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It won’t be “business as usual” until 2021, advises government

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The UK will have to live with some social distancing measures in place until at least the end of the year, the government’s chief medical advisor Professor Chris Whitty has advised.

Speaking at the daily coronavirus government briefing, Whitty said it was ‘wholly unrealistic’ to expect life to suddenly return to normal and that it wouldn’t be ‘business as usual’ until 2021.

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab also warned about the potential for a second spike and second lockdown.

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Whitty said that the ideal way out of lockdown restrictions would be a ‘highly effective vaccine’ but warned that the chance of having this before the end of 2020 was ‘incredibly small’.

“This disease is not going to be eradicated, it is not going to disappear,” he said.

“So we have to accept that we are working with a disease that we are going to be with globally… for the foreseeable future.”

Prof Whitty said the public should not expect the number of coronavirus-related deaths to “fall away” suddenly after the peak.

Following this news, the UK government implemented a temporary ban of statutory demands and winding up orders where a retailer is unable to pay bills due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Business secretary, Alok Sharma, outlined measures to “safeguard the UK high street against aggressive debt recover actions”.

This ban prevents landlords using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) to collect rent unless they are owned 90 days of unpaid rent.

The government also called on landlords to “give their tenants the breathing space needed” during this period.

“In this exceptional time for the UK, it is vital that we ensure businesses are kept afloat so that they can continue to provide the jobs our economy needs beyond the coronavirus pandemic,” Sharma said.

Read more on these measures to protect high street jewellers HERE.

Picture credit: Sky News

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The author Stacey Hailes

Editor, Professional Jeweller

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