Tuesday, 22 September 2020

New rules to control Coronavirus this winter

In recent weeks, we have seen the levels of coronavirus infection in Northumberland and across the UK rise significantly. Now is the time to take action, and prevent more significant restrictions that would impact us all. 

Last week, the government implemented new restrictions for our region, meaning you cannot socialise with others you do not live with, and public venues must close by 10pm, and are limited to table service only. 

Today, the Prime Minister has announced new additional restrictions for the whole country. These will apply to Northumberland. This means:

  • Where possible, office workers who can work from home should do so.
  • Hospitality and leisure businesses must close by 10pm. 
  • COVID-Secure guidelines will become legal obligations, and businesses could be fined or closed if they breach these rules. Employers must also not knowingly  require or encourage somebody who is self-isolating to come to work. 
  • From Monday, a maximum of 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, but up to 30 can attend funerals, as is currently the case. 
  • The 'Rule of 6' will be extended to cover adult indoor team sports. 
There are also new rules regarding the use of face coverings, and the requirement to wear a face covering has been extended to: 
  • All staff working in retail. 
  • All users of taxis and private hire vehicles. 
  • Staff and customers in indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table. 
  • Guidance that states face coverings and visors should be worn in close contact services will become law. 
  • Businesses must also remind people to wear face coverings where mandated. 
We all need to continue to remember the basics: wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, cover your face in enclosed spaces where social distancing may be difficult, and stay 2 meters apart from others, or 1 metre with extra precautions. 

These are difficult times. But if we all stick to the rules, we can stay in control of this virus and save lives.