The Prime Minister has announced a third National Lockdown across England, in light of the rising COVID-19 infection rates due to the new variant of the virus.
- The new variant of the virus is spreading at speed. It is 50-70% more transmittable.
- Hospitals are under more pressure than at any time during the pandemic, at 40% higher than April peak.
- In order to keep the new variant under control, England will go into a national lockdown effective immediately.
- People can only leave home for limited reasons and Schools and colleges will be closed.
- The vaccine is the way forward. The UK currently has more vaccinated people than whole of Europe. By Mid-February the vaccine will have been offered to everyone in the top four priority groups:
- Care home residents
- All over 70
- All frontline health and care workers
- All who are vulnerable
- However there is a time lag from vaccination to immunity.
- There are hopes to move out of lockdown after February half-term but no official date has been given.
In response to the announcement, Chief Executive Jace Tyrrell, said: “The Prime Minister’s brutal assessment of the grip this virus has upon our nation rightly prioritises tougher rules to protect our health and safety as the vaccine is rolled out, but it should not stamp out the hopes of retailers who must remain resilient and protect jobs.”
“Since March last year far too many trading days have been lost, and 128 days later business leaders need further assurance and support to bridge the gap until sales can resume. Clarity on the duration and depth of support will save hundreds of viable businesses and tens of thousands of jobs. That support should include an early decision on delaying the Chancellor’s planned re-introduction of business rates will be delayed and a reversal of the Government’s decision to end tax-free shopping for non-EU visitors.”
“Protecting lives requires us all to stay home, protecting livelihoods requires the Government to act now on delaying the introduction of new taxes just as they look to reopen the economy.”
National Lockdown Guidance & Key Resources
New West End Company has contingency plans in place and will ensure that essential security and proportionate street management services will continue whilst the National Lockdown is in place.