Updated Monday 14th January 2021
THE DETAILS BELOW IS THE LATEST INFORMATION FOR FLORISTS WITH REGARD TO THE NATIONAL LOCKDOWN AND TIER 5 FOR ENGLAND. THE LATEST INFORMATION HAS NOW BEEN UPDATED FOR THE WELSH, SCOTTISH AND NORTHERN IRELAND RULES.
We have taken on board as much factual information as we can, by following Government updates, speaking to other associations, wholesalers, and our florist industry colleagues.
The British Florist Association is dedicated to relaying factual information to all our members so that you may all feel comfortable and confident to make operational decisions based on your specific businesses. Please note that some of these guidelines may not apply nationally and always check with your local council for updated information. Click here for further information on Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
During this time we urge you to follow government guidelines.
36, What is the guidance for business while doing Click and Collect? Click-and-collect and delivery services can only operate where goods are pre-ordered (by phone, online, via a mobile app or by post) and collected without entering the premises. For Scotland from Saturday 16 January click and collect can operate for essential and certain non-essential retail only. The non-essential retailers which can continue to operate click and collect services are:
- clothing and footwear stores
- homeware stores
- garden centre/plant nurseries
- baby equipment shops
- electrical shops (including repairs)
- key cutting and shoe repairs
Online services for essential and non-essential goods, which are delivered to a person’s home or business, are permitted. For more details on Scotland’s Rules CLICK HERE
35, What are the Grants available to us this time round? Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced new emergency support for non-essential businesses affected by England’s third coronavirus lockdown.
A one-off grant of up to £9,000 will be available to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, including local outlets such as florists which have been ordered to close until at least February 22. The Treasury said the new support grants will offer companies up to £9,000 through to March as part of a £4.6 billion package “to support businesses and protect jobs”. This will start at £4,000 and increase in line with the firm’s rateable value. To find out if you are eligible for these grants CLICK HERE. To read the latest financial information via the BFA website page CLICK HERE
34, What are the new national lockdown rules for tier 5 in England? ● Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment) and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services.
Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and funerals are allowed with strict limits on attendance, and must only take place in COVID-19 secure venues or in public outdoor spaces unless in exceptional circumstances.
Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people.
You may only leave your home for work if you cannot reasonably work from home.
33, What are the latest rules with regards to lockdown in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?
Wales https://gov.wales/business-closures-alert-level-4 -Unlike in earlier lockdowns, at Level 4 all shops can offer click and collect or similar services, whether or not they are required to close their premises. To reduce the number of journeys people make, all goods and services must be ordered in advance online, by telephone or mail order.
Scotland – CLICK HERE for further details on Scotland’s rules which has now been updated -Click and collect services and outdoor retail will also be able to operate, as will on-line retail.
Northern Ireland https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-regulations-guidance-what-restrictions-mean-you– The regulations apply from 12.01 am on 26 December 2020 for six weeks, with a review after four weeks. Non-essential retail closed. Home delivery allowed but collection not permitted
32, What are the government guidelines for those in Tier 4 in England? Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, and market stalls selling non-essential goods – these venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services. For more information go to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-4-stay-at-home
31, What areas are in Tier 4 in England?
- Kent, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Surrey (excluding Waverley), Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth, Rother and Hastings;
- London (all 32 boroughs and the City of London); and
- the East of England (Bedford, Central Bedford, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough, Hertfordshire, Essex excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring). if you are unsure about your area you can find the information via postcode on https://www.gov.uk/find-coronavirus-local-restrictions
30, What are the rules for Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland? These links will help you find the latest information. As these guidelines constantly change we suggest you check regularly.
29, If I’m going to be in tier 2, can I hold my Christmas workshops? After trawling government websites and making numerous phone calls for 2 days we are advising that members should seek advice from their local councils to gain clarity and make sure they are operating within the guidelines of their local council. The wording for tier 2 is very confusing and we will continue to seek clarity.
For more information on what you can and can not do for the Tier 1, 2 and 3 follow the links where the rules and exceptions are listed.
Please ensure at all times that you and everyone else around you comply with the rules. Stay Safe.
The tier 123 apply to England only. for more information on Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland click the links.
