Coronavirus | Hub
Stay updated on the coronavirus pandemic
This page provides an index to all our COVID-19 related content and the latest updates on this ever-changing situation. Scroll down to see the updates plus links to essential documents and webpages which you can download and view.
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UPDATED: Workplace testing programme expands
As part of the Government's latest push to roll out its 'workplace testing programme' rapid home testing will be made available for all businesses with over 10 employees who cannot offer on-site testing.
The workplace testing programme uses lateral flow tests (LFD) to rapidly detect the virus in 30 minutes. Swift detection of cases means those who test positive can isolate immediately and, in doing so, break chains of transmission and suppress the virus.
Businesses are encouraged to register before 12 April in order to access free tests until the end of June, even if they’re not yet open or are not able to start using the tests straight away.
This service is currently only available to eligible businesses registered in England.
If your business is registered in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland but you have employees in England, you will need to register by email toClick on the link below to view the Government page on registering for the test kits.
UPDated: RESTART GRANT Scheme
The Restart Grant scheme aims to support businesses in the non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, personal care and accommodation sectors with a one-off grant, to reopen safely as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
You can read more detail by clicking the button below.
UPDATED: RECOVERY LOAN SCHEME LAUNCHED APRIL 6, 2021
Are you getting ready to reopen on April 12?
If you are getting ready to reopen, you will need to ensure that you have made your premises 'COVID-19 Secure'.
Please note that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will have their own timetables and strategies for reopening.
We have all the guidance and documents available to help you with this, and a good place to start is by clicking on the 'Priority Steps for Businesses' link just below.
Click through the links for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (below) to view the latest coronavirus guidelines, roadmaps and essential documents for each nation.
Priority steps for businesses
Before you reopen your premises to the public, please make sure you have taken the appropriate actions to ensure the wellbeing and safety of your customers and your employees.
Click the link below for risk assessment forms and other essential documents and guidance.
For the latest information on restrictions to trading during coronavirus in England click the button below.
For the latest information on restrictions to trading during coronavirus in Scotland click the button below.
For the latest information on restrictions to trading during coronavirus in Wales click the button below.
For the latest information on restrictions to trading during coronavirus in Northern Ireland, click the button below.
The UK government has set up a series of Helplines and Webpages which you will find useful in managing your business and finding the right support during the current crisis.
We have included a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to keeping your business safe and compliant during the coronavirus emergency.
Try and visit these often as we are constantly updating them when new information arrives in and the situation changes.
Financial Support Index
Click below to view links to all the information you need regarding the various financial support packages that the government has made available to business.
Includes full detail on the CJRS (Furlough) scheme, bounce back loan scheme, claiming for holiday pay & SSP, income tax plus support for the Self Employed.
The latest Government-issued bulletins for businesses and employees contain important advice and updates supplied by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Click below to view the bulletins and stay appraised of the latest updates.
Click on 'Organisations' to view essential advice, information and guidance provided by the NHS, ACAS and the government.
The advice from these organisations takes precedence over any other content on this page.
Click on 'Documents' to find links to the documents we have been sent by the government & advisory agencies or published ourselves. Includes setting up your COVID-19 Risk Assessment
(You will need to be logged in to your Retra account to view all of these)
Retra Risk Assist
You should also check in with Retra Risk Assist where you can view, download and follow links to a variety of additional business resources to help you manage the current situation.
(You will need to have an account with Retra Risk Assist to view these pages)
MORE USEFUL INFORMATION
Government guidance on face coveringsPlease remember that until further notice, it is still mandatory for people to wear face coverings in retail premises. See below for the Government's official guidance on the use of face coverings.
Data protection during coronavirus
As lockdown restrictions start to ease and businesses begin to reopen, the ICO has set out the key steps organisations need to consider around the use of personal information. Click below to view our page on managing your personal data policy during coronavirus with particular emphasis on data relating to your employees.
As a rule, employers should continue to do the following:
Keep communication flowing.
This is an ever-changing situation so it’s important to keep talking about the actions you are taking.
Have an open-door policy for any concerns that employees may have.
In addition, you should make it your duty to familiarise yourself with the general guidelines listed below:
- Review and update all employee contact numbers and emergency contact details.
- Know where your staff are travelling to and returning from. This applies to both business and holiday travel.
- Remain current with government advice The rules, restrictions and regulations now vary from region to region as well as nationally. You should make it a habit to check the current guidelines with your local authority.
- Managers should be informed of how to spot symptoms of coronavirus, (see 'organisations' and 'FAQs' above).
- Have a clear process to follow if someone is diagnosed with coronavirus. You can login and download our Managers Guidelines to help you with this.
- Have a home working policy. The general advice is that employees and managers should still work from home if they can. Clearly this isn't possible with shop floor staff but it may be possible to allow some of your operational workers to do so, perhaps even on a rotational basis.
- Have a business continuity plan. The pandemic has already changed the business landscape and will no doubt change it further in the months ahead. It is highly unlikely that things will return to how they were before coronavirus. Therefore, you should have a plan in place to ensure the survival of your business going forward.
- Consider the wellbeing of your employees. The crisis has caused a general deterioration in peoples' mental health across the globe and this will affect the behaviours and performance of the people you work with. Check in on our partners at retailTRUST for excellent advice on how to spot signs of increased stress and how to manage and support colleagues who may be suffering in the workplace.
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