Covid 19 - What you need to know - Changes to social gathering rules.
In his Downing Street address to the Nation yesterday, Prime Minister Johnson announced new ‘simplified’ restrictions on social gatherings in order to suppress a rise in Covid19 infections witnessed over recent weeks.
The headline to the statement was very much around the “Limit of 6 persons”.
From Monday 14 September, you must not meet with people from other households socially in groups of more than 6. This will apply indoors and outdoors, including in private homes. This will be enforceable in law and those found to breaching the law may face enforcement action including fines. The government has published guidance regarding meeting with others safely (social distancing) which can be found here.
This has given rise to a number of questions, many of which are yet to be clarified.
There will be a limited number of exemptions detailed in the Regulations, yet to be published at the time of writing.
COVID-19 Secure venues, such as places of worship, restaurants and hospitality venues, can still operate to occupancies based on their Covid secure risk assessment but groups of up to 6 must not mix or form larger groups. This will again apply indoors and outdoors at such venues.
This rule will not apply to individual households or support bubbles of more than 6 who will still be able to gather together. The entire household does not need to be related to each other but must co-habit; this will facilitate student housing with Universities set to return to study in the new term over the next few weeks.
Education and work settings are unaffected, and organised team sports will still be able to proceed, as will weddings, wedding reception and funerals (but on the face of announcements so far, not wakes) for up to 30.
There has been a range of updates to existing guidance along with helpful FAQs, which can be found here.
Track & Trace
From 18 September, it will be mandatory for certain businesses to have a system to collect NHS Test and Trace data, and keep this for 21 days. Core COVID-19 Secure requirements will be mandated for hospitality businesses, and egregious breaches enforced. The government has also published simplified COVID-19 Secure guidance.
Further details which will be in the Regulations is awaited.
As we have seen already in lockdown areas, such as Bolton, premises have been ordered to close early (10pm). The Prime Minister indicated the possibility that similar restrictions may be applied nationally, should it be deemed necessary to stem infections.
As always as matters develop over the coming days we will endeavour to keep you updated and our team of specialists are on hand to answer any enquires you may have