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Covid-19: Support for Business

Volume 678: debated on Tuesday 21 July 2020

In consultation with businesses, business representative groups, trade unions, Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive, my Department has published comprehensive workplace guidance to ensure businesses can operate in a covid-secure manner, keeping both their workers and customers as safe as possible.

I thank my right hon. Friend for his reply, and welcome the work that he and his Department are doing to help businesses during this challenging time. However, what support is being given to the self-employed across the country?

As my right hon. Friend will know, 2.7 million self-employed people have accessed over £7.8 billion of grants from the self-employed income support scheme. The scheme has been extended, and individuals will be able to claim a second and final grant when the scheme reopens for applications on 17 August.

I thank the Secretary of State for finding a way to reopen the beauty sector, which employs so many women across the country. When I paid a visit to the Malvern Spa to celebrate its reopening last weekend, I was told that it has capacity now for only 15 spa days, rather than 40, because of the square footage rules that his Department has set out. Will he look urgently at reviewing those, because it is a very spacious premises?

I thank my hon. Friend for her acknowledgement of the work we have been doing. The key has been to open businesses safely and securely in a cautious and phased manner, and we will continue to do that.