In March 2020 the Government put in place strict social distancing measures to slow the spread of the Coronavirus so that the NHS would not be overwhelmed. Alongside this, the Government introduced an unprecedented package of support for businesses and individuals, including the CJRS which has helped 1.1 million employers across the UK furlough 9.4 million jobs.
The Government has set out a phased, cautious approach to reopening our economy, so that we do not risk a second peak of the virus. The Government has produced COVID-19 secure practical guidelines to support businesses to reopen and for workers to feel confident, safe and empowered to return to work. Public Health England, the Joint Biosecurity Centre and NHS Test and Trace constantly monitor levels of infection across the country, and will work with local authorities to implement additional measures if needed.
The Chancellor has announced further support for those sectors hardest hit, with a £1.57 billion package for the arts, and a cut in VAT to 5% for accommodation, attractions and the hospitality sector, and on 8th July set out a package of measures to support jobs across the UK, including a Job Retention Bonus to help firms keep furloughed workers and a new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme to create hundreds of thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people.