Rules for the new national lockdown, due to start Thursday 5th November

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As I am sure you are aware, the Prime Minister has announced a second national lockdown for England. You can view the full speech hereIn summary, this lockdown comes into effect on 00.01 Thursday for 4 weeks (following a Commons vote on Wednesday and regulations published on Tuesday), so until 2 December 2020. After the four weeks, the Government will seek to ease restrictions, going back into the tiered system on a local and a regional basis according to the latest data and trends.

Key points from his speech are:

  • The public must stay at home from Thursday, only leaving home for specific reasons, including:
    • For education 
    • For work, say if you cannot work from home 
    • For exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household or on your own with one person from another household 
    • For medical reasons, appointments and to escape injury or harm 
    • To shop for food and essentials 
    • To provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer. 
  • Workplaces should stay open where people can’t work from home – for example in the construction or manufacturing sectors.
  • Single adult households can still form exclusive support bubbles with one other household, and children will still be able to move between homes if their parents are separated. 

press release on the PM’s statement on upcoming national restrictions in England has since been published which outlines some further details on restrictions applicable to tourism. The key points to note are:

  • There is no exemption for staying away from home on holiday. This means people cannot travel internationally or within the UK, unless for work, education or other legally permitted exemptions. Overnight stays away from primary residences will not be allowed, except for specific exceptions including for work.
  • Inbound international travel will continue to be governed by the travel corridor approach, and those currently on a domestic holiday will be allowed to finish their holidays, but are still subject to the requirements in England not to go out without a reasonable excuse. 

There is also a new guidance page on gov.uk on the changes in England. Please be aware that this is initial topline guidance and more detail will be available in the coming days. Of particular note:

  • The Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close, including:
    • All non-essential retail, including, but not limited to clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops. 
    • Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks, 
    • Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens 
    • Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons,
  • Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open. Essential retail should follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers. 
  • Non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect. 
  • Playgrounds can remain open. 
  • Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services. However, takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed. 
  • Hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions which will be set out in law. 
  • A full list of the business closures will be published and set out in law. 
  • Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted to take place except in exceptional circumstances. 
  • All non-essential travel by private or public transport should be avoided. Essential travel includes, but is not limited to 
  1. Essential shopping 
  2. Travelling to work where your workplace is open or you cannot work from home 
  3. Travelling to education and for caring responsibilities 
  4. Hospital GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health. 

Financial support

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be extended through November. Workers in any part of the UK can retain their job, even if their employer cannot afford to pay them, and be paid at least 80% of their salary up to £2500 a month. The flexibility of the current CJRS will be retained to allow employees to continue to work where they can. Employers small or large, charitable or non-profit are eligible and because more businesses will need to close, they will now be asked to pay just National Insurance and Pensions contributions for their staff during the month of November – making this more generous than support currently on offer.

The Job Support Scheme will not be introduced until after Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends.  
Here is a link to the new style Employment and Support Allowance.

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