This week, a new tier system was announced to reduce COVID-19 cases across the country. The move from the Medium to High tier for London is effective from midnight on Friday 16th October. All businesses and venues must follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and staff.
Many of the restrictions that are already in place will remain the same, but the major change for many businesses will be that people from different households will no longer be able to mix indoors in any setting (except for where they are part of a support bubble). This means that whilst pubs, restaurants etc. can remain open, they should ensure that different households do not meet together inside as part of the same group.
This poster summarises the situation and where you can find more information on the government website.
Restrictions on businesses and venues in high alert level areas include:
- certain businesses selling food or drink on their premises are required to close between 10pm and 5am. Take-aways can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through. Orders must be made via phone or online. There is full guidance on what businesses are permitted to remain open
- businesses must ensure that they operate in a COVID-secure manner, including restrictions on table service and group bookings
- businesses are required to collect customer, visitor, and staff data to support NHS Test and Trace
- the wearing of face coverings for customers and staff in certain indoor settings
- businesses and venues must ensure people do not meet in their premises with people from outside of their household or support bubble
- businesses must ensure that if their workers are required to self-isolate, they do not work outside their designated place of self-isolation
- businesses and venues that fail to comply with these restrictions may face fines of up to £10,000, prosecution, or in some cases closure.
- Office workers who can work effectively from home should do so over the winter. Where an employer, in consultation with their employee, judges an employee can carry out their normal duties from home they should do so.
- There is no limit to the group size when you are meeting or gathering for work purposes, but workplaces should be set up to meet the COVID-secure guidelines.
It is critical that everybody observes the following key behaviours:
- HANDS – Wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds.
- FACE – Cover your face in enclosed spaces, especially where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
- SPACE – Stay 2 metres apart where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place.