Yesterday, on the 12th October 2020, the Prime Minister; Boris Johnson, announced to the House of Commons a new set of restrictions that will be placed on England as of the 14th October 2020. The new restrictions will see England being divided into three separate tiers, based on the rate of infection and the rise in cases in each area. These new restrictions are being implemented to try and avoid a national lockdown, something of which the Prime Minister has said he ‘does not believe is the right course’, but still work to keep the R down whilst using a ‘balanced approach’.
- The ‘Medium’ restrictions will cover the majority of England and follow the current national measures, including ‘rule of six’ and the 10 pm curfew on hospitality businesses.
- The ‘High’ restrictions will reflect the interventions that are currently being implemented in many areas across England, such as Middlesbrough, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, etc… and will include the prohibition of mixing households indoors, however up to two households are allowed meet outdoors, following the rule of six and social distancing guidelines.
- The ‘Very High’ restrictions will apply where transmission rates are rising most rapidly and where the NHS ‘could soon be under unbearable pressure without further intervention’ and will consist of prohibiting social mixing both indoors and outdoors, and closure of all hospitality businesses. Travel in and out of these areas is advised against, and all non-essential travel should be avoided.
Boris Johnson has said that he will continue working closely with local government leaders to organise any other additional measures that might need to be undertaken to ensure that the R stays below natural level and prohibits the looming second wave of COVID-19. The PM has promised, that no matter what tier you may be in; all schools, universities and non-essential retail stores will remain open, to protect the economy and the livelihood of those in education.
On top of these new restrictions, Boris also announced an extension of the Job Support Scheme, to cover two-thirds of the wages of those working in any businesses that are required to close under these new restrictions and a cash grant of up to £3,000 per month (instead of the previous £1,500 every three weeks). Local authorities across England will also get £1bn of new financial support on top of the £3.6bn Towns Fund, and for those areas in ‘very high’ alert level, the government will provide further financial support for test and trace measures and enforcement.
The Government have now released a postcode tracker, which will allow members of the English public to check the COVID alert level and specific restrictions that have been placed in their local area. There is also several resources online that are providing similar information, such as list of affected areas. A useful resource is the news.sky.com article which shows a comprehensive list of those in different tiers, and an interactive map to check various areas levels of restrictions based on their rates.
If you have any worries about how the new COVID restrictions could affect your business, get in contact with us via our contact form below, by calling us on +44 (0)207 060 0835, or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, where one of our consultants will be happy to assist you as best they can.