COVID 19 NEW NATIONAL RESTRICTIONS

This information is up to date as of Wednesday, 4 November.
Please visit www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november for any updates and further information.

Covid update Nov 2020

Staying at home
Under the new national restrictions effective from Thursday, 5 November, people are being encouraged not to leave their home or be outside their 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
• 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 one 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 done as infrequently as possible
• to visit members of your support bubble or provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer
The Government says this list is not exhaustive and there are other limited circumstances where you may be permitted to leave or be outside of your home. We are awaiting further detailed guidance on this.

Meeting indoors and support bubbles
You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household (meaning the people you live with) or your support bubble.
A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight and visit outdoor public places together.

Furlough Scheme Extension
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – also known as the furlough scheme – will remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.
Under the extended scheme, the cost for employers of retaining workers will be reduced compared to the scheme which has just ended.
In addition, business premises forced to close in England are to receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant and £1.1billion is being given to local authorities, distributed on the basis of £20 per head, for one-off payments to enable them to support businesses more broadly.
Mortgage holidays will also no longer end on 31 October.

Businesses and venues
To reduce social contact, 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, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks,
• entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens;
• 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 take-away and delivery services.
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.
Some venues will be allowed to remain open for specific exempt activities, like childcare and support groups. Support groups that are essential to deliver in person can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. This includes support to victims of crime, people in drug and alcohol recovery, new parents and guardians, people with long-term illnesses, people facing issues relating to their sexuality or gender and those who have suffered bereavement.

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 such as GP surgeries
• Jobcentre Plus sites
• Courts
• Civil Registrations Offices
• Weddings, civil partnerships, religious services and funerals
• Cemeteries – funerals, burials, commemorative events and to allow people to pay their respects to a deceased family member or friend. They must not be used as a place for exercise.

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 in that number. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.
Weddings and 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, they can continue to travel to work and attend their workplace if the workplace remains open.
COVID-secure guidelines should be followed closely.

Going to school, college and university
The Government has said it will continue to prioritise the wellbeing and long-term futures of young people and will not be closing schools, colleges or universities – however universities and adult education settings are encouraged to increase levels of online learning wherever possible.
Students who live at university must not move back and forward between their permanent home and student home during term time. They should only return home at the end of term for Christmas.

Childcare and children’s activities
Parents will still be able to access some registered childcare and other childcare activities (including wrap-around care) where reasonably necessary to enable parents to work or for the purposes of respite care.
Early years settings can remain open. Parents are able to form a childcare bubble with another household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is 13 or under.
Some households will also be able to benefit from being in a support bubble, which allows single adult households to join another household.
The Government has said that some youth services may be able to continue, such as 1-1 youth work and support groups, but most youth clubs and groups will need to cease for this period.

Protecting people more at risk from coronavirus
For people aged over 60 or clinically vulnerable, who could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus, the guidance states they should be especially careful to follow the rules and minimise their contacts with others and they should continue to wash their hands carefully and more frequently than usual and maintain thorough cleaning of frequently-touched areas in their home and workplace.
Clinically vulnerable people are those who are:
• aged 70 or over (regardless of medical conditions)
• under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (that is, anyone instructed to get a flu jab each year on medical grounds):
• chronic (long-term) mild to moderate respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
• chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
• chronic kidney disease
• chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
• chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS) or cerebral palsy
• diabetes
• a weakened immune system as the result of certain conditions or medicines they are taking (such as steroid tablets)
• being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
• pregnant
There is a further group of people who are defined, also on medical grounds, as clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus – people with specific, serious health conditions.
People in this category are advised to work from home or, if they cannot work from home, not to go to work and that they may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA).
They are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible but are encouraged to go outside for exercise.
The Government is writing to everybody who is clinically extremely vulnerable to set out detailed advice while the new restrictions are in place.

Travel
You should avoid travelling in or out of your local area, and you should look to reduce the number of journeys you make. However you can and should still travel for a number reasons, including:
• travelling to work where this cannot be done from home
• travelling to education and for caring responsibilities
• hospital GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health
• visiting venues that are open, including essential retail
• exercise, if you need to make a short journey to do so
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.
You must not travel if you are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, are self-isolating as a result of coronavirus symptoms, are sharing a household or support bubble with somebody with symptoms or have been told to self-isolate after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace – or the council.
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.