Alok Sharma, Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, has written to all those involved in manufacturing and industry in the UK, thanking them for their work in keeping the economy going.
In his letter, he stresses that supply chains have to be kept moving and key workers mobile, while protecting the economy as much as possible. He makes the point that every business has a role to play in helping the country defeat coronavirus.
“Manufacturing is a critical part of our economy,” he says, “and I would like to be clear that there is no restriction on manufacturing continuing under the current rules. Guidelines from Public Health England provide best practice advice on how this can be done safely.
“It is vital that we ensure that servicing, parts and raw materials are available to keep vehicles and services on the road and operating. I would like to give you all my personal thanks for everything you are doing.
“Those who cannot work from home and have to travel to work can continue to do so, consistent with the Chief Medical Officer’s advice. I would remind both you and your employers that good practice on hand-washing and social distancing where possible remains an important part of efforts to keep COVID-19 from spreading, as explained in the latest guidance on operating safely in the workplace.”
He continued: “The Chancellor has announced a far-reaching package to support businesses including government-backed and guaranteed loans, making available an initial £330billion of guarantees during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the Coronavirus Job Retention and VAT deferral schemes.
“I have also recently announced changes to insolvency rules, to help UK businesses which need financial rescue or restructuring to keep trading, and want to reassure you that we are working round the clock to protect our people and businesses.”
He concluded with some words of support: “I realise this will be challenging for you personally, but you are contributing to the resilience of our nation and I am grateful for the enormous efforts you are making in order to support the UK at this testing time.”
The full text of the letter is available on the government’s website.