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In England temporary measures have been put in place to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

  • You must now wear face coverings in most indoor public places, but excluding hospitality settings.

From 19 January, you are no longer asked to work from home if you can. Talk to your employer to agree arrangements to return to your workplace.

All businesses and venues, including nightclubs, are allowed to be open and there are no longer capacity limits at sporting, entertainment, or business events.

Pubs, restaurants and bars are no longer required to provide table service or follow other social distancing rules.

From 15 December, certain venues and events will be required by law to check that all visitors aged 18 years or over are fully vaccinated, have proof of a negative test in the last 48 hours, or have an exemption.

You can find more information on the government website

Please check this page for up-to-date information for business support

You can also contact our dedicated business support line on 023 9284 1641, Monday to Friday.

Furlough Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ended on 30 September 2021. Claims for September must have been submitted on or before 14 October 2021.

Supporting self-isolating staff

Regular testing, contact tracing and self-isolating continues to be vitally important in limiting the spread of coronavirus in Portsmouth. Please encourage your employees to:

  • Do regular rapid home tests when they don’t have symptoms when they expect a period of high risk during your day – one in three who catch the virus show no symptoms and so risk infecting others.
  • If they develop any symptoms, no matter how mild, they must isolate and book a PCR test, even if they’ve had the vaccine.

If your staff members don’t self-isolate when they should, they will be breaking the law and could be fined.

It’s crucial that you support staff who need to self-isolate to help protect other members of your staff and your customers. Test and Trace support payments are available if people need to self-isolate but can’t work from home and so will lose vital income as a result.

We have developed a guide to self-isolating that explains when you need to self-isolate, and what you can and can’t do while you’re self-isolating.

Create a coronavirus NHS QR code for your venue

Use this service to create a QR code for display in your venue. Get visitors to scan the QR code when they arrive, using the NHS COVID-19 app. This is to help trace and stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you have more than one venue, you need to create a separate QR code for each location. You can add multiple locations in the service.

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Crowdfunder, Portsmouth City Council and Shaping Portsmouth have come together to offer up to £5,000 match-funding for projects benefitting the area of Portsmouth.

If you are a new business startup or an existing SME looking to grow, and you have the support of the people of Portsmouth to back your business development idea, then you may be eligible for our Small Business Grant Scheme. 

Support for council business tenants

We know this is a very unsettling time for our tenants and we will try to support you as much as we can during this period, particularly those tenants that are most at risk.

Commercial tenant support scheme

We have  a coronavirus commercial tenant support scheme – apply online to find out what support your business could qualify for

Charity or local enterprise support

A £370 million government grant has been provided to the National Lottery Community Fund for small and medium-sized charities. The government are also providing a £360 million package of support which will be directly allocated to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the crisis. This will include hospices, St John Ambulance, victims charities (including domestic abuse), vulnerable children charities and Citizens Advice.

Good Finance also has some really useful COVID-19 Resource Hubs for Charities and Social Enterprises.

Read Gov.UK's advice for businesses and employers

Contact us

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Our business support team has a dedicated phone number – 023 9284 1641