Suffolk Chamber Business Briefing: 13 December 2021
Plan B Coronavirus restrictions in England
On Wednesday (8th) December, the Prime Minister confirmed that the Government will move to Plan B of Coronavirus restrictions in England. This includes the following measures:
- From Monday 13 December, those who can will be advised to work from home. Employers should use the rest of this week to discuss working arrangements with their employees
- From Friday 10 December, the government will further extend the legal requirement to wear a face mask to most public indoor venues, including theatres and cinemas. There will be exemptions in venues where it is not practical to wear one, such as when you are eating, drinking or exercising
- From Wednesday 15 December, and subject to parliamentary approval, the NHS Covid Pass on the NHS App will become mandatory for entry into nightclubs and settings where large crowds gather – including unseated indoor events with 500 or more attendees, unseated outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees and any event with 10,000 or more attendees.
- People will be able to demonstrate proof of two vaccine doses via the app. Having considered the evidence since the emergence of Omicron, proof of a negative lateral flow test will also be accepted.
- As Omicron spreads in the community, the government also intends to introduce daily contact tests for contacts of confirmed positive Omicron cases instead of the ten-day self-isolation period.
The announcement can be found here, and the guidance will be uploaded to gov.uk when available.
The government will keep the data under constant review. The regulations are set to expire six weeks after implementation, with a review after three weeks.
Read responses from the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and the British Chambers of Commerce following the recent Plan B announcement from the Primeminister.
December’s policy newsletter
Don’t forget that we put together frequent policy updates so you and your business can stay informed about all the latest happenings across Suffolk, December’s issue can be found here.
Guide to managing business debt
British Business Bank (BBB) has recently released a new ‘Guide to Managing Business Debt flipbook’ designed to provide impartial information to help businesses through survival and onto recovery, helping them stabilise and move forward to growth and future success. The guide focuses on the following areas:
Understanding debt finance;
- Managing debt;
- Improving your cash flow;
- Moving from survival to recovery and growth; and
- Resources for businesses worried about their debt.
Take a look at the guide here.
Less than a month until full customs controls are introduced
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are reminding traders to prepare for customs changes that come into effect on 1 January 2022.
Traders should be aware that a number of things are changing from 1 January 2022. There are changes to customs declarations, border controls, rules of origin – for imports and exports, postponed VAT accounting and commodity codes.
Further changes will be introduced from July 2022 which HMRC will let traders know more about nearer the time.
The changes from July 2022 will include:
- Requirements for full safety and security declarations for all imports
- New requirements for Export Health Certificates
- Requirements for Phytosanitary Certificates
- Physical checks on sanitary and phytosanitary goods at Border Control Posts
The full announcement can be found here.
Step by step webinars for businesses
Webinars and videos about trading with the EU are available for councils to share with local stakeholders and businesses. A full calendar of webinars for organisations that trade with the EU can be found on GOV.UK. The Cabinet Office uploaded recordings for recent step-by-step webinars. Businesses can access a recording of a number of webinars that focus on moving dairy, fish and composite products between a number of countries in the EU and Great Britain.
Businesses can also use the Brexit Checker tool on GOV. UK, which will provide a personalised list of the most up to date actions that businesses need to take.
New support for the UK’s agri-food and drink industry
A network of agri-food and drink attachés is to be placed in key global markets, in order to promote trade and boost exports. Read more here.
The Government has also launched the "Made in the UK, Sold to the World" strategy to help businesses across the UK double exports and sell their products around the globe.
Transport East launch regional strategy for consultation
A public consultation has been launched on an ambitious new regional transport strategy for the East.
Transport East has developed the draft strategy together with councils, business leaders and other partners from across the region to help guide investment in transport up to 2050.
The strategy focuses on four key priorities:
- Decarbonisation to net zero
- Connecting growing towns and cities
- Energising coastal and rural communities
- Unlocking international gateways
Find out more and have your say at: www.transporteast.org.uk