Prime Minister Boris Johnson has today announced further restrictions in an attempt to curb the growing spread of Covid-19 across the UK.
While many areas are still under stricter local measures, business will now risk a £10,000 fine and even closure if they breach regulations as staff and customers in indoor hospitality must now wear face coverings.
Johnson said that unless there is evidence of progress, the measures may be in place in England for six months.
The new restrictions
Business – including hospitality, retail and taxi drivers
The requirement to wear a face covering will now become compulsory for bar staff, shop workers, waiters, staff in retail, people in taxis and everyone using hospitality services.
Table service is now enforced in hospitality venues while there is also now a 10pm curfew for pubs, bars and restaurants from Thursday.
From Monday, only 15 people can attend a wedding service and reception – 30 people can still attend a funeral.
Office workers who can work from home are again being encouraged to do so. Workers in ‘key public services and in all professions’ where this is not possible, such as construction and retail, should continue to go in.
- Businesses will be fined £10,000 and could be closed if they breach regulations including not wearing face coverings and the ‘rule of six’
- The fine for people not wearing face coverings in shops, supermarkets, public transport, taxis and in indoor hospitality will double to £200 for a first time offence, from £100, or £60 in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales
- Covid-secure guidelines will become a legal obligation for retail, leisure and tourism firms, with those who do not comply running the risk of fines of £10,000 or closure
- People with coronavirus symptoms who do not self-isolate will face fines of £1,000, rising to £10,000 for repeat offences from September 28
- If people prevent others from self-isolating – such as bosses threatening redundancy – they can also be fined
Restrictions already in place across the UK
- Social gatherings of more than six people indoors and outdoors are banned in England and Scotland
- Face coverings must be worn in shops, supermarkets and on public transport unless they are exempt for medical reasons
- 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