Local businesses are being reminded of the new rules they must adhere to — and the support available — now that Cornwall has been moved into tier 3 very high alert coronavirus restrictions.

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Tim Dwelly, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for the economy, said: “We know that this has been an incredibly difficult year for businesses and that this latest change will be another blow, but the government’s decision means that we must abide by the latest rules to tackle the increase in covid levels in Cornwall. 

“There is support available to help businesses that are adversely affected, both from the council and the government, and we will do all we can to help our hard-working business owners through this latest period of disruption.” 

Hospitality venues, such as pubs, restaurants and cafés have had to close, except for take-away, delivery, and click-and-collect services. Accommodation providers have also closed. These premises can only open for reasons listed in the government’s guidance, such as for people who use it as their main residence or who need to stay away from home for work. 

Entertainment venues such as cinemas, concert halls, indoor play areas, casinos, bowling alleys, and bingo halls are also closed. 

Outdoor entertainment venues, such as funfairs and outdoor cinemas, can remain open, subject to following the relevant guidance. Indoor attractions at outdoor venues, such as zoos, theme parks, and stately homes, have to close, however, as have conference centres and exhibition halls.

Shops, gyms, and those offering personal care, such as hairdressers, can stay open. 

Business grants

Grants are available for those businesses required to close through the Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme. The grants are available to those businesses who were previously required to close and must remain closed, and to those businesses that are now required to close as a result of the change from tier 2 to 3, for example hospitality venues, accommodation providers, and indoor entertainment venues.

The grants available for businesses required to close are between £667 and £1,500 for every 14 days that the restrictions apply, with the amount determined by the rateable value of the property they occupy.  Further information on the Local Restrictions Support Grants for closed businesses can be found on the government website.  

Additional grants will be available for businesses that are allowed to remain open, but whose operation will be severely affected by the tier 3 restrictions. The council will consider and agree a policy to support these businesses next week with a view to making payments as soon possible. 

Tim Dwelly said: “We have so far paid out over £16m to 11,239 businesses affected by the second national lockdown and who applied for the Local Restrictions Support Grant. We’ll also be considering how best to use the Additional Restriction Grants funding we have access to. 

“Our health and our economy are totally interconnected. Clearly, the faster the vaccination programme is rolled out in Cornwall, the sooner hard-hit hospitality businesses will be able to see light at the end of the tunnel. It is essential people in Cornwall get vaccinated as quickly as any other part of the UK.”