Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Coronavirus: What you need to know

London is in Tier 2: High alert.

These are the Tier 2 rules for London, starting Wednesday 2 December:

Meeting others remains restricted

  • You must not socialise with anyone you do not live with in any indoor setting unless they are in your support bubble. This applies both at home and in any indoor public place, including places of worship, pubs and restaurants.
  • You must not socialise in a group of more than six people outside (the rule of six).  This includes in gardens and public spaces like parks.
  • There are some exemptions on the Tier 2 rules for meeting others.  For example, if you are gathering for work or education, for formal support groups, or for formal childcare, or to provide care for someone vulnerable.  Remember these Tier 2 rules don’t apply if you need to escape from injury or harm. Full list of exemptions.

Many businesses and venues can reopen

  • All non-essential retail can open. Remember you must wear a face covering in shops unless you have an exemption.
  • Gyms, leisure centres, sports facilities can open. Organised indoor sport and exercise classes can resume, but you must not socially mix with others you do not live who (or are not in your support bubble). 
  • Hairdressers, barbers, and beauty services can open. 
  • Restaurants and cafes can open.  Pubs and bars can also open, but only if they are operating as restaurants with table service.  All hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals. 
  • All hospitality venues must stop taking orders at 10pm and close by 11pm.  Deliveries and takeaways can continue until later. 
  • Cinemas, museums, theatres and other entertainment venues can open, but they must close at 11pm. 
  • You can attend both indoor and outdoor events like performances and shows, and to watch spectator sport. Capacity will continue to be limited.

Read more on restrictions on businesses and venues in Tier 2 areas

Work and travel

  • You should continue working from home if you can.   
  • You can travel to venues or amenities which are open, but you should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible.  You should continue to walk or cycle where possible, and plan ahead to avoid busy times and routes.   
  • If you travel from a Tier 2 area to a Tier 1 area you must continue to follow the London Tier 2 rules.  You should avoid travel to or overnight stays in Tier 3 areas.

Places of worship and community settings

  • Communal worship can now begin again, but you still cannot meet socially with other households in these venues. 
  • Public buildings like libraries and community centres can be fully open, but you still cannot meet socially with other households in these venues. 
  • Weddings and funerals can take place. 15 people can attend a wedding ceremony and 30 people can attend a funeral service. 

NHS services, including GP services and dentist remain open.

  1. Keep a safe distance from others.  Stay two metres apart from people you do not live with as much as possible.   
  2. Wherever you cannot keep a safe distance from others wear a face covering. It is mandatory to wear a face covering on public transport and in shops. 
  3. Wash your hands frequently and carry hand sanitiser when you are out. 
  4. When meeting people you don’t live with do so outdoors where possible.  Make sure indoor venues have good ventilation; open windows and doors when you can to allow fresh air to circulate.  
  5. If you develop COVID-19 symptoms (high fever, continuous cough, loss of taste or smell) then self-isolate immediately and request a test as soon as you can. 
  6. If you are over 60 or clinically vulnerable you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. You should therefore be especially careful to follow the London Tier 2 rules and to minimise your contact with others. If you are clinically extremely vulnerable then the Government is advising you to work from home and to stay at home as much as possible. The Government will write to everyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable with detailed advice.

Read the full government guidance pages.

What you need to know for Christmas

This Christmas is still going to be very different to previous years. 

The Government has announced that between Wednesday 23 and Sunday 27 December you can form an exclusive “Christmas bubble”.  These can include people from a maximum of three households and they must be exclusive. If you are travelling to Northern Ireland, you may also travel on the 22 and 28 December in addition to the other days.   

When deciding how you want to spend Christmas you should remember that the more people that mix from different households, the more likely it is that you or someone else will catch or spread coronavirus. This puts yourself, your family, friends and communities at risk, undoing all of our efforts to bring down cases.   

Consider the risks carefully before agreeing to form a Christmas bubble. Especially if you are thinking about meeting up with vulnerable people or would need to travel a long distance.  You should try and keep your Christmas bubble as small as possible.  Do what is best and safest for you and your loved ones.

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