In an attempt to spread the curve of COVID-19, as the number of cases has increased dramatically over the past few weeks, new restrictions have been imposed.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that, in England, any office workers who are able to work from home should do so, but that those working in key public services or in roles where homeworking is not an option, such as construction or retail, people are still able to attend their workplaces.
In addition to this, from September 24, all pubs, bars and restaurants must operate table-service only, with the exception of take-aways. All hospitality, including pubs, bars and restaurants must close at 10pm. This will also be applicable to take-aways, but deliveries can continue after that point.
There will be more scenarios in which face coverings must be worn, so staff in retail must wear masks in addition to the existing requirement on shoppers; all users of taxis and private hire vehicles must wear a mask; and all staff and customers in indoor hospitality must wear one, unless they are seated at a table to eat and drink.
Additionally, Covid-secure guidelines will become legal obligations, meaning that businesses can be fined and potentially made to close should they breach the rules. A fine of £10,000 will be issued for those who are meant to be self-isolating but do not. The penalty for the first instance of failing to wear a mask or breaking the rule of six will be increased to £200.
Further restrictions are as follows:
Johnson confirmed that schools, colleges and universities will remain open, and that those previously instructed to shield, do not need to shield, unless they are in an area of local lockdown.