The world is still recovering from the impact of previous waves of Covid. But new Omicron variant of COVID has already affected several countries. In this situation, the UK government has decided to impose a new set of restrictions which is called Plan B. Now it is a matter of concern how this strategy affects the economy?
Similar restrictions will also be implemented in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The world has already known how to operate under Covid restrictions. Many companies didn’t emphasize their employers to return office. Workers are now used to operating from home. According to the Office for National Statistics, near about third of working adults in Great Britain are working from home. So, it is expected that the new restriction might not be as harmful to the economy as earlier.
Economist Jonathan Gillham stated, “The lockdown in January 2021 had only one-fifth of the impact on the economic output of the first lockdowns.” Gillham explained the impact of Plan B on the economy as a whole in this way, “I would imagine that it will be pretty limited.”
However, the economic impact might be severe for individual companies such as bars, restaurants, hotels, and leisure industries. The policy director at the CBI Matthew Fell explained, “Fresh restrictions are a big setback for businesses, particularly for those in hospitality and retail who are in a critical trading period, as well as others such as transport.”
Governments need to take initiatives to support these sectors. They have to balance the short-term impact with the long-term benefit. Mr. Gillham said, “If it is done at the right time, it is a good thing. It is a case of acting early enough and decisively enough for the measures to have the impact they are supposed to. That timing is very difficult to get right.”