Posted on: 01 April 2020 (updated on 23 April)

COVID-19 measures in the UK

Across the UK, there are currently varying measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus. For the latest COVID-19 rules, regulations and measures, visit the government website of the country that you are based.

England: The latest guidance for businesses in England can be at the UK government website.

Northern Ireland: Northern Irish businesses can find the most up to date guidance at the Northern Irish Department of Health website.

Scotland: For the latest updates for Scottish businesses, visit the Scottish government’s website.

Wales: Business based in Wales can find the most up to date information by visiting the Welsh government website.

The following article may refer to government guidelines which were in place on the date it was published.

How to protect your business during uncertain times

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has hit the UK and has caused widespread disruption to UK businesses on a scale not seen since the 2008 financial crisis.

Take a look at the below infographic which highlights ways in which we have seen businesses adapt to minimise the business impact during the current pandemic whilst continuing to support their customers and local community.

6 ways businesses can adapt to Coronavirus infographic

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6 ways businesses can adapt to Coronavirus summary

Government support

During the 2020 Budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that there was £30bn available to help UK businesses.

Since then, there has been extra measures put in place, such as loans, covering furloughed staff wages and Statutory Sick Pay reimbursements.

Take a look at government advice on their website and some of the key points for SMEs in another Premierline article.

Gift cards

Either start offering gift cards or start a big push on selling gift cards if you already offer them.

This means that you can ensure that you have some money coming into the business to help you keep running, but your customers also get something in return.

You can welcome your customers back at a later date when you reopen.

Online shopping

If you sell essential items, make full use of your online shopping platforms so that your customers can still get what they need.

Now could also be a great time to set up a delivery service for your customers who may not be able to get out of the house.

You should encourage all staff working in warehousing or delivery to practice social distancing and good hygiene.

Social distancing

Essential businesses, such as pharmacies and grocery shops, have permission to remain open.

To make sure that customers are safe whilst shopping for essential items, encourage social distancing, staying 2 metres away from others at all times. 

Use markings on the floor, such as tape, to show your customers where to stand in waiting areas and only allow a certain amount of people into the store at any one time.

Offer your services to emergency workers

As most of the country is being ask to self-isolate, there are emergency workers keeping us safe, whilst exposing themselves to risk.

Many companies, such as retail shops, coffee shops and hotels have offered their services to NHS workers free of charge.

Can your business offer an essential service to emergency services whilst adhering to current government advice?

Promote online services

Whilst many businesses have had to close, there are still businesses still functioning, as usual, albeit from an online platform.

Gyms and personal training are posting training videos online, tutors are offering sessions using video calls and estate agents are providing virtual viewings.

Is there a way that your business can provide digital services to your customers? 

Business support signposting

Financial support

During the UK budget, the government announced £7bn worth of funding specifically for business to ease the burden of dealing with the coronavirus.

Since then, the government has announced a further £330bn of funding to support the UK in overcoming the virus. Here are some of the ways that the government are supporting businesses during the pandemic.

  • VAT payment deferrals from 20th March 2020 to 30th June 2020.
  • Income tax payments due on 31st July 2020 deferred to 31st January 2021.
  • Delaying self-assessment tax payments from 31st July 2020 to January 2021.
  • Reclaim Statutory Sick Pay payments to staff for SMEs.
  • Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses for the 2020/2021 tax year.
  • Cash grants for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure industry.
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption loan scheme.
  • COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility.
  • Eviction protection for commercial property tenants.
  • The government will also pay 80% of the wage of any employees whose job has been put on hold.

Mental health support

Working from home can take a toll on mental health, especially because of feelings of isolation, being separated from people that you might see all the time.

Our charity partner, Mind, have provided some information on dealing with mental health that may have been caused by coronavirus.

Learning from other businesses

Signature Brew

London based brewery, Signature Brew, have been employing out of work musicians to provide a delivery service for their new “pub-in-a-box”.

The package includes a select amount of the brewery’s beers, glassware, snacks, branded beer mats, a Spotify playlist and a music quiz.

Samuji Studio

The Samuji Studio online shopping platform based in Helsinki has put further focus on their gift card service, allowing cash to come into the business whilst customers aren’t risking any shopping at the moment.


Carbon are a 3D printing company based in California who print products with applications in the dental, automotive and industrial sectors.

Carbon have released their design for ventilations to the public to allow easier treatment of COVID-19.

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The information and tools contained in this guide are of a general informational nature and should not be relied upon as being suitable for any specific set of circumstances. We have used reasonable endeavours to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the contents but the information and tools do not constitute professional advice and must not be relied upon as such. To the extent permitted by law, we do not accept responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information or tools in our Insight Hub.