England is to face a new national lockdown from Thursday 5 November after a rapid rise in coronavirus cases, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.
The new measures will replace local restrictions and are expected to apply nationally for four weeks up to Wednesday 2 December – although Cabinet Minister Michael Gove admitted it may be extended beyond this date on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show.
The latest restrictions will require people to stay at home, except for specific purposes and will force certain businesses and venues to close once again.
Businesses ordered to close include all non-essential retail, including, but not limited to clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops.
The government is yet to confirm if garages can remain open during the forthcoming lockdown but Garage Wire understands that the list of businesses allowed to stay open will be the same as those listed in the first lockdown, which would mean independent garages can remain open.
A full list of business closures will be published and set out in law within the coming days.
The new restrictions will see the government restore furlough payments worth 80 per cent of their salary up to £2500 a month for people unable to work during the new England-wide coronavirus restrictions.
Flexible furloughing will also continue, allowing staff to work for some of their hours and be furloughed for the rest of them.
Employers small or large, charitable or non-profit are eligible for the coronavirus job retention scheme and will now be asked to pay just national insurance and pensions contributions for their staff during the month of November.
The DVSA has told Garage Wire that it is not aware of any intent to reintroduce a temporary MOT exemption, although such a decision would come directly from government.
Elsewhere in the UK, Scotland is moving to a new five-tier system of restrictions from today (Monday 2 November), Wales is under lockdown until 9 November and Northern Ireland is half way through a four week period of restrictions.
Mr Johnson’s announcement came on the same day the UK surpassed one million lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus.
How are the second round of lockdown measures affecting business in your workshop? Share your comments and experiences below.