Updates on Covid-19 restrictions

Following the relaxation of rules in the UK on the 19th of July 2021, the REA has produced an updated Covid-19 briefing focusing on pertinent issues for our members caused by the pandemic and the ensuing restrictions, as well as the current rules, restrictions, and exceptions that are in place in the UK, and an overview of financial support by Government available for REA members. In addition, the REA outlines the work it has undertaken since the start of the pandemic to support our members through a difficult period.

General guidance on appropriate workplace measures published by the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) can be found here. Since the 19th of July 2021, England has moved onto Step 4 of the lifting of Covid-19 related restrictions.

In Step 4, there are number of restrictions still in place, alongside cautious guidance which is recommended for businesses to adhere to, but not required.

Restrictions include:

  • Testing: when a person shows symptoms, in high-risk workplaces, and to help people manage their personal risk
  • Isolating: when testing positive, or contacted by the NHS Test and Trace app
  • Border quarantine: for all persons arriving from red-list countries, and for those people not fully vaccinated arriving from amber-list countries.

Cautious guidance includes recommendations to minimise social contact where possible, working from home if possible, being outside or letting fresh air in if possible, and wearing masks on public transport or in crowded areas.

Additional guidance specific to the implications of the Step 4 relaxation of rules for offices, factories, and labs can be found here.


The REA’s Green Recovery paper 

As discussion turns to the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the REA has produced a paper outlining our view on the steps the Government should take to ensure the country’s recovery supports our economy and jobs, whilst building towards a greener future.

You can download the full report by clicking the link below.

REA Green Recovery Report

We are acting as your voice

The REA exists to support our members and we will do all we can to support the industry through these challenging times, however possible. To this end:

  • We are maintaining an up to date Members Briefing (login required) on key Government announcements and the policies of other stakeholders. More about this, and our other briefings, can be read below.
  • We want to reassure you that we are thinking about the potential impact on your business of COVID-19 and how we can represent you.
  • To let you know that on a pan-business level, we are backing the CBI and TUC campaigns for ensuring business continuity across the economy. The Prime Minister established a set of COVID-19 Ministerial committees including one on the Economy and Business which provides the highest level interface on these issues in Government.
  • Please send us any information on any sector-specific problems or potential problems which you may be encountering or anticipate. Members have received a separate email detailing how to do this.
  • If you are not currently a member, but wish to hear more about what the REA can do for you during this time, please contact us at: [email protected]

We have compiled an Issues Log of COVID-19 specific problems and will be updating this with further examples you provide us with. Actions to attempt to resolve these will then be taken on a case by case basis and included in higher-level communications to senior civil servants. We will act as your voice as needed.

Members Briefings (log-in required)

  • COVID-19 Members Briefing (frequently updated). It details the policies and advice being given publicly by Government, as well as the information civil servants have given to us directly. It can be read here.
  • Members Briefing on Furloughing staff and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. It can be found here.
  • Ofgem response to the REA and ABDA request for information on propane contingency plans in light of COVID-19. The letter is available here.
  • BEIS response to REA’s letter on RHI Tariff Guarantees commissioning deadlines. The letter can be viewed here.
  • A sector specific briefing on Government action for the heat sector. The briefing looks at the self-employed income support scheme, job retention schemes as well as the definition of key workers. You can find it here.
  • A briefing on the Environment Agency’s view on Technical Competence Management Attendance during COVID-19 restrictions. You can view it here.

External Briefings of relevance to Members

  • BEIS have announced a new Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme will be available from the end of April for businesses with a turnover of between £45 million and £500 million, to access loans of up to £25 million. You can view more information here.
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) have issued a position statement on how they will be dealing with regulatory issues during the pandemic – please see here.
  • Environment Agency regulatory guidance for operators of permitted municipal waste incinerators. The guidance can be found here.

Update on REA events

If you have registered for our renewable energy and clean technology events, you need to be aware that we have made some important decisions to reschedule them, for our member and staff well-being. Most events or training have gone online in one form or another, with the core conferences postponed till 2021. You can find the full details on our Events section.

The REA’s Business Continuity

Some of you will already be aware that the REA has now moved from 80 Strand to new offices in Brettenham House, 2-19 Lancaster Place, London WC2E 7EN.

80 Strand is having a major refurbishment that will take over 2 years and so we have found a great new location – just around the corner!  We look forward to welcoming you there sometime in the near future when “social-distancing” and “travel bans” will be a thing of the past. Please do note our new address. All other contact details (email and telephone numbers) remain the same. 

Having moved, we are also taking some important and necessary precautions. The REA team are, like many other organisations, working from home with member meetings taking place online and via video conferencing. We have completed a ‘returning to work’ Risk Assessment and you can see that here.

Useful Links 

UK Government guidance page 

Full guidance on staying at home and away from others

UK Finance advice for business

Bank of England – Covid Corporate Financing Facility

FSB: Guidance for small businesses and self-employed

TUC guidance for employees

CBI advice for business owners