Compulsory face masks everywhere and a pub and restaurants 10pm curfew are just some of the new rules designed to slow the spread of coronavirus — which could last up to six months.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the House of Commons on Tuesday: “We always knew that while we might have driven the virus into retreat the prospect of a second wave was real and, like other countries… we have reached a perilous turning point.”
He said he wished he could say the rise was due to increased testing and that more people had anti-bodies, but he couldn’t.
He said the move was not yet a return to a full national lockdown and that the government was “acting on the principle that a stitch in time saves nine”.
Here are the new rules from Monday, September 28:
- The requirement to wear face coverings is being extended to staff in retail, users of taxis, and customers of indoor hospitality
- From Thursday (Sept 24), all pubs bars and restaurants must operate table service only and must close at 10pm. Mr Johnson said this was fully closing not just calling for last orders. The same will apply to takeaways although deliveries can continue after the closing time.
- From Monday, a maximum of 15 people can attend weddings and processions, however, up to 30 can still attend funerals. The rule of six has now been extended to adult indoor team sports.
- Office workers who can work from home once again asked to do so. If it is not possible to work from home, continue to attend workplace.
- Retail, leisure and other sectors’ coronavirus guidance has become a legal obligations with businesses facing fines and closures if they do not comply
- Business and conference exhibitions and large sporting events will no longer be able to open from October 1.
On top of this, Mr Johnson announced further enforcement measures to tackle those who acted “with complacency”.
Rules will be enforced by tighter penalties:
- £10k fines apply to businesses breaking COVID rules
- Police given extra funding for presence and option to draw military support where required
Mr Johnson said if measures don’t bring infection rate below 1 there will be capability to bring in even stricter enforcement and measures.
He said it would be “tempting to hope the threat has faded and seek comfort in the belief you have avoided the virus so far so are somehow immune. But that type of complacency could be our undoing.”