COVID-19:
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Clarification on new government restrictions

Following the Prime Ministers’s announcement on 23 March, we’ve had many calls from business owners, concerned that the new, stricter measures announced by the government will mean that they have to shut their business for the next three weeks.

We wanted to take this opportunity to reassure that this is not the case.

Under the latest instruction, travelling to and from work is an acceptable reason to leave home, provided that the work absolutely can’t be done from your home. Even then, you should minimise the time spent outside of the home and practice social distancing by staying two metres apart from people outside of your household.

The list of additional businesses which must now close is as follows:

  • All non-essential retail stores – this will include clothing and electronics stores; hair, beauty and nail salons; and outdoor and indoor markets, excluding food markets.
  • Libraries, community centres, and youth centres.
  • Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, arcades and soft play facilities.
  • Communal places within parks, such as playgrounds, sports courts and outdoor gyms.
  • Places of worship, except for funerals attended by immediate families.
  • Hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses for commercial/leisure use (excluding permanent residents and key workers).

There are 2 exceptions to the rule that there should be no public gatherings of more than 2 people.

  • Gatherings of members who live in the same household
  • Where the gathering is essential for work purposes – but workers should be trying to minimise all meetings and other gatherings in the workplace.

Earlier this morning, following some confusion, UK Housing Minister Robert Jenrick confirmed that builders can carry on working, but only where absolutely necessary and must practice social distancing.

The government guidance on this remains brief.

Bringing you COVID-19 updates as they happen

The spread of COVID-19 in the UK, and the government measures to tackle it, are fast-paced and ever-changing. We understand that this can be overwhelming for many business owners as we face a time of unprecedented change.

Our experts are following these updates closely and are working hard to bring you updates, guidance and clarification as they happen. Keep an eye on our latest articles, free resources and social media for regular updates.

Click here to return to our resources and guidance.

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I don't have Microsoft Office or Microsoft Word, what should I do?

If you don't have Microsoft Office, or Microsoft Word installed on your PC or Mac, don't worry - you can still use our products. You can get a free alternative from Open Office.

Open Office Org is open-source developed alternative to Microsoft Office, developed by a large software company called Oracle. Open Source means the company who build the software, allow 100% use of it, 100% free.

Since Open Office is specifically developed to be exactly the same as Microsoft Office, with all the same programs in the suite (Eg: Word, Excel, Access and Power Point) - it will freely open any Microsoft Office file-format. Meaning, just because a document was written in Microsoft Word, doesn't mean it can't be opened in another program. Open Office will do that, and vise versa.

To download and install Open Office;

  1. Go to www.openoffice.org.
  2. On the left hand side, click 'I want to download Open Office'. In the green box, click the main link which starts with 'Start downloading OpenOffice.org...'
    • Windows Only:When the program has downloaded, click Install and wait for the program to install.
    • MAC OSX Only:When the program has downloaded, a notification box will pop up with an arrow from the Open Office Icon to the Applications Folder in Finder, drag the icon to the Applications folder to install the program.
  3. You are now ready to use Open Office, and the documents you have purchased from us.