News & Insight

The new lockdown rules for small businesses

Jack Stratten

A quick guide to what businesses can and can't do

Just as quickly as we'd all absorbed new business rules, another full lockdown has now been announced.

This latest version, which is similar to the one in introduced back in March 2020, will begin on Thursday 5th November, and is currently scheduled to end on 2nd December. That will of course depend on its effectiveness in slowing the rate of Covid-19 infections.

Here are the key points for small businesses to be aware of:

Non-essential retail, entertainment, leisure and hospitaly venues must close

As before, everything other than essential retail must close for this period. Broadly speaking, that means everything other than supermarkets, convenience shops, garden centres, and any other business providing essential items, must close.

All indoor and outdoor leisure and entertainment facilities will also have to close - as will personal care businesses such as hairdressers and nail bars. However, any business offering medical support, such as a denist or osteopath, can remain open.

Pubs, restaurants and cafes can provide takeaway

Again, as before, pubs, restaurants and cafes can provide takeaway and delivery services. However, pubs and restaurants cannot provide takeaway alcohol.

Travel restricted; home working encouraged

Any travel in the UK and internationally, other than for work purposes, is discouraged. Similarly, people are once again being advised to work from home where possible.

However, construction sites remain open, as do schools and universities.

The furlough scheme returns

The government's furlough scheme, in which 80% of an employee's wages are covered, will return for the duration of this lockdown.

It will operate in the exact way it did previously, and it's very simple to access - you can apply for support here.

Other support measures are still available, including various loan schemes, so if you're facing serious financial difficulties make sure you access all of the help available during this difficult time. As ever, at XLN we are here to support you in any way we can.