The eight coronavirus rules that will change today – what you need to remember
From today, Thursday, September 24, strict new coronavirus restrictions will come into effect.
The new measures in England were announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a bid to limit the spread of Covid-19.
Mr Johnson said the restrictions could be in place for the next six months, as scientists warned the nation could face 50,000 new cases and 200 deaths a day by mid-October without action.
The government is trying to avoid a second national lockdown, while also fighting off a second wave.
Here are the eight new coronavirus rules that will change today, and what you need to remember.
Work from home if you can
Mr Johnson has made a U-turn on this decision, now advising people in England to work from home if they can.
Just weeks after telling them it was safe to he’d to the office, he is encouraging people to stay home.
He said: “We are once again asking office workers who can work from home to do so in key public services where working from home is not possible.
“In construction and retail, people should continue to attend their workplaces and like Government, this house will be free to take forward its business in a Covid-secure way.”
Restaurants, pubs and restaurants 10pm curfew
Police 'won't hesitate' to enforce strict new coronavirus rules and hefty fines
From today, pubs, bars and restaurants will be forced to close at 10pm.
This means close – not last orders – so it will mean you have to vacate the premises at 10pm.
Mr Johnson told the Commons: “To help the police enforce this rule I’m afraid that means, alas, closing and not just calling for last orders because simplicity is paramount.”
Table service only
All venues will also be restricted by law to table service only.
This means you can’t order drinks or food from the bar.
But this doesn’t include takeaway, which can be ordered from a counter.
Change to advice on face coverings
Full list of places you must wear face coverings from tomorrow – and where you don’t
Mandatory use of face coverings has now been extended to staff in retail, hospitality and all taxi users.
Customers in indoor hospitality settings also have to wear face masks at all times, except when seated to eat and drink.
Mr Johnson said: “We will extend the requirement to wear face coverings to include staff in retail, all users of taxis and private hire vehicles and staff and customers in indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table to eat or drink.
“In retail, leisure, tourism and other sectors, our Covid-secure guidelines will become legal obligations.”
Maximum number of people at weddings reduced to 15
The maximum number of people allowed to attend a wedding is being cut from 30 to 15.
But for funerals, the number of 30 attending still stands.
The Prime Minister explained: “I’m afraid from Monday, a maximum of 15 people will be able to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, though up to 30 can still attend a funeral as now.”
Rule of six applies to indoor team sports
Full list of reasons you can break the coronavirus rule of six after new guidelines
The “Rule of six” remains in place, meaning groups of more than six people are banned.
But now this rule is being extended to indoor team sports.
That means no five-a-side football inside, but you can still play outside.
Penalties are higher for breaches
The fines for breaking the coronavirus restrictions will become harsher.
The amount people can be fined for breaking the “rule of six” or not wearing a face mask is doubling to £200.
This will again double on each offence up to a maximum of £5,400.
Meanwhile, pubs, bars and restaurants face a fine of up to £10,000 for not closing at 10pm.
Forces will be given extra resources to cope with demand, and military support will be available.
Plans to bring back live sport spectators axed
The government planned for the phased return of spectators for live sports from October 1.
But this plan has now been “paused” due to the surge in coronavirus infections.
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