Government plans to ease the lock-down have been labelled “vague and confusing” – as business and education bosses across the district raise concerns about how to safely return to normality.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged the country to take its first steps out of lock-down this week, firstly in his address to the nation on Sunday night (May 10).
People are being encouraged to return to work if they cannot do so from home, while schools and some shops might be able to open next month.
Businesses in Huntingdonshire are now holding discussions with their employees but have warned it will signal “big changes”.
Local businessman Michael Mealing, chairman of the Federation of Small Business’s national employment and pension policy unit, said: “There is a need for clarity, and we need to know what the details are of Government guidance.
“Getting out of the lock-down is much more difficult than getting in.”
He said some local firms had done well during the lockdown and for others it had been a “disaster”, with the hospitality trade facing “serious problems”.
Concerns were raised about public transport and clarity for workers under the furlough scheme – which is set to run out at the end of June.
The financial viability of nurseries and other early years providers was also classed as “really worrying” by Cambridgeshire’s director of education Jonathan Lewis.
The county council’s Liberal Democrat leader, councillor Lucy Nethsingha, said she had “huge concerns” over the financial viability of the county’s nurseries, pre-schools and other early years settings.
“There are clearly some quite serious consequences for the county if a number of our early years providers go out of business as a result of mixed messaging and the financial difficulties that this is going to put them under,” she warned.
Hunts Post readers were keen to express their opinions on social media following Mr Johnson’s speech.
Amanda Last said: “He [Boris Johnson] hasn’t thought through or clarified what it really means. It’s open to interpretation and abuse.”
Muhammad Ehsaan added: “These are guidelines, use your common sense and do what’s right in your circumstances.”
— to www.huntspost.co.uk