To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to support businesses whose trade has been adversely affected by the rule of six covid-19 restriction.
The Government has had to take the difficult step of introducing restrictions on businesses and individuals to bring the virus under control. This includes the rule of six, which limits the number of people that can meet in indoor and outdoor settings in parts of England under a medium Covid Alert level. The Government has set out a comprehensive plan for jobs and businesses, totalling £190bn, to support those whose trade and livelihoods have been disrupted by Covid restrictions. Most recently, the Chancellor announced a further package of measures in the Winter Economy Plan, including the Job Support Scheme, which will protect employees working reduced hours, and the extension of business loan schemes. All eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will also pay no business rates in England for 12 months from 1 April 2020. Many businesses that reopened over the summer have continued trading in Covid-secure ways since the rule of six was announced, supporting our recovery and helping to keep our towns and cities vibrant.