National lockdown comes into force today (5th November)

National lockdown comes into force today (5th November)

New national restrictions have come into place in England today, Thursday 5th November 2020, and will last until 2nd December 2020. 

​​Everyone must stay at home, and may leave only for a limited set of reasons, which include:

– For education;

– For work, if you cannot work from home;

– For exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household, support bubble or on your own with one person from another household;

– For all medical reasons, appointments and to escape injury or harm;

– To shop for food and essentials;

– And to provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.

To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close or restrict how they provide goods and services. These include:

Non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services

Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and drink for takeaway (before 10pm; and not including alcohol), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery

Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites. Except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where they cannot return home, for homeless people, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes

Leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, tennis and basketball courts, golf courses, fitness and dance studios, climbing walls, archery, driving, and shooting ranges

Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, soft play centres and areas, circuses, funfairs, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks, theme parks. Indoor attractions at botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open

Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. It is also prohibited to provide these services in other peoples’ homes

Community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities as set out below Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services – for example for people who do not have it at home – and for click-and-collect

Places of worship, apart from for the purposes of independent prayer, and service broadcasting and funerals

Other businesses are permitted to stay open – this includes those providing essential goods or services, including: food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services. Essential retail should follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.

Full details of the guidance can be found here.

Keeping your customers, visitors and workers safe 

Businesses have been working hard to put in place measures to minimise the transmission of the virus in the workplace and HSE have been checking, visiting and inspecting businesses to ensure they are COVID-secure.

From mid-June to 3rd November, HSE conducted over 44,000 spot checks to businesses and organisations. Most businesses checked are following the COVID-secure workplace guidance and action has been taken where businesses have fallen short.

HSE’s programme of activity has shown that social distancing is the biggest issue facing businesses, followed by cleaning regimes and management arrangements. As we move into national restrictions, if your business is permitted to stay open then please ensure you follow COVID-secure guidelines.

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