COVID UPDATE 22 September 2020
Please find below the link to the Prime Minster’s statement which was given to the Commons at 12:30pm today.
From what we can ascertain, we believe that work may continue in peoples homes but it is becoming even more important that the COVID guidelines are followed as a fine has now been introduced for companies found to be non compliant.
The main points were as follows:
- In retail, leisure, tourism and other sectors, Covid-secure guidelines will become legal obligations. Businesses will be fined (GBP10k) and could be closed if they breach these rules.
- Office workers who can work from home are being asked to do so but employees in key public services – and in all professions where home working is not possible such as construction or retail – should continue to attend their workplaces. We believe this is to be applied with immediate effect as the only delayed implementation mentioned related to the early closing of hospitality venues.
- From Thursday all pubs, bars and restaurants must operate table-service only, except for takeaways. All hospitality venues must close at 10pm. This means close and not last orders. Although takeaway deliveries may continue beyond 10pm.
- The requirement to wear face coverings is extended to include staff in retail, all users of taxis and private hire vehicles, and staff and customers in indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table to eat or drink.
- Government have already introduced a fine of up to £10,000 for those who fail to self-isolate and such fines will now be applied to businesses breaking Covid rules.
- The penalty for failing to wear a mask or breaking the rule of six will now double to £200 for a first offence.
- Police and local authorities will be provided with the extra funding they need, there will be a greater police presence on our streets, and there is an option to draw on military support where required to free up the police.
- The measures announced all apply in England and the Devolved Administrations are believed to be taking similar steps.
The local restrictions currently in place are in addition to these and they will remain in force and continue to be decided by the local authorities and councils.
We understand that Wales have adopted their local restrictions to the entire area. Details are not yet on the Gov.Wales website but this is the link to details of the local restrictions.
We believe the restrictions adopted are:
- people will not be allowed to enter or leave their County borough areas
- travelling out of County Borough Council areas for a holiday will not one permitted
- people will no longer be able to form, or be in, an extended household (sometimes called a “bubble”)
- this means meeting indoors with anyone who is not part of your household (people you live with) is not allowed at the moment, unless you have a good reason, such as providing care to a vulnerable person
- all licensed premises will have to close at 11pm
- people must work from home wherever possible
Workers can continue to go into a person’s home to carry out work, such as repairs, installations and deliveries. Such visits should be subject to a risk assessment, as well as ensuring social distancing and hand hygiene is followed at all times. It may also be appropriate for a face covering to be worn.
The full speech is available here:
The main points are:
- Introduces measures on hospitality similar to those outlined for England today
- Nationwide additional restrictions on household gatherings.
- visiting other households will not be permitted
- exceptions for those living alone, or alone with children, who form extended households; for couples in non-cohabiting relationships; for the provision of informal childcare by, for example, grandparents; and for tradespeople.
- Everyone who can work from home, should work from home.
- Visiting other households will not be permitted
- Do not book travel overseas for the October break if it is not essential
- Advise against car sharing with people outside your own household
From 6.00 pm on 22 September 2020 the following restrictions will be introduced for all households in Northern Ireland:
- No mixing of households in private dwellings, with exemptions for:
- bubbling with one other household
- caring responsibilities including childcare
- building or maintenance work, or the services of any trade or profession
- supported living arrangements
- visits required for legal or medical purposes
- a business operating from a person’s home
- a funeral
- a house move
- marriage or civil partnership ceremony in a private dwelling where one partner is terminally ill
- No more than six people to gather in a private garden from no more than two households – children aged 12 and under from those two households are not counted in this total
- Up to six people from no more than two households can meet up outdoors in a private garden, but you should maintain social distancing
- You should avoid visiting places where there is a chance that large numbers of people will gather and crowds will form. Gatherings indoors or outdoors, not in a private dwelling, of up to 15 people are permitted.
- Workers, builders, trades people and other professionals can continue to go into people’s houses to carry out work such as repairs, installations and deliveries.
- Everyone is asked to be mindful of the risks of spreading the virus by travel and should use their judgement when deciding whether or not to undertake a journey based on the individual circumstances.