31 October 2020
Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said:
“Lockdown is a decision for government, not business, and firms share the Prime Minister’s ambition to defeat the virus. But for many businesses, a second national lockdown marks the start of a bleak midwinter
“With the right support firms will do everything possible to minimise the damage. Across the country they have already shown how resilient they can be in the face of tighter restrictions. And thanks to huge efforts by businesses to make workplaces Covid secure, more of the economy can now stay open.
“Extending furlough is a vital step. It will bring instant relief and protect jobs. It’s also a breakthrough to hear government support for rapid mass testing. Affordable fast tests are a game-changer for business, enabling more firms to stay open and operate normally. We must use this lockdown month to prepare and roll-out mass testing as a matter of national urgency.
“However, some sectors may need more tailored support in the coming weeks.
“It’s also clear that communication needs to improve. Firms can’t plan on the basis of speculation. Formal business involvement in lockdown planning is now urgently needed, matched by coordination with devolved nations to minimise confusion and build confidence.”