Skip to main content
house of commona

Government sets up sector taskforces to create guidelines for business return

The government has published its Roadmap to reopen non-essential retail businesses in phases from 1 June, should advice from the health authorities deem it safe.

The conditional phased reopening announced by prime minister Boris Johnson, 10 May, suggested some hospitality businesses could reopen as early as 4 July, as part of Phase 3.

However, any business that does reopen will need to meet the government’s new work safety guidelines.

To develop such guidelines, the government is to establish five ministerial-led taskforces: Pubs and restaurants (Department for Business, Energy and industrial Strategy); Non-essential retail (Department for Business, Energy and industrial Strategy); Recreation and leisure, including tourism, culture and heritage, libraries, entertainment and sport (Department for Culture, Media and Sport); Places of worship (Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local government); and International aviation (Department for Transport).

Each taskforce will be chaired by a minister from each of the departments set out above. There will also be separate sectoral sub-groups set up under these taskforces to examine issues specific to that sector.

The events industry will be included through a visitor economy group, of which the Events Industry Board is a member.

The government has said that the aim of each of the taskforces and sectoral subgroups that sit beneath them is to ensure that Covid-19 secure guidelines are developed in line with the conditional phasing plan and public health data, building on the existing guidance and providing information and sector-specific expert input.

The taskforces will ensure alignment of all relevant sector guidance and provide key sector stakeholders direct access to ministers.

As it stands, Phase 3 includes accommodation venues, such as hotels, and ‘leisure and assembly’ venues, such as cinemas, concert halls, museums and funfairs.

Image | ©UK Parliament / Jessica Taylor