Explained – All you need to know about the new coronavirus restrictions
PUBLISHED: 16:57 22 September 2020 | UPDATED: 17:16 22 September 2020
New coronavirus restrictions could be in place for the next six months, with Boris Johnson warning the UK has reached a “perilous turning point” in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The prime minister set out a host of tougher measures in Parliament today, adding that we “must act now” to avoid a worse outcome.
MORE: Strict new coronavirus rules could be in place for SIX months, warns PM
So what do the new rules mean for people in Suffolk and Essex?
• Pubs, restaurants and bars must close at 10pm and have table service only from Thursday.
• Takeaways must also close at 10pm, although there is no time restriction for deliveries.
• Face coverings must be worn by retail staff, as well as people working in taxi and private hire vehicles and staff and customers in indoor hospitality, except while seated at a table to eat or drink.
• From Monday, a maximum of 15 people will be allowed to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, but the limit remains at 30 for funerals.
• People who can work from home should now do so. Those who cannot, such as those working in construction or retail, are being advised they should continue to go to their workplaces.
• The rule of six, which was introduced last weekend, has been extended to include all indoor team sports.
• Large sporting events, exhibitions and business conferences will not reopen from October 1 like originally planned.
MORE: Pub landlord says curfew is ‘another blow for the industry’ - but welcomes action on rule-breakers
What will happen if you break the rules?
Penalties for disobeying the new rules have been increased.
• Failing to wear a mask or breaking the rule of six will see fines doubling to £200 for a first offence.
• Businesses which break the rules could be fined up to £10,000 and could be forced to close.
• People who fail to self-isolate will be fined up to £10,000.
• Downing Street also said military support was an option to free up police so they can focus on enforcing the tougher rules.
For people in the shielding category, Mr Johnson said the guidance remains that shielding is not currently needed, unless they are in a local lockdown area.
How long will these measures last?
Mr Johnson said that “unless we palpably make progress” we should assume the restrictions he announced on Tuesday will remain in place for “perhaps six months”.
On Monday England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty suggested that science would eventually “ride to our rescue”, but “in this period of the next six months, I think we have to realise that we have to take this, collectively, very seriously”.
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