Key points of the new national COVID-19 restrictions

The Prime Minister has made a statement to the House of Commons with the Government’s response to the rising number of Coronavirus cases. 

He described the country as being at ‘a perilous turning point’.

The Government is introducing new restrictions in England with the aim of reducing the R number with the minimum damage to lives and livelihoods. 

The Prime Minister said he wants ‘to stress that this is by no means a return to the full lockdown of March.  We are not issuing a general instruction to stay at home.’ 

He went on to say that the Government will ensure that schools, colleges and universities stay open, and they will ensure that businesses can stay open in a Covid-compliant way.

Here are the key points of the new national restrictions:-

  • Office workers who can work from home are asked again to do so.  In key public services – and in all professions where homeworking is not possible, such as construction or retail – people should continue to attend their workplaces.
  • From Thursday all pubs, bars and restaurants must operate table-service only, except for takeaways.
  • Pubs, bars and restaurants, together with all hospitality venues, must close at 10pm(this means closing, and not just calling for last orders).  The same will apply to takeaways – though deliveries can continue thereafter.
  • The requirement to wear face coverings will be extended to include staff in retail, all users of taxis and private hire vehicles, and staff and customers in indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table to eat or drink.
  • In retail, leisure, tourism and other sectors, the Covid-secure guidelines will become legal obligations.  Businesses will be fined and could be closed if they breach these rules.
  • From Monday, a maximum of 15 people will be able to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions.  Though up to 30 can still attend a funeral as now.
  • The rule of six will be extended to include all adult indoor team sports.
  • Business conferences, exhibitions and large sporting events will not be able to reopen from 1st October.
  • The penalty for failing to wear a mask or breaking the rule of six will now double to £200 for a first offence.
  • Local restrictions still apply, over and above these national measures

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