Coronavirus (COVID-19): Government Guidance from December 20th

Government guidance on what you should and shouldn't do in an area in Tier 4 of local restrictions from 20 December.
social distancing

Coronavirus (Covid-19): Government Guidance from December 20, 2020.

London is now in Tier 4: Stay at Home. In Tier 4 areas in England, you cannot meet other people indoors unless you live with them or they are part of your support bubble.

This means that you cannot leave or be outside of the place you are living unless you have a reasonable excuse. You cannot meet other people indoors, including over the Christmas and New Year period, unless you live with them, or they are part of your support bubble. Outdoors, you can only meet one person from another household. These rules will not be relaxed for Christmas for Tier 4 – you cannot form a Christmas bubble in Tier 4.

Hands. Face. Space

Approximately 1 in 3 people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and could be spreading it without realising it.

Remember - ‘Hands. Face. Space.’

  • hands – wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds
  • face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet
  • space – stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings)

When meeting people you do not live with, it is important to do so outdoors where possible. If you meet people you do not live with indoors, such as someone working in your home, then you should follow the guidance on meeting others safely including making sure you let as much fresh air in as you can (for example by opening windows). Follow the guidance on meeting others safely.

Stay at home

If you live in Tier 4 you must not leave or be outside of your home or garden except where you have a ‘reasonable excuse’. A reasonable excuse includes:

  • Work and volunteering
  • Essential activities
  • Fulfilling legal obligations
  • Education and childcare
  • Meeting others and care
  • Exercise and recreation
  • Medical reasons, harm and compassionate visits
  • Communal worship and life events
     

Meeting others safely

In general, you must not meet socially or carry out any activities with another person. However, you can exercise or meet in a public outdoor place with people you live with, your support bubble (or as part of a childcare bubble), or with one other person.

You should minimise time spent outside your home. When around other people, stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household - meaning the people you live with - or your support bubble. Where this is not possible, stay 1 metre apart with extra precautions (e.g. wearing a face covering).

You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble.

You can exercise or visit a public outdoor place:

  • by yourself
  • with the people you live with,
  • with your support bubble,
  • or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household.

Children under 5, and up to two carers for a person with a disability who needs continuous care are not counted towards the outdoors gatherings limit.

Public outdoor places include:

  • parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests
  • public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them)
  • allotments
  • the grounds of a heritage site
  • outdoor sports courts and facilities
  • playgrounds

You cannot meet people in a private garden, unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them.

You must wear a face covering in many indoor settings, such as shops or places of worship where these remain open, and on public transport, unless you are exempt. This is the law. Read guidance on face coverings.

Support and childcare bubbles

There is separate guidance for support bubbles and childcare bubbles across all tiers. You can form a support bubble with another household if any of the following apply to you:

  • you are the only adult in your household (any other members of the household having been under 18 on 12 June 2020), or are an under 18 year old living without any adults
  • you live with someone with a disability who requires continuous care and there is no other adult living in the household
  • you live with a child under 1, or who was under 1 on 2 December 2020
  • you live with a child under 5, or who was under 5 on 2 December 2020, who has a disability and requires continuous care

You may need to change your support bubble if your circumstances change. Find out more about changing your support bubble.

You are permitted to leave your home to visit your support bubble (and to stay overnight with them). However, if you form a support bubble, it is best if this is with a household who live locally. This will help prevent the virus spreading from an area where more people are infected.

Changes to shielding guidance for tier 4

‘Shielding’ advice has been reintroduced for people that are ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ to COVID-19. Guidance remains advisory.

At the moment, those that are in tier 4 that fall under this category will be contacted and told to:

  • Stay at home

  • Only travel if essential

  • Can go outside, but keep all contact with others outside of the household to a minimum, and avoid busy areas

  • If they cannot work from home, then they should not go to work

  • If a child is still classed as clinically extremely vulnerable after an up to date conversation with their doctor, they should not go to school

To view the Governments latest advice piece view here.

Given these changing times and the holiday season we would advise you to point the public to the Government guidance where possible so that people can get the most up to date information.

Search for your tier

As the country adapts to the new level of risk, you can stay up to date with the tier level of your local area by through the postcode checker

It is critical that everybody observes the following key behaviours:

  • HANDS - Wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds.
  • FACE - Cover your face in enclosed spaces, especially where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
  • SPACE - Stay 2 metres apart where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place.

Face Coverings

  • Customers in private hire vehicles and taxis must wear face coverings.
  • Customers in hospitality venues must wear face coverings, except when seated at a table to eat or drink. Staff in hospitality and retail will now also be required to wear face coverings.
  • People who are already exempt from the existing face covering obligations, such as because of an underlying health condition, will continue to be exempt from these new obligations.
  • Guidance stating that face coverings and visors should be worn in close contact services will now become law.
  • Staff working on public transport and taxi drivers will continue to be advised to wear face coverings.

FAQ's - What You Can & Can't Do

For the full list of all the things you can and can not do, please see the government website. 

It answers all your questions regarding meeting friends and family, playing sports, sitting in someone's back garden, using public transport, going back to work, information for people with carers, for people that are shielding, traveling for outdoor activity and exercise. 

Information from Gov.uk

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