New lockdown measures announced

Following the Prime Ministers statement in the House of Commons on 23rd June, the following measures will come into place from the 4th July. 

2️⃣ The 2m social distance is to be changed to 1m from July 4. Experts are now conducting a review so that we can start to reopen further parts of the economy. Where it is not possible to keep 2m apart we will ask people to keep a social distance of 1m plus. Guidance will be published shortly for businesses to be able to take the necessary steps.

🏠 Two households of any size can now meet inside or out. There will be no size limits imposed on either side. But, you should continue to observe one-metre social distancing guidelines when meeting. There will also be no ban on meeting other households at different times, meaning grandparents will not have to choose between different grandchildren. Families will also be able to meet up with different friends consecutively.

🍺 Pubs and restaurants will now be able to reopen. Names and contact details of customers will be taken by businesses however, in case customers have to be contacted as part of the test and trace programme to contain the spread of the virus.

⛪️Places of worship can also now fully reopen.

🎥 Museums, cinemas and leisure activities. Leisure facilities and tourists attractions will reopen if they can do so safely, including museums, cinemas, galleries, theme parks, libraries, social clubs and community centres. People will be able to stay overnight as long as shared facilities are kept clean in places like BNBs and campsites. Changing rooms and sports courts will remain closed and people should only play close-contact sports with members of their households.

❌ Indoor gyms, swimming pools, nightclubs, casinos, tattoo parlours and nail bars will not be able to reopen.

The reduction in lockdown measures is only possible thanks to the progress we have made in combating the virus so far. As ever, every adjustment is conditional, reversible and guided by the best possible scientific evidence.

Please do get in touch for clarifications or if I can support you in any way. But in the meantime, I have provided a detailed Q&A which you can find below.

Best wishes, 

Katherine

4th July Q&A

Tourism & Accommodation 

What accommodation can I stay in? 

Overnight stays are permitted. This includes hotels, bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday apartments, homes, cottages or bungalows, campsites, boats, caravan parks or boarding houses. 

Shared dormitories, kitchens, and communal areas, are required to remain closed.  

Shared showers, toilets, and changing rooms can remain open, but should adhere to all government guidelines to minimise the risk of transmission and keep guests safe. 

So two non-bubbled households could stay in the same self- contained accommodation/or at each other’s houses but they should social distance at all times if possible?  

Yes. People can stay overnight with another household – both in their home or away from home, for example at a hotel or campsite. They should follow social distancing rules wherever possible with those outside their household (or support bubble), and use different facilities like bathrooms if they can.

Can shared facilities re-open?  

Private rooms in all indoor accommodation with en suite showering facilities, or one designated shower per guest room, will be able to reopen. Dormitory rooms will be closed (except where housing parties from the same household), as will other indoor shared facilities (e.g. guest kitchens or TV rooms where social distancing cannot be observed); 

Outdoor accommodation (i.e. campsites) will be allowed to reopen shared showering facilities, as long as they are operated in the manner set out in Government guidance. 

Who can I go on a staycation with? 

You may go on staycation with members of your household (or support bubble) and another household (or support bubble).   

Is this capped at six people total? 

No. You may go away with members of your household and another household.   

How far can I travel? 

There is no limit on the distance for travel, although this guidance applies within England only. 

Is there a limit on duration of stay? 

There is no limit on duration of overnight stays. 

Can you police or enforce it? Will accommodation providers need to check? 

The Government guidance is very clear. We expect people to comply with it to keep themselves and their family and friends safe and healthy. We expect accommodation providers to take reasonable steps to ensure that groups are aware of the limits on gatherings, and encouraged/made to comply with them. 

Are you planning to ask accommodation providers to take contact details as with pubs etc?

Yes.

What about hostels? Will they re-open?

