The Prime Minister has announced a further range of restrictions to everyday life in response to a rapid growth in the number of Coronavirus cases in the last month.
Reasons For The New Restrictions
- A month ago, on average around a thousand people across the UK were testing positive for Coronavirus every day. The latest figure has almost quadrupled to 3,929.
- The Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Adviser warned that the doubling rate for new cases could be between seven and 20 days with the possibility of tens of thousands of new infections next month.
- The growing number of cases is not merely a function of more testing as a rising proportion of the tests themselves are yielding a positive result.
- Data suggest that fewer than 8 per cent of us are thought to have developed immunity
- Though new cases are growing fastest amongst those aged 20-29, evidence shows that the virus is spreading to other more vulnerable age groups,
- In the last fortnight, daily hospital admissions in England have more than doubled.
- Tens of thousands of daily infections in October would lead to hundreds of daily deaths in November
- As with all respiratory viruses, Covid is likely to spread faster as autumn becomes winter.
Yesterday, on the advice of the four Chief Medical Officers, the UK’s Covid alert level was raised from 3 to 4, the second most serious stage, meaning that transmission is high or rising exponentially.
The Government will introduce new restrictions in England, though this is by no means a return to the full lockdown of March. The Government is not issuing a general instruction to stay at home. They will ensure that schools, colleges and universities stay open – because nothing is more important than the education, health and well-being of our young people. They will ensure that businesses can stay open in a Covid-compliant way.
The New Restrictions
- office workers who can work from home should do so.
- In key public services – and in all professions where homeworking is not possible, such as construction or retail – people should continue to attend their workplaces.
- From Thursday all pubs, bars and restaurants must operate table-service only, except for takeaways.
- Together with all hospitality venues, they must close promptly at 10pm.
- The same will apply to takeaways – though deliveries can continue thereafter.
- The requirement to wear face coverings to include staff in retail
- The requirement to wear face coverings to include all users of taxis and private hire vehicles,
- The requirement to wear face coverings to include staff and customers in indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table to eat or drink.
- In retail, leisure, tourism and other sectors, Covid-secure guidelines will become legal obligations. Businesses will be fined and could be closed if they breach these rules.
- From Monday 28 Sept, a maximum of 15 people will be able to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions. Though, up to 30 can still attend a funeral as now.
- The rule of six will extend to all adult indoor team sports.
- The spread of the virus is now affecting our ability to reopen business conferences, exhibitions and large sporting events so we will not be able to do this from 1 October.