On 9 September 2020, the Government announced new measures to control COVID-19 and the rate of infection. The key take home points are as follows:
- The rule of 6: From Monday 14 September, people must not meet with people from other households socially in groups of more than 6. This will apply indoors and outdoors, including in private homes. COVID-19 Secure venues, such as places of worship, restaurants and hospitality venues, can still host larger numbers in total but groups of up to 6 must not mix or form larger groups. This rule will not apply to individual households or support bubbles of more than 6 who will still be able to gather together. Education and work settings are unaffected, and organised team sports will still be able to proceed, as will weddings and funerals up to 30.
- Businesses: Businesses will now have a clear duty to support NHS Test and Trace. From 18 September, it will be mandatory for certain businesses to have a system to collect NHS Test and Trace data, and keep this for 21 days.
- Environmental health officers and COVID-19 Secure Marshalls: The Government are launching a register of newly qualified and recently retired Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) and introducing COVID-19 Secure Marshalls so that Local Authorities can recruit more quickly and fill any gaps, and to help local authorities support social distancing in towns and city centres.
- Border compliance: The Government is introducing steps to improve compliance with border requirements. These steps include simplifying the Passenger Locator Form needed for travelling to the UK, and taking measures to ensure that passengers have filled out their form before departure.
- Reviewing plans to pilot large audiences: The Government are now reviewing plans to pilot larger audiences in venues. The Government are reviewing their intention to return audiences to stadia and conference centres from 1 October.
- Restricting opening hours in local lockdown areas: The Government will be restricting the opening hours of premises, initially in local lockdown areas, with the option of national action in the future.
More information on these changes can be found here.