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Updated: 03 November 2020

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Explaining the Regulations FAQs  -  Ongoing Updates/Information

COVID-19 case numbers are rising rapidly across the whole of the UK and in other countries. The number of daily confirmed cases in West Sussex is now higher than it was at any point during the first national lockdown. There is a strong moral justification for urgent action to address this sharp rise. The message from the Government is clear: we must act now to control the spread of the virus by staying at home, to protecting the NHS and saving lives.

From Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, the Government is taking the following action:

  1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for specific purposes.

  2. Preventing gathering with other households, except for specific purposes.

  3. Closing certain businesses and venues.

More in-depth information on each of these actions is below.

The new measures will apply nationally for four weeks up to Wednesday 2 December. At the end of the period, the Government has highlighted that it will look to return to a regional approach, based on the latest data.

Whatever our own personal stance, each person must comply with the tougher restrictions for the protection of all, particularly our most vulnerable. 

Our best scientific and medical advisers have judged that these adjustments given the current ‘R’ rating are proportionate to tackle the spread of the virus early and fast.  The situation must remain fluid so that if further changes are needed these too can be implemented fast.

Some constituents have shared concerns with accessing COVID-19 tests locally. On some occasions, my team and I have been able to resolve the issue with welcome speed - with most, we have shared their concerns at the appropriate level and requested urgent response. It is necessary to reiterate that local testing centres are managed by the Department of Health and Social Care and the bookings are managed on the national system.

 

I urge all to act in a spirit of togetherness, to suppress this virus now, to save lives and to enable us to avoid tougher measures later. We must not act selfishly but, rather, consider the health and wellbeing of those around us as we go about our lives.

 

Explaining the Regulations:

 

Staying At Home:
 

  • This means you must not leave or be outside of your home except for specific purposes. These include:

  • For childcare or education, where this is not provided online

  • 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)

  • To exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place - with the people you live with, with your support bubble or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household (children under school age, as well as those dependent on round-the-clock care, such as those with severe disabilities, who are with their parents will not count towards the limit on two people meeting outside).

  • For any medical concerns, reasons, appointments and emergencies, or to avoid or escape risk of injury or harm - such as domestic abuse

  • Shopping for basic necessities, for example, food and medicine, which should be as infrequent as possible

  • To visit members of your support bubble or provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer


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.

Preventing Gathering With Other Households:

 

  • 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

  • You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household - meaning the people you live with - or support bubble

  • You can exercise or visit outdoor public places with the people you live with, your support bubble, or 1 person from another household

  • Children under school age, as well as those dependent on round-the-clock care, such as those with severe disabilities, who are with their parents, will not count towards the limit on two people meeting outside

Closed Venues and Businesses:

  • All non-essential retail, including, but not limited to clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops

  • Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks

  • Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens;

  • Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons

  • Places of Worship will be closed unless they are being used for:

    • Funerals

    • To broadcast acts of worship

    • Individual prayer

    • Formal childcare or where part of a school

    • Essential voluntary and public services, such as blood donation or food banks

    • Other exempted activities such as some support groups

Venues and Businesses Remaining Open:

  • Schools, colleges and universities will remain open

  • 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.

  • Non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect.

  • Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services. However, takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed.

  • Playgrounds can remain open.

  • Some venues will be allowed to remain open for specific exempt activities, like childcare and support groups. 

  • Support groups that are essential to deliver in person can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. This includes support to victims of crime, people in drug and alcohol recovery, new parents and guardians, people with long-term illnesses, people facing issues relating to their sexuality or gender, and those who have suffered bereavement.

A number of public services will also stay open and you will be able to leave home to visit them. These include:

  • The NHS and medical services like GPs

  • Jobcentre Plus sites

  • Courts

  • Civil Registrations Offices

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I still have a wedding service and reception?

  • Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted to take place except in exceptional circumstances.

Can we still hold a funeral?

  • Funerals can still be held, attended by a maximum of 30 people. It is advised that only close friends and family attend. Linked ceremonial events such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 15 people in attendance. Anyone working, such as the vicar, is not included. 

Should I still go into work?

  • 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. Public sector employees working in essential services, including education settings, should continue to go into work.

Why are schools staying open if I can't go into work?

  • It remains very important for children and young people to attend, to support their wellbeing and education and help working parents and guardians. Senior clinicians still advise that school is the best place for children to be, and so they should continue to go to school. Schools have implemented a range of protective measures to make them safe.

Can childcare continue?

  • Parents will still be able to access some registered childcare and other childcare activities (including wraparound care) where reasonably necessary to enable parents to work, or for the purposes of respite care.

  • Parents are able to form a childcare bubble with another household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is 13 or under. 

  • Some youth services may be able to continue, such as 1-1 youth work and support groups, but most youth clubs and groups will need to cease for this period.

Can I stay overnight somewhere other than my home?

  • Overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences will not be allowed. This includes holidays abroad and in the UK. It also means you cannot stay in a second home, if you own one, or staying with anyone you do not live with or are in a support bubble with. There are specific exceptions, for example if you need to stay away from home (including in a second home) for work purposes, but this means people cannot travel overseas or within the UK, unless for work, education or other legally permitted reasons.

 
 

Ongoing Updates and Relevant Information:

Support for Businesses and Employees

Updates:

Support For Constituents:

Advice:

Data and Information:

Responses from Supermarket Chains:

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© 2019 Sir Peter Bottomley MP

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