***Local update, Saturday 3rd October***
New, stricter local lockdown restrictions have come into force on Saturday 3rd October, to help to combat the exponential rise in cases in our City Region.
Under the new restrictions you must not,
- host people you do not live with in your home or garden
- meet people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside the affected local areas
- meet with people who you do not live with in indoor settings, whether inside or outside of the affected local areas
Your household is defined as the people you live with and any support bubble.
You can read the new lockdown rules in full here.
***Update – Tuesday 22nd September***
Today the Prime Minister announced the following new COVID rules in England:
- Work from home if you can, but people in areas such as construction and retail who can’t work from home should continue to go to work.
- From Thursday 24th September pubs and restaurants will have to offer table service and close from 10pm.
- Masks will be mandatory for passengers in taxis and staff and customers in retail and indoor hospitality (except while seated and eating or drinking).
- Businesses will be fined if they breach COVID restrictions.
- From Monday 28th September, only 15 people can attend weddings (30 can still attend funerals).
- Plans for a partial return of sports fans to stadia will be paused.
- The rule of six to apply to all adult team sports indoors.
The Prime Minister warned that these restrictions could be in place for six months and warned against complacency. These measures also don’t supersede the local lockdown measures and advice which are applicable in Merseyside from today.
While it’s right that the Government are taking action to tackle the increase in COVID-19 cases, it’s extremely concerning that Ministers still plan to withdraw the furlough scheme amidst these new restrictions. So many people (for example those working in live events) simply can’t return to business as usual under the Government’s restrictions, yet the they’re refusing to continue furlough or consider targeted support for specific sectors.
I note that the Prime Minister said that local authorities will be given the resources to enforce these new measures. The Government so far haven’t reimbursed our local authorities, Liverpool and Knowsley, for the costs of tackling COVID, despite Ministers promising this back in March, so I’m not optimistic they’ll come good this time!
Update – 10th September
Following a rise in COVID-19 cases the Government has announced the following measures:
- 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.
- There will be a limited number of exemptions. 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.
- 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, this limit will be enforceable in law.
- 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.
You can read more information on what you can and can’t do when the new regulations come into place here.
Update 23rd June
On 23rd June, the Prime Minister announced substantial easing of the lockdown measures to come into place on Saturday 4th July. This includes allowing some businesses to open and allowing overnight stays away from your home. The full updated Government guidance can be found here.
On 9th July, the Culture Secretary announced the following:
- Outdoor theatres and outdoor swimming pools to open from 11th July.
- Beauty therapists, tattooists and tanning salons to open from 13th July.
- Indoor gyms, sports halls and leisure centres will be able to reopen from 25 July.
For more information, the Government’s document on the UK’s COVID-19 recovery strategy, published on Monday 11 May, can be found here.
Note that the advice remains the same if you have symptoms. Do not leave home if you, or someone you live with has either:
- A new, continuous cough
- A high temperature
It’s really concerning that the lockdown is being eased before an effective test, track and trace system has been put in place. Watch my message about the Government’s announcement below.