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Updated: 05 January 2021

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Explaining the Regulations FAQs  -  Ongoing Updates/Information

The Prime Minister has announced a third national lockdown and instructed people to stay at home to control the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.

The decision follows a rapid rise in infections, hospital admissions and case rates across the country, and our hospitals are now under more pressure than they have been at any other point throughout the pandemic.

This drastic jump in cases has been attributed to the new variant of COVID-19, which our scientists have now confirmed is between 50 and 70 per cent more transmissible.

On 4 January, there were 26,626 Covid patients in hospital in England, an increase of over 30% in one week, and the April 2020 hospital admissions peak has now been surpassed by 40%.

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

The restrictions are expected to last until the middle of February if the situation in hospitals improve. By this point, the NHS hopes to have vaccinated everyone in the top four priority groups identified by the JCVI – including older care home residents and staff, everyone over 70, all frontline NHS and care staff and all those who are clinically extremely vulnerable. More information on the local vaccination programme can be found here.

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:

 

Stay at home

From the 5th of January, people will only be allowed to leave their homes for the following reasons:

  • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person.

  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home.

  • exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.

  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one.

  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse).

  • attend education or childcare - for those eligible.

Education

From the 5th of January, all primary schools, secondary schools and colleges will move to remote learning, except for the children of key workers and vulnerable children. While children are still very unlikely to be severely affected by COVID-19, the government recognises that schools must be included in the restrictions in order to have the best chance of getting the virus under control as schools can act as vectors of transmission, causing the virus to spread between households when rates are high.

Childcare

Early years settings such as nurseries, alternative provision and special schools will remain open and vulnerable children and children of critical workers can continue to use registered childcare, childminders and other childcare activities.

Shielding

The government is also advising the clinically extremely vulnerable to begin shielding again, and letters will be sent to individuals with advice on what this means for them.

Retail and Attractions

All non-essential retail, hospitality and personal care services must close, or remain closed. Restaurants can continue delivery, takeaway or click-and-collect of food and non-alcoholic drinks, but venues will no longer be able to serve takeaway or click-and-collect alcohol.

Essential shops and garden centres can remain open. Entertainment venues and animal attractions such as zoos must close, but the outdoor areas of venues such as heritage homes and botanical gardens can remain open, to be used for exercise. Playgrounds may also remain open.

Places of worship can also remain open, but you may only visit with your household.

Sports and Recreation

Indoor and outdoor sports facilities including sports courts, gyms, golf courses, swimming pools, and riding arenas must also close. Elite sport and disabled sport can continue, as can PE lessons for those children attending school.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I still have a Wedding, civil partnership ceremony or funerals?

  • Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and funerals are allowed with strict limits on attendance, and must only take place in COVID-19 secure venues or in public outdoor spaces unless in exceptional circumstances.

Should I still go into work?

  • Everyone who can work 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.

Can childcare continue?

  • There are several ways that parents and carers can continue to access childcare:

    • early years settings and childminders remain open, and you can continue to use these settings as normal

    • nannies will be able to continue to provide services, including in the home

    • parents are able to form a childcare bubble with one other household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is 13 or under

    • some households will also be able to benefit from being in a support bubble

  • Some youth services are 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 visit relatives in a care home?

  • Visits to care homes can take place with arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, or behind windows. Close-contact indoor visits are not allowed.

  • You should check the guidance on visiting care homes during COVID-19 to find out how visits should be conducted.

Are Places of Worship open?

  • You can attend places of worship for a service. However, you must not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble. You should maintain strict social distancing at all times.

Can I move home still?

  • You can still move home. People outside your household or support bubble should not help with moving house unless absolutely necessary.

  • Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work. If you are looking to move, you can go to property viewings.

  • Follow the national guidance on moving home safely, which includes advice on social distancing, letting fresh air in, and wearing a face covering.

 
 

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© 2019 Sir Peter Bottomley MP

Promoted by Atherton on behalf of Bottomley & Chapman, all of 21 New Broadway, Worthing, BN11 4HP.