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Autumn restrictions as COVID-19 enters a second wave

The information in this post has been superceded and has only been kept on the site for historical value.

With most of northern England and parts of Wales and Scotland already in additional measures due to increases in COVID-19 cases, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will today announce additional measures nationally. This follows start warnings from the Government's Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Advisor yesterday.

Mr Johnson spoke to the House of Commons at lunchtime before giving a televised address this evening.

The new measures being introduced include, in England:

  • Businesses selling food or drink (including cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants), social clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement arcades (and other indoor leisure centres or facilities), funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls, must be closed between 10pm and 5am. This will include takeaways but delivery services can continue after 10pm (from 24 September).

  • In licensed premises, food and drink must be ordered from, and served at, a table.

  • Customers must eat and drink at a table in any premises selling food and drink to consume indoors, on site (from 24 September).

  • Businesses will need to display the official NHS QR code posters so that customers can ‘check-in’ at different premises using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details once the app is rolled out nationally (from 24 September).

  • Office workers should work from home where possible.

  • All staff in retail, taxis and indoor hospitality must wear face coverings except when eating and drinking.

  • Businesses can be fined and closed down for breaching the rules.

  • The fine for anyone not wearing a face covering where they should do rises from £100 to £200 for a first offence, up to a maximum £6400.

  • The Rule of Six will remain in force. A maximum 15 for wedding receptions, up to 30 for funerals.

  • The guidance for close contact services such as beauty salons and hairdressers on wearing visors and face masks becomes law on 28 September.

  • Conferences and exhibitions reopening to be delayed.

  • Delays to crowds attending sporting fixtures.

  • Extra fines being implemented.

  • Most businesses, schools and universities can remain open.

  • The £10,000 fines for those individuals failing to quarantine will now also apply to businesses.

  • Those shielding earlier in the year DO NOT need to shield except in local lockdown areas where this is a requirement.

Businesses and organisations will face stricter rules to make their premises COVID Secure (from 28 September):

  • A wider range of leisure and entertainment venues, services provided in community centres, and close contact services will be subject to the COVID-19 Secure requirements in law and fines of up to £10,000 for repeated breaches.

  • Employers must not knowingly require or encourage someone who is being required to self-isolate to come to work.

  • Businesses must remind people to wear face coverings where mandated.

Restrictions will be in place for up to six months.

This is not a full lockdown like in the Spring.

Full details on the changes can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-what-has-changed-22-september