From today, Wednesday 23 September, office workers who are able to work from home should do so and the requirement for customers to wear face coverings will be extended to all users of taxis and private hire vehicles.
From tomorrow, Thursday 24 September, measures including the following will be introduced:
Furthermore, from Monday 28 September a maximum of 15 people may attend weddings, while 30 may attend funerals. Business conferences, exhibitions and large sporting events will not be reopened from 1 October.
- Pubs, bars and restaurants must operate table-service only, except for takeaways
- Hospitality venues must close at 10.00pm (which means closing, not last orders). The same will apply to takeaways, although deliveries can continue
- The requirement to wear face coverings will be extended to include retail staff and staff and customers in indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table to eat or drink
- Covid-secure guidelines will become legal obligations in retail, leisure, tourism and other sectors.
These new measures will be enforced by tighter penalties. Guidance on the additional measures will soon be on Gov.uk and we will advise the details as soon as these are made available.
In respect of these announcements I know from my various discussions that businesses understand that further restrictions are necessary to tackle the rising number of Coronavirus cases, but these measures will impact business and consumer confidence at a delicate time for the economy.
It is therefore essential that businesses, their employees and customers can see a clear road map for the existing restrictions and those that may be introduced in the future. This must include transparent trigger points, and clarity about the support available to protect jobs and livelihoods.
In addition the government should waste no time in setting out a comprehensive support package for firms forced to close or reduce capacity through no fault of their own.
Requirements for venues to help enforce the rule of 6
From last Friday, regulations came into force to ensure that businesses comply with the rule of 6 and maintain social distancing between customers. Designated venues will also now have a legal requirement to maintain records of customer contact details and display an official NHS QR poster ahead of the NHS COVID-19 app rollout. Further information is available here.