COVID-19 BRIEFING FOR SME’S ISSUED AT 1500 hrs on 25th NOVEMBER 2020 REVISED at 1930 hrs

OVERVIEW

This Bulletin covers:

a vintage typewriter with corona update typed on white paper
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THE NEW COVID-19 TIER REGULATIONS FOR ENGLAND

When the current ‘lockdown’ ends, new regulations will come in to force at one minute past midnight on Wednesday 2nd December. Different areas/regions of England will be designated as either ‘Tier One’, ‘Tier Two’, or ‘Tier Three’ and different rules will apply to each Tier. Some aspects of the regulations will also apply to all Tiers.

In all Tiers, the following businesses and venues can remain open:

  • essential and non-essential retail, including indoor and outdoor markets and car boot sales
  • certain leisure and sporting facilities such as gyms, sports courts and facilities, leisure centres, fitness and dance studios, golf courses, swimming pools, riding centres, outdoor playgrounds – subject to relevant social contact rules in each Tier. Indoor group activities and classes must not take place in Tier 3 areas
  • personal care and close contact services such as hairdressers and barbers, beauty salons, tattoo parlours, nail salons, spas and beauty services, massage parlours and tanning salons
  • public buildings, such as libraries, community centres and halls. They should not host events for private hire such as birthday parties or most other social activities in Tier 3
  • allotments, recycling and waste centres, public toilets, car parks
  • essential public services such as the NHS and medical services, courts, and jobcentre plus sites
  • places of worship – communal worship can now resume, subject to relevant social contact rules in each tier

Everyone who can work from home should do so. Where people cannot do so – including, but not limited to, people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction, or manufacturing – they should continue to travel to their workplace. Public-sector employees working in essential services, including education settings, should continue to go into work where necessary.

Regulations for Tier 1: Medium alert in Tier 1:

  • you must not socialise in groups larger than 6 people, indoors or outdoors, other than where a legal exemption applies. This is called the ‘rule of 6’
  • businesses and venues can remain open, in a COVID secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs
  • hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to:
    • provide table service only, for premises that serve alcohol
    • close between 11pm and 5am (hospitality venues in airports, ports, on transport services and in motorway service areas are exempt)stop taking orders after 10pm
  • hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through
  • early closure (11pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities and bingo halls. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10pm
  • public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 4,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
  • public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 4,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
  • places of worship remain open, but you must not attend or socialise in groups of more than 6 people while there, unless a legal exemption applies
  • weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events (like wakes)
  • organised outdoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes can continue
  • organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes can continue to take place, if the rule of 6 is followed. There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes, and supervised sport and physical activity for under18s, which can take place with larger groups mixing
  • if you live in a Tier 1 area and travel to an area in a higher Tier you should follow the rules for that area while you are there. Avoid travel to or overnight stays in Tier 3 areas other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. You can travel through a Tier 3 area as part of a longer journey
  • for international travel see the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office travel advice for your destination and the travel corridors list

Regulations for Tier 2: High alert

This is for areas with a higher or rapidly rising level of infections, where some additional restrictions need to be in place.

In Tier 2:

  • you must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
  • you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside, including in a garden or a public space – this is called the ‘rule of 6’
  • businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-Secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs
  • pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals
  • hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to:
    • provide table service only, in premises which sell alcohol
    • close between 11pm and 5am (hospitality venues in airports, ports, transport services and motorway service areas are exempt)
    • stop taking orders after 10pm
  • hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through
  • early closure (11pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10pm
  • public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
  • public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
  • places of worship remain open but you must not socialise with people from outside of your household or support bubble while you are indoors there, unless a legal exemption applies
  • weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events such as wakes or stone-settings.
  • organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue
  • organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes will only be permitted if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with). There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s, which can take place with larger groups mixing
  • you can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible
  • if you live in a Tier 2 area, you must continue to follow Tier 2 rules when you travel to a Tier 1 area. Avoid travel to or overnight stays in Tier 3 areas other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. You can travel through a Tier 3 area as a part of a longer journey
  • for international travel see the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office travel advice for your destination and the travel corridors list

Regulations for Tier 3: Very High alert

This is for areas with a very high or very rapidly rising level of infections, where tighter restrictions are in place.

