Omicron and small business – what are the rules? - The Entrepreneurial Way with A.I.


Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Omicron and small business – what are the rules?


By Timothy Adler on Small Business UK - Advice and Ideas for UK Small Businesses and SMEs

Covid-19 Omicron written on side of blood sample, Omicron concept

Small business customers must wear face masks in shops as Tuesday, 30 November in order to slow the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

It is now illegal not to wear a face mask in a shop, bank or Post Office but not in a bar or restaurant — as yet.

The new Omicron face mask regulation brings England into line with Scotland and Wales, where face masks have been obligatory in retail environments.

>See also: What is public liability insurance, and does it cover Covid-19 claims?

Where must face masks be worn?

  • Shops
  • Banks
  • Post offices
  • Hairdressers
  • Beauty salons
  • Tatoo parlours
  • Takeways
  • Estate agents
  • Solicitors
  • Loan providers
  • Vetinary clinics

Face masks must also be worn in taxis, private hire vehicles and driving instruction cars or vans.

The mandate will not apply to the hospitality sector, meaning they are not needed in restaurants and pubs. They will also not be required by law in venues such as concerts, cinemas and theatres.

What should I do if someone refuses to wear a mask?

People who refuse to wear a mask will be fined £200. The fines will double with every offence, rising to £400 for a second infraction and £800 for a third, up to a maximum of £6,400.

However, James Lowman, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores told the Daily Telegraph that retailers are “extremely concerned” about any abuse they might experience while trying to police the use of masks in store.

Lowman said his advice was to urge stores to communicate the rules, but not to challenge those who refuse to abide by them.

Should I tell my staff to work from home?

Under new guidelines that came into effect at 4am this morning, the Government has stopped short of telling companies in England to ask staff to work from home.

Further reading

How to boss payroll year-end during Covid-19

The post Omicron and small business – what are the rules? appeared first on Small Business UK.


Timothy Adler, Khareem Sudlow