“Today marks the first glimmer of light for our faltering economy. A phased and careful return to work is the only way to protect jobs and pay for future public services. The Prime Minister has set out the first steps for how this can happen.
“Businesses are keen to open and get our economy back on its feet. But they also know putting health first is the only sustainable route to economic recovery. The message of continued vigilance is right.
“This announcement marks the start of a long process. While stopping work was necessarily fast and immediate, restarting will be slower and more complex. It must go hand-in-hand with plans for schools, transport, testing and access to PPE. Firms will want to see a roadmap, with dates they can plan for.
“Success will rest on flexibility within a framework: clear guidance which firms can adapt for their particular circumstances. Financial support will also need to evolve for sectors moving at different speeds – some remaining in hibernation, while others get ready to open safely.
“The coming weeks should see business, government and employee representatives working together as part of a national effort built on openness and trust. This is the only way to revive the UK economy and protect both lives and livelihoods.”