In Tier 3:

  • you must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble, this includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues
  • you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in some other outdoor public spaces, including parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or castle, or a sports facility – this is called the ‘rule of 6’
  • hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha venues), pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed – they are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and collect, drive-through or delivery services.
  • accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and guest houses must close. There are several exemptions, such as for those who use these venues as their main residence, and those requiring the venues where it is reasonably necessary for work or education and training
  • indoor entertainment and tourist venues must close. This includes:
    • indoor play centres and areas, including trampolining parks and soft play
    • casinos
    • bingo halls
    • bowling alleys
    • skating rinks
    • amusement arcades and adult gaming centres
    • laser quests and escape rooms
    • cinemas, theatres and concert halls
    • snooker halls
  • indoor attractions at mostly outdoor entertainment venues must also close (indoor shops, through-ways and public toilets at such attractions can remain open). This includes indoor attractions within:
    • zoos, safari parks, and wildlife reserves
    • aquariums, visitor attractions at farms, and other animal attractions
    • model villages
    • museums, galleries and sculpture parks
    • botanical gardens, biomes or greenhouses
    • theme parks, circuses, fairgrounds and funfairs
    • visitor attractions at film studios, heritage sites such as castles and stately homes
    •  landmarks including observation decks and viewing platforms
  • leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open, but group exercise classes (including fitness and dance) should not go ahead. Saunas and steam rooms should close  there should be no public attendance at spectator sport or indoor performances and large business events should not be taking place. Elite sport events may continue to take place without spectators
  • large outdoor events (performances and shows) should not take place, with the exception of drive-in events
  • places of worship remain open, but you must not attend with or socialise with anyone outside of your household or support bubble while you are there, unless a legal exemption applies
  • weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions are not allowed, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, 15 people can attend linked commemorative events like wakes
  • organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue, however higher-risk contact activity should not take place
  • organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes cannot take place indoors. There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s
  • you can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible
  • avoid travelling to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. You can travel through other areas as part of a longer journey
  • for international travel see the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office travel advice for your destination and the travel corridors list

Exemptions from gatherings limits in all Tiers

  • as part of a single household, or a support bubble
  • for work or providing voluntary or charitable services, including in other people’s homes
  • for childcare, education or training – meaning education and training provided as part of a formal curriculum
  • for supervised activities provided for children, including wraparound care (before and after-school childcare), groups and activities for under 18s, and children’s playgroups
  • for formal support groups, and parent and child groups – up to 15 people aged 5 and older
  • to allow contact between birth parents and children in care, as well as between siblings in care
  • for arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents or guardians
  • for prospective adopting parents to meet a child or children who may be placed with them
  • for birth partners
  • to attend a funeral – with no more than 30 people present – or a commemorative event such as a wake for someone who has died – with no more than 15 people present
  • to see someone who is terminally ill or at the end of life
  • to attend a wedding or civil partnership – with no more than 15 people present
  • to provide emergency assistance
  • to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm
  • to fulfil a legal obligation, such as attending court or jury service
  • to provide care or assistance to someone vulnerable or to provide respite for a carer
  • to facilitate moving home

THE SPECIAL COVID-19 REGULATIONS FOR THE CHRISTMAS PERIOD

The Government has announced a relaxation of regulations in all Tiers for the five days from Wednesday 23rd to Sunday 27th December inclusive. The relaxed regulations will apply to all four nations of the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) although Northern Ireland will have an extra two days to enable travel to other nations of the UK and Eire (Tuesday 22nd and Monday 29th December).

Here are the details of the ‘Christmas Bubble’ regulations, together with some helpful guidelines:

1. Between 23rd and 27th December:

  • you can form an exclusive ‘Christmas bubble’ composed of people from no more than three households
  • you can only be in one Christmas bubble
  • you cannot change your Christmas bubble
  • you can travel between all tiers and UK nations for the purposes of meeting your Christmas bubble
  • you can only meet your Christmas bubble in private homes or in your garden, places of worship, or public outdoor spaces
  • you can continue to meet people who are not in your Christmas bubble outside your home according to the rules in the tier where you are staying
  • you cannot meet someone in a private dwelling who is not part of your household or Christmas bubble

You should travel to meet those in your Christmas bubble and return home between the 23rd and 27th December. Anyone travelling to or from Northern Ireland may travel on the 22nd and 28th December.

A fixed bubble is a sensible and proportionate way to balance the desire to spend time with others over the Christmas period, while limiting the risk of spreading infection. However, the more people you see, the more likely it is that you will catch or spread coronavirus (COVID-19). You can spread coronavirus to others even if you and the people you meet have no symptoms. You and the other people in your Christmas bubble need to consider these risks carefully before agreeing to form a bubble. You should consider ways to celebrate Christmas in other ways, such as the use of technology and meeting outdoors, without bringing households together or travelling between different parts of the country. Forming a bubble if you are vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable carries additional risks – see advice for clinically vulnerable people.

