What does the Government’s Recovery Strategy mean for Hatton Garden?

*Last updated 13th May 2020*

On Monday 11th May the government published its COVID-19 Recovery Strategy, so we wanted to update you on what it means for the valued businesses and residents of Hatton Garden.

The strategy is made up of a series of steps which aim to gradually lift the existing restrictions on social distancing and ease the economy back to work. This is a long-term strategy for managing the coronavirus until we have a reliable treatment. It’s important to note that the steps will be subject to constant review and implemented as and when it is deemed safe, over the coming weeks and months. Additionally, measures will be more targeted and reactive than they have been, so could vary between areas and change at short notice. 

The government’s message has changed to ‘Stay Alert, Control the Virus, Save Lives’. The easing of restrictions is conditional on keeping the R rate under 1, so vigilance is essential in the coming weeks if we’re to beat the virus. 

It looks as though a large proportion of Hatton Garden's levy payers - those being office-based businesses - will not be able to return to offices until Phase 3 of the government’s plan. The BID is here to support businesses who face long periods of time away from Hatton Garden, perhaps continuing to work from home. Please check our our advice on working from home, and our advice on successful remote collaborative working.

Please get in touch if you need our support by contacting Project Director Debbie Akehurst or emailing [email protected].

We’ll continue to keep you informed as the government announces more details on the individual steps. In the meantime, we’ve summarised what we know so far about the measures that could impact you. 

We also want to assure you that we understand how difficult the past weeks have been for Hatton Garden businesses, and are continuing to support you wherever possible. For more information about the support available from the government and Camden Council, visit this page.

To read the government’s 60 page Recovery Strategy document in full, please visit this page

Step 1 (in effect from Wednesday 13th May)

  • If you cannot work from home, you can now travel to your workplace. This excludes those working in hospitality and non-essential retail. 
  • The government wants workers to walk or cycle rather than use public transport. Head here for the official government guidance on safe travel.
  • Any workplaces reopening should follow new COVID-19 Secure guidelines which will be released in the coming days. his will involve new safety guidelines to advise on how different physical spaces can be adapted to operate safely. 
  • All employers are asked to continue to be innovative in developing new ways of doing business, for example, by using online or delivery models. This is particularly true for office workers who can continue to work from home, as this group are likely to be the last to be able to return to their normal work environment.
  • You should consult your employer if you are unable to return to work due to an inability to travel safely (e.g. if you don’t have a car or bike or can’t walk to work) or due to childcare restrictions whilst schools are closed. The government have asked that employers remain understanding and accommodating of these situations.
  • Schools remain closed, except for the children of critical workers and those children who are vulnerable who are encouraged to attend.
Public Transport
  • You should continue to avoid public transport wherever possible.
  • For the official guidance on safer travel from the government head here
  • Aim to wear a face-covering in enclosed public spaces, such as on public transport or in shops. 
  • Exercise outside is allowed as many times as is wished, with up to one person from outside your own household. 
  • Time can also be spent outside whilst not exercising. 
  • Driving to outdoor spaces is allowed irrespective of distance. 
  • Clinically vulnerable residents should continue to minimise contact with those outside their households. 
  • Clinically extremely vulnerable residents should avoid leaving their homes and avoid face-to-face contact.
  • Anyone showing even mild symptoms should continue to self-isolate and household quarantine rules continue to apply.
  • There will now be higher fines for those who do not follow the rules. 

Step 2 (aims to be in effect no earlier than Monday 1st June)

  • Early years settings, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 could return to school from June.
  • Year 10 and Year 11 could have some face-to-face contact. 
  • The aim is for all primary school children to return to school for a month before the summer.
Non-essential Retail
  • Non-essential retail will re-open in phases, with guidance on the businesses included in each phase to be issued by the government. We will provide an update as soon as we have clarity on this.
  • When retail businesses gradually re-open they will have to follow the government’s COVID-19 Secure guidelines previously mentioned.
  • The gradual re-opening of non-essential retail will not include hospitality or personal care businesses such as salons. 
Public Transport
  • More public transport will be reopened in June as part of Phase 2.
  • Households groups may be allowed to expand and mix with one other household within an exclusive group.

Step 3 (aims to be in effect no earlier than Saturday 4th July)

Remaining Businesses 
  • Hospitality, personal care and leisure facilities could start to reopen in July. This includes pubs, restaurants and hairdressers.
  • Other types of businesses may also be able to return to their premises at this point, for example corporate offices. The government has not yet offered complete clarity on whether offices can open safely, nor what safety guidelines employers should follow. The anticipated COVID-19 Secure guidelines should help employers and office workers navigate their return to work. 
  • It will most likely be the case that offices will open in part, so employees can stay safe and continue to enact social distancing.
  • All types of businesses - whether re-opening or returning to office premises - will need to meet the COVID-19 Secure guidelines previously mentioned.
  • We will provide a clear update on this as soon as it is announced by the government.
Although the concessions now being made by the government are modest, they do represent small and positive steps in the right direction. For our diverse community of cafes, restaurants, retailers and office workers, there are still a few weeks of uncertainty ahead. But according to the government’s proposed timeline, with patience, resilience and a little creativity we should see some of Hatton Garden ready to return to work at the end of this summer. 

With that in mind, now is the time to plan, adapt and look forward to the future. We might be doing things slightly differently to how we normally would, but with change comes opportunity. Hatton Garden has existed as an iconic creative hub for many years and has survived previous crises. We will bounce back from this one stronger than ever.

Useful articles from Hatton Garden BID  
If you would like to read the government’s 60 page Recovery Strategy document in full head here

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