Boris Johnson's major coronavirus announcement: What does it mean for you?

31 July 2020, 13:00

Police will be given new powers to enforce the new rules
Police will be given new powers to enforce the new rules. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Easing of lockdown across England has been postponed as the Prime Minister warned the country "cannot be complacent" amid a rise in the prevalence of coronavirus in the community.

The Prime Minister has said that despite progress being made in combating Covid-19, the UK cannot think it is exempt from a rise in cases.

Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty warned that it may not be possible to introduce further easing of lockdown measures.

He said: "We have probably reached the limits of what we can do in terms of opening up as a society... The idea that we can open up everything is clearly wrong. Choices will need to be made."

The Prime Minister said planned reopenings for August 1 will be postponed for a fortnight.

Boris Johnson told a Downing Street briefing: "With those numbers creeping up, our assessment is that we should squeeze that brake pedal... in order to keep the virus under control.

"On Saturday August 1, you'll remember we had hoped to reopen a number of the higher-risk settings that had remained closed and today I'm saying we're postponing those changes for at least a fortnight.

"That means until August 15 at the earliest casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and the remaining close-contact services must remain closed.

"Indoor performances will not resume, pilots of larger gatherings in sports venues and conference centres will not take place, and wedding receptions of up to 30 people will not be permitted."

Boris Johnson said: "I know that the steps we are taking will be a real blow to many people, to everyone whose wedding plans have been disrupted or who cannot now celebrate Eid in the way that they would wish.

"And I'm really, really sorry about that but we cannot simply take the risk."

But what will this mean for you? Here's everything you need to know about new lockdown rules.

Affected local areas

Greater Manchester:

City of Manchester

Trafford

Stockport

Oldham

Bury

Wigan

Bolton

Tameside

Rochdale

Salford

Lancashire:

Blackburn with Darwen

Burnley

Hyndburn

Pendle

Rossendale

West Yorkshire:

Bradford

Calderdale

Kirklees

Local restrictions

Social contact

The Government has said if you live in one of the affected areas, in order to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, you should not:

-meet people you do not live with inside a private home or garden, except where you have formed a support bubble (or for other limited exemptions to be specified in law)

-visit someone else’s home or garden even if they live outside of the affected areas

-socialise with people you do not live with in other indoor public venues – such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions. You may attend these venues with people you live with (or are in a support bubble with), but should avoid interaction with others. If you run such a business, you should take steps to ensure people do not interact with people they do not live with, in line with COVID-19 secure guidance

-visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances. Care homes should restrict visits to these circumstances

The Government has said they will pass new laws to enforce the changes to meeting people in private homes and gardens.

This will mean the police will be able to take action against those that break these rules, including asking people to disperse and issuing fixed penalty notices (starting at £100 – halving to £50 if paid in the first 14 days – and doubling for subsequent offences).

Business closures

In Blackburn with Darwen and Bradford, the following premises must remain closed by law:

-indoor gyms

-indoor fitness and dance studios

-indoor sports courts and facilities

-indoor swimming pools, including indoor facilities at water parks

Changes in restrictions

Does my household include close family members?

The Government has said your household – as defined in law – is only the people you live with. If you have formed a support bubble (which must include a single adult household i.e. people who live alone or single parents with dependent children aged under 18) these can be treated as if they’re members of your household.

What will be illegal?

It will be illegal for people who do not live together to meet in a private home or garden, except for limited exceptions to be set out in law. You should not host or visit people you do not live with, unless they’re in your support bubble. If you live in the affected areas, you should not visit someone’s home or garden regardless of whether this is in or outside of the restricted area.

Can I still meet indoors with people in my support bubble?

Yes. Where people from single adult households (people who live alone or single parents with dependent children aged under 18) have formed a support bubble with another household, they can continue to visit each other, stay overnight, and visit other public places as if they were one household.

Can I still meet people outdoors?

In line with the new rules and guidance, you can continue to meet in public outdoor spaces in groups of no more than 6 people, unless the group includes only people from two households. You cannot meet people you do not live within a private garden.

At all times, you should socially distance from people you do not live with – unless they are in your support bubble.

I live in this area. Can I meet friends and family outside of the area in their homes?

You should not travel outside of this area to meet people in their homes or garden.

