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Press Release - Covid19 - Lifting of Restrictions 24.04.2020

Date: 24th April 2020

New working guidelines to ease financial impact on Alderney

With the first self-employed builders and gardeners due to return to work this weekend under strict social distancing rules, Alderney's Policy & Finance Committee has given a cautious welcome to the lifting of restrictions on some types of businesses.

Keeping the island's construction industry idle during lockdown represents the biggest burden on Alderney's economy through payroll co-funding, small business grants and the loss of income tax and social security.

A quarter of the island's self-employed work in the construction industry which in its entirety represents 32% of the estimated lockdown costs. The financial impact of keeping hotels, restaurants, cafés and pubs closed is put at 29% of estimated costs.

The Committee was told that the total estimated cost of payroll co-funding and small business grant support for all businesses in Alderney, over a 13-week lockdown period, could have been as much as £2m.

Committee Chairman, James Dent, said "The strategy to contain the spread of the virus means that some restrictions can now be lifted and this is very welcome."

The new Bailiwick guidance continues to support the key message that in order to protect our community, no one should leave their home except to exercise, to buy necessary food and supplies, for medical appointments or to work - either where that work is essential, and/or where the States of Guernsey's Committee for Health and Social Care has decided that certain types of business can operate in line with public health directions.

Business that may resume full or partial operation from Saturday April 25, subject to meeting the public health requirements, include:

  •  Gardening, building and other trades with no household contact
  • Building wholesale and supply
  • Vehicle servicing, maintenance and repairs (including cars, bikes and marine)
  • Property sales, rentals and business transactions

Any business falling within these categories that wishes to resume operation must notify Guernsey Environmental Health via www.gov.gg/covid19businessnotification.

Policy & Finance was also warned that pubs, restaurants, hotels and guesthouses are unlikely to be able to function until the last phase of removing restrictions and the visitor economy won't make any recovery until travel restrictions are lifted. Hostelry accounts for an estimated 29% of Alderney's lockdown costs.

It is also expected that some of the Island's agriculture, horticulture and fishing businesses will be able to demonstrate that they can return to work safely, representing a further 6% of lockdown costs.