Ahead of the lifting of Covid restrictions in England on Monday, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is urging consumers to respect the ‘house rules’ which many firms are planning to implement for their premises.
While measures such as the wearing of face masks or table-only service will no longer be legally required from Monday, many consumer-facing businesses intend to use their judgement over whether to continue with these precautions.
Following discussions with the government since official guidelines were released this week, FSB has received assurances that small businesses can continue to insist on interventions such as requiring face-coverings for those not in exempted groups.
FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said: “With only a few days between guidance going live and the England unlock date, small businesses right across the country are now working hard to update health and safety assessments and ensure they have the right measures in place to open safely.
“No two businesses are the same, so it’s crucial that small firms have the liberty to install the rules that work for them, including where masks are concerned. We’re urging shoppers, diners and revellers to respect the unique house rules of every business when they’re out and about from Monday.
“It’s vital that small firms feel supported – by government at every level and by the police – when taking steps to keep their customers and staff safe.
“Monday is a hugely important day for many small businesses which have either been closed or only partially open for the last sixteen months.
“Throughout the pandemic, small firms have proved themselves as pillars of local communities. As they prepare for Monday’s unlocking, they are once again demonstrating how much they care about the people and places where they are based, by taking a considered approach to measures in their own premises based upon a concern for the safety and wellbeing of their staff and customers.
“We hope that consumers will understand and respect this as they get behind supporting small firms which are working hard to get back up and running, so that they can remain at the heart of community life, character, jobs and prosperity long into the future.”