On Saturday 31st October, the prime minister announced the new measures during a press conference at Downing Street. The new rules and restrictions will be imposed across England, replacing the current three-tier ‘traffic light’ system.
The hope is that by strong local action the rates of infection will be reduced, which is currently surging. The basic message is to:
The prevalence of this disease has been going up extremely rapidly over the last few weeks, having been very flat over spring and summer”, with daily cases of coronavirus averaging around 50,000.
Supermarkets will be able to remain open as usual throughout the duration of the four-week lockdown.
This includes food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services. The government has asked all essential retail to follow Covid-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.
Unlike Wales, where some supermarkets were banned from selling non-essential items, such as clothes and hardware, stores in England can continue to sell all and any goods.
All non-essential retail will be forced to close, including, but not limited to clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents and betting shops.
The government website adds that auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops will also shut.
However, non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect services. Essential shops will remain open, so there is no need to stock up.”
Just like the first national lockdown which started in March, pubs, bars and restaurants will be forced to close completely.
They can however still provide takeaway and delivery services but, takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed.
Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres, gyms and sports facilities will have to close.
This includes venues such as swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks.
The rules will also apply to tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons.
Schools, colleges and universities are currently set to remain open until further notice.