Lancashire to enter Tier 4

You will probably now have seen or heard that the Government has reviewed the tier restrictions today.

From the beginning of Thursday 31 December 2020 (tomorrow), Lancashire (Burnley, Pendle, Blackburn with Darwen, Ribble Valley, Blackpool, Preston, Hyndburn, Chorley, Fylde, Lancaster, Rossendale, South Ribble, West Lancashire, Wyre) will move into Tier 4: Stay at Home.

You can find the full announcement here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/formal-tiering-review-update-30-december-2020

I’m afraid this means that:

  • People must not leave their home or garden unless they have a ‘reasonable excuse’ including where reasonably necessary for work, education, exercise or open air recreation and essential activities such as medical appointments and to buy food
  • The businesses required to close 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, auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment) 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 (until 11pm), 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 the person cannot return home, for providing accommodation or support to the homeless, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
    • leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and indoor gyms, indoor swimming pools, indoor sports courts, indoor fitness and dance studios, indoor riding centres, and indoor climbing walls
    • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres), circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks and theme parks
    • indoor attractions at venues such as 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. These services should not be provided in other people’s 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 services
  • Some of these businesses and places will be permitted to be open for a small number of exempt activities, including:
    • education and training – for schools to use sports, leisure and community facilities where that is part of their normal provision
    • childcare purposes and supervised activities for children
    • hosting blood donation sessions and food banks
    • to provide medical treatment
    • for elite sports persons to train and compete (in indoor and outdoor sports facilities), and professional dancers and choreographers to work (in fitness and dance studios)
    • for training and rehearsal without an audience (in theatres and concert halls)
    • for the purposes of film and TV filming
  • Other businesses and venues are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 secure guidelines. This includes those providing essential goods and services, including:
    • essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences
    • market stalls selling essential retail may also stay open
    • businesses providing repair services may also stay open, where they primarily offer repair services
    • petrol stations, automatic (but not manual) car washes, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses
    • banks, building societies, post offices, short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses
    • funeral directors
    • laundrettes and dry cleaners
    • medical and dental services
    • vets and pet shops
    • animal rescue centres, boarding facilities, and animal groomers (may continue to be used for animal welfare, rather than aesthetic purposes)
    • agricultural supplies shops
    • mobility and disability support shops
    • storage and distribution facilities
    • car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas
    • outdoor playgrounds
    • outdoor gym, pools, sports courts and facilities
    • golf courses
    • archery/driving/shooting ranges (outdoors)
    • outdoor riding centres
    • places of worship
    • crematoriums and burial grounds

The full details of what you can and cannot do in tier 4 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-4-stay-at-home

** UPDATE **

I just wanted to provide you with a link to more detailed information about businesses which can and cannot open in Tier 4 which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/closing-certain-businesses-and-venues-in-england

If you are required to close from tomorrow as a result of Blackburn moving into Tier 4 restrictions, you can find out more about, and claim for, the Support Grant here: https://blackburn.gov.uk/coronavirus/support-business 

Businesses that are eligible to claim the grant are those that have a business rates assessment and have been forced to close by the Government, and include non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality businesses. 

You need to create an account to claim the grant and there is a tutorial available on the council website to help you with this.  Please ensure you receive a confirmation email and application number once you have applied, to make sure the your application has been registered and to help you with tracking the progress of your claim.

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