The PM’s statement from 14 Sept can be found here.
· Rule of six: From Monday 14 September, it will no longer be legal to meet socially in groups of more than six. This will apply indoors and outdoors, including in private homes and hospitality settings like the pubs, restaurants, cafes and public outdoor spaces. There will be a limited number of exemptions.
This single measure replaces both the existing ban on gatherings of more than 30 and the current guidance on allowing two households to meet indoors.
· Work settings and weddings and funerals: Education and work settings are unaffected, and organised team sports will still be able to proceed, as will weddings and funerals up to 30. From Monday 14 September, this limit will be enforceable in law.
· COVID-19 Secure venues, such as places of worship, restaurants and hospitality venues, can still host larger numbers in total but groups of up to six must not mix or form larger groups. This rule will not apply to individual households or support bubbles of more than 6 who will still be able to gather together.
- Businesses will have a clear duty to support NHS Test and Trace. From Friday 18 September, it will be mandatory for certain businesses to have a system to collect NHS Test and Trace data, which must be kept for 21 days.
- The government will support local authorities to make further and faster use of their powers to close venues that are breaking the rules and pose a risk to public health.
- Fines will be levied against hospitality venues that fail to ensure their premises remain COVID Secure.
- The government will boost the enforcement capacity of local authorities by introducing COVID Secure Marshalls to help ensure social distancing in town and city centres, and by setting up a register of Environmental Health Officers that local authorities can draw upon for support.
- The government will restrict the opening hours of premises, initially in local lockdown areas, with the option of national action in the future.
- Simplified guidance is due to be published imminently and will be available on gov.uk.
- Events, conferences and sport: Plans to pilot larger audiences in venues later this month will be reviewed along with the intention to return audiences to stadiums and conference centres from 1 October. That doesn’t mean the programme will be scrapped entirely. The Culture Secretary is expected to provide an update in due course.
Planned sports pilot events will be limited to smaller, safer numbers, with strict conditions to ensure social distancing, and will not take place in areas where incidence is high.
- New grants for businesses affected by local lockdowns: Businesses in England required to close due to local lockdowns or targeted restrictions will now be able to receive grants worth up to £1,500 every three weeks. To be eligible for the grant, a business must have been required to close due to local COVID-19 restrictions. The largest businesses will receive £1,500 every three weeks they are required to close. Smaller businesses will receive £1,000. Payments are triggered by a national decision to close businesses in a high incidence area. Each payment will be made for a 3-week lockdown period. Each new 3-week lockdown period triggers an additional payment. Currently these payments are available in Blackburn with Darwen, Pendle, and Oldham as part of an ongoing trial scheme.
- The Welsh Government has published guidance for businesses on taking all reasonable measures to minimise risk to exposure of Coronavirus. The guidance outlines the following:
- Premises may wish to consider their approach to accepting guests from areas/regions where incidence is higher. Hotels and other accommodation providers, will have discretion to refuse admission to people as they are likely to have advance information on the home address of upcoming visitors.
- Any legal obligations with regard to individuals residing in areas of higher incidence will be on those individuals. There will be no legal obligation for accommodation providers outside an area where travel restrictions are in place to check whether guests are resident within that area, or to enforce the law by turning people from that area away. They should not, however, knowingly accommodate people who are acting in breach of the law.
- The Welsh Government encourages all accommodation providers to consider their approach towards guests who may come from areas experiencing lockdown restrictions or other areas of high incidence. For example accommodation providers may wish to communicate to all customers with existing bookings, reminding them of the law and giving them a chance to cancel or postpone their bookings.
- Travel update
- The government will take steps to improve compliance with border requirements. They will simplify the Passenger Locator Form needed for travelling to the UK, and take measures to ensure these are completed and checked before departure.
- Border Force will step up enforcement efforts at the border to ensure arrivals are complying with the quarantine rules.