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Support for business
Please see our Support for business page for information on a range of financial and non-financial support for businesses.
National Lockdown - Stay at Home
National lockdown: stay at home rules apply in England.
Coronavirus cases are rising rapidly. This is associated with the emergence of a new variant of the virus. In addition, approximately 1 in 3 people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and could be spreading it without realising it.
Help reduce our infection rates and lower the spread of coronavirus in our community by following the rules for national lockdown: stay at home. This is to protect yourself, your loved ones and to help reduce the number of people needing hospital care.
This Stay at Home Poster provides a summary of the new restrictions. Alternative text is provided in our National Lockdown Summary section.
Your one-stop-shop for support during the coronavirus outbreak
Our Back to Business Hub aims to keep you as informed as we can to help guide you through these difficult and uncertain times. However, for the latest guidance, please visit gov.uk/coronavirus
Our Back to Business hotline is open from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday.
We also encourage businesses and self-employed people to sign up to GOV.UK to receive the latest alerts and guidance regarding their business type.
What does National Lockdown mean for businesses?
All non-essential retail, hospitality and personal care services must close, or remain closed. Restaurants can continue delivery, takeaway or click-and-collect of food and non-alcoholic drinks, but venues will no longer be able to serve takeaway or click-and-collect alcohol.
Essential shops and garden centres can remain open. Entertainment venues and animal attractions such as zoos must close, but the outdoor areas of venues such as heritage homes and botanical gardens can remain open, to be used for exercise. Playgrounds may also remain open.
Indoor and outdoor sports facilities including sports courts, gyms, golf courses, swimming pools, and riding arenas must also close. Elite sport and disabled sport can continue, as can PE lessons for those children attending school.
Please see the Government guidance on businesses and venues that must close and business that may remain open during national lockdown on GOV.UK.
You must not open if your business is closed under current government restrictions.
Please see the Government's guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England on GOV.UK. This guidance covers:
The new COVID variant spreads more easily. By taking the right steps, consistently, we can reduce transmission.
All businesses and venues permitted to open must follow the Government's guidance for working safely during COVID-19 to protect customers, visitors and workers.
Every business must have in place a COVID secure risk assessment. As part of this, you must:
- identify what work activity or situations might cause transmission of the virus
- think about who could be at risk
- decide how likely it is that someone could be exposed.
Please ensure your plan is reassessed and fully implemented. Contact our Back to Business Hub if you need support to develop or update an assessment.
Please also see our How to be COVID secure page for further information, including for your workforce and managing outbreaks.
Regardless of the size of your workforce, we ask that you:
- Follow the Government guidance and wherever possible and practical, support staff to work from home
- Ensure employees maintain social distancing, follow good handwashing practice, and wear face coverings where necessary, particularly when moving around the workplace. Hands. Face. Space - and letting fresh air in - has never been more important
- Advise anyone with symptoms to get a test – this is quick and easy to arrange
- Ensure they stay at home until they get their results
- Symptom- free testing is also available in the district to help stop the spread. Again. this is quick and easy to arrange.
In addition to doing as much as possible to reduce transmission, it is really important that you know what to do if you have a confirmed case or cases of coronavirus in your business.
The Government has published COVID-19 early outbreak management information to make sure people who run businesses or organisations:
- know how to recognise and report an incident of coronavirus (COVID-19)
- are aware of measures local health protection teams may advise in order to contain it
This information is contained within ‘action cards’ that have been designed for specific situations where an outbreak could occur. This could be a restaurant or office, a construction site or a place of worship.
Download and print the relevant action card for your sector and keep on hand in your business, so that you can act without delay to help stop the spread.
Reporting concerns about a business
If you have concerns that a business or venue is breaching coronavirus guidance, or closure rules, you can report this to us through our Business Operation Complaint Form. We will review all reports and redirect those that may need to go to other agencies, for example Kent Police or Kent County Council Trading Standards.
If you have concerns about the behaviour of individuals (i.e. gatherings, or self-isolation breaches) please report these concerns to Kent Police.
To understand the current requirements for business and individuals please the gov.uk website.
Information about support available to employers and self-employed.
Guidance for business on opening and operating in a COVID-secure way. This includes further information for your workforce and managing outbreaks.
Links to additional information and advice for businesses
We have created guides, checklist and posters to support you get back to business.
What your business needs to know about NHS Test and Trace and reporting outbreaks.
The Government regularly updates its guidance. Sign up for alerts on the GOV.UK website.
We have set up a new online application facility for people to find businesses that are open locally.
There are new rules for businesses doing business with the EU from 1 January, and you need to take action now.
It is impossible to cover every scenario and all businesses are individual. If you have any specific questions please contact our Back to Business Hub:
- Telephone: 01304 821199, Option 9 and ask to speak to the 'back to business hub' or
- Email: email@example.com
- Online: Back to Business Form
- Keep Me Posted: sign up for email alerts (select 'Covid-19 Business Updates' from the list of topics)