With the recent approval of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, the end is realistically in sight for COVID-19. That said, operators need to be aware that it will take time to roll out and consequently new lockdown rules currently apply to England from 5 January 2021.
We are on hand to provide advice so you have the tools you need to manage this, including regular updates and our free fortnightly webinar. We will be covering some of the issues the lockdown throws up for operators in our webinar on Friday 8 January 2021 at 12 noon, but in the meantime, these are the key points:
Stay home – only leave for work, essential shopping, exercise or medical appointments.
Exercise – is allowed outdoors once a day in your local area with your household, support bubble or one other person.
Education – schools closed except for vulnerable children and children of critical workers. Universities and colleges closed.
Socialising – no household mixing indoors or outdoors unless in your support or childcare bubble.
Leisure – non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues closed. Pubs and restaurants closed but takeaways permitted.
Clinically extremely vulnerable – you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You should not attend work.
Work or volunteering – You may only leave your home for work if you cannot reasonably work from home. Where people cannot work from home – including, but not limited to, people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction, or manufacturing – they should continue to travel to their workplace. Public sector employees working in essential services should continue to go into work. Where it is necessary for you to work in other people’s homes you can do so. Otherwise, avoid meeting for work in a private home or garden, where COVID-19 Secure measures may not be in place.
Employers and employees should discuss their working arrangements, and employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home, including providing suitable IT and equipment to enable remote working.
Essential businesses and services – can stay open to the public. These include: supermarkets, food shops, pharmacies and garden centres, places of worship, petrol stations and MOT services, laundrettes, banks and post offices, doctors and dentists’ surgeries and vets, car parks, public toilets and playgrounds.
The police will be able to take action against you if you leave home without a ‘reasonable excuse’ (which very broadly covers being allowed to leave for the reasons outlined above, plus a few more) and issue you with a fine (Fixed Penalty Notice). You can be given a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.
The above is a non-exhaustive summary and the full guidance can be found here.
Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are also under lockdown with their own rules which differ from the above, with schools in Scotland closed until at least the end of January. You should check the rules that apply to where you live.
We expect announcements on finance for businesses and will be updating you as these are released.
Please register for Friday’s webinar here or contact a member of your marketing team for more information on email@example.com.