You should keep taking steps to reduce the spread of the virus, and this will help ensure that the festive period is as safe as possible. This includes ensuring indoor spaces get as much fresh air as possible, washing your hands regularly and for 20 seconds, and following rules on self-isolation if you develop symptoms or test positive for coronavirus. You should get a free NHS test if you have symptoms, have been asked to by your local council or your hospital, or are taking part in a government pilot project.

2. Forming a Christmas bubble

Christmas bubbles, support bubbles and childcare bubbles are all different things and have their own specific rules. The rules on forming and using a Christmas bubble will be the law. You must follow them to minimise the spread of infection.

Everyone is allowed to form a Christmas bubble. There are three main rules:

  1. you can only be in one Christmas bubble
  2. you cannot change your Christmas bubble
  3. your Christmas bubble should not include people from more than three households

It is important that you keep your Christmas bubble as small as possible.

You must not form a Christmas bubble if you are self-isolating. See information on self-isolation and Christmas bubbles below.

2.1 If you’re in a support bubble

Existing support bubbles count as one household towards the three household limit. This means that if you are in a support bubble, you can collectively form a Christmas bubble with two other households. This applies only to support bubbles as set out in law. You should, however, consider the risks of doing so and keep your Christmas bubble as small as possible.

Read guidance on making and using a support bubble

2.2 If you’re in a childcare bubble

Between 23rd and 27th December, you can continue to use a childcare bubble, but only if reasonably necessary for the purposes of childcare and where there are no reasonable alternatives. If you want to meet socially with the other household in your childcare bubble, you should include them in your Christmas bubble. You and the other household in childcare bubble would count as two households towards the three household limit for Christmas bubbles.

Read guidance on making and using a childcare bubble

2.3 Separated parents of children under 18

Children (under-18) whose parents do not live together may be part of both parents’ Christmas bubbles, if their parents choose to form separate bubbles. Nobody else should be in two bubbles.

2.4 Forming a different Christmas bubble to the people you live with normally

You are allowed to form a different Christmas bubble from the people you live with normally. If you and the people you are living with want to be in different Christmas bubbles, you can choose to stay somewhere else with different people for this period and form a Christmas bubble with that household and one other household (this will count as three households). You should check the guidance on households where everybody is not in the same Christmas bubble below.

2.5 If you’re a student who’s moved home from university for the holidays

If you are a student who has moved home for the university holidays, you are considered to be part of the household to which you have returned. You are not treated as part of your term-time household for this period.

3. Meeting with your Christmas bubble, and other friends and family

Everybody in a Christmas bubble is responsible for taking clear steps to prevent catching and spreading the virus. If you do not follow these rules, you increase the risk of catching the virus, and spreading it to your friends and family.

You should take particular care to follow this advice if you are in a Christmas bubble with anybody who is vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable. There is further advice on what to do if you are clinically extremely vulnerable later in this Bulletin.

3.1 Before forming and meeting your Christmas bubble

You should reduce unnecessary contact with people you do not live with as much as possible in the two weeks before you form your Christmas bubble.

Children should continue to go to school.

You should work from home if you can, but you should avoid unnecessary social interaction. Any increase in contact with other people increases the risk you will catch or spread Coronavirus.

3.2 Meeting your Christmas bubble indoors

Between 23rd and 27th December you must not meet friends or family in your home unless they are part of your Christmas bubble. You can continue to meet people who are not in your Christmas bubble outside your home according to the Tier rules listed earlier.

If someone is in your Christmas bubble you can visit each other’s homes and stay overnight, including in private rented accommodation. You can also go to a place of worship together, or meet in public outdoor spaces.

You cannot meet your Christmas bubble in any other indoor setting, such as a pub, hotel, retail, theatre, or restaurant. In these settings, rules on who you can and cannot meet depend on which Tier you are in. These are listed in the first section of this Bulletin.

It’s easier to catch and spread the virus in an indoor space especially if there is little flow of fresh air; therefore, when meeting your Christmas bubble, you should take these measures to prevent the spread of the virus:

  • wash your hands frequently
  • clean touch points regularly, such as door handles and surfaces

If you are only visiting someone for a short time, you should:

  • keep socially distanced from anybody you do not live with as much as possible
  • make sure you let as much fresh air in as you can during a visit and after visitors have left, without getting cold, by opening windows and doors

3.3 Meeting your Christmas bubble outdoors

You can be with your Christmas bubble in your garden or an outdoor public place. You can continue to meet people who are not in your Christmas bubble outside your home according to the local Tier rules.

