New national restrictions announced in England amid coronavirus (COVID-19)

New national restrictions announced in England amid coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Cabinet Office has announced further national restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). As of 23 September 2020, face coverings must be worn in private hire vehicles and taxis. The requirement to wear face coverings will extend to staff in hospitality and retail and customers of such establishments except when sitting at a table to eat or drink from 24 September 2020. In addition, from 24 September 2020, businesses which sell food, alongside businesses such as casinos and bingo halls, must be closed between 10 pm and 5 am, however, delivery services can continue after that time. Those businesses must also display NHS QR code posters to allow customers to check-in at the premises. Stricter rules requiring businesses and organisations to make their premises ‘COVID Secure’ will also come into force on 28 September 2020. A further £60m will be made available to support additional enforcement activities by local authorities and the police.

Further measures include:

• imposing the rule of six on indoor organised sports for over 18s from 24 September 2020 (although sport for disabled people are exempt)

• workers who are able to work from home are encouraged to do so

• visors and face coverings must be worn in close contact services from 24 September

• reducing the number of wedding guests to 15 as of 28 September 2020

• business conferences, exhibition halls and large sporting events will not reopen on 1 October 2020

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has warned that such measures may need to remain in place until March 2021.

Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Richard Burge, has commented: ‘if the government is saying these economic restrictions could last six months, then they need to be prepared to support businesses suffering the consequences during that time period. We need to see details of what the next economic support package now is.’

Source: Coronavirus (COVID-19): What has changed – 22 September

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