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Support for Northumberland businesses outlined in letter

The council is writing to businesses in Northumberland – offering guidance and support to help them as they implement the new measures recently introduced both regionally and nationally to prevent the spread of coronavirus. 
The letter provides details of the main implications of the new measures and helpful links to  the information and resources that businesses will need to meet their obligations. 
On 18 September, it became mandatory for many businesses to have a system to collect NHS Test and Trace data, and to keep this for 21 days. 
On 24 September, a range of measures were introduced both nationally and in Northumberland and North East England, which include specific new restrictions for a number of hospitality, leisure and entertainment business types. 
In both indoor and outdoor licensed premises, food and drink must now be ordered from, and served at, a table. Licensed and unlicensed businesses must also take all reasonable steps to ensure that customers remain seated whilst consuming the food or drink on the premises.   
There is also now a late-night restriction on operating hours for hospitality, leisure and entertainment venues which are required to close between 10pm and 5am the following day. 
These measrues are all aimed at stopping the rapidly increasing spread of Covid-19. 
Juliemma McLoughlin, Executive Director of Regeneration, Commercial and Economy at the council, says: "Our business community is critical to Northumberland’s future prosperity, and we want to reassure business owners that one of the council’s highest priorities is ensuring that they have the information and support they need at this time. 
“This is a quickly changing situation, which can be confusing, and we wanted to communicate with all businesses as quickly as we could to provide information and support. 
“We have huge confidence in our business community, which continues to show tremendous resilience despite the challenges currently facing it.  We are sure that this will continue and we want to work with them to help them to keep trading as normally as possible.   
“We know that many businesses are going through an extremely difficult time at present, dealing with the impacts of Covid-19, and no-one wants to see progress de-railed, or for them to suffer more than you already have.  We will do absolutely everything we can to support them, and to make it clear that Northumberland is ‘open for business’.” 
The letter talks about the rapidly increasing rate of infection, particularly in parts of Northumberland, and the consequent reasons for the measures that have been introduced -  to keep people safe, to keep businesses open and children at school, and to support the local economy. 
It also provides some guidance and reassurance around the council’s approach to enforcing the new rules. 
Ms McLoughlin continued: “As a council we are required to enforce the new measures, however we wish this to be a last resort, and we want to work with businesses to ensure that they can operate safely and well during this time. 
"We know that the majority of businesses are following the current rules and guidance, which we appreciate are frequently changing, and that they will continue to do so.  However, we have to keep residents and visitors safe and therefore where it is appropriate, we will use the enforcement powers that we have been provided. 
“We want to work together so that we can all look towards a brighter future for Northumberland.” 
To see the letter and all of the associated information and links please visit 
On the Northumberland Business Hub you will also find a range of information and support that is available to businesses in the county. 
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