Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that new restrictions are being brought in across England, including the closure of takeaways, pubs and restaurants at 10pm every night – and they could be in place beyond Christmas.
Although businesses can stay open in a COVID-secure compliant way, employees are being encouraged, once again, to work from home if possible.
From Thursday, all restaurants, bars and pubs must operate a table service only, except for takeaway, and will have to close their doors by 10pm each night. Takeaways must also close at 10pm every night, although deliveries can continue past this time.
For the first time, retail staff are being told to wear face coverings, as are passengers in taxis and private hire vehicles. For retail, leisure and tourism businesses, COVID-secure guidelines are to become legal obligations and they could be closed if they don’t comply.
Schools, colleagues and universities are to remain open though.
There is more bad news for those getting wed, with a maximum of 15 people now allowed to attend weddings and ceremonies, but up to 30 can still attend a funeral.
In sport, all adult indoor team sports must now comply with the ‘Rule of Six’ and sports clubs will not be able to re-open to larger crowds from 1 October as previously planned.
Today’s announcement is not a return to a full lockdown but Boris has warned that he will introduce stricter conditions if the R Rate does not fall below 1. He said ‘a stitch in time saves nine’.
News that the restrictions could be in place for six months means that Christmas parties and New Years Celebrations are looking unlikely at this time.
The COVID Alert Level has already been raised from Level 3 to Level 4, as the ‘R Rate’ increases to between 1.1 to 1.4.
Fines for failing to wear a mask or breaking the ‘Rule of Six’ have doubled from £100 to £200.
Finally, vulnerable people are being reassured that they do not need to shield unless living in a local lockdown area.
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