How the new national restrictions will affect Blackburn with Darwen…

The government has summarised the changes which apply nationally at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-what-has-changed-22-september  and updated its FAQs, which might be helpful: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do

Just to confirm, the local restrictions which apply to Lancashire including Blackburn with Darwen still apply, over and above the new national restrictions, and are set out here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/north-west-england-local-restrictions

To help, I’m setting out below the main restrictions which apply to Blackburn with Darwen already, Lancashire (excluding Blackpool) from 22 September, and the new national restrictions that all apply to this area, in the hope it makes things as clear as possible about what you can and cannot do:

  • Hospitality venues must only sell food and drink for consumption on the premises if it is served to customers sitting at a table. They may also sell food and drink for consumption off the premises. Hospitality venues include: restaurants, including hotel dining rooms and members’ clubs, cafes (not including cafes or canteens at workplaces where there is no practical alternative for staff at that workplace, cafes or canteens at hospitals, care homes, schools, prisons and establishments intended for use for naval, military or air force purposes, or services and for providing food or drink to the homeless), bars including bars in hotels or members’ clubs, pubs, social clubs, casinos.  NB with the help of the Council we are clarifying whether food and/or drinks in cafes / coffee shops can be ordered at the counter and served to the table if consuming in the premises, rather than moving entirely to table service.
  • Hospitality businesses and venues listed above, amusement arcades or other indoor leisure centres or facilities, funfairs (indoors or outdoors), theme parks and adventure parks and activities, bingo halls, concert halls must close from 22:00 to 05:00 each day
  • Businesses and venues can still sell food and drinks for consumption off the premises between the hours of 22:00 to 05:00 but only for delivery service in response to orders received:
    • through a website, or otherwise by online communication
    • by telephone, including orders by text message
    • by post
  • You must not (it is against the law to):
    • host people you do not live with in your home or garden, unless they’re in your support bubble
    • meet people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside of the affected area, unless they’re in your support bubble
  • You should not:
    • socialise with people you do not live with, unless they’re in your support bubble, in any public venue. This applies to inside and outside of the affected areas. Examples of public venues include pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions.  Businesses have to take steps to avoid people from different households socialising in their premises, and the covid-safety guidelines for businesses will become law.
  • You should not:
    • socialise with people you do not live with, unless they’re in your support bubble, in any public venue. This applies to inside and outside of the affected areas. Examples of public venues include pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions
  • It is against the law to socialise with anyone you do not live with, in any place, in groups larger than 6 people (subject to exceptions such as where your household group or support bubble is larger than 6 people).  This doesn’t apply to work, volunteering, group exercise and similar, but it does apply to indoor organised sport for adults. 
  • Outdoor organised sport and licensed physical outdoor activity is not affected, other than it must continue to follow covid-safety guidelines. When playing sports informally (where not organised in line with the rules above) with people you don’t live with, you must limit the size of your group to 6.
  • You should only use public transport for essential reasons such as travelling to and from work.
  • Young people can still attend youth clubs and organised children’s activities, and the rule of six doesn’t apply to indoor organised sport for under 18s.
  • From 5 October formal shielding will be paused in the following areas: Audley & Queen’s Park; Bastwell & Daisyfield; Billinge & Beardwood; Blackburn Central; Little Harwood & Whitebirk; Roe Lee; Shear Brow & Corporation Park; Wensley Fold
  • From Tuesday 22 September care bubbles will be able to form in areas of intervention which includes Blackburn with Darwen, to allow families to share caring responsibilities with another household. Children under 14 will be able to be cared for by individuals outside of their immediate household where part of a consistent childcare relationship.
  • You are required to wear a face covering in the following settings:
    • on public transport
    • indoor transport hubs
    • taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs) (from 23 September)
    • shops and supermarkets
    • hospitality venues, such as pubs and restaurants, except when eating or drinking (from 24 September)
    • indoor shopping centres
    • banks and building societies
    • post offices
    • museums
    • galleries
    • cinemas and theatres
    • places of worship
    • public libraries
  • From 24 September, in retail and hospitality settings, staff will also be required to wear a face covering.
  • Guidance stating that face coverings and visors should be worn in close contact services will become law 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
  • In a COVID-19 Secure venue or public outdoor place, non-professional performing arts activity, including choirs, orchestras or drama groups can continue to rehearse or perform together where this is planned activity in line with the performing arts guidance and if they can do so in a way that ensures that there is no interaction between groups of more than 6 at any time.  If an amateur group is not able to ensure that no mingling takes place between these sub-groups of no more than 6 (including when arriving at or leaving activity or in any breaks or socialising) then such non-professional activity should not take place.
  • Office workers who can work effectively from home should do so over the winter. Where an employer, in consultation with their employee, judges an employee can carry out their normal duties from home they should do so. Public sector employees working in essential services, including education settings, should continue to go into work where necessary. Anyone else who cannot work from home should go to their place of work.
  • Support groups must be limited to a maximum of 15 people (from 24 September).

If there’s anything I’ve not covered or you’re not clear about please contact catherine.price@newground.co.uk

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