BORIS Johnson has set out the country’s road map to ‘significant normality’ and plans for further easing of lockdown restrictions. These changes will look to take place from August 1 if circumstances allow.

More industries will be allowed to reopen that were previously instructed to stay shut, including bowling alleys, close contact services such as eyebrow threading or make-up application and indoor performances, with further easing of restrictions also announced.

The Government also laid out plans to give employers more discretion on how they ensure employees can return to work. Working from home is one way to do this, but workplaces can also be made safe by following Covid-19 secure guidelines.

This will mean companies will have to open discussions with their employees to decide when to return to offices safely. In order to aid businesses, they will need clear and comprehensible guidance from government in order to support them during this decision process.

If prevalence falls very significantly, Government will review the necessity for the outstanding measures and allow a more significant return to normality.

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This would start with removing the need to distance people, while retaining limited mitigations like face coverings and plastic screens in shops. These next steps could happen as early as November at the earliest, however is contingent on a number of factors.

This news will be welcomed by many businesses who now have a timetable for a return to some form of normality which gives them the necessary time to plan and prepare.

We continue to call for the Government to consider supporting those businesses who will have to remain closed until the autumn which is also beyond the end-date for government support schemes and many businesses’ cash reserves.

All of the plans laid out by government are conditional and will be dependent on the country’s progress through the next stage of the pandemic and can be altered at any point.

This plan however will provide promise and calls for optimism for businesses who are hoping for a bounce back come November where it is hoped a significant normality can return to our lives.

For further information on the guidance on returning to work and the support available to businesses, please visit our Coronavirus Business Support Hub at