August 11th 2020

How local lockdowns could affect you

Despite the Government having eased the nationwide lockdown, we’re seeing an increasing number of localised lockdowns being enforced up and down the UK. So far, Leicester, Preston, east Lancashire, parts of West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester and Aberdeen have seen local lockdowns and the risk of others going the same way looks imminent.

As the guidance continues to shift, it’s impossible to say exactly how a local lockdown will impact you or how long it will last. But to give an indication of what to expect and what you can do to protect yourself against these, we’ve looked at how these first localised lockdowns have worked to demonstrate what you can expect if you’re affected further down the line.

Business

When Leicester was in a localised lockdown, it was decided that all non-essential stores and services should remain closed while the rest of the UK’s businesses began to reopen. As Leicester then began to lift restrictions in certain areas, these services and public areas were increasingly able to reopen.

Under the new guidelines for further lockdowns, in areas such as Preston, pubs and non-essential services can remain open but within these new restrictions, two households should not come together to meet inside these establishments. The business owners are asked to monitor this. However, in Aberdeen all pubs, bars and restaurants were instructed to close.

Business owners are now calling for more notice of localised lockdowns so they can prepare accordingly as these often come on quite quickly.

To ensure that your business isn’t caught out, it’s best to prepare a contingency plan now, looking at what worked and what didn’t during the nationwide lockdown. You will need to consider what you can do if your employees are unable to come into work as well as what steps you can take to monitor who is visiting your premises and whether they’re able under the guidance issued. As different areas are facing different levels of lockdown, your plan should take this into account.

It’s worth checking your insurance during this planning stage to ensure that your current level of cover aligns with the level of risk that your business faces. As every business policy is different, you will need to speak to your broker or insurance provider to discuss any concerns you have.

Travel 

If you’ve booked a holiday either within the UK or abroad, you may not be able to travel if you live in an area that has been put under a local lockdown when you’re due to depart. This also applies if you were due to travel to an area that is now under lockdown. This will mean that you are forced to cancel or move both your travel and accommodation.

If you have booked these using a credit card, you may be able to claim back directly through your credit card provider. You also have the option to contact the travel and accommodation companies and request a refund directly.

In some instances, dependent on your insurance policy, you may be able to claim back on your travel insurance as the decision has been taken out of your hands. It’s worth checking this if your request for a refund is refused. Many travel insurance policies do have exclusions relating to changes enforced by the Government or COVID-19 as a whole.

Some travel insurance providers are now selling insurance that meets some of the key risks of COVID-19 including if you need to cancel your trip due to getting the virus with 14 days of travelling, emergency medical expenses if you contract it abroad or if you’re denied boarding at the airport due to displaying virus symptoms.

To check your insurances in relation to COVID-19 and localised lockdowns, contact the Chartered brokers at Hine on 0161 438 0000.

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