Wales – updated 23rd November https://gov.wales/coronavirus-regulations-guidance
28, If I sell Christmas Trees can I open as a garden centre does under essential opening? The government guidelines state the following ”Garden centres, agricultural supplies shops, and Christmas tree businesses, including Christmas tree farms. This does not include florists, nurseries, or foresters who can continue operating through click-and-collect and delivery services”
To read the reply from the Business Government Department CLICK HERE
27, What areas of Scotland are in L4 on 20th November? This very simple link explaining The Scottish L4 restrictions may be useful for clarity. The restriction will start at 6pm 20/11/20 for 3 weeks. The L4 areas are……City of Glasgow, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, Stirling and West Lothian. Remember to check the Scottish government website to check the Level you are in if you are unsure.
26, What are the latest updates on Grants? The Government announced that Non-essential’ retailers forced to shut in England’s second lockdown could be eligible for grants totalling £2.2 billion.
As a result of Covid-19, businesses will benefit from two grant schemes: one for businesses that have had to close, and another scheme for further business support. Money was transferred to councils in England on Friday, November 13, and businesses can expect to receive money covering the four-week period of national restrictions in the coming days. Pease do check your councils website for details.
The grant schemes are: The Local Restrictions Support Grants, for businesses which have had to close or have been severely impacted by local restrictions (hospitality, leisure and non-essential retail sectors):
- business owners will receive £1,334 per 4 weeks if they have a rateable value below £15,000
- they will receive £2,000 per 4 weeks if they have a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
- they will receive £3,000 per 4 weeks if they have a rateable value above £51,000
25, Can I claim the Job Retention Bonus? The Government’s Job Retention Bonus Scheme has been withdrawn when the chancellor announced other support measures. The Job Retention Bonus was a £1,000 one-off taxable payment to the employer, for each eligible employee that was furloughed and kept continuously employed until January 31, 2021. However, the scheme was withdrawn after the enhanced furlough package was announced.
24, What can I do about employees on furlough? If an employer is considering dismissing an employee (whether for redundancy or otherwise), you are advised to give them notice before 1 December 2020. This is because the government has now confirmed that employers cannot claim for employees serving contractual or statutory notice periods for claim periods starting on or after 1 December 2020 CLICK HERE to read the very latest update
23, Can I do contactless deliveries and click and collect? Yes under the guidelines you can do both contactless deliveries and click and collect in a safe and social distancing environment. To read more on our top tips on Click and Collect – Click here!
22, Can my Christmas workshops still go ahead? Not under the new national lockdown rules in Tier 4 check with local councils for further information in other tiers.
21, Why are Garden centres allowed to open and florists not? We have written to the Minster and Government department asking for clarification on the difference between our flower wholesalers, florists and garden centres. We await their reply. In the meantime the following guidelines are :
Businesses and venues which must close.
To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close or restrict how they provide goods and services. These include: Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services
20, With the new Lockdown this November what grants are available to me? Business Grants: Business premises forced to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for the following:
- For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks;
- For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks;
- For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks.
Business grant policy is fully devolved. Devolved Administrations will receive Barnett consequentials which they could use to establish similar schemes.
for more information go to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension#how-to-claim
19, What support is available to me as a business? Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension: The grant is being extended from 1 November 2020. The grant will be increased from the previously announced level of 40% of trading profits to 80% for November 2020. Find out if you are eligible and how much you can get.
18, Can I keep all my staff in the workroom or do I need to furlough them? As long as you and your staff are following the government guidelines with regards to social distancing there is no reason for you to not continue doing what you have been doing in the last few months. You do not need to furlough any staff if unnecessary to do so.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, also known as the furlough scheme, has been extended to December 2020. Check to find:
- Which employees you can put on furlough to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- If you can claim for your employees’ wages using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- What steps you need to take before calculating your claim
- Find out how much you can claim.
- For information on claiming for wages through the scheme click here.
UPDATE 5TH NOVEMBER.
Workers across the United Kingdom will benefit from increased support with a five-month extension of the furlough scheme into Spring 2021, the Chancellor announced.
Don’t forget to print the Furlough letters for your furloughed staff. The templates can be found in the members area.