COVID-19: Brits rewarded “unlimited exercise” but future remains uncertain for SMEs

lockdown smes
Yesterday, Boris Johnson unveiled to the nation a “conditional plan” to eventually reopen society following weeks of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

This review of quarantine laws (that have been in place since the 23rd of March), now allows for Britons to have unlimited exercise outside while those who cannot work from home, such as those in the construction industry, are allowed to return to work.

However, uncertainty remains among businesses in the private sector. Johnson alluded to the fact that some “shops” may open as early as next month, but only if the reproduction rate of the virus has fallen significantly enough.

Lockdown SMEs
Updated: New restrictions to be implemented as of Wednesday the 13th of May, credit: BBC.com

An SME response..

First of all, we must acknowledge the extraordinary efforts of those who continue to sacrifice their health and safety on the front line to enable the Government to carefully nudge the ‘lockdown door’ open. The situation is slowly moving in the right direction and like others, we have had to adapt very quickly not least of all across our production areas,” Comments Peter Webb, managing director at Electronic Temperature Instruments, a digital thermometer manufacturer.

He continues…

Our production managers have demonstrated flexibility and ‘out of the box’ thinking to change the way our production teams operate, and I highly commend them for that.

“The layout changes of our factories to comply with social distancing rules has seen us remove all wide span shelving down our centre isles between the benches and we have also started the process of removing further workbenches. New shelving is being installed to replace any removed benches, reinstating adequate local storage areas.

“We agree that a careful and measured approach is necessary. We have invested in our staff’s home-working needs throughout this tough period with a short and long-term approach in case we are faced with the unfortunate outcome that we see another spike in COVID-19 cases and lockdown returns.

“We work largely in the food & drink space and as things stand, pubs and restaurants – with the exception of those operating solely in a takeaway capacity – will be among the last spaces to reopen.

“Therefore, many organisations including my own will continue to shift strategies to continue to function on a daily basis.”

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