We would do well when advising clients on planning matters, as we hopefully emerge from lockdown, to consider the criteria that Government has set that will determine when and if we do emerge.

Here’s what Boris Johnson said when he announced the current four step approach to easing lockdown last month:

Supported by the increased protection offered by vaccines, the Government is able to slowly and cautiously begin to ease restrictions in all areas across England at the same time, guided at all stages by data, not dates.

The roadmap, which has now been published on, outlines four steps for easing restrictions. Before proceeding to the next step, the Government will examine the data to assess the impact of previous steps.

This assessment will be based on four tests:

  • The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully.
  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
  • Our assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern.

There will be a minimum of five weeks between each step: four weeks for the data to reflect changes in restrictions; followed by seven days’ notice of the restrictions to be eased.

The message implies a steady as you go approach. Perhaps it would be wise to adopt a similar rationale to business planning. Clients will potentially be faced with a surge in demand for their products and services as markets open up for business or an extended period of disruption if control of infection does not produce the expected results.

Source: New feed