On Saturday 31st October, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced there will be a 2nd UK National Lockdown from Thursday 5th November.
On Friday 30 October, Nottingham was moved into ‘Very High’ Tier 3 restrictions. These measures were taken due to the county’s dramatic rise in Coronavirus cases.
These new measures were to last just 6 days, as Boris Johnson has announced a 2nd National Lockdown this year to begin on Thursday 5 November.
The new lockdown is currently set to last 4 weeks, ending on Wednesday 2 December.
Here’s some simple answers to questions you may have on what we know so far:
Can different households mix?
No, not unless they are part of an “exclusive” support bubble which allows a single-person household to meet and socialise with another household.
However, people are allowed to meet one other person outside for recreation as well as exercise and parents are allowed to form a childcare bubble with another household for purposes of informal childcare where the child is 13 and under.
What can you leave home for?
• To go to work ONLY if you cannot work from home
• Outdoor exercise
• For all medical reasons and appointments
• To escape injury or harm
• To care for the vulnerable or volunteer
• To shop for food or essentials
• To see people within your support bubble
• For children to move between homes if their parents are separated.
Can you travel?
Most outbound international travel will be banned.
You cannot stay away from home on holiday both internationally nor within the UK, unless for work, education or other legally permitted exemptions.
What businesses will close?
Everything except essential shops and education settings, including nurseries, schools and Universities, will close.
Entertainment venues will close. Pubs and restaurants will have to close but takeaway and delivery services will still be allowed. Construction and manufacturing will continue.
Parents will still be able to access registered childcare and other childcare activities where reasonably necessary to enable parents to work.
Public services, such as job centres, courts, and civil registration offices will remain open.
There is no exemption for communal worship in places of worship (except funerals and individual prayer), for organised team sports, or for children’s activities.
Elite sports will be allowed to continue behind closed doors as currently, including Premier League football matches.
Should the vulnerable and over 60’s be shielding?
The clinically vulnerable and those aged over 60 should be especially careful and minimise contacts but there will be no return to the shielding programme that was used during the first lockdown.
Will there be a return to the furlough scheme?
The Prime Minister said that the old scheme – which pays 80% of salaries – would now be extended throughout November. No further details were given so far.
Why has the decision for a 2nd lockdown been made?
Confirmed cases are rising steeply, with an estimated 568,100 people in households infected in the week ending 23 October. Scientists on the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) have warned that deaths could potentially hit 500 a day within weeks and that coronavirus could kill 85,000 people this winter.
The group has been concerned that the number of infections and hospital admissions is “exceeding the reasonable worst-case scenario planning levels at this time” and they first called for a national lockdown on 21 September.
“We’ve got to be humble in the face of nature,” said Johnson on Saturday. “The virus is spreading even faster than the reasonable worst-case scenario of our scientific advisers.
“Unless we act, we could see deaths in this country running at several thousand a day – a peak of mortality, alas, bigger than the one we saw in April.”
What difference could a lockdown make?
A lockdown can stem the spread of the virus and thus reduce the reinfection rate.
“The idea of a lockdown is to save lives primarily,” Prof John Edmunds, a member of Sage, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “I think the only real way that we have a relatively safe Christmas is to get the incidence right down.”
Johnson warned that “Christmas is going to be different this year” but
added that by taking action now, he hoped that families could be together.
Staying safe outside your home:
You should minimalize time outside your home. When outdoors and around other people, ensure you practice safe social distancing of 2 metres apart. Remember, hands, face, space.
• Hands – wash your hands regularly
• Face – wear a face covering in indoor settings such as essential shops and where distancing may be difficult.
• Space – Stay 2 metres apart from people not in your household, or 1 metre apart if wearing a face covering.
For more information on the next lockdown, please visit: www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november.
More information on the lockdown is expected to be announced on Tuesday 3rd November.