Questions remain over re-opening, say business groups

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he expects the final stage of England's coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown roadmap to go ahead on 19 July.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he expects the final stage of England's coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown roadmap to go ahead on 19 July.

This will see the end of legal requirements regarding face masks and social distancing, as well as working from home guidance. Business groups have welcomed the announcement, but said questions remain.

Shevaun Haviland, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said: 'Businesses in England still do not have the full picture they desperately need to plan for unlocking.

'Without clear guidance for businesses around the new proposals, there could be real uncertainty on how they should operate going forward and what they should be doing to keep staff and their customers safe.'

Tony Danker, Director General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said: 'Critical now will be to build both customer and employee confidence in living with the virus. This will require businesses to continue putting safety at the heart of their approach as they have since the start of the COVID crisis and government providing a vital role in supporting employers through guidance and advice.'

Derek Cribb, CEO of the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), said: 'The full reopening of the economy is very welcome, but because of the gaps in support and sheer damage to self-employment, this must not be the end of government's involvement.'

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