PM addresses commons with updated COVID-19 restrictions

Please Note: All information correct at time of writing on 22 September 2020. We do our very best to make sure our information is as up to date as possible, but we’d encourage you to check out our latest articles and to check the government website for updates as they happen.

Earlier this afternoon (Tuesday 22 September), Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke before Parliament and announced a series of new measures and restrictions to curb the escalating spread of COVID-19.

COVID alert level increased

The COVID alert level was increased to 4 yesterday – meaning the virus is increasing exponentially. To try to curb this (and avoid a future lockdown), a number of new measures and further restrictions will be introduced.

Homeworking

The government is once again asking that those workers who can work from home, do so. Where working from home is not possible, people should continue to go to work but their workplace must be COVID-secure.

New restrictions

  • The use of face coverings will be extended to staff in retail, all users of taxis and private hire vehicles and staff and customers at indoor hospitality except when seated at a table to eat or drink.
  • All pubs, bars, take-aways and restaurants in England to close by 10pm and will only be able to offer table service (except for take-aways) – both come into effect from Thursday. This means closing – not just calling for last orders. Deliveries of take-aways can continue after 10pm.
  • Maximum number of 15 people at weddings from Monday (it will remain at 30 for funerals).
  • The ‘rule of 6’ indoors will now also apply to adult team sports indoors.
  • The planned easing of restrictions in terms of live sporting events and conferences which was due to come into force next month will not take place.

Enforcement

  • The introduction of a £200 fine for failing to wear a face covering or failing to comply with the rule of 6 (for a first offence).
  • The guidance on COVID Secure workplaces will now become a legal obligation rather than guidance. Businesses will be fined and could be closed if they do not comply.
  • Earlier the government announced fines of up to £10,000 to those who refuse to self-isolate. These fines will be applied to businesses who break the COVID rules.
  • Local authorities will receive extra funding to increase police presence to enforce these rules and the police will be able to call on the military support to support them with their enforcement efforts.

Shielding

The PM confirmed that the current advice is that there is no need to shield unless this has been advised as part of local lockdown restrictions. This will be kept under constant review.

The PM warned that restrictions could last for six months. The measures apply in England, but the PM said all the devolved administrations will be taking similar steps.

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Keep an eye on our latest articlesfree guides and social media for more. And if you’re already a Citation client, you can call our advice line 24/7 on 0345 844 4848.

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