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Chloe Shakesby

Lockdown easing postponed: the business community reacts

Figures from the business community have commented on the government’s latest announcement regarding the easing of lockdown measures.

In a press conference this afternoon, the Prime Minister announced that the reopening of some leisure businesses will be pushed back by at least two weeks.

Bowling alleys, cinemas and some beauticians were set to reopen tomorrow (August 1), but the government is “squeezing that brake pedal” to keep the virus under control.

Members of the business community reacted:

Claire Walker, BCC

“While tackling the public health emergency must be the priority, these announcements - made at short notice - will be a hammer blow to business and consumer confidence at a time when many firms were just starting to get back on their feet.

“Businesses communities need as much clarity as possible from government if they are to plan ahead and rebuild their operations in the coming months.

“Ministers must also consider extending support to all firms, many of whom will be forced to close for an even more prolonged period, as well as targeted measures to help businesses placed under localised lockdowns.”

Jonathan Ashworth, Shadow Health Secretary

“Two weeks ago, Boris Johnson was suggesting it could all be over by Christmas and I think many people thought there would be a kind of lull in this virus across the summer.

“Of course, it comes off the back of the devastating news yesterday that we’ve now had the highest death rate in Europe confirmed.

“I think it’s understandable why they’ve had to make these decisions so quickly and dramatically in the last 24 hours.”

Frog and Bucket live comedy club (via Twitter)

“This is a huge blow to the club and the industry as a whole.

“We’ve put a considerable amount of time and investment gearing up to reopen again but we have to respect the decision.”

Chesterfield Bowl

“It’s a disappointing setback, we’ve worked hard to get our centre covid secure.

“It’s an understandable decision though, to keep you all safe, but we hope it won’t be long before we can open our doors again and welcome you all back.”

Marie Rimmer, MP (via Twitter)

“So many sectors have been preparing to reopen tomorrow, and some companies may have already taken staff off the furlough scheme in anticipation.

“Now with less than a day’s notice they’re told not to reopen. It’s time for sector specific schemes.”

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