On Sunday 31st October the Prime Minister announced a new lockdown which will begin on 5th November 2020 and apply to England. Until that date the Government restrictions that your local area has in place should be adhered to as usual. These restriction levels will be in place until December 2nd at least, when they will be reviewed.
If you become ill, have tested positive or someone in your household does, this link has all the new information you need on how to proceed and how long to isolate.
Many people will already have in place the procedures you used from March to fall back on so the important thing now is not to panic, take a minute to gather your thoughts and take in all the info you need to proceed safely. With regards to working the government states that you can leave your home “for work purposes, where your place of work remains open and where you cannot work from home (including if your job involves working in other people’s homes)” which, we think its safe to say applies to the majority of florists circumstances with regards to the daily florist workload.
As Florist shops are considered non essential retail everyone must close their premises to walk in customers as of 5th November. You are still allowed to work behind closed doors, taking orders, contactless deliveries and offering a click and collect service.
The government will issue full list of the business closures which will be published and set out in law. The BFA will keep you informed if florists fall into another category once this is established formally.
As before the guidance is to go to work if you can not work from home
Specific working guidelines are yet to be updated by government and therefore you should consider these rules when making any new plans regarding your workplace, staff and customers.
- hands – wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds
- face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet
- space – stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors)
Any new guidance will appear here. We will of course update you when we know more but for our sector the usual point of call headings are “Factories Plants and Warehouses” (for wholesalers, growers and events warehouses) or “Shops and Branches” (for shops and studios)
Funeral ceremonies are allowed to take place with the maximum amount of people allowed to be present being set at 30. Any ‘linked ceremonial events’ such as scattering ashes may also be allowed but that will be reduced to 15 people being allowed to attend. Anyone working is not included in these numbers.
Weddings and civil ceremonies are not permitted to take place, except in exceptional circumstances. This will mean for many another date change and/or cancellations. If you are experiencing cancellations then as before please follow your own contract rules and further guidance can be found here
The section on refunds is particularly helpful and expands upon the sentence “The wedding business may, however, be able to withhold certain limited amounts relating to expenses it has already incurred in respect of the wedding.”
Please, as always, respect the stressful times both you and couples are having during this time
Autumnal or Christmas theme workshops can not take place in your shop nor in separate venues. We realise this will be a blow to many florists and we would advise that you consider sending out your supplies to attendees as kits with written instructions for your customers to make at home. A video link or a virtual workshop could also work for you too.
Workers in any part of the UK can retain their jobs and will be paid at least 80% of their salary up to £2500 a month, even if their employer cannot afford to pay them. The Job Support Scheme will not be introduced until after Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended until the end of December and all the info you need is right here
The Job Support Scheme, which was due to start on November 1st has been postponed as the CJRS has been extended until the end of December.
The New Style Employment and Support Allowance can be claimed with or instead of universal credit and all info can be found here
WALES, SCOTLAND and NORTHERN IRELAND
We have been awaiting information from the welsh government with regards to their firebreak system which was implemented on October 23rd and is set to end November 9th. This is the response we have just received regarding retail, which as you can see is now being updated to impose restrictions on the items supermarkets can sell whilst the lockdown is in place.
“We have designed the firebreak to be as short as possible, but that means the actions means to be as deep as possible to be effective. One of these has been to close the majority of high-street shops. Only those selling everyday, essential items – such as supermarkets, newsagents and pharmacies – have been able to stay open during the firebreak period.
To make sure those shops which have had to close – many of which are small, independent businesses – are not disadvantaged and to make sure people spend as little time as possible in shops, thereby helping to protect their health by minimising the risk of infection, the decision was taken to restrict the sale of some items in supermarkets.
Ministers have this week been meeting retailers, representative groups and trade unions to clarify the guidance, which was issued at the start of the firebreak. We have had positive discussions and an updated list of goods which can be sold has been circulated to retailers. That list can be found here: https://gov.wales/coronavirus-covid-19-closure-businesses-and-premises-html#section-53803
We have also clarified that a sensible system should be introduced, ensuring people can buy non-essential items if they genuinely need to during the firebreak.
We will not be moving away from the central principle that retailers must restrict the sale of non-essential goods for the two weeks of the firebreak.
Please continue to support the national effort to bring coronavirus under control and protect everyone’s health and save lives by staying at home during the firebreak period, which will end on November 9.”
After November 9th we will be looking for further updates for Welsh florists.
Regarding Funerals in Wales, the number of people allowed to attend an indoor service will depend on the size of the building so this should be check with every venue/service however ‘Social gatherings or ‘wakes’ associated with the funeral should follow the same principles to define the maximum number, except that they are capped at 30 people both in and outdoors (this excludes staff facilitating the event).’
‘Outdoor funerals are subject to the same restrictions, with the number of attendees specifically restricted to a maximum of 30 people (excluding officiating staff)’
Regarding Weddings in Wales, ‘The maximum number who can attend will include those who are legally required to be in attendance such as the celebrant, authorised person and any registration officials. The couple and their witnesses will also be included in the maximum number. As the marriage or civil partnership itself must take place indoors it is the capacity of the building or room (once physical distancing measures are taken into account) which will determine the size of the invitation list and therefore the numbers who can gather.‘
‘The Regulations also allow up to 30 people to gather outdoors for organised events which can include wedding ceremonies but not the actual solemnisation of marriage or formation of civil partnership. However other gatherings such as faith based blessing ceremonies or Humanist ceremonies could take place.‘
Scotland now has a set of Protection levels which range from 0-4 depending on infection levels for specific areas. The levels and explainations can be found here. Each level can be seen down the left had side with the relevent information for florist retail businesses appearing under the ‘shopping’ tab. The events sector will find their information under the ‘Life events (including weddings and funerals)’ tab. The numbers allowed to attend events differ depending on the protection level.
In order to determine the protection level for your area you can visit this page and enter your postcode.
Thankfully the Scottish Government website is easy and clear to see the rules in place which you will need going forwards. Should the situation change we will of course update for you. The main homepage for coronavirus in Scotland can be found here
Within Northern Ireland plans were set in place as of 16th October which were set for 4 weeks and will be due for review around 13th November. The retail sector has remained open, Wearing masks is mandatory for shoppers and people who work in relevant places must also wear a face covering, unless they are separated from members of the public by a partition.
Marriages and civil partnerships ceremonies are limited to 25 people. This number includes children under 12 and the celebrant. Receptions or post ceremony gatherings are not permitted.
Funerals are limited to 25 people. Pre and post-funeral gatherings are not permitted. The remains of the deceased may be taken back to private homes, but wakes are not to be held and funeral services in private homes are not to take place.
As always the BFA are here for support and you are more than welcome to contact us with queries at email@example.com. It is increasing difficult to report the facts due to differing restrictions across the UK and we appreciate your patience as we continue to locate the relevant and correct information for you.
You may wish to use our members facebook group to share ideas which have worked for you in your region or offer advice to your fellow florists at this time. Supporting one another during times like these makes everyones stress levels a little more manageable so find us here. Questions for fellow group members are welcomed.