For all the hope brought by the announcement of the Oxford vaccine hours earlier, 2021 begins with vast swathes of businesses closed by law in 75% of England, from New Year's Eve until further notice, under tier 4 restrictions.
The local areas added today to the Tier 4 restrictions list, from 00:00 on December 31, included Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire, Cumbria and Warrington, after a review of the data detailed a rapid acceleration of cases and an eight month high, Covid related, 24 hour death total of 981.
For those businesses in areas moved into Tier 4, here's the clarity you need on the rules and the business support, including whether you need to re-apply for grants or not.
In all those local areas placed into Tier 4, all non-essential retail and personal care services will be added to the existing list of those business with their doors closed by law, from New Year's Eve until further notice.
BUSINESSES AND VENUES THAT CAN REMAIN OPEN
Following COVID-19 Secure guidelines. This includes those providing essential goods and services, including:
Essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences
Market stalls selling essential retail may also stay open
Businesses providing repair services may also stay open, where they primarily offer repair services
Petrol stations, automatic (but not manual) car washes, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses
Banks, building societies, post offices, short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses
Laundrettes and dry cleaners
Medical and dental services
Vets and pet shops
Animal rescue centres, boarding facilities, and animal groomers (may continue to be used for animal welfare, rather than aesthetic purposes)
Agricultural supplies shops
Mobility and disability support shops
Storage and distribution facilities
Car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas
Outdoor gym, pools, sports courts and facilities
Archery/driving/shooting ranges (outdoors)
Outdoor riding centres
Places of worship
Crematoriums and burial grounds
BUSINESSES AND VENUES THAT MUST CLOSE
Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment) and market stalls selling non-essential goods - these venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services
Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and drink for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery
Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for providing accommodation or support to the homeless, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
Leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and indoor gyms, indoor swimming pools, indoor sports courts, indoor fitness and dance studios, indoor riding centres, and indoor climbing walls
Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres), circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks and theme parks
Indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open
Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. These services should not be provided in other people’s homes
Community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities, as set out below. Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services - for example for people who do not have it at home - and for click-and-collect services
Grants will be administered by local authorities and any grant payments due will be automatically generated for all businesses, who had previously been forced to close in the November national lockdown if you have previously received grant payments under the LRSG closed addendum.
In that instance there is no need to re-apply, as most council offices are closed and re-open on Monday, January 4th.
For those businesses who have not previously applied the application pages are linked below.
All Tier 4 businesses required to close by law will be eligible for grants of up to £1,500 for each 14-day period of closure, where they have a business rates listing.
Rateable value and support per 2 weeks per 4 weeks
£15,000 or under £ 667 £1334
£15,001-£50,999 £1000 £2000
£51,000 or over £1500 £3000
You can find the rateable value of your premises on your latest business rates bill
Where business which remain open, but have suffered a severe drop in demand, have received previous payments under the LRSG Open, there is no generic rule as yet applied and each council will make individual assessments in the coming days.
For those businesses who do not have a business rates listing and have already received a discretionary payment from the Additional Restrictions Grant based on their fixed business costs, there is no common rule across councils as to whether a second application will be necessary.
More detail will emerge from each local authority next week, based on the initial and any incremental funding made available from central government.
How to apply
Visit your local council’s website to find out how to apply if your business is closed or suffering a severe drop in demand under Tier 2,3, or 4.