In this section, you will find the latest NFDA guidance on key industry issues and COVID-19.
For more information and to request member-only confidential guidance documents, please contact our member helpline at 01788 538303 or email email@example.com.
Please find below the latest information on the national restrictions across the UK
England under lockdown from 5 January until mid-February
From 5 January, all of England has been placed under lockdown restrictions, including the closure of non-essential retail services and a “stay at home” instruction in law. The current restrictions will be reviewed in mid-February.
Government guidance states that you must not leave home unless you have a “reasonable excuse”, which is defined in law. Reasonable excuses for being outside the home include work (where this cannot be done from home), essential activities such as shopping, for exercise, and other permitted reasons set out in the guidance.
Businesses to close
All non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment) and market stalls selling non-essential goods.
These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services.
Businesses which can remain open
Businesses which are permitted to remain open (whilst following Covid-secure guidelines) include, but are not limited to:
- Petrol stations
- Automatic (but not manual) car washes
- Vehicle repair and MOT services
- Taxi and vehicle hire businesses
Under government guidance, travel is not permitted without a reasonable excuse.
People are permitted to leave home to buy goods and services that they need, but this should be within your local area wherever possible.
Travel for work is permitted, where you cannot reasonably work from home.
Members can continue to direct questions about lockdown Regulations to our legal helpline. We will update members with further detail of the Regulations following review by our legal team.
Please consult the attached Government guidance for further information.
Wales lockdown to continue for further three weeks
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford today confirmed that stay-at-home restrictions will continue in Wales for the next three weeks. Shops can continue to offer click and collect services under level four restrictions.
The next three-week review of the regulations will also consider the restrictions around non-essential retail and close contact services.
Scotland in "full lockdown"
From Monday 4 January, Scotland entered a full lockdown with people living in mainland Scotland legally required to stay at home except for essential purposes until at least the end of February.
Permissible reasons to leave home will include, for example, caring responsibilities, essential shopping, exercise and being part of an extended household.
Announcing the lockdown, the First Minister said on travelling to work that “it will only be a reasonable excuse to leave your home to go to work, if that work cannot be done from home” and asked businesses to “make sure that every single function that can be done by people working at home, is being done in that way.”
Only essential retailers are able to remain open.
A list of essential retailers can be found in the question and answer section of the retail sector guidance and includes, but is not limited to:
- Car repair and MOT services
- Petrol stations
- Taxi or vehicle hire businesses
- outdoor motor vehicle lots, but only for the collection of a vehicle that has been purchased, or the delivery or collection of a vehicle for the purposes of a repair, MOT or service
Click & Collect
Although showrooms must close, outdoor vehicle lots can remain open in order to allow “collection of a purchased vehicle or for delivery or collection of a vehicle for repair, service or MOT”.
On test drives, Scottish Government guidance for the retail sector says that a potential buyer cannot take a test drive before purchasing a vehicle.
The Scottish Government has advised people to avoid all unnecessary travel, and to stay as local as possible when travelling for essential purposes.
People living in Tier 4 areas must, by law, remain within that area unless they have a reasonable excuse (see exceptions)
Travel to other parts of the UK and Ireland will continue to be prohibited, unless you have a reasonable excuse.
Further information on travel restrictions can be found in the Scottish Government’s guidance on travel and transport here.
First Minister Arlene Foster confirmed on 18 February that lockdown restrictions will continue until at least 1 April.
The Northern Ireland Executive has also agreed that a contactless click-and-collect service for baby equipment shops, clothing shops, footwear shops, and electrical goods shops can re-commence on Monday 8 March 2021.
The First Minister said that the extension of click & collect more widely to other retail sectors would be considered as part of the next review of restrictions on 18 March.
NFDA will continue to update members with further information when it is made available.
- NI executive, Coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations guidance: what the restrictions mean for you
- NI Business Info, Coronavirus updates: Support for your business
- NI Direct: Guide to providing contactless click-and-collect services from 8 March
- NI Department of Health: Health Minister welcomes Executive agreement
Financial Support for Businesses Following New Lockdown Measures
Financial Support for businesses following new lockdown measures
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has confirmed that businesses will be able to access one-off “top-up” grants worth up to £9,000 per property, to support businesses through to the Spring. Money has also been made available to Local Authorities and Devolved Governments to deliver business support across the UK.
The one-off top-ups will be granted to closed businesses as follows:
- £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
- £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
- £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000
Grants are awarded on a per-property basis. Businesses should apply to their Local Authorities to access these grants.
Government Grants for Businesses
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (UK-wide)
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until 30 April 2021. You can claim 80% of an employee’s usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
Funding of up to £1,500 (based on rateable value) for each 14-day period of closure.
Strategic Framework Business Fund (Scotland)
Grants of up to £3,000 (based on rateable value) to be paid every 4 weeks in arrears as long as restrictions last.
ERF Restrictions Business Fund (Wales)
Hospitality and non-essential retail businesses with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £150,000 may be eligible for a £5,000 payment if impacted by restrictions.
Coronavirus: Localised Restrictions Support Scheme (Northern Ireland)
Payments of up to £1,600 (based on Net Annual Valuation) for each week that restrictions apply for.
UK-wide Government Loan Schemes
Business Support Websites
- NFDA and TLT Guidance Online Sales
Download guidance on the main issues facing franchised dealers, prepared by NFDA's legal team.
- MILS Legal - Return changes to workplace policies and procedure, 15.05.2020
- MILS Legal - Infectious Diseases In The Workplace Policy & Risk Assessment, 15.05.2020
- MILS Legal - COVID-19 Temporary Changes to Workplace Policies and Procedures, 15.05.2020
- MILS Legal - Working Safely in Shops
- MILS Legal - Distance Selling
- MILS Legal - Carrying over holiday 31.03.2020
- MILS Legal - FACEMASKS
- NFDA Update - Displaying QR Codes in Dealerships 25.09.2020
- NFDA SMMT Industry Guidance COVID-19 Protective Measures for Auto Retail
Download here template letters dealers can use with staff and customers.
- Industry Guidance
Healthcare Links & Posters
- World Health Organization
- Poster, Public Health England
– Poster, NHS
- Poster, NHS
The HR Toolkit Job Descriptions are provided as a generic overview and guidance for franchised dealers looking to recruit, they are not definitive examples of any role within the automotive retail industry. Please feel free to copy and paste the format and then tailor to the specific requirements of your business.
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