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COVID-19 restrictions

Find out about the advice and support available to employees, employers and businesses on our Coronavirus Information for Businesses webpage.

On 26 November the Government announced a new regional tier system starting in England on 3 December. South Cambridgeshire will move into tier 2.

Until midnight 2 December the following businesses and venues should remain closed:

  • all non-essential retail, including, but not limited to clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops
  • indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks
  • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens
  • personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons

Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open. Essential retail should follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.

Non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect.

Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services. However, takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed.

Hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions which will be set out in law.

From 3 December in all tiers, the following businesses and venues can open:

  • essential and non-essential retail, including indoor and outdoor markets and car boot sales

  • certain leisure and sporting facilities such as gyms, sports courts and facilities, leisure centres, fitness and dance studios, golf courses, swimming pools, riding centres, outdoor playgrounds – subject to relevant social contact rules in each tier.

  • personal care and close contact services such as hairdressers and barbers, beauty salons, tattoo parlours, nail salons, spas and beauty services, massage parlours and tanning salons

  • public buildings, such as libraries, community centres and halls

  • allotments, recycling and waste centres, public toilets, car parks

  • essential public services such as the NHS and medical services, courts, and jobcentre plus sites

  • places of worship – communal worship can now resume, subject to relevant social contact rules in each tier

Tier 2 restrictions include:

  • businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-Secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs
  • pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals
  • hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to:
    • provide table service only, in premises which sell alcohol

    • close between 11pm and 5am (hospitality venues in airports, ports, transport services and motorway service areas are exempt)

    • stop taking orders after 10pm

  • hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through
  • early closure (11pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances  that start before 10pm

Going to work

To help contain the coronavirus, everyone who can work effectively from home must do so. Where people cannot (for instance people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing) they should continue to attend their workplace, even if this means working in someone else's house. This is essential to keep the country operating as safely as possible and supporting vital sectors and employers.

Brexit business advice

Brexit4Business are offering Cambridgeshire businesses free advice and workshops on preparing for Brexit.

If you'd like to speak to an adviser you can complete an online form.

Digital marketing guide

South Cambridgeshire District Council's Business Support and Development Team have put together an informal marketing guide for small local businesses looking to go digital.

Skills training for employees

Fully funded bespoke training for employers and their employees is available to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) across Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough.

The Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) programme run by Serco focuses on upskilling employees in the following key priority sectors:

  • Agriculture & Food
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Life Sciences
  • Logistics
  • IT and Digital
  • Health and Social Care
  • Construction

The training is flexible and businesses can select full qualifications or mix and match individual units that are directly relevant to their work. Training could cover subjects such as IT and digital skills, leadership and management or more vocationally relevant courses.

Previous SSW programme participants have benefited from increased employee confidence, motivation and productivity and improved employee loyalty and retention.

Support for business to employ apprentices

On 12 November 2020, the Government updated its apprenticeship guidance for employers interested in taking on an apprentice in response to the impact of coronavirus.

The new Greater Cambridge Apprenticeship Service (GCAPPS) supports companies who are looking to employ apprentices. The service will support any type of apprenticeship but especially in the much sought after STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths.

If you are interested in taking on an apprentice, Cambridge Regional College will support you by helping you to establish how your skills gaps could be filled with apprentices, to find the right training provider, and to understand charges, grants and other considerations.

Business support webinars

South Cambridgeshire District Council is offering a series of workshops that will provide a chance for local businesses to engage with Council services. 

We are running a series of webinars offering businesses a chance to learn how to successfully tender for Council contracts. Registrations are open for the following dates:

21 January 2021, 2pm to 4pm

18 March 2021, 2pm to 4pm

On 27 January 2021, we will be running a webinar with our colleagues from 3C Building Control. This will be an opportunity to learn more about their services, changes to legislation and how to ensure you operate your business within legal frameworks to ensure the health and safety of your staff and customers. Register here.

Business Newsletter

Our Open for Business newsletter is an e-newsletter that offers practical ideas, tailored advice, news and information to help start, grow, manage and run a business in South Cambridgeshire.

Read the current issue of Open for Business

Sign up now to receive our Business Newsletter.

Simply provide us with your contact details and regularly receive the Open For Business newsletter direct to your inbox, as well as email updates on:

  • Financing and funding opportunities
  • Contracts and tenders from the Council and its partners
  • Updates on key infrastructure or new developments
  • Support for businesses
  • Awards and competitions
  • Local business news
  • Opportunities to let us know how we have support South Cambridgeshire's businesses to thrive

Upcoming events

Find out about the events that are taking place in our area during the next couple of months on the following websites:

Local Plan Workshop for Business

The Greater Cambridge Local Plan team are running a Zoom workshop for local businesses on Thursday 10 December, 10am to 12 noon. The workshop will be an opportunity to ask questions and share thoughts about the Local Plan team. Email for more details.

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