23 November 2020
Josh Hardie, CBI Acting Director-General, said:
“Positive news of vaccines offers a ray of light for 2021. But the next few weeks and months will for many feel like purgatory – stuck in limbo between a national lockdown and a new normal.
“The speed of recovery will depend on the resilience of firms. Today’s announcements bring more consistency and clarity, which helps support business planning and protects jobs. As the crucial festive period approaches, adapting curfew and opening more of the economy will also be a boost for many.
“But harsh measures and ongoing closures will continue to risk business failures in many sectors. For firms wondering what restrictions they will face, details of regional tiers must be laid out in detail on Thursday and regularly reviewed in the future. Further commitment to financial support will still be needed for thousands of struggling companies – particularly those in higher tiers still looking into the precipice.
“The combined efforts of business, government and society should now focus on helping restrictions ease, not tighten once more. A six-week mass, rapid testing surge could be a game changer. It should be backed with a Christmas that gives much needed family time, while avoiding an economic hangover in January.
“The country is now well drilled in managing restrictions. With a calm, consistent and co-ordinated approach across all the UK regions and nations the end of the year could mark the beginning of the fight back.”