Following reports that coronavirus cases rose by 4,926 on Tuesday 22 September, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement about the new restrictions that would apply in England were heavily anticipated the same day.
Referring to the situation as a “perilous turning point”, under the new measures:
- Office workers are encouraged to work from home, where possible;
- Penalties are set to increase to £200 where laws are breached for not wearing a mask or gathering in groups of more than 6 people on the first offence;
- From Thursday 24 September 2020, all pubs, bars and restaurants will be restricted to table service only and must close at 10pm, however deliveries and takeaways can continue;
- Retail staff, customers and those within indoor hospitality venues will have to wear masks from today, except when seated at a table to eat or drink;
- Taxi drivers and passengers must also wear face coverings from Wednesday 23 September 2020;
- From Monday 28 September 2020, a maximum of 15 people will be allowed to attend weddings and civil partnerships, in groups of six. Funerals can still take place with up to 30 people;
- Also, from Monday 28 September 2020, indoor adult sports will only allow groups of less than six to play at one time; and
- With the new developments, the scheduled return of spectators to sports venues has been scrapped from going ahead on 1 October 2020.
Businesses, schools, colleges, and universities will continue to remain open for now.
Although a full lockdown is highly unlikely, hospital admissions are said to have doubled in the last fortnight and with winter around the corner, Covid-19 could spread even quicker. Further, with the numbers continually rising in the thousands per day, and the Government confirming that this is not just because of more testing being carried out, the restrictions may not ease soon, but could get more stringent. This is a window of opportunity to see what impact the new restrictions will have, which could be in place for the next 6 months, to reduce transmissions.
In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the same restrictions as England but went a step further with a complete ban on visiting other households indoors and car shares. The 10pm curfew of businesses came into force in Wales on 24 September 2020.
At KaurMaxwell, we are encouraging our clients and contacts to have online meetings or discuss instructions via telephone/Zoom calls, or any other method which suits the individual. If you do need to visit our offices, please note that social distancing restrictions have been implemented throughout our offices but you are also welcome to call us beforehand on: 020 7052 3545 to ensure you have everything in hand to adhere to the regulations for your own health and safety, as well as our staff.