of relaxing lockdown, outdoor venues such as pubs and restaurants will be able to re-open. 

But these hospitality businesses and other indoor venues such as cinemas, hotels, B&Bs and group exercise classes will have to wait until step three – which would be no earlier than 17 May – to allow patrons back inside their premises. 

It won’t be until the final step, which will come no later than 21 June, when all legal limits on social contact will be removed and everything up to and including nightclubs will re-open. 

While the timetable gives businesses a roadmap to prepare for their re-opening, the government is putting "data before dates" and will reflect on the impact of relaxating the restrictions before each step.

Economic support

Today’s timetable extends past the expected 30 April 2021 end of the furlough scheme and the business rates holiday. As Labour's Anneliese Dodd pointed out, indoor hospitality won't re-open until 17 May at the earliest which is "more than a month after these businesses have to start paying business rates and more than two weeks after furlough ends".

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Replies (8)

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By DaveyJonesLocker
23rd Feb 2021 09:51

We're going to be doing furlough for ages aren't we.....

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Replying to DaveyJonesLocker:
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By Paul Crowley
23rd Feb 2021 18:45

Extended to June? Again?
Will this be an annual extension?

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By SteveHa
23rd Feb 2021 11:35

Quote:
Johnson’s announcement comes seven weeks after the nation was plunged into tough lockdown measures on 4 January.

What about us poor buggers in Wales, for whom it has been a way of life since long before that.

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Replying to SteveHa:
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By AnnAccountant
23rd Feb 2021 12:32

You'll have to ask the Welsh leadership if you want to know what will happen in Wales.

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Replying to SteveHa:
Sparkly Orange
By Sparkly
24th Feb 2021 14:36

And us in Scotland too. My area went from Level 1/Tier 1 on Christmas Day straight to Level 4 on Boxing Day not because of rising numbers in my area but just so that the whole of mainland Scotland would be locked down. One of my kids will be able to return to school on 15th March as all Primary School kids can return then but the older one won't be able to Return full time until after the Easter holidays at the end of April, as he's not senior enough.

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By Mrbailey
24th Feb 2021 11:53

Lovely Richard dude
Its great information for fiscally fiscal thinkers
With many businèssses going bust soon fiscal agents will be able to rest

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By AndrewV12
25th Feb 2021 09:08

Step 4: 21 June at earliest
Remove all legal limits on social contact.
Everything up to and including nightclubs
No limit on social contact.

Lets hope this is the last of it.

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By AndrewV12
25th Feb 2021 09:08

Step 4: 21 June at earliest
Remove all legal limits on social contact.
Everything up to and including nightclubs
No limit on social contact.

Lets hope this is the last of it.

Thanks (0)