The new restrictions are not expected to apply to schools, workplaces or Covid-secure weddings, funerals and organised team sports.
- From Monday 14 September, you 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. This change will simplify and clarify the rules on social gatherings, so they are easier to understand and easier for the police to enforce. There will be a limited number of exemptions. 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. From Monday, this limit will be enforceable in law.
- Businesses will 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. Core COVID-19 Secure requirements will be mandated for hospitality businesses, and egregious breaches enforced. The government has also published simplified COVID-19 Secure guidance, available here.
- The government will support Local Authorities and police forces to respond to breaches of COVID-19 Secure guidelines. We will launch a register of newly qualified and recently retired Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) so that Local Authorities can recruit more quickly and fill any gaps. In addition, the government will introduce COVID-19 Secure Marshals to help local authorities support social distancing in towns and city centres.
- The government will take steps to improve compliance with border requirements. The government will simplify the Passenger Locator Form needed for travelling to the UK, and take measures to ensure passengers have filled out their form before departure. Border Force will step up and target their enforcement efforts at the border to ensure arrivals are complying with the rules.
- The government will review plans to pilot larger audiences in venues this month. Planned sports pilot events will be limited to smaller, safer numbers, with strict conditions to ensure social distancing, and will not take place in areas where incidence is high. The government will review its intention to return audiences to stadia and conference centres from 1 October.
- The government will restrict the opening hours of premises, initially in local lockdown areas, with the option of national action in the future. This has been introduced in Bolton, following a steep rise in cases, and will seek to restrict activities that may lead to a spread in the virus.
The change applies to people in England of all ages, and to gatherings indoors and outdoors, in private homes, public outdoor spaces, and venues such as pubs and restaurants.
The announcements follow increasing concern at the rapid upturn in the infection rate across the country, coming at the beginning of the autumn and winter periods when respiratory virus tend to thrive.
The following guidance documents have been updated following the announcements:
Guidance for the public