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CBI wants social distancing clarity from government

Tracy Black

Tracy Black: firms are anxiously awaiting big decisions (pic: Terry Murden)

CBI Scotland is calling on the UK and Scottish governments to provide greater clarity on social distancing guidelines as businesses emerge from lockdown.

A survey by the employers group showed that current social distancing guidelines mean only two-thirds (68%) of staff can physically work on premises and UK firms are operating at 81% of pre-pandemic capacity.

If both the UK and Scottish governments can “show their hand sooner rather than later” and agree a consistent four nation approach to easing social distancing, firms can plan ahead, says the CBI.

It claims that publishing the data and evidence-base for decision-making will be crucial to ensuring all firms have as safe and smooth a reopening process as possible.

Tracy Black, CBI Scotland director, said: “The ongoing success of the vaccination roll-out, alongside guidance from the UK and Scottish governments have provided firm foundations for the safe and gradual reopening of the economy. 

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“Indicative timings have proven invaluable in helping businesses to forward plan and develop contingencies with confidence.

“But with considerable uncertainty still ahead, firms are anxiously awaiting big decisions from government that will impact the way they run their businesses over the coming months.” 

Ms Black said that with workplaces operating well short of full capacity, social distancing will be a key piece of the recovery jigsaw.

“That’s why it’s so important to start building consensus among businesses and the public now about the way forward,” she said.

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