As you will have seen, in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus and to prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed, Boris Johnson has announced a one-month lockdown for England. MPs will vote on the proposals on Wednesday. If approved, the measures will be introduced at 00:01 GMT on Thursday 5th November and remain in place until Wednesday 2nd December when the Government would hope to ease restrictions in areas where the virus has been brought under control.
It is proposed under the new restrictions that: –
*People must stay at home except for specific reasons such as going to work (if it cannot be done from home), childcare or education, exercise outdoors (you are allowed to make a short journey to do so), essential shopping, hospital, GP and other medical appointments, providing care for vulnerable people or for volunteering, and for visiting members of their support bubble
Meeting others indoors or in private gardens will not be allowed, but individuals can meet one other person from another household outside in a public place
*Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open
Non-essential retail will close, but can remain open for click-and-collect delivery
*Personal care facilities, e.g. hairdressers, beauty and nail salons, massage parlours, spas etc. must close
*Pubs, bars, restaurants will have to close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery, excluding takeaway of alcohol
*Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities, such as gyms and swimming pools, golf courses, riding centres, theme parks and dance studios etc. must close
*Entertainment venues such as theatres, cinemas, concert halls, museums, galleries, bowling alleys, zoos, botanical gardens etc. must close
*Places of worship will close, unless they are being used for funerals, to broadcast acts of worship, individual prayer, formal childcare, or essential services such as blood donation or food banks
*Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies will not be able to take place except in exceptional circumstances, and funerals will be limited to a maximum of 30 people
*Construction sites and manufacturing workplaces can remain open
*Children will still be able to move between homes if their parents are separated
*Clinically vulnerable people will be asked to be ‘especially careful’ but people will not be asked to resume shielding
*Overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences will not be allowed. This includes holidays abroad and in the UK. It also means you cannot stay in a second home, if you own one. There are specific exceptions, for example if you need to stay away from home (including in a second home) for work purposes, but this means people cannot travel overseas or within the UK, unless for work, education or other legally permitted reasons.
*Schools, colleges and universities remain open.
*It is understood that supermarkets will be able to sell all goods (not just essentials) and moving house will be allowed – estate agents, removal firms and tradespeople can continue to work.
*The furlough scheme due to have ended on 31st October will now be extended until December, with the Government once again covering up to 80% of employees’ wages.
Please note the list of restrictions above is not exhaustive and Bury Parish Council strongly recommends that, in the period of time ahead of lockdown, you have a look at the more comprehensive details of the Government’s guidance on the proposed restrictions due to operate from 5th November which might help you to plan, alter or cancel arrangements you might have made during the period in question. The guidance document can be found here.
Following Wednesday’s parliamentary vote, BPC will provide you with any further relevant information and guidance likely to be released by the Government at that time, together with any parish or district news.