New blocking rules at a glance
- Office workers who can work from home should do so.
- English pubs, bars and restaurants must close by 10 p.m. on Thursday.
- The hospitality sector will only be limited to table service.
- Face covering must be worn when working in taxis and in retail shops.
- Indoor customers must wear face-covering unless they are seated at a table to eat / drink.
- Rule of six exceptions reduced, indoor team sports prohibited.
- The planned return of spectators to sports facilities will no longer take place from October 1st.
- Wedding ceremonies and receptions are limited to 15 people from Monday
Boris Johnson apologetically took a hammer into British social life today as he reinstated lockdown measures in England that should possibly take six months to fend off a second wave of coronavirus.
Pubs and other leisure and hospitality businesses such as restaurants have to expect a curfew from 10 p.m. on Thursday.
People who work in retail stores, travel in taxis, and employees and customers indoors must also wear face-covers – except when they are at a table to eat or drink.
And in a dramatic reversal of the government's recent drive to get people back to work, all office workers are advised to work from home as soon as possible, wherever they can.
In a grave Commons statement, the Prime Minister warned that the new curbs could take six months – well beyond Christmas – "unless we make tangible progress".
Here we take a look at the new rules revealed today:
PUBS AND RESTAURANTS
Starting this Thursday, businesses will sell food or beverages (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants), clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement arcades (and other leisure centers or establishments), fairs, theme parks and adventure parks, activities and bingo halls must be between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. be closed in the morning. Some exceptions apply, including cinemas, theaters, and concert halls whose shows start before 10 p.m. However, after 10 p.m. it is not permitted to serve food or drinks to customers.
Companies and venues that sell food for consumption outside the company premises can also do so after 10:00 p.m., provided this is done via a delivery service or a drive through. Self-collected food stalls are prohibited after 10 p.m.
Customers are not allowed to order drinks at the bar. All pubs and bars are only allowed to be table service, like restaurants.
This is a change from the current rules that allowed people to stand at the bar for a beer as long as there was social distance.
This also applies to takeaway services, many of which businesses have backed through the worst of the original lockdown.
However, deliveries of food (and drink) are allowed to resume after 10 p.m. as it is easier to limit human contact.
Certain businesses, including the hospitality and tourism and leisure sectors, close liaison services, government-run services and places of worship, are required to have a system in place to collect track and trace information from the NHS and require customers to provide this information close. Companies must retain this data for 21 days and ensure that the rule of six is not violated.
Boris Johnson urged the UK public to "get through this winter together" saying the people must "conjure up the discipline, determination and togetherness that will get us through".
WALES, SCOTLAND AND NORTHERN IRELAND –
The same rules for England are expected to apply in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The decentralized administrations will announce their plans this week.
DOES THE 10PM CURFEW DAMAGE ECONOMICALLY?
The prime minister told the Commons that "the disease tends to spread later in the night after more alcohol is consumed".
In response to Meg Hillier, Labor Chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, he said, “These are not easy decisions, no one wants to restrict the right of restaurants and other businesses to do their legitimate business.
“What we saw from the evidence is that unfortunately the disease spread later in the night after more alcohol was consumed.
"This is a way to shut down the R without causing undue economic damage, and that's the balance we need to find."
Ministers have been warned that a 10 p.m. curfew in pubs and restaurants will be the final nail in the coffin for many businesses still on the water after the first wave of Covid-19.
Disgruntled hospitality bosses fear that they will bear the brunt of Boris Johnson's crackdown on coronavirus when government figures show comparatively low spread of the disease in food and beverage stores.
Data from Public Health England shows that of the 729 outbreaks in the week ending September 13, only five percent occurred in grocery stores such as restaurants and pubs – 45 percent in nursing homes, 21 percent in schools, and 18 percent in places of work.
People are sitting in a restaurant in Covent Garden, London today when the Prime Minister curtailed civil liberties
Pubs like the French House in Soho in central London have to close at 10pm. These are not the last orders at 10pm, this is 10pm.
Tim Martin, founder of Wetherspoons, said: "The curfew won't last a smart person for five minutes because if you look at the statistics … there are relatively few transmissions of infections in pubs."
