We find ourselves once more in this unacceptable situation causing great stress to anxious businesses having to wait and worry. If the Government is planning another national lockdown it must be honest with us all and say so immediately, rather than allow business and market confidence to be further eroded by speculation.
It is essential that the media briefings need to stop. The Government must speak honestly with the nation, setting out a clear plan, the evidence for its actions, and significant increases in the support available for businesses and employees facing the hardship of no demand or the crushing blow of closure.
Chambers of Commerce have been clear. Any restrictions must meet five business tests.
1. EVIDENCE: Are the restrictions evidence-based and targeted effectively?
2. CLARITY: Are the restrictions clear and do businesses have time to prepare?
3. SUPPORT: Is support for businesses commensurate with the impact on them?
4. TESTING: How will the time be used to fix the Test, Trace and Isolate system?
5. EXIT STRATEGY: Is there a clear process for increasing and decreasing restrictions?
The Prime Minister and the government must ensure that all these tests are going to be met before taking more drastic action.
More information to follow on Monday as well as full details of the Job Support Scheme Guidance which was published late on Friday afternoon.