Prime Minister Boris Johnson today (Tuesday September 22) announced new restrictions to come into play across England in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus. Speaking in the House of Commons, Johnson said that this was ‘by no means a return to full lockdown’, but said that tighter rules and stricter policing around them was required across the country.
Although a new 10pm curfew for pubs was already widely reported, other restrictions were unveiled as follows:
Those who can work from home should now do so, despite the government’s previous push to get people back into offices. Universities, colleges and schools will remain open.
All pubs, bars, restaurants and hospitality venues must introduce table service. This rule is on top of a 10pm curfew coming into play from Thursday.
Of the curfew, Johnson added that venues must be closed by 10pm – so last orders would be even earlier than that.
Staff in retail and hospitality venues must now wear face coverings during service.
Wedding party sizes will be reduced to 15, from a previous maximum of 30. Funerals are exempt from this new restriction and can still be attended by up to 30 guests.
The rule of six is still in play and will also now apply to team sports.
Plans for fans to return to large sporting events come October have now been delayed. The same applies to the return of large conferences.
Fines are increasing: first-time fines for those caught not wearing a face mask when required will go up to £200, while those who are caught breaching self-isolation rules will be fined £10,000.
Policing of the new measures will also increase. Johnson said there would be an increased police presence and if necessary, he suggested the military would be called upon to support the enforcement of new restrictions.
Johnson added that these new restrictions are likely to stay in place for the next six months, should the situation show no signs of improvement.
The Mayor of London is also looking to put into place new London lockdown restrictions. Although it may not be time to break out the banana bread recipe again just yet, it does seem like we’ve got a long way to go until we’re all reunited on the dancefloor again.