The Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on the weekend that England would be plunged into another four-week lockdown in order to try and keep the virus under control.
Coming into force at 00:01 GMT on Thursday 5th November, the new measures will stay in place until Wednesday 2nd December, unless further action is announced in the meantime by government.
What does the new lockdown entail?
The main restrictions coming into force from 5th November, include:
- Pubs, bars and restaurants to close but takeaway and delivery is permitted
- Non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues will close once again. Only essential shopping is permitted, for example, grocery shopping, medication collection, etc.
- Households are banned from mixing indoors or in private gardens, unless those you are meeting are in your support bubble
- People will be advised to work from home if possible and only leave home for specific reasons, including for work and education
- Outdoor exercise once a day is allowed and you can meet one person outside your household
- Schools, colleges and universities will remain open
What are the specific rules?
Hospitality and leisure
- Delivery and takeaway services will still be allowed to operate, but pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes and fixed site premises won’t be able to offer a dine-in option. We are awaiting clarification from government regarding whether businesses are permitted to deliver alcohol
- Hotels will only be allowed to remain open for people who have to travel for work, plus a limited number of other reasons
- Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies will not be allowed to go ahead, apart from under exceptional circumstances
- Places of worship will close but funerals with a maximum of 30 people attending can still go ahead
- Gyms, leisure facilities, cinemas and entertainment venues will be forced to close
- All non-essential shops will close but supermarkets will stay open and can sell non-essential items
Mixing between households
- Households will be banned from mixing with other indoors or in gardens
- Individuals will be able to meet one person from outside their household in an open public space
- Support bubbles for people who live alone, as well as households made up of single parents and children will be able to continue
- Children will be allowed to move between households if parents are separated
- People at “high risk” will be advised not to go to work if the possibility of working from home is there
What are the rules for Wales, Scotland and NI?
Wales entered a “firebreak” lockdown on October 23rd that will last for around two weeks. The rules of the firebreak lockdown state that people must stay at home, cannot visit other households, a number of businesses (including pubs and restaurants) must close and secondary schools will move to online teaching. The full rules can be found here.
From November 2nd, Scotland introduced a tiered system of local restrictions. This system is based on local authority areas, with each of the 32 areas being assigned one of the five tiers of local lockdown. Level 0 is the lowest tier and Level 4 is the highest – the full details are listed here.
On October 16, Northern Ireland introduced new measures that ban people from different households mixing indoors. Pubs and restaurants are only allowed to offer takeaway or deliveries.
What are our members doing?
The last lockdown was tough for businesses, but it also provided an opportunity for so many of our members to show their absolute resilience, determination and community spirit when faced with circumstances way beyond anyone’s control. We were constantly inspired by the stories independent business owners had to tell us about how they thrived during lockdown.
From offering delivery, takeaway and click and collect services, catering for the NHS and vulnerable members of their community, through to setting up online ordering platforms and taking over kitchen spaces, we were overwhelmed by the strength and versatility displayed by our fellow sector peers when the pandemic first gripped the nation. The government has advised that delivery and takeaway services can still continue and we know this will be the way forward for many businesses facing the second round of national lockdowns.
Here’s just some of the ways our members are adapting:
- Offering DIY kits for customers to create at home
- Opening online shops to sell produce
- Offering click and collect, delivery drops or takeaway services
- Selling merchandise
- Kitchen takeovers
- Online cookery demonstrations
You can learn more about how businesses in the same situation pivoted their operations back in March right here.
More help available
To find out how food and drink businesses adapted during the last lockdown, click here. For more help and advice on how you can pivot your business and keep trading during the national shutdown, download our Covid-19 Compliance Resources.
For more information on the lockdown starting in England on 5th November, visit the gov.uk website.