Outdoor public places include:

  • parks, beaches, parts of the countryside open to the general public
  • public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them)
  • allotments
  • playgrounds

3.4 Households where everybody is not in the same Christmas bubble

If you have chosen to form a different Christmas bubble from other people in your household – the people you live with normally – you should take additional steps to prevent the opportunity for the virus to spread within your household, and between bubbles.

This might include:

  • staying with another member of your Christmas bubble between 23rd and 27th December where possible
  • taking extra precautions such as cleaning surfaces and contact points like door handles and letting in as much fresh air as possible after someone has visited your household

3.5 Self-isolation

You must also follow rules on self-isolation, which apply if either you, someone you live with, someone in your childcare or support bubble, or someone you have been in contact with, has symptoms or has tested positive for Coronavirus. This means you must not form a Christmas bubble if you have Coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating. These rules are the law and you must follow them even if it means not meeting with friends or family over Christmas.

If a member of your Christmas bubble tests positive for coronavirus or develops coronavirus symptoms between the 23rd and 27th December, or up to 48 hours after members of the bubble last met, all members of the bubble must self-isolate as if they were members of the same household.

3.6 If you are clinically extremely vulnerable

You are still able to form a Christmas bubble if you are clinically extremely vulnerable but it does involve greater risks for you. You will minimise your risk of infection if you limit social contact with people that you do not live with.

Forming a Christmas bubble is a personal choice and should be balanced against the increased risk of infection. If you do decide to form a Christmas bubble you can take extra precautions. Others in your bubble should be mindful of your increased risks and be extra vigilant in the days before you get together.

3.7 If you are a care home resident

The guidance on care homes applies to England – see separate guidance for Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

Spending time with others outside the care home will increase risk of exposure to Coronavirus for the resident and the other residents in their home on their return, and is likely to place an additional burden on the care home. Given this, visits out of care homes should only be considered for care home residents of working age. Residents, their families and care homes should very carefully consider whether this is the right thing to do, or whether visiting at the care home would provide meaningful contact in a safer way.

Some residents may be able to leave their care home, in agreement with the home and subject to individual risk assessments. A care home resident may form a bubble with one other household, and should not form a three-household Christmas bubble at any point.

If a care home resident does join a household for Christmas they should maintain social distance, wash hands regularly, and let plenty of fresh air into rooms by opening windows and doors. Others in the household should take steps to minimise the risk to the care home resident and others in the care home, recognising that introducing Coronavirus to a care home puts all those who live and work there at risk. All members of the bubble should:

  • take steps to minimise their potential exposure to coronavirus by limiting the number of people they meet for two weeks prior to allowing a care home resident into their household
  • talk to the care home about getting tested prior to meeting the care home resident outside the care home. In order to safely return to the care home, the resident will need to be tested and isolated. We will provide further details shortly through the publication of relevant guidance.

In order to safely return to the care home, the resident will need to be tested and isolated. Relevant guidance on this will ‘be published shortly’.

3.8 Travel and overnight stays with your Christmas bubble

Between 23rd and 27th December, you may travel between Tiers and other nations of the UK if necessary to meet with other households in your Christmas bubble or to return home. Once at your destination, you should follow the local Tier rules.

You should not travel to see your bubble before 23rd December, or travel back after the 27th December except in exceptional circumstances (for example, if a member of your Christmas bubble develops symptoms of COVID-19 and you are required to self-isolate). Anyone travelling to or from Northern Ireland may travel on the 22nd and 28th December.

Transport routes may be busier than normal. Plan your journey and check for disruption before you leave to help keep everyone safe when travelling for Christmas. You should avoid making unnecessary stops during your journey. Where possible, avoid sharing a car with people not in your household.

If you plan to travel to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, you should read guidance from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland before you travel.

If you need to travel with your Christmas bubble, wherever you are, you should follow Safer Transport guidance. (Access further information on travel)

 You should:

  • plan, and avoid the busiest routes, as well as busy times
  • keep your distance when you travel, where possible.
  • wash or sanitise your hands regularly
  • wear a face covering on public transport in England unless you are exempt

Different rules may apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

You can stay in a hotel during the Christmas period, including in a Tier 3 (Very High alert area) but only by yourself, or with other members of your household. You can stay in private rented accommodation with members of your household, or your Christmas bubble.

