The UK Government has announced (31 October 2020) a second lockdown for England to run for four weeks from 5 November to 2 December inclusive. Museums, galleries, and and all non-essential retail venues will be required to close during this period. At the end of the period, England will return to a regional approach of Tier restrictions, based upon the latest data.
A second lockdown in England will place extra strain on the Industrial Heritage sector. Only 50% of the c. 600 protected industrial heritage monuments and museums accessible to the public in England were able to open their doors after the first lock down ended in July. Even before the second lockdown was announced many sites were already closing for their normal winter maintenance period, whilst others had chosen not to re-open until spring 2021. However, that leaves a large number of industrial heritage sites and museums that would normally be open in the autumn and winter facing another closure. Furthermore, the continued restrictions on group meetings is also putting strain on the activities, fieldwork, and research of industrial archaeology and industrial heritage volunteer groups and societies.
There are some differences from the first lockdown so its important to keep up-to-date with the latest regulations. You can read the November UK Government guidance here:
The latest UK Government Coronovirus Advice can be found here:
For further updates on the impact of the Second Lockdown on the wider heritage sector see the Heritage Alliance website here:
The UK Government also announced the following financial support measures for the second lockdown:
- workers in any part of the UK can retain their job, even if their employer cannot afford to pay them, and be paid at least 80% of their salary up to £2500 a month.
- the flexibility of the current Coronovirus Job Retention Scheme will be retained to allow employees to continue to work where they can.
- employers small or large, charitable or non-profit are eligible and because more businesses will need to close, they will now be asked to pay just National Insurance and Pensions contributions for their staff during the month of November.
- the Job Support Scheme will not be introduced until after the Job Retention Scheme ends.