The government is being urged to reveal the details of plans to ease lockdown restrictions to allow businesses to prepare.

In a letter to business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) warned that firms were “in the dark” about how they needed to plan for the months ahead when restrictions are eased.

The government said lockdown would be lifted and businesses can reopen ‘as soon as possible’. But the CBI said it would be wise to allow businesses to “use time wisely”.

Director general Tony Danker wrote to the business secretary: “With health teams rightly in crisis management mode, we in business along with the economic ministries can use this time to plan for a successful re-opening of the economy when the moment is right to do so.

 

“Businesses are currently completely in the dark when planning for the weeks and months ahead and this is hindering investment. We can provide more clarity and do the prep work now to enable them to plan for reopening and growth.”

Mr Danker will also be sending letters to the devolved governments next week.

Specifically, the CBI is calling on the government to reveal what will be considered low, medium and high-risk activity so businesses can understand whether they are likely to be open sooner or later.

Mr Danker added: “The Prime Minister has set out the initial parameters for reopening as a country, which was a big help for businesses. Clearly, the precise dates will be determined by data, so let’s use this time wisely to get the roadmap right together for when lockdown ends.

 

“A common framework with devolved administrations must also be possible and help to minimise differences in approach.”

A government spokesperson said: “As the prime minister has made clear, we will lift restrictions as soon as we can, but by lifting them too soon we run the risk of placing our NHS under even greater pressure and having to re-impose restrictions at a later date.”

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