Private rooms in all indoor accommodation with en suite showering facilities, or one designated shower per guest room, will be able to reopen. Dormitory rooms will be closed (except where housing parties from the same household), as will other indoor shared facilities (e.g. guest kitchens or TV rooms where social distancing cannot be observed); 

Outdoor accommodation (i.e. campsites) will be allowed to reopen shared showering facilities, as long as they are operated in the manner set out in Government guidance. 

Can I stay over with friends or family?

One household can stay with one other household. 

Can I go to my holiday home or second home? 

Yes, you may visit your holiday or second home.  

Can I use public transport to visit friends/family or take a staycation? 

If you can, you should avoid using public transport and aim to drive to visit friends and family instead.

If you need to use public transport to complete your journey you should follow the guidelines in place, including wearing a face covering.  

If I moved to my parents’ house or elsewhere for lockdown, can I now return to my usual home? 

Yes.   

Can I go to Scotland/Wales/Northern Ireland? 

This advice applies to England only. You should follow the relevant for the nation you are in.  

Can I travel internationally?

If you wish to travel internationally, you should follow the laws of other countries and FCO international travel guidance. Upon return to the UK, you must by law self-isolate for 14 days. This is crucial to help to ensure the virus does not spread across borders.

Can all tourism attractions open? 

Theme parks, museums and galleries and many other tourist and cultural attractions will be permitted to reopen from 4 July. They should do so in line with COVID-19 Secure guidelines. 

Some attractions, such as casinos and water parks will remain closed while we work with the sector to ensure they can open in a Covid secure way.

Can campsites open? 

Campsites may reopen.   

Shared shower and toilet facilities and waste and water points on campsites should adhere to all Government guidelines to minimise the risk of transmission. 

Culture, leisure and sport  

What does this mean for professional musicians etc?    

Venues should not permit indoor performances, including drama, comedy and music, to take place in front of a live audience. The performing arts guidance and the music production guidance will provide details about how professional musicians can return to recording and rehearsals.  

Can amateur choirs and orchestras run again? 

Due to the increased risk of transmission, all choirs and orchestras should not resume. The performing arts guidance will provide details about how professional musicians can return to rehearsals, however this will not be applicable to amateur groups. We are working closely with industry to draft comprehensive guidance for the sector.  

We will continue to work with the sector and will keep guidance under review, based on the latest scientific evidence.  

Is all live performance illegal in concert halls, theatres, gig venues, pubs and bars etc?

Guidance is clear that venues should not permit indoor performances, including drama, comedy and music, to take place in front of a live audience. This is not in law, however all employers, sites and organisations have a duty under UK law to protect the health and safety of their workers and other people who might be affected by their business.  This includes considering the risks that COVID-19 represents. 

If it’s not actually illegal, can you stop theatres or outdoor venues etc putting on shows?

We expect businesses to act responsibly in a way that keeps their employees and members of the public safe.

Guidance for businesses and premises forms part of employers’ normal health and safety practice. Health and safety legislation is enforced by the Health and Safety Executive and by local authorities. 

If the enforcing authority finds that an employer or organisation is not taking action to properly manage workplace risk, a range of actions are open to them including specific advice or issuing enforcement notices.

Can actors and musicians rehearse?

Yes, in line with soon to be published performing arts guidance and music production guidance, which will provide details about how professional actors and musicians can return to recording and rehearsals.

Can theatres show single person live performances?  

While theatres can reopen, performances to a live audience should not take place at this time.  Theatres may broadcast performances. We have set up a task force with the sector to establish a plan and timeline for how performing arts can reopen safely for both customers and performers.

Theatres are naturally crowded by design and require more contact between people, which means it’s more difficult to socially distance. Depending on the type of performance, there may also be additional transmission risk from aerosol transmission from either the performer(s) or their audience.

How are theatres/cinemas/concert halls/gigs going to do this? 

We are working closely with industry to draft comprehensive guidance for the sector. 

All of the changes proposed would be subject to adherence with COVID-Secure guidelines, which will be published ahead of 4 July. 

