Government guidance ahead of tomorrow’s lockdown

The Government has now issued the legislation and detailed guidance for the New National Restrictions coming into force tomorrow.

Some key points from this are:-

  • You can leave home for work purposes, or to provide voluntary or charitable services, where you cannot do this from home.
  • You can leave home to buy things at shops which are open, for instance for food and medicine, or to collect any items – including food or drink – ordered through click-and-collect or as a takeaway, to obtain or deposit money, or to access critical public services
  • You may also leave home to fulfil legal obligations, or to carry out activities related to buying, selling, letting or renting a property.
  • You can leave home for education (formal provision, rather than extracurricular classes such as music or drama tuition), training, registered childcare andchildren’s activities that are necessary to allow parents/carers to work, seek work, or undertake education or training.  (This means that if you provide extracurricular classes/sessions  they cannot continue to be provided during the lockdown.)
  • You can leave home to attend a place of worship for individual prayer, a funeral or a related event for someone who has died, to visit a burial ground or a remembrance garden, or to attend a deathbed wedding.
  • You can exercise or visit outdoor public places with:
    • the people you live with
    • your support bubble
    • or, when on your own, 1 person from another household. Children under 5, as well as disabled people dependent on round-the-clock care are not counted towards the limit on two people meeting outside
  • The main reasons you can still leave your home to meet people from outside your household or support bubble are for work, voluntary or charitable services, and formal education or training (as opposed to extracurricular classes). This includes where you are fulfilling legal obligations. It can also include work in other people’s homes where necessary – for example, for nannies, cleaners or tradespeople.
  • Support groups that have to be delivered in person can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support.
  • Parent and child groups can continue where they provide support to parent and/or child, and children under 5 will not be counted within the 15 person limit – meaning parents and carers can attend such groups in larger numbers
  • The Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close or restrict how they provide goods and services. These include:
    • Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services
    • Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and drink for takeaway (before 10pm; and not including alcohol), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery
    • Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites. Except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where they cannot return home, for homeless people, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
    • Leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts, golf courses, fitness and dance studios, climbing walls, archery, driving, and shooting ranges
    • Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, soft play centres and areas, circuses, funfairs, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks, theme parks. Indoor attractions at botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open
    • Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. It is also prohibited to provide these services in other peoples’ homes
    • Community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities as set out below Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services – for example for people who do not have it at home – and for click-and-collect
    • Places of worship, apart from for the purposes of independent prayer, and service broadcasting and funerals
  • These businesses and places will also be permitted to be open for a small number of exempt activities, including:
    • education and training (including for schools to use sports and leisure facilities where that it part of their normal provision)
    • childcare purposes and supervised activities for children – it appears the latter where they are ‘necessary to allow parents/carers to work, seek work, or undertake education or training’
    • blood donation and food banks
    • to provide medical treatment
    • for elite sports persons (in indoor and outdoor sports facilities), professional dancers and choreographers (in fitness and dance studios)
    • for training and rehearsal without an audience (in theatres and concert halls)
    • for the purposes of professional film and TV filming
  • Other businesses are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 Secure guidelines. This includes those providing essential goods or services, including:
    • Essential retail such as food shops, food markets, supermarkets, convenience stores, newsagents, pharmacies, garden centres, hardware stores, building merchants and off-licences.
    • Petrol Stations, car repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses.
    • Banks, building societies, post offices, loan providers and money transfer businesses
    • Funeral directors
    • Launderettes and dry cleaners
    • Medical and dental services
    • Vets and pet shops
    • Agricultural supplies shops
    • Storage and distribution facilities
    • Car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas.
    • Outdoor playgrounds
  • Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work and people looking to move home can continue to undertake viewings.
  • The majority of public services will continue and you will be able to leave home to visit them. These include:
    • the NHS and medical services like GPs and dentists. 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 and probation services
    • Civil Registrations Offices
    • Passport and Visa Services
    • Services provided to victims
    • Waste or Recycling Centres
  • Schools, colleges and universities remain open. The Government will continue to prioritise the wellbeing and long-term futures of our young people and will not be closing core educational facilities, like early years settings, schools, colleges, universities and vocational training centres.
  • Training for extra-curricular purposes, for instance as part of clubs, should not take place. Facilitated activities for children where these provide a childcare function for working parents are allowed to continue
  • Some youth services are 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.
  • Hospitality Businesses – takeaway services:
    • Food and drink businesses may sell food or drink (but not alcohol) for consumption off the premises between the hours of 05:00 and 22:00;(i.e.normal takeaway service where alcohol is not included).
    • Food and drink (but not alcohol) may only be sold between the hours of 22:00 and 05:00, by any permitted method set out below; (i.e must be delivery or contactless, off-premises click and collect during these hours).
    • Food and drink businesses may sell food or drink (including alcohol) for consumption off the premises by any permitted method set out below: 
    • The permitted methods are:-;
      • Making deliveries in response to orders received— (i) through a website, or otherwise by on-line communication, (ii) by telephone, including orders by text message, or (iii) by post,  
      • To a purchaser who collects food or drink that has been pre-ordered by a means mentioned in the above line provided the purchaser does not enter inside the premises to do so, or 
      • To a purchaser who collects the food or drink in a vehicle, and to whom the food or drink is passed without the purchaser or any other person leaving the vehicle. 
  • Other businesses required to close (goods and services for sale or hire) can only continue to provide services by:
    • by making deliveries or otherwise providing services in response to orders received— 
      • (a) through a website, or otherwise by on-line communication, 
      • (b) by telephone, including orders by text message, or 
      • (c) by post; 
  •       to a purchaser who collects goods that have been pre-ordered by a means mentioned above provided the purchaser does not enter inside the premises to do so,
  • Businesses required to close must cease to admit any person to its premises who is not required to carry on its business or provide its service as permitted by the regulations.

If there’s anything you are unsure about in terms of what can and can’t be done during the next lockdown please contact me.

The full guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november

The legislation is available here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1200/pdfs/uksi_20201200_en.pdf

Also please remember there is a further ‘Ask the Experts: Online Q&A’ in partnership with BwD Council and the Hive business network taking place at https://www.blackburnbid.co.uk/coronavirus-qa/ tomorrow, 10am to 12pm.  Please post any questions you have about the restrictuons or financial support available.

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