The government faced renewed calls for more corporate support, and the hospitality industry warned that the new restrictions would be a "blow".
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of trade organization UKHospitality, said, "It's hard to understand how these measures are the solution to the disease when government data shows that only 5 percent of infections outside the home are hospitality-related."
Michael Kill, executive director of the Night Time Industries Association, warned that the measures could spark a surge in unregulated events and house parties, which are the real foci of infection attended by frustrated young people who have been denied access to safe and legitimate nighttime hospitality locations & # 39 ;.
Up to 6,000 jobs will be cut at Premier Inn owner Whitbread, who also runs the Beefeater pubs and the Brewers Fayre chains.
The pub chain Wetherspoon also said it wrote to its 1,000 airport employees warning them that between 400 and 450 jobs are at risk of layoffs.
Officer employees have been instructed to work from home "when possible", although those in "major public services and all professions" where they cannot, such as construction and retail should continue to work
TO WORK FROM HOME
This is likely one of the areas of confusion.
The official guidelines state: "If an employer, in consultation with his employee, judges that an employee can perform normal duties from home, he should do so."
It is unclear what happens when employers and employees disagree about their ability to “do their normal tasks from home”.
Public sector workers in essential services, including educational institutions, should continue to work when necessary.
Everyone else who cannot work from home should go to work.
The risk of transmission can be significantly reduced if the Covid-safe guidelines are strictly followed. People at higher risk should be given special consideration.
Cabinet Minister Michael Gove explains: “We stress that you should be there when it is safe to work in your workplace, when you are in a Covid-safe workplace when your job requires it.
"But if you can work from home, you should."
The new embassy brings England in line with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who have advised all people to work from home wherever possible during the pandemic.
If companies are not Covid Safe, breach mask regulations, or break the rule of six, they will be fined £ 10,000 or shut down.
If people prevent others from self-isolating – such as bosses who threaten redundancy – they can also be fined.
Face masks must be worn in public transportation and in many indoor spaces including shops, shopping malls, transportation hubs, museums, galleries, cinemas, and public libraries.
Starting tomorrow, it will be a legal requirement for passengers in taxis and private rental vehicles to wear face covers. As of Thursday, face coverings must also be worn in eateries such as restaurants and bars, except when you are eating and drinking. Retail and hospitality workers are also required by law to wear face covers.
Police and Transport for London (TfL) officers have enforcement powers if necessary, including imposing £ 200 fines (halved to £ 100 if paid within 14 days).
It comes after the World Health Organization and numerous studies have shown it to be beneficial.
As announced, the government will make changes that mean these repeat offender fines would double to a maximum of £ 6,400 for each offense.
The prime minister has also announced stricter enforcement measures, which will face fines or closings for companies for failing to comply with coronavirus rules. This has consequences for pubs trying to serve you at the bar.
Commuters walk across London Bridge during the morning rush hour in September
A man is enjoying a drink at The Kings Ford Pub in Chingford, East London, as the Prime Minister made his announcement in the House of Commons this afternoon
Martin Hewitt, chairman of the National Board of Police Chiefs, said: "Individuals, businesses and households are all responsible for keeping the virus suppressed, and the police force will do their part to help the public guide the measures that apply to our security."
& # 39; Our approach of connecting with people and explaining the rules that apply will remain. The vast majority of situations are resolved after these two phases without the need for further encouragement or enforcement, ”he said.
The police will continue to work with their communities and only impose fines as a last resort.
The chiefs will step up their patrols in risk areas and proactively work with businesses, licensing authorities and local authorities to ensure rules are followed.
"If members of the public are concerned that the law is being violated or are experiencing antisocial behavior, they can report it to the police, who will consider the most appropriate response and target the most problematic behavior."
SIX RULE AND SELF-ISOLATION
In England, a maximum of six people from multiple households can meet indoors and outdoors – in private houses, pubs, restaurants and parks.
All age groups are included in the number of employees. There are some exceptions – for example, when a single household has more than six residents.
The rule of six has been expanded to include the areas of "leisure", "entertainment", "tourism" and "close contact". The latter includes hairdressers and other beauty treatments.