The Entertainment and Events Working Group is part of the government’s Cultural Renewal Taskforce. It brings together representatives from performing arts and other creative organisations as well as medical advisors to develop advice and guidance on reopenings in line with phasing ambitions and public health directions. 

Can libraries open? 

Yes, all public service provision may begin to return to normal service, subject to COVID-19 Secure guidelines. Public libraries may therefore begin to reopen and resume their important services to communities, in a phased way subject to local needs and circumstances.  

We have worked directly with library services and organisations to finalise a toolkit to assist library services to plan their service restoration and recovery. 

Can I go to the cinema with someone outside my household/bubble? 

You should only be seated with members of one other household - and, wherever possible, socially distance from those you do not live with (or who are not in your support bubble).
 
What are you going to do about night clubs? 

Venues where people are likely to be very close to each other, such as nightclubs, will remain closed as they pose a higher risk to the public. 

We fully understand that businesses want to get going again as soon as they possibly can but we have a responsibility to ensure that when they can reopen this is done in a safe way. 

We will continue to work with the sector and will keep guidance under review.  

We are working closely with the Night Time Industries Association and medical advisors as part of the new Entertainment and Events Working Group to develop advice and guidance on reopening the sector. The UK has a vibrant night time industry and we are keen to get this back up and running when it is safe to do so. 

For bars with dancefloors, we have set out guidance that they should seek to repurpose those spaces, for example with appropriate seating.

Can I watch live sport in stadiums? 

While some larger venues like cinemas will open to the public in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance, mass events like spectators at football matches or large music concerts should not be taking place.   This is due to the substantial transmission risk amongst crowds. Even if they can be seated safely in a large venue, there would still be risks posed at entry/exit points, in shared facilities like toilets, and on local public transport.

Do we know when watching football will return? 

Not at this stage. It is too early to consider fans going back to the grounds for football and other elite sport, which is why our most recently published plans focus on sport returning initially behind closed doors.  

Any change to this approach will be guided by scientific advice. We are having preliminary discussions on what needs for fans to return, but no timetable has been drawn up, and no decisions made, at this stage.  

What about grassroots sport? 

It has been great to see the return of elite sport behind closed doors. We are working towards the safe return of competitive grassroots sport more generally. This will be guided by scientific advice.  

Can we play contact team sports like rugby at non elite level? 

The latest public guidance allows people to exercise outside with up to five others from different households, provided that strict social distancing guidelines are followed. This means that people who play team sports can meet in small groups to train together and take part in conditioning or fitness sessions, but should not be playing sport in larger groups at this time. .  

The Government is working closely with national governing bodies to develop the conditions and guidance for all sport and physical activity to safely return when the time is right.  

Why can’t indoor gyms open? What about leisure centres? 

The Government fully recognises the desire of many to get back to their normal sports and fitness activities. That’s why we recently announced that people can exercise outside with up to five others from different households, provided that strict social distancing guidelines are followed.  
 
This means that people who play team sports can now meet to train together and do things like conditioning or fitness sessions, although anything involving physical contact is not allowed. 
 
We will update the public when we deem it is safe to open up indoor facilities such as gyms and will continue to consult the sector as our plans develop.  

Leisure centres can open, but should not be used for activity that would typically take place in a gym or indoor sports venue - the same is true of halls in other venues, such as community centres.

Can I go to theme parks? How will they be made covid-secure? You can’t socially distance on rides? 

Yes - venues such as theme parks, arcades, playgrounds, museums and galleries will be permitted to reopen as long as they can do so in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance.  Water parks (including splash parks) will not be allowed to open.

Why can I go to a games arcade but not a casino? 

The Government fully recognises the desire of many to get back to their normal activities. That’s why we are now announcing the reopening of many venues and activities.

We will continue to work with sectors, such as  casinos, to establish guidance on how they can safely reopen.. Games arcades can only reopen in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance.