Following the Government announcement (26 Nov) detailing the new tiers for England.
Dorset Chamber chief executive Ian Girling said: “The tougher restrictions are not surprising yet remain disappointing.
“Inevitably there will be an impact on the local economy, especially in the hard-pressed hospitality sector.
“We must now focus and divert all of our efforts into doing everything we can to move from tier 2 to tier 1 as quickly as possible. I would urge everyone to stick to the rules so this can be achieved as soon as we can and to avoid moving into tier 3, which would be disastrous.
“Disappointment at the higher ratings is tempered very slightly by relief that we will be emerging from the full lockdown next week and that a vaccination programme is on the horizon.
“Clearly there are challenges ahead and I would encourage everyone to support their local businesses at this time, especially in retail and the sectors of hospitality which are able to open.
“Support remains available to all businesses free of charge through the Dorset Gateway and I would encourage anyone to get in touch if they need help.
“The Dorset Chamber will continue to support businesses and work with the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) to lobby at the highest level at Westminster.”
The British Chambers of Commerce added: “On going restrictions in England will continue to have a devastating impact on businesses across the country.
“To weather a difficult winter ahead, greater support will be needed for the hardest-hit firms, including those in town and city centres that will miss out on trade as employees continue to work from home.
“Chambers have been clear that businesses need to see and understand the evidence behind these decisions.While the Government has today added some clarity about the rationale for which restrictions apply where, they must waste no time in producing a full impact assessment and engage with businesses on how to mitigate the ongoing economic effect.
“A review of tiers on December 16 will provide hope for a way out of the strongest restrictions, but the process by which areas can move into new tiers should be transparent and include clear triggers and enough time to allow businesses to plan accordingly.
“There is no substitute for a fully functioning economy. Broad-based mass testing still holds the key to getting employees back into offices, suppliers and customers into shops and international travel and trade back up and running. Chambers continue to urge the government to redouble their efforts to improve its Test, Trace and Isolate system.”
See full details of tier 2 here: dorsetchamber.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/COVID-19_Tier_Posters_2020_FInal_High.pdf