With the deadline for reviewing the coronavirus lockdown fast approaching, the government is coming under increasing pressure from the business community to significantly ease restrictions in the weeks ahead.
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC – which represents 75,000 businesses across the UK) has called on the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to be “bold” as he reviews the situation on May 07.
Perhaps taking a cue from the Irish government – which has introduced a five-stage phase out – the BCC is calling for the “carefully phased” ending of the lockdown.
In a letter addressed to the PM, BCC president, Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith, calls for planning and communication of the government’s approach to exiting the lockdown to “begin immediately if we are to harness the public health and economic benefits”.
“Fundamental prerequisites to beginning this journey include mass testing and contact tracing”, McGregor-Smith argues.
McGregor-Smith’s message to the government has been reinforced by BCC director general, Adam Marshall, who says businesses must be given “adequate time” to prepare for life after lockdown.
Talking to BBC Breakfast earlier today, Marshall said businesses across the country require “timeframes for reopening and that will give them the confidence to get ready”.
It remains to be seen to what extent (if any) the Prime Minister takes into account the BCC’s, and the rest of the business community’s, concerns into consideration before he announces the next stage of his crisis management strategy.