Following the Government’s new “Rule of Six” we will be publishing updated guidance as and when we have access to it.
Thursday 10th September
The Government has published further guidance on the new “Rule of Six” including a FAQ (note that this applies just to England):
- Meeting Others Safely
This new guidance provides more detail on the exemptions, which include:
- Education and training
- Work or voluntary/charitable services
- Some organised indoor and outdoor sports, physical activity and exercise classes (further linked details are provided on this)
- Youth groups or activities
The guidance also clarifies that COVID-19 secure venues can continue to host people up to their social distancing capacity but that no one can visit in a group of more than 6 (except for the exemptions and where the household (including bubble) is greater than 6.
- Rule of Six FAQ
There is also a FAQ document to go with the guidance which states, among other things:
- People should not go on holiday in England with people outside their household (including bubble) in a group larger than 6 people
- Where people can travel to or what they can do on a holiday is not affected provided that the group size is not exceeded
- This does not change the guidance on what to do if someone catches Coronavirus while on holiday
Wednesday 9th September
New measures were announced by the Prime Minister this afternoon
This afternoon the Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a press conference with the introduction of some new measures from Monday 14 September in England.
General measures and rule of six
- From Monday 14 September, it will no longer be legal to meet socially in groups of more than 6. This will apply indoors and outdoors, including in private homes and hospitality settings like the pub. 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 2 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 Secure venues – tourism and hospitality
- 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 6 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.
- Premises and venues where people meet socially will be legally required to request the contact details of a member of every party, record and retain these details for 21 days, and provide them to NHS Test & Trace without delay when required.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Guidance for Welsh businesses on visitors from areas with higher incidence of coronavirus
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.
Photo: Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash