On 22 September 2020, the Prime Minister made a statement in the House of Commons on Covid-19. The Prime Minister announced new restrictions on social interactions in response to the growing number of Covid-19 cases. The key announcements which apply in England include:
- Workers who can work from home are asked to do so. People should continue to attend Covid-secure workplaces if they cannot work from home.
- From Thursday, all pubs, bars and restaurants must offer a table service only, except for takeaways. All hospitality venues will be required to close at 10.00pm.
- The requirement to wear face-coverings will be extended to all retail staff, drivers and passengers in taxis, and staff and customers in hospitality venues, except when they are eating and drinking.
- There will be legal obligations for retailers to comply with Covid restrictions.
- The maximum number of people who can attend a wedding ceremony or reception will be reduced to 15 but up to 30 people can still meet for funerals.
- People doing indoor team sports will no longer be exempt from the ‘rule of six’.
- The plan to ease the rules for sports events from 1 October will be suspended.
The Prime Minister also announced tighter penalties for infringements. For instance, the fine for breaking rules on mask wearing or the ‘rule of six’ will double to £200 for a first offence. The Prime Minister said that if these actions do not reduce the R rate below 1, the Government will not hesitate to introduce further measures. He advised that people should assume that the restrictions he has announced will be in place for six months.
The Prime Minister said that he had spoken to the leaders of the devolved nations and that they would be taking similar steps.
His statement can be read in full here.