Can I still visit friends and family in their homes for childcare?

You should not meet with people you do not live with in their homes or gardens.

Two households, or up to 6 people from multiple households, can still meet in outdoor public places (like parks) for childcare. Where people from single adult households (people who live alone or single parents with dependent children aged under 18) have formed a support bubble.

Can my friends or family still visit to provide childcare?

You should not meet with people you do not live with in their homes or gardens.

Two households, or up to 6 people from multiple households, can still meet in outdoor public places (like parks) for childcare. Where people from single adult households (people who live alone or single parents with dependent children aged under 18) have formed a support bubble with another household, they can continue to visit each other for childcare purposes.

I live in this area. Can I still meet with my family and friends to celebrate Eid?

Due to higher rates of infection, if you live in this area you should not host or visit friends and family in each other’s homes or gardens. It will shortly be illegal to do so, unless specific exemptions apply. You also should not meet friends and family in other venues – including restaurants or cafes.

Up to two households, or 6 people from any number of households may meet outdoors (excluding people’s gardens) where there’s a lower risk of infection. If you do so, you should still socially distance from those you do not live with, and avoid physical contact.

You may attend a mosque or other place or worship, where COVID-19 secure guidance applies, but you must socially distance from people outside of your household. This means maintaining a distance of 2 metres, or 1 metre with mitigations (such as wearing face coverings). We recommend at this time that, if possible, prayer/religious services take place outdoors.

Can I still go to work in this area?

Yes. People living inside and outside of this area can continue to travel in and out for work. Workplaces must implement COVID-19 secure guidance.

Can people still come into my house if it’s part of their job?

Yes. People can still come inside your home when they’re doing so as part of their work. See guidance on working safely in other people’s homes.

I live in this area. Can I still go to cafes, restaurants, the gym and other public places?

Yes. But you should only go with members of your own household – even if you are going outside of the restricted area.

I live in the area. Can people from outside of the restriction area visit me at my house?

No. This will be illegal.

Do I still have to shield if I live in this area?

Clinically extremely vulnerable people will no longer have to follow the shielding guidance from the 1 August, unless they live in Blackburn with Darwen in the north-west and other local affected areas across England where shielding continues.

Can I visit a care home?

You should not visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances. Care homes should restrict visits to these circumstances.

Can I still have my wedding if it’s in this area?

Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies in these areas can still go ahead. No more than 30 people should attend a marriage or civil partnership, where this can be safely accommodated with social distancing in a COVID-19 secure venue. Further guidance can be found here.

Large wedding receptions or parties should not currently be taking place and any celebration after the ceremony should follow the broader social distancing guidance of involving no more than two households in any location or, if outdoors, up to 6 people from different households.

Can I travel outside of the area to attend a wedding ceremony?

Yes.

Can I travel into the area to attend a wedding ceremony?

Yes. Weddings should be limited to no more than 30 people and subject to COVID-19 secure guidelines.

People living outside this area may travel into the areas to attend a wedding, but should not go into a private home or garden.

Can I still visit a place of worship in the lockdown area?

Yes, but you must socially distance from people outside of your household. This means maintaining a distance of 2 metres, or 1 metre with mitigations (for example face coverings). We recommend at this time that if possible prayer/religious services take place outdoors.

Can funerals still take place in the lockdown areas?

Yes. Funerals should be limited to no more than 30 people and subject to COVID-19 secure guidelines.

People living outside the lockdown areas may travel into the areas to attend a funeral.

Can I holiday in the lockdown area, or visit shops, leisure facilities, or cafes in it?

Yes. However, you must avoid socialising with people indoors when doing so.

I live in the area. Can I leave the area to go on holiday?

You should not travel outside of this area to meet people in their homes or gardens. You can still go on holiday, but you should only do this with people you live with (or have formed a support bubble with).

Can I travel in a car with someone I do not live with?

You should try not to share a vehicle with those outside your household or social bubble. If you need to, try to:

-share the transport with the same people each time

-keep to small groups of people at any one time

-open windows for ventilation

-travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where seating arrangements allow

-face away from each other

-consider seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle

-clean your car between journeys using standard cleaning products – make sure you clean door handles and other areas that people may touch

-ask the driver and passengers to wear a face covering

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