Thursday, 22 Oct 2020

Coronavirus new restrictions: What you can and can’t do – and the penalties for breaking the rules

Boris Johnson has announced further restrictions in an attempt to curb the growing spread of COVID-19 across the UK amid warnings cases and deaths could increase rapidly.

The prime minister said unless there is evidence of progress, the measures may be in place for six months.

These are on top of restrictions already in place, with some areas having stricter rules than others due to local spikes.

Watch and follow live on Sky News for reactions to the announcement ahead of a Downing Street broadcast at 8pm

Sky News lists the new rules, what was already restricted, what you can do and what the punishment is for disobeying the rules.

What are the new restrictions?

  • 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants
  • Table service only in hospitality venues
  • Work from home if you can
  • Customers must wear face coverings in taxis, as well as staff in retail
  • Staff and customers in indoor hospitality must now wear face coverings
  • From Monday, only 15 people can attend a wedding service and reception – 30 people can still attend a funeral
  • A maximum of six people can take part in indoor team sports
  • Large sports events and conferences will not take place from 1 October, as previously planned
  • Businesses will be fined £10,000 and could be closed if they breach regulations
  • The fine for people not wearing face coverings in shops, supermarkets, public transport, taxis and in indoor hospitality will rise to £200 for a first time offence, from £100
  • This fine will be the same for those who break the “rule of six”
  • Those who have been shielding do not need to do so except in local lockdown areas.

What was already restricted?

  • Social gatherings of more than six people indoors and outdoors are banned in England and Scotland
  • In Scotland, only two households are allowed to be part of the group of six
  • In Northern Ireland, no households are allowed to mix indoors and no more than six people from two households can meet outdoors from Tuesday evening
  • In Wales, six people are allowed indoors and 30 people outdoors
  • Venues, including pubs and restaurants, are legally required to request customers’ details for test and trace and keep them for 21 days
  • Face coverings must be worn in shops, supermarkets and on public transport unless they are exempt for medical reasons.

What are you allowed to do?

  • Households or support bubbles of more than six people can still gather
  • Groups of more than six people are allowed for work or education
  • Places of worship, gyms, restaurants and hospitality settings can still hold more than six people in total
  • Funerals with up to 30 people are allowed in England and Wales and 20 people in Scotland, while it is up to the venue in Northern Ireland
  • Weddings of up to 15 people are allowed in England
  • Organised team sports outside carried out in a “COVID-secure way” can have more than six people

What happens if you break the rules?

  • For people who do not wear face coverings, and who are not exempt, in places legally stated there are fines of £200 in England, or £60 in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales
  • People with coronavirus symptoms who do not self-isolate will face fines of £1,000, rising to £10,000 for repeat offences from 28 September
  • If people prevent others from self-isolating – such as bosses threatening redundancy – they can also be fined
  • Businesses who break the mask and “rule of six” will be fined £10,000 or closed down
  • Anyone who breaks the rules on social gatherings will be fined £200 with the penalty doubling on each further repeat offence up to £3,200
  • “COVID-secure marshals” will enforce social distancing rules in town and city centres, the prime minister has said
  • Border Force is also stepping up the enforcement of quarantine rules for travellers into the country.

Which areas already had increased measures?

North East EnglandNorthumberland, Newcastle, Sunderland, North and South Tyneside, Gateshead and County Durham – already had a ban on mixing outside household bubbles and a 10pm curfew with table service only for bars, pubs and restaurants.

Rhondda Cynon Taf in Wales had a ban on people entering or leaving the area “without a reasonable excuse”, while households are not allowed to meet indoors and an 11pm curfew was imposed on restaurants, pubs and bars.

Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull residents are not allowed to mix with any households indoors or outdoors, except for those in a support bubble.

Bolton restaurants, cafes and bars are restricted to takeaway only and have to close at 10pm, while mixing outside households in public outdoor settings is banned.

Caerphilly, Wales, had a ban on people leaving or entering the area without a reasonable excuse and everyone over the age of 11 has to wear face coverings in shops, while people should not meet other households indoors.

Parts of Greater Manchester, East Lancashire, Preston and West Yorkshire residents cannot meet anyone from outside their household in a home or garden.

Glasgow City, East Renfrewshire, Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire residents are banned from meeting people from another household inside their home.

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Leicester residents cannot meet anyone from another household in a home or garden but those shielding will no longer have to from 5 October.

North West England Merseyside, Warrington, Halton and Lancashire – residents cannot socialise with other households from Tuesday, while hospitality venues have a 10pm curfew and table service only.

The Midlands Wolverhampton, and Oadby and Wigston – residents are banned from socialising with other households in private homes and gardens from Tuesday.

Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale in West Yorkshire has also seen a ban on people socialising with other households in private homes and gardens from Tuesday.

Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport and Blaenau Gwent in south Wales are under a local lockdown from Tuesday, with people not allowed to leave or enter those areas without a reasonable excuse, venues closed from 10pm and indoor meetings banned.

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