3.9 After meeting your Christmas bubble

In the two weeks that follow your last meeting with your Christmas bubble, you should reduce your contact with people you do not live with as much as possible.

Children can continue to go to school.

You can go to work if you cannot work from home but you should avoid unnecessary social interaction. Any increase in contact with other people increases the risk you will catch or spread Coronavirus.

THE CHANCELLOR’S LATEST SPENDING REVIEW

Earlier this afternoon (25/11) the Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered his Spending Review statement to the House of Commons. Here are the headline points:

  • £18bn allocated to testing, PPE and vaccines next year and £3bn for the NHS plus over £2bn to keep transport arteries open, more than £3bn to local authorities and £250m to help end rough sleeping
  • Altogether public services funding to tackle coronavirus next year will be £55bn
  • This year a total of £280bn provided “to get our country through Coronavirus”
  • The OBR expects GDP to shrink by 11.3% this year, the biggest decline in more than 300 years
  • GDP expected to grow by 5.5% in 2021 but will not recover to pre-crisis levels until the fourth quarter of 2022
  • Borrowing is expected to reach £394bn for the current fiscal year, or 19% of GDP – the highest recorded level of borrowing in peacetime
  • The chancellor confirms £3bn for a three-year Restart programme to help a million people who have been unemployed for over a year to find jobs
  • Unemployment is expected to peak at 7.5% in the second quarter of next year
  • Pay rises for over a million nurses, doctors and others working in the NHS but pay rises “paused” for the rest of the public sector next year
  • However the 2.1 million public sector workers earning less than £24,000 will receive a rise of at least £250 – and this means the majority of public employees will see their pay increase in 2021

The national living wage will rise by 2.2% to £8.91 per hour and extended to those aged 23 and over. For a full-time worker on the national living wage, that’s an increase of £345 next year. National minimum wage will also increase

  • Over this year and next, departmental spending will rise in real terms by 3.8%, the fastest growth rate in 15 years
  • There’s £2.4bn more for Scotland, £1.3bn for Wales and £900m for Northern Ireland
  • Core health budget rises by £6.6bn next year, allowing the government to deliver 50,000 more nurses and 50 million more GP appointments, Mr Sunak said
  • There will also be a £2.3bn increase in capital investments in the NHS – to replace old MRI and CT scanners and fund a promised hospital building programme
  • Schools budget to increase by £2.2bn next year and a £291m boost for further education plus £1.5bn to rebuild colleges and £375m to deliver the PM’s lifetime skills guarantee
  • £400m to recruit 6,000 new police officers and £4bn over four years for 18,000 new prison places
  • Spending 0.7% of national income on overseas aid is “difficult to justify” and at a time of “unprecedented crisis”: it is being cut to 0.5% in 2021 but with the intention to return to 0.7% when the fiscal situation allows
  • Capital spending next year will total £100bn, £27bn more than last year in real terms
  • £7.1bn national home building fund
  • A new national infrastructure bank, headquartered in the north of England, will work with the private sector to finance major new investment projects across the UK, starting in the spring
  • Local authorities to be given extra flexibility to raise council tax which – together with an extra £300m grant from Whitehall – will give them an extra £1bn to spend on social care
  • “Levelling up” fund worth £4bn to pay for local projects with “real impact” – such as bypasses, railway station upgrades, traffic reduction, libraries, museums and galleries as well as high street and town centre improvements

You can read the whole statement here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/spendingreview-to-fight-virus-deliver-promises-and-invest-in-uks-recovery

It is important to remember that this is only a ‘Spending Review’ and not a ‘Budget Statement’. This means that the Chancellor has simply outlined the strategic financial direction, plus some specific measures, that the Government intends to take over the next four years.

We can assume that the Government will implement those measures that it can do without the need for Parliamentary approval; however, most matters will need either to be incorporated into the next full Budget or will be introduced as stand-alone Bills. In both cases, much more detail will have to be included and Parliament will then debate and amend/reject/approve each of their component parts. In short, don’t assume that all the provisions of today’s Spending Review will automatically become law immediately.

Although all of the matters outlined in the Spending Review will have an impact on SME’s and other organisations we will, of course, keep you updated as the individual components move from outline plans into actual laws.

If you’re an insomniac, here’s a link to the Office for Budget Responsibility website, which will provide you with a huge amount of impartial information and analysis:

We will issue further advice and guidance Bulletins as the Covid-19 situation develops.

Henry Boyle

1500 hrs 25th November 2020

REVISED VERSION AT 1930 hrs

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