More details are awaited on what this will mean specifically for places like gyms, although today Mr Johnson banned indoor group sports like five-on-five soccer.
That means hairdressers, nail bars, and beauty salons can still work right now, but they need to further reduce the number of people who can serve them at the same time.
Anyone breaking the UK social gathering rules will be fined £ 200, with the penalty doubling up to £ 3,200 for each subsequent repetition.
Businesses that break the rule of six will be fined £ 10,000 or shut down.
Further guidance on these details is awaited but has yet to be released by the government.
Those with coronavirus symptoms who do not self-isolate will face fines of £ 1,000, rising to £ 10,000 for repeat offenses from September 28th.
Downing Street said soldiers could also be drafted as part of Operation Temperer to help police enforce the strict measures.
A spokesman said troops would not hand out fines or close shops but could be used to guard places like Buckingham Palace, Downing Street and Parliament so police could use their resources to enforce the new measures.
Operation Temperer enables up to 5,000 service employees from all three services to reinforce armed police officers at these locations who take protective measures.
It is used to assist the police after a terrorist attack or public disturbance first used in the UK after the Manchester Arena bombing.
The Prime Minister's spokesman said: “(The police) will have the opportunity to call upon military assistance through established mechanisms.
"This would mean the military would replenish certain tasks like office roles and guarding protected locations so that police officers can't enforce the virus response."
“It is not about giving the military additional powers or replacing the police in enforcement functions, and they will not impose fines. It's about releasing more cops. & # 39;
However, Martin Hewitt, the chairman of the National Police Chiefs Council, said no military involvement was necessary.
He said, “Policing is a unique role and any military support must be carefully considered. No military involvement is required at the moment, nor do we expect it will. & # 39;
The schools remain unaffected by the new restrictions. In addition to protecting the economy, one of the main focuses of today's announcements is the government's desire to prioritize keeping schools open.
Mr Johnson said, “I want to stress that this is by no means a return to a full March lockdown. We do not issue general instructions to stay home.
“We will ensure that schools, colleges and universities remain open – because nothing is more important than the education, health and well-being of our young people. We will ensure that companies can stay open in a Covid-compliant manner. & # 39;
WEDDINGS AND REASONS
Starting next Monday, wedding ceremonies and receptions in England must be limited to 15 people – from 30 people.
Funeral directors are exempt from the new restrictions, however, with the maximum number of mourners remaining at 30.
Celebrations this weekend will barely circumvent the new restrictions.
Outlining the action in the House of Commons, Mr Johnson said, “Fifth, now is the time to tighten the rule of six.
"I'm afraid that from Monday a maximum of 15 people will be able to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, although up to now 30 can still attend a funeral."
Starting next Monday, wedding ceremonies and receptions in England must be limited to 15 people – from 30 people. Funeral homes are exempt from the new restrictions, however, with the maximum number of mourners remaining at 30
Current guidelines state that up to 30 participants are allowed in Wales, while in Scotland ceremonies and receptions are limited to 20 and the number depends on the venue in Northern Ireland.
A bride who was due to get married on December 12 after a five-year engagement and originally planned a 100-person wedding in Norfolk said she felt “gutted” after the announcement.
"We then see people online saying that it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter and at least we don't have Covid and then we feel that our feelings are not valid," 40-year-old Laura Brown told the PA news agency .
"It's a day, but it's so much more than a day because of all the emotions that go into it."
In the meantime, the independent wedding receptionist Chris Gray from Glasgow described the restrictions on weddings as "nonsensical", for example that couples have to wear blankets during the ceremony.
The 29-year-old added, "This has resulted in so many people having to cancel or rearrange weddings and in the short term it was an absolute hammer blow to cash flow for me."
OTHER PUBLIC SPACES
People can spend time outdoors as often as they want, including for sports. You should follow group size guidelines at all times and meet in groups of no more than six people, unless there is an exception provided by law.
You should aim to walk or cycle when you can, but where not possible you can use public transport or drive.
It is difficult to distance yourself socially while driving, and in this context coronavirus transmission can occur.
