What could localised lockdowns mean?

As the rest of the country is looking forward to the easing of lockdown restrictions, Leicester is under one of the Government’s localised lockdowns. This will be in place for a minimum of two weeks, to reduce localised outbreaks.

Although other cities have been under scrutiny, Leicester’s infection rate was 135 cases per 100,000 people. This is three times higher than the next highest city.

There are reports of increased cases in Europe, and both China and South Korea have seen surges in case numbers.

The point here is that Coronavirus could still strike again, and businesses need to keep that in mind.

We don’t wish to be negative, given that some clients are only planning to reopen after the first lockdown  in the next few days! Part of our job though is to ask the awkward questions.

We all need to be realistic about the threat that the virus still holds. After this week’s events in Leicester, it’s important that we raise the subject!

Amongst the current challenge of reopening with PPE and reduced footfall from social distancing, it’s important to consider the following:

  • How would your business manage in a localised lockdown?
  • Do you have a plan in place to communicate your response to your customers?
  • Does your team know what that plan will look like and what they should do?
  • Can you ring-fence some of your Bounce Back loan (or CBILS / grants etc) to provide a cash reserve to get you through another period of lockdown?
  • How would you cope financially with a lockdown now?
  • How would you cope with a lockdown after October, when the furlough scheme ends?

Winter is likely to bring a much talked about ‘second peak’ if we don’t have one before then. Even if we avoid any more localised lockdowns until then, a plan such as the one above, will prove invaluable at that point.

It’s very early days with the localised lockdowns, and of course we can’t predict when, where or if they will come. The ‘Second peak’ is the same. If there is no need of a plan, and in twelve months the cash reserve can be drawn on that’s great news.

The goal is to avoid hitting another lockdown or a ‘second peak’ and not having any idea how to cope.

Rishi Sunak is due to give an economic update on Wednesday 8th July, in which he’ll set out the next stage in the UK’s plan to ‘secure the recovery’. He may well include some guidance or support that may be available to businesses faced with such conditions. We will of course pass the news on to you as soon as we can.

In the meantime though, do get in touch if you’d like to discuss formulating a plan to cope with a return to lockdown. We’re very happy to help!

 

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