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COVID-19: New Coronavirus restrictions to be put in place in England from 5 November

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COVID-19: New Coronavirus restrictions to be put in place in England from 5 November – here are the key details

The Government has announced a range of new measures designed to control the spread of Coronavirus as the number of cases rise across the UK.

Parliament will be asked this week to approve a number of restrictions which will be in place from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December.

The key actions are:

  1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for specific purposes.
  2. Preventing gathering with people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
  3. Closing certain businesses and venues.

A Government spokesman said: “The new measures have been carefully judged to achieve the maximum reduction in growth in the number of cases, preventing the NHS from being overwhelmed, whilst ensuring that schools, colleges and universities stay open and that as many people as possible continue to work.”

Until Thursday 5 November, the relevant Local Covid Alert Level measures will continue to apply in the area where you live. From Thursday the national restrictions replace the local restrictions in your area. 

 

What are the details of the restrictions?

These are the key details which have been release so far:

 

Stay at home

This means you must not leave or be outside of your home except for specific purposes. These include:

  • for childcare or education, where this is not provided online
  • for work purposes, where your place of work remains open and where you cannot work from home (including if your job involves working in other people’s homes)
  • to exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place - with the people you live with, with your support bubble or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household (children under school age, as well as those dependent on round-the-clock care, such as those with severe disabilities, who are with their parents will not count towards the limit on two people meeting outside).
  • for any medical concerns, reasons, appointments and emergencies, or to avoid or escape risk of injury or harm - such as domestic abuse
  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which should be as infrequent as possible
  • to visit members of your support bubbleor provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer

This list is not exhaustive and there are other limited circumstances where you may be permitted to leave or be outside of your home.

Social distancing measures should continue to be observed outside the home following the Government’s “hands, face, space” advice:

  • hands – wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds
  • face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet
  • space – stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors)

 

Meeting family and friends

You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household - meaning the people you live with - or support bubble. Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit outdoor public places together.

You can exercise or visit outdoor public places with the people you live with, your support bubble, or 1 person from another household

Outdoor public places include:

  • parks, beaches, countryside,
  • public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them), allotments
  • playgrounds

You cannot meet in a private garden.

Businesses and venues

The Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close. These include:

  • all non-essential retail, including, but not limited to clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops.
  • indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, and soft play facilities.
  • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries.
  • personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons.

Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open. Essential retail should follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.

Non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect.

Playgrounds can remain open.

Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services. However, takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed.

Hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions which will be set out in law.

A full list of the business closures will be published and set out in law.

A number of public services will also stay open and you will be able to leave home to visit them. These include:

  • the NHS and medical services like opticians, dentists and GPs. We are supporting the NHS to safely carry out urgent and non-urgent services and it is vital anyone who thinks they need any kind of medical care comes forward and seeks help.
  • Jobcentre Plus sites
  • Courts

 

Weddings and funerals

Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people, and it is advised that only close friends and family attend. Linked ceremonial events such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 15 people in attendance. Anyone working is not included.

Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted to take place except in exceptional circumstances.

Places of Worship will be closed, unless they are being used for:

  • Funerals
  • To broadcast acts of worship
  • Individual prayer
  • Formal childcare or where part of a school
  • Essential voluntary and public services, such as blood donation or food banks
  • Other exempted activities such as some support groups

 

Going to work

To help contain the virus, everyone who can work effectively from home must do so. Where people cannot do so (for instance people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing) they should continue to travel to work/attend their workplace. This is essential to keeping the country operating and supporting vital sectors and employers.

Public sector employees working in essential services, including education settings, should continue to go into work.

Visiting care homes

Guidance on care home visits will be published ahead of Thursday. For now, you should follow existing guidance.

 

Travel

You should avoid travelling in or out of your local area.

Overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences will not be allowed. This includes holidays abroad and in the UK. It also means you cannot stay in a second home, if you own one, or staying with anyone you do not live with or are in a support bubble with. There are specific exceptions, for example if you need to stay away from home (including in a second home) for work purposes, but this means people cannot travel overseas or within the UK, unless for work, education or other legally permitted reasons.

If you need to use public transport - to travel to work for example - you should follow the safer travel guidance. This includes the rules on wearing face masks and advice on car sharing.

 

What support will be available for those affected?

Workers in any part of the UK can retain their job, even if their employer cannot afford to pay them, and be paid at least 80% of their salary up to £2500 a month.

For more details, visit the Government’s Job Support Scheme page

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provides financial support to smaller businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5 million.

The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender and pays interest and any fees for the first 12 months.

The scheme is open until 30 November 2020.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) supports businesses that have been required to close due to temporary COVID-19 local lockdown restrictions imposed by the government. We are awaiting details as to whether this will apply to all businesses required to close during this latest lockdown period.

We will provide details of any additional support being provided as soon as the information is available.

What actions are specifically being taken in South Somerset?

South Somerset District Council is reviewing all the information being provided by the Government and we will provide updates on any actions specific to South Somerset as soon as possible.

If you need urgent help, or you are facing financial hardship, please contact us on 01935 462462 and our officers will do all they can to support you.

For further information, visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Thank you. You response is appreciated.

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