Last night the government and North West local authorities are acting together to control the spread of Coronavirus. From today, if you live in affected areas, you should follow new rules when meeting people who you do not live with.
Affected areas in Lancashire are:-
- Blackburn with Darwen
In these areas you should not:
- Meet people you do not live with inside a private home or garden, except where you have formed a support bubble (or for other limited exemptions to be specified in law).
- Visit someone else’s home or garden even if they live outside of the affected areas.
- Socialise with people you do not live with in other indoor public venues – such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions. You may attend these venues with people you live with (or are in a support bubble with), but should avoid interaction with others.
Some key points about the new rules are:-
- The rule about not socialising with people you do not live with means that if you run a business/organisation such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions, you should take steps to ensure people do not interact with people they do not live with, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance.
- In line with the national guidance, you can continue to meet in public outdoor spaces in groups of no more than six people, unless the group includes only people from two households. You cannot meet people you do not live within a private garden. At all times, you should socially distance from people you do not live with – unless they are in your support bubble.
- You may attend a mosque or place or worship, where Covid-19 Secure guidance applies, but you must socially distance from people outside of your household. This means maintaining a distance of 2 metres, or 1 metre with mitigations (such as wearing face coverings). It is recommend at this time that, if possible, prayer/religious services take place outdoors.
- People living inside and outside of this area can continue to travel in and out for work. You can still visit shops, restaurants, cafes (leisure facilities where they are able to be open) etc… but must avoid socialising with people indoors when doing so.
- You should try not to share a vehicle with those outside your household or social bubble.
- The government will pass new laws to enforce the changes to meeting people in private homes and gardens. The police will be able to take action against those that break these rules, including asking people to disperse and issuing fixed penalty notices (starting at £100 – halving to £50 if paid in the first 14 days – and doubling for subsequent offences).
- In Blackburn with Darwen and Bradford, the following premises must remain closed by law: indoor gyms; indoor fitness and dance studios; indoor sports courts and facilities; indoor swimming pools, including indoor facilities at water parks.
Here is a link to the full guidance: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/north-west-of-england-local-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do
It is understood these rules will be reviewed in a week’s time.