Home Coronavirus Updates Plan B: Events businesses left in limbo over financial support

Plan B: Events businesses left in limbo over financial support

by Emily Wallin

Events businesses could be left waiting until next week to find out the full impact of new Covid restrictions.

Prime minister Boris Johnson’s office told EN the full guidance on the application of Plan B measures will not be available until next Monday at the earliest.

It means businesses will have at most two days to prepare for the changes – which are set to last until the end of January.

Venues are expected to be asked to use an app to verify the vaccination status of visitors to indoor events with more than 500 people.

Prime minister Boris Johnson confirmed on 8 December that England will move to Plan B following the spread of the Omicron variant in the UK.

It is also still unclear whether there will be any financial support available to help businesses.

A source at the DCMS told EN: “I doubt you’ll get anything because the PM only just made the announcement.”

EN has asked the Treasury for clarification on whether furlough or other financial support will be extended.

EN also understands that Local Authorities have not yet been told whether they will be able to offer Additional Restrictions Grants to events businesses faced with a drop in trade or cancellations as a result of the new restrictions.

The regulations will be in place until 23 January, Downing Street has said.

The prime minister’s office said in a statement: “Introducing Covid-status certification from next Wednesday will give businesses a week’s notice, as promised in the government’s proposals for introducing mandatory certification published in September.

“A full list of guidance on these changes will be available on gov.uk in the coming days. Face covering regulations will be laid in parliament on 9 December, with the remaining regulations laid on 13 December.”

“The Government will keep the data under constant review. The regulations set to expire six weeks after implementation, with a review after three weeks.”

To recap the new rules:

  • From Friday 10 December, face coverings will become compulsory in most public indoor venues,
  • From Monday 13 December, those who can will be advised to work from home.
  • From Wednesday 15 December, and subject to parliamentary approval, the NHS Covid Pass on the NHS App will become mandatory for entry into unseated indoor events with 500 or more attendees, unseated outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees and any event with 10,000 or more attendees.
  • People will be able to demonstrate proof of two vaccine doses via the app. Having considered the evidence since the emergence of Omicron, proof of a negative lateral flow test will also be accepted.

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