Government releases information on the new national restrictions which apply to England, including what they mean for working from home and business closures, why they are being introduced and the financial support available.
With COVID-19 case numbers rising rapidly across the whole of the UK and in other countries, from Thursday 5th November until Wednesday 2nd December, to control the spread of the virus, the Government is taking the following action:
- Requiring people to stay at home, except for specific purposes.
- Preventing gathering with people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
- Closing certain businesses and venues.
These new measures have been carefully judged to achieve the maximum reduction in growth in the number of cases, preventing the NHS from being overwhelmed, whilst ensuring that schools, colleges and universities stay open and that as many people as possible continue to work.
Until Thursday 5th November, the relevant Local Covid Alert Level (LCAL) measures will continue to apply in the area where you live. From Thursday the national restrictions replace the local restrictions in your area. No new areas will move in the LCAL Very High restrictions between now and Thursday.
The new measures will apply nationally for four weeks up to Wednesday 2nd December. At the end of the period, the government look to return to a regional approach, based on the latest data.
Complying with the new measures will help limit the spread of coronavirus, reduce the impact on the NHS and save lives. They will be underpinned by law which will make clear about what you must and must not do from 5th November. The relevant authorities, including the police, will have powers to enforce the law – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.
Here are some of the points specified, but to see the full list go to www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november
Stay at home
This means you must not leave or be outside of your home except for specific purposes.
- for work purposes, where your place of work remains open and where you cannot work from home (including if your job involves working in other people’s homes)
This list is not exhaustive and there are other limited circumstances where you may be permitted to leave or be outside of your home. These will be set out in law and further detailed guidance will be provided.
Staying safe outside the home (Social Distancing)
You should minimise time spent outside your home and when around other people ensure that you are two metres apart from anyone not in your household or support bubble.
Remember – ‘Hands. Face. Space’:
- hands – wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds
- face – wear a face-covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet
- space – stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors)
Businesses and venues
To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close.
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.
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.
Going to work
To help contain the virus, everyone who can work effectively from home must do so. Where people cannot do so (for instance people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing) they should continue to travel to work/attend their workplace.
This is essential to keeping the country operating and supporting vital sectors and employers.
Public sector employees working in essential services, including education settings, should continue to go into work. The risk of transmission can be substantially reduced if COVID-secure guidelines are followed closely. Extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk.
You should avoid travelling in or out of your local area, and you should look to reduce the number of journeys you make. However, you can and should still travel for a number of reasons, which includes travelling to work where this cannot be done from home.
You must not travel if you are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, are self-isolating as a result of coronavirus symptoms, are sharing a household or support bubble with somebody with symptoms, or have been told to self-isolate after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
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 Wherever you live, you may be able to get financial help through the:
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
- Job Support Scheme (from 1st November)
- New Style Employment and Support Allowance