COVID 19 – The Next Chapter

Some key dates and points are below

From 17 July

  • Meetings of up to 30 people indoors are now allowed in permitted venues if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate that it has followed the Covid-19 guidance.
  • Government will advise people they may use public transport, while encouraging them to consider alternative means of transport where possible.

From 01 August

  • Employers will have more discretion on how they ensure employees can work safely. Working from home is one way to do this, but workplaces can also be made safe by following COVID-19 Secure guidelines.
  • Most remaining leisure settings, namely bowling, skating rinks and casinos, will be reopened accompanied by COVID-19 Secure guidelines. This will not include particularly high-risk activities and settings such as nightclubs, which will be kept under review.
  • Indoor performances to a live audience will restart in line with COVID-19 Secure guidelines, subject to the success of pilots that are taking place as soon as possible.
  • All close contact services will resume, including any treatments on the face such as eyebrow threading or make-up application, working closely with the sector and public health experts to ensure this can be done as safely as possible and in line with COVID-19 Secure guidelines.
  • Pilots will be conducted in venues with a range of sizes of crowds, particularly where congregating from different places, including sports stadia and business events. The pilots, some of which will begin in late July, will be carefully monitored and evaluated to inform future decisions on any further relaxation of the rules. If plans progress in line with expectations, pilots will expand to build up to and prepare for a full, socially distanced return in the autumn.
  • Wedding receptions with sit-down meals for no more than 30 people will be allowed, subject to COVID-19 Secure guidelines. Over time, we will assess whether gatherings of this type for other purposes can be made possible and when larger wedding receptions can take place.
  • Exhibition and conference centres will be allowed to show small groups (of up to 30 people with social distancing requirements) around to view the facilities and plan future events and to enable government backed pilots to take place. They should not be open fully to host events more widely.

From 01 September

Schools, nurseries and colleges to open on a full time basis

From 01 October

All types of events (e.g. trade shows, consumer shows, exhibitions and conferences) will be allowed at a capacity allowing for compliance with social distancing of 2m, or 1m with mitigation). Where such events involve people speaking loudly for prolonged periods of time, any mitigation must include particular attention to the ventilation of the spaces. This will be subject to the latest public health advice. 
As part of this new phase, the Government will also be publishing new legislation next week which will enable Ministers to:

  • close businesses and venues in whole sectors (such as food production or non-essential retail), or within a defined geographical area (such as towns or counties)
  • impose general restrictions on movement of people (including requirements to ‘stay at home’ or to prevent people staying away from home overnight, or restrictions on entering or leaving a defined area)
  • impose restrictions on gatherings by limiting how many people can meet and whether they can travel in and out of an area to do so
  • restrict local or national transport systems by closing them entirely, or introducing capacity limits or geographical restrictions
  • mandate use of face coverings in a wider range of public places

Read more here

Local Management of Coronavirus

The Government has announcement that from tomorrow Directors of Public Health (DPH) are accountable for controlling local outbreaks, working with Public Health England (PHE) and local health protection boards, supported with resource deployment by local ‘gold’ structures led by council chief executives, and local boards to communicate and engage with communities led by council leaders. Each Upper Tier Local Authority will have a local outbreak plan developed in line with the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) guiding principles setting out how partners should work together to implement the plans and take a preventative approach.

To address more serious and wider-spread cases, ministers will be able to use their existing powers (under the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984) to implement the more substantial restrictions mentioned above. More here

Customer Logging Toolkit

Public Health England have published the Customer Logging Toolkit. This contains a variety of template materials for businesses to display, as well as guidance on how the policy works. Businesses should be storing the information securely for 21 days and sharing it with NHS Test and Trace if asked to do so. Businesses do not need to do anything else with the information

Return of Spectators

The Government has announced that a small number of sporting events will be used to pilot the safe return of spectators through late July and early August – with a view to reopen competition venues for sports fans, with social distancing measures in place, from October 2020. The events represent a range of sports and indoor and outdoor spectator environments and are expected to include two men’s county cricket friendly matches, the World Snooker Championship at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre from 31 July, and the Glorious Goodwood horse racing festival on 1 August. There are also likely to be further pilot events for other sports, in order to build up to and prepare for the full, socially distanced return of sporting events from 1 October 2020. More info here

Correct as of 20 July 2020