How this second lockdown impacts business travel in EnglandLast updated on: November 05, 2020
The government is set to impose a four week lockdown in England starting from the 5th November to the 2nd December to curtail the rising number of Covid infections.
Businesses, employees and business travellers alike have only just started adapting to the "new normal" changes that the pandemic has forced upon everyone so this second lockdown will certainly come as a setback.
However this time around the rules around the lockdown restrictions are slightly different offering more manoeuvrability for those who need to work and travel for work within the country and into the country.
In a sense, this is a lockdown to prevent any non-essential travel and leisure activates such as holidays and retail, recognising the importance of keeping the economy moving and generating income where it is safely possible to do so.
We take a closer look at how this second lockdown impacts business travel in England.
What are the key points outlined in the government's second lockdown rules for businesses, employees and business travel?
1. People who cannot work from home should continue to travel to work/attend their workplace
Where previously the first lockdown was only restricted to keyworkers, the government has expanded this criteria to include "people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing" as they believe it is "essential to keeping the country operating and supporting vital sectors and employers".
In general, you are advised not to leave or be outside your home "except for work purposes, where your place of work remains open and where you cannot work from home".
However they do make clear that those who can effectively conduct their work from home, should do so.
2. You can travel into England and overseas from England for work and some jobs qualify for self-isolation exemptions.
"For those planning to travel into England, you should check the current travel corridor list to see whether you need to isolate for 14 days. You will still be required to abide by the restrictions set out here even if you do not need to isolate."
"If you do need to travel overseas from England before 2 December (and are legally permitted to do so, for example, because it is for work), even if you are returning to a place you’ve visited before, you should look at the rules in place at your destination, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice"
So again this is a great initiative by the government to not stall business activity by encouraging those needing to travel into England and overseas from England for "work purposes".
For those travelling into England for work, these are important points to be aware of:
- If you are travelling into the UK for work you must complete a Passenger Locator Form
- You may not need to self-isolate if you are travelling from a destination or if you are making a transit stop from a country, territory or region on the travel corridor exemption list.
See list of countries, territories or regions that are on the travel corridor list
- Some people may not need to self-isolate because of their job. But they will still need to stay alert and stay safe.
Job profiles on the exemption list include:
-Regular work abroad
"People who live in the UK but work in another country and travel between the UK and country of work at least once a week"
-Regular work in the UK, living abroad
"People who live outside the UK but work in the UK and travel between their country of residence and the UK at least once a week"
See the list of jobs that qualify for travel exemptions here.
3. Accommodation will stay open for those who have to travel for work purposes
"Hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions which will be set out in law"
This has come as a huge relief to businesses like ours who work directly with serviced apartment companies who will not be forced to close their doors based on the government's second lockdown rules guidance.
Accommodation operators across the board have had to endure severe losses after being forced to close first time around (like many other businesses), so this will help many businesses to survive throughout the second lockdown.
It is expected that the revenue from bookings will be no where near where it should be for this time of the year and indeed for the run up to Christmas with customer confidence low and further cancellations unavoidable.
However, we are certain that the serviced apartment sector will provide essential working and living environments supporting a range of businesses and their accommodation requirements during this difficult and challenging period.
So if you are in need of accommodation due to attending your workplace away from your main residence or self-isolating then consider a serviced apartment for its many benefits.
- Serviced apartments are complying with all the latest government health and safety guidelines including social distancing and hands-free contact to ensure the safety of their guests and staff.
They have gone through lengthy internal process changes and reviews to acquire Covid safety accreditations.
- Serviced apartments are providing fully equipped kitchens (cooking hobs, fridge freezer, microwave, oven, dishwasher, cutlery crockery, utensils) and laundry appliances like washing machines all within the apartment offering complete privacy for these basic necessities.
- Home working facilities such as a dining table or desk and Wi-Fi come as standard, however some serviced apartments are also offering extra in-room business options such as printers, scanners and webcams.
- Most importantly, all bills are included and utilities are fully set up, so that covers the water, electricity, gas and local taxes (where applicable)
- There is also a cleaning service provided, which varies depending on the property, but ensure clean linen and towels and apartment housekeeping on a regular basis and contact-free basis.
- Grocery shopping is also being offered by some serviced accommodation providers, especially for quarantining guests.
Get in touch today to ask about a serviced apartment in London.
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Note: This lockdown will not apply to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, where different lockdown restrictions have been in force, some of which will be coming to an end in the next few weeks.