Tighter restrictions to be introduced in North East England from 18 September.

In a statement today Health Secretary Matt Hancock outlined the tighter restrictions that will come into force from tomorrow 18 September for Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham.

From tomorrow

  • Residents of these areas should not socialise with other people outside their own households or support bubble.
  • Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only.
  • Late night restrictions of operating hours will be introduced, so leisure and entertainment venues must close between 10pm and 5am.

Residents of these areas have also been advised to adhere to the following guidance: 

  • Not to socialise with other people outside of their own households in all public venues.
  • Take holidays only within your own household or support bubble.
  • Only to use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work.
  • To avoid attending amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators.

NHS Test & Trace testing guidance from DHSC

Following a recent survey at testing sites that found that a quarter of people turning up did not have symptoms, DHSC guidance is that if you don’t have coronavirus symptoms, and have not been advised to take a test by a doctor or a public health professional or by your local council, you should not be booking a test. Healthcare professionals will be checking those for symptoms at testing sites.

As well a guidance for individuals please see below some advice for employers and travel companies: 

  • Employers: you should not be asking members of staff to get tested before they come into the workplace. You can also help by communicating the guidance around testing to your staff.
  • Travel companies: you should not be directing clients to NHS Test and Trace to get a test for anything related to overseas travel. Clients should be directed to get a private test. 

The Government announces extension to support to stop business evictions this year 

The Government has announced that it will extend the moratorium on forfeitures until 31 December 2020. This means that landlords of commercial properties will not be able to evict tenants for not paying the rent that was due. The Government is also extending the Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery provisions, to ensure that these measures are extended until 31 December 2020, in line with the moratorium’s new expiry date. 

Travel corridor changes in England

Effective 04.00 on Saturday 19 September, Singapore and Thailand will be added to England’s travel corridor list and Slovenia and Guadeloupe will be removed. The FCDO list of countries/territories exempt from advice against all but essential travel has been updated in line with these changes.

Update to how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK guidance

A new example of exceptional circumstance which may permit you to leave your place of self-isolation has been added – if you have a health condition or a disability that would be seriously exacerbated if you were not able to leave your accommodation (and its outdoor areas) where you are self-isolating to take exercise.

Statutory Sick pay update
From 26 August 2020 employers can claim Statutory Sick Pay for employees who have been notified by the NHS to self-isolate before surgery.