ECC confirmed the potential date after sending a letter to the government containing a number of “requests” to support businesses and businesses across the county.
Essex was subject to Level 2 restrictions, which prohibit households from mixing indoors except in exceptional circumstances, on Saturday, October 17, following a recommendation by the ECC to increase the alert level.
The timing of the lowering of restrictions depends on the effectiveness of “current measures” and the reduction in levels across the county, the council said.
In the letter to Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick MP, business and council leaders called for the current 10 p.m. curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants to be dropped or extended until at at least 12 hours.
If approved, the change, along with other suggestions, would provide support to crucial Essex businesses and their employees, while ensuring that the Chelmsford, Essex-based Council is in the right place. to build a “prosperous recovery” for the county in 2021.
The letter called on the government to:
- Commit to extending the current holiday rates for hotel companies and their suppliers subject to high level restrictions;
- Extend the temporary reduced 5% VAT rate for hotel, hospitality and holiday accommodation businesses and admission to certain attractions from January 12, 2021 for at least three additional months;
- Extend the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Program (CJRS) for hospitality sector jobs, with a request to return to full CJRS that was in place in June and July 2020 for the hospitality sector; and
- Introduce subsidies for high local Covid alert level operating costs for companies in the hospitality sector.
Specific measures that would help businesses beyond the hospitality sector that are affected by ‘high’ local Covid alert level restrictions have also been defined, including:
- Put in place a stronger safety net to protect start-ups and freelancers who are also hard hit;
- Ensure that banks are able to offer investment loans to companies against the coronavirus over ten years, in accordance with state aid rules;
- Provide additional funding through Business Improvement Districts for businesses in high local Covid alert level areas; and
- The 10 p.m. curfew at reception facilities should be removed or extended to at least 12 p.m.
The Council believes these measures would provide support to essential Essex businesses and their employees, while ensuring it is well positioned to build a ‘prosperous recovery’ for the county in 2021.
Cllr Tony Ball, Essex County Council for Economic Growth cabinet member, said: ‘We understand the added pressure that the move to high local Covid alert has placed on local businesses and we want to act to address it. remedy.
“By contacting the government now, we want to engage ministers in a positive way on measures that would offer real support to business when everyone acknowledges the very difficult circumstances.
“We believe our requests are reasonable and suited to county businesses. ”
According to the latest figures from Public Health England (through Wednesday October 21), Essex has a current rate of coronavirus infection of 692.9 per 100,000 population.
There have also been 10,318 confirmed cases in the county, with 1,219 more in Southend and 1,174 in Thurrock.
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