The government is being urged to work with businesses on a roadmap out of lockdown to unlock investment for a post-Covid recovery.

Firms are “completely in the dark” about planning for the months ahead, the Confederation of British Industry warned.

The CBI is seeking clarification on what will be considered low, medium or high-risk economic activity, so that businesses can understand what will open sooner or later.

Director general Tony Danker also wants to know whether or not there will be a return to tiering as part of a gradual re-opening of the economy. 

He also called for the creation of bespoke, detailed plans for the harder-to-open sectors of the economy, such as testing regimes for international travel, or the conditions for activities such as hospitality and live events to return.

In a letter to business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, the organisation which represents 190,000 businesses, called for advance warning from government on the reopening of sectors.

There is an opportunity to “use time wisely” to prepare for a safe re-opening of the economy.

Danker said: “With health teams rightly in crisis management mode, we in business along with the economic ministries can use this time to plan for a successful re-opening of the economy when the moment is right to do so.

“Businesses are currently completely in the dark when planning for the weeks and months ahead and this is hindering investment. We can provide more clarity and do the prep work now to enable them to plan for reopening and growth.”

The lobby group said it was not attempting to force ministers to set a re-opening date.

“The roadmap would be date neutral, and rightly be driven by health data,” Danker added in his letter.

He said: “The prime minister has set out the initial parameters for reopening as a country, which was a big help for businesses. Clearly, the precise dates will be determined by data, so let’s use this time wisely to get the roadmap right together for when lockdown ends.

“A common framework with devolved administrations must also be possible and help to minimise differences in approach.”