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Bristol City Council Business news: Roadmap out of lockdown

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Dear Colleague,

Yesterday the Prime Minister announced the first of a four-step plan to help the country transition out of national lockdown restrictions.

I look forward to receiving further detail from the Government regarding what the easing of the lockdown restrictions means for our businesses and the wider economy, and emphasise once again the importance of city and place-based leaders having a role in this decision-making framework.

In the meantime, I want to reassure you that we will do everything we can to support our communities in transitioning out of lockdown safely. We must remain cautious and not allow good behaviours to slip. Our infection rates in Bristol are steadily decreasing, and we must continue to do everything we can to keep going and lift some of the pressure from our health care services.

Stay safe.

Marvin Rees

 

Roadmap out of lockdown

On Monday, 22 February, the government released its four-step roadmap out of lockdown.

For the next two weeks, there is no change to the current guidance. We remain in national lockdown and the government instruction to work from home where you can, remains in place.

From 8 March, lockdown restrictions in England will start to be lifted in the first of the governments’ four-step roadmap. To avoid another surge in infections the decision to relax restrictions at each step will be based on data from four tests. For this reason, dates in the roadmap are subject to change.

The rollout of the vaccination programme is a key factor in determining when it is safe to ease restrictions. 

The government will continue to support families and businesses throughout the steps set out in the roadmap. We expect for further detail to be set out by the Chancellor in the Budget on 3 March.

Read the ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’ on the government website which details the four step roadmap out of the current lockdown in England and sets out how the government will continue to protect and support citizens across the UK.

Business support grants

LRSG (Closed) Addendum
Yesterday the Prime Minister announced an extension of the LRSG (Closed) Addendum scheme to cover the current period of national lockdown.

  • 5 January to 15 February, closing date for applications is 31 March.
  • 16 February to 31 March, for new applications the closing date is 31 May. Grant payments are calculated from rateable values, based on three bands:
    • Up to £15,000 – £2,096
    • £15,001 to £50,999 – £3,143
    • £51,000 and above – £4,714

Businesses who have received a payment for the period 5 January to 15 February will automatically receive a top up, and do not need to apply again, though we may contact some for further information.

Grants for sole traders and self-employed (and other businesses not forced to close)
The discretionary support grant which covers the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) and Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) is open to applications from the self-employed and sole traders as well as small or micro businesses across all sectors.

If you have been severely financially impacted by COVID-19 restrictions you are likely to be eligible for a grant. Visit our website for more information and apply now.

Please share this information with anyone you think who might be eligible.

Grant applications
Applications are being processed as quickly as possible. Please allow four weeks from application to receiving payment before getting back in touch with us.

We are receiving a number of duplicate applications for ARG. Businesses who have already been paid a grant since November, do not apply again as you will automatically be paid under the current round.

Businesses that received payment from the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund (LADGF) from May to July 2020 will need to apply for the ARG again.

Christmas Support Payment (CSP)
If you are a pub where less than 50 per cent of your income is derived from food apply for the CSP now. The deadline for applications is 28 February.

Visit our website for further details on all grants and to apply

Get regular rapid COVID tests if you need to leave your home for work

If you need to leave your home for work and do not have COVID symptoms, you can get regular rapid tests (lateral flow tests).

We are offering these tests because 1 in 3 people with COVID do not have any symptoms and could spread it without knowing. Regular, rapid tests help us check if you are highly infectious with COVID, so you know you are protecting your family, colleagues and customers by self-isolating if you need to.

Visit our website for more information on rapid flow tests.

You must sign up and book an appointment to get a test. You’ll need to commit to going for a test once or twice a week. You must book a separate appointment for each test.

The Bristol Rapid Testing Centre is at 17-18 Wellington Road, BS2 9DA. It’s open Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 9am to 5pm.

If you have a business with less than 50 employees, we can give you tests to carry out in your workplace. To arrange this, please email: rapidtesting@bristol.gov.uk

If you have 50 employees or more, you can get workplace coronavirus tests on GOV.UK

If you test positive you must follow the NHS guidelines and self-isolate.

You may be eligible for the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if you need to self-isolate, with a £500 grant.

Next steps in the COVID vaccination programme

Vaccinations are now available for:

 
If you are aged 65–69 (Priority Group 5) you can book an appointment at Ashton Gate Vaccination Centre or at one of seven local community pharmacies by visiting the national booking service or calling 119. Alternatively, you can wait to be contacted.

If you have underlying health conditions or have recently been added to the Shielding list (Priority Group 6) you will be contacted to book your vaccination appointment. Please do not contact the NHS.

For further details visit the Healthier Together website, our Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) Integrated Care System

Bristol-based business COVID webinar

We are holding a free webinar on Thursday 4 March from 4.30pm to 5.30pm, for all Bristol-based retail, leisure, hospitality and close contact businesses (such as hairdressers).

The session will be an opportunity to discuss the latest government announcements with relevant council officers.

If you have an issue or question you would like to raise, please email business@bristol.gov.uk in advance so we can provide as much relevant information as possible.

Register for the retail, leisure, hospitality and close contact business webinar now.

Quick updates

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