Hence, people should avoid traveling with someone outside of their household or support bubble unless they can practice social distancing.
In England, a maximum of six people can participate in indoor team sports. However, major sporting events and conferences will not take place from October 1st as planned.
Mr Johnson announced that the planned return of spectators to sports venues in England could be suspended for six months, adding to the prospect of more months of games behind closed doors.
A number of pilots took place with capacity limited to 1,000, and it was hoped that venues could welcome more spectators from early October.
In England a maximum of six people can participate in indoor team sports. However, major sporting events and conferences will not take place from October 1st as planned
In England, a maximum of six people can participate in indoor team sports. However, major sporting events and conferences will not take place from October 1st as planned
However, the Prime Minister put a number of tough new restrictions on England to limit the spread of Covid-19.
"We must acknowledge that the spread of the virus is now affecting our ability to reopen business conferences, exhibitions and major sporting events," he told the House of Commons.
“So we won't be able to do this from October 1st, and I acknowledge the impact on our sports clubs, which are the life and soul of our communities, and … the Chancellor and Secretary of Culture are urgently working on what we do can do now to support them. & # 39;
He said the measures announced on Tuesday would stay in place for "maybe six months".
It is a devastating blow to sports organizations, many of which rely heavily on matchday income to survive, and calls have been made by government agencies for the government to provide emergency funding.
The professional sport, including the Premier League and Test Cricket, has largely been played behind closed doors since returning after the coronavirus shutdown earlier this year.
The Ministry of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport confirmed that all pilot events planned for September have now been canceled. They will now take place without fans.
In a statement this afternoon, the Premier League said fans were "just as safe or even safer than any other public activity currently allowed".
"The Premier League takes note of today's government announcement and while the nation's health must remain a priority we are disappointed that the safe return of fans to the Games has been postponed," it said.
& # 39; The Premier League is confident that fans in stadiums will be just as safe or even safer than any other through league-wide guidelines and a code of conduct developed with scientific experts and agreed by the Government's Sports Field Safety Agency currently permitted public activity. This is already evident in other European leagues. & # 39;
How long do the new restrictions apply?
The new restrictions put in place today could last six months – but Mr Johnson has insisted they don't represent a return to the March national lockdown.
He said, “This virus is a fact in our lives for now and I have to tell the House and the country that our fight against it will continue.
"We will not listen to those who say they are ripping the virus apart, nor those who are calling for a permanent lockdown. We are taking decisive and appropriate steps to balance saving human lives with protecting jobs and livelihoods. & # 39;
Many families will look forward to Christmas after hearing the new rules – but ministers have insisted they don't want to ruin the holiday season.
The five days of panic that paved the way for Boris Johnson to curfew on pubs
Thursday: The latest official data presented to ministers showed that coronavirus cases were increasing in all age groups, while hospital admissions increased across the board. The numbers are said to have prompted Michael Gove to call for decisive action.
By the end of the day, a "consensus" had reportedly emerged on a plan for a complete shutdown of the hospitality and leisure sectors, with Mr Gove and Health Secretary Matt Hancock being the leading supporters.
Advisors to the Emergency Scientific Advisory Group also backed the plans on the grounds that it would not be possible to predict the effects of a less stringent curfew on pubs, bars and restaurants.
Mr Johnson was reportedly initially in favor of a full shutdown.
Friday: The prospect of a complete shutdown terrified ministers and officials from the Treasury and the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Industrial Strategy, who feared the damage such a move would do to the economy.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is said to have asked the Prime Minister and the couple to meet on Friday afternoon. Mr Sunak has personally voiced his concerns and Mr Johnson appears to have agreed with the Chancellor’s message and asked officials to consider other options.
Saturdays and Sundays: Mr Johnson held further discussions with senior ministers, as well as Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty, as the Prime Minister tried to find an agreed path forward. Mr Johnson eventually decided to implement a curfew rather than a full shutdown as the "hawks" in the cabinet seemed to be winning the battle with the "pigeons".
Monday: The Prime Minister's latest lockdown plans were formally adopted by senior ministers ahead of an official announcement today.
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