Who has to work from home now and how strictly is this enforced? Office workers are only allowed to enter if this is "essential".
- Boris Johnson announced a new national suspension for England tonight
- The Prime Minister said anyone who can work from home should do so now
- Business leaders said lockdown was the latest "body blow" to hard-hit companies
Boris Johnson plunged companies into new coronavirus mayhem tonight as he imposed a new national lockdown and ordered everyone to work from home wherever possible.
The Prime Minister used a Downing Street address to the nation to unveil tough new curbs that will last through mid-February.
Among them was a strict stay home order, with people being allowed outside for only a handful of specific essential reasons.
People can still travel to work, but Mr Johnson stressed that the exception should only apply to people who "absolutely cannot work from home".
Mr Johnson is calling on the nation to abide by the new rules starting tonight, but the CEOs reacted with anger at the short notice and the fact that the Prime Minister did not announce any new financial aid to businesses.
Industry leaders said the recent restrictions are another "body blow" to ailing companies.
Boris Johnson announced a new coronavirus lockdown for England tonight, urging all workers to work from home wherever possible
In number 10, Mr Johnson said tough new coronavirus curbs are needed to tackle a new, more infectious strain of the disease that is spreading across the UK.
He said: “With most of the country already facing extreme measures, it is clear that we must do more together to bring this new variant under control while our vaccines are introduced.
& # 39; In England we therefore have to go into a national lockdown that is tough enough to contain this variant.
“That means the government is again ordering you to stay home.
“You are only allowed to leave the house for legally permissible reasons, e.g. B. to shop for essentials to work, when you absolutely cannot work from home, to do sports, to get medical help, e.g. B. to get a Covid test or to avoid domestic violence. & # 39;
The government has already announced that its vacation pay program will be extended until the end of April.
However, business leaders immediately said the new lockdown will require more support if businesses are to stay afloat.
Adam Marshall, UK Chamber of Commerce Director General, said: “Businesses will understand why the Prime Minister was forced to respond to the growing public health threat, but they will be amazed and disappointed that he has not announced additional support for affected companies in addition to these new restrictions.
& # 39; The lockdowns announced today in England and Scotland are a major blow to our business community, hot on the heels of lost trade over the Christmas season and uncertainty surrounding the end of the Brexit transition period.
& # 39; Tens of thousands of businesses are already in a precarious position and are now facing a period of further difficulties and difficulties.
“Billions have been spent helping good companies weather this unprecedented crisis and save jobs.
"These companies must not fail now if the introduction of the vaccine at the end of this long tunnel sheds light."
The announcement of a new lockdown across England prompted Rishi Sunak to prompt directors to request a new package of financial assistance
Richard Burge, executive director of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, made a similar statement.
"The extension of the holiday program to spring was welcomed, but it will remain a cliff as we near, as will the end of the sales tax and business rate relief periods," he said.
& # 39; These need to be expanded. We also need an expansion of the grant program, which is provided through councils, based on the number of businesses within a county rather than the number of residents.
The government needs to understand that this is a London marathon. They plan the long haul, have feeding and water stations all the way and support after the finish line. The Treasury Department has to present its plan for this marathon. At the moment they are not on duty and London could fall as a result. & # 39;