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Coronavirus Updates

Below you will find details of previous Government announcements and updates 

Read the latest Prime Minster statement from Saturday 31st October announcing a second national lockdown for England, that comes into effect at 00.01 Thursday 5th November for 4 weeks (following a Commons vote on Wednesday and regulations published on Tuesday), until 00.01 Wednesday 2nd December 2020. After the four weeks, the Government will seek to ease restrictions, going back into the tiered system on a local and a regional basis according to the latest data and trends. For full details click here

Key points from his speech are:

  • The public must stay at home from Thursday 5th November, only leaving home for specific reasons, including:
    • For education
    • For work, if you cannot work from home
    • For exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household or on your own with one person from another household
    • For medical reasons, appointments and to escape injury or harm
    • To shop for food and essentials
    • To provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.
  • Workplaces should stay open where people can’t work from home – for example in the construction or manufacturing sectors.
  • Single adult households can still form exclusive support bubbles with one other household, and children will still be able to move between homes if their parents are separated.

press release on the PM’s statement on upcoming national restrictions in England has since been published which outlines some further details on restrictions applicable to tourism.

The Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close, including:

  • ​All non-essential retail, including, but not limited to clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops.
  • ​Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including 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,
  • ​Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens
  • ​Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons,
  • Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open. Essential retail should follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.
  • Non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect.
  • Playgrounds can remain open.
  • Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services. However, takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed.
  • Hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions which will be set out in law.
  • A full list of the business closures will be published and set out in law.
  • Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted to take place except in exceptional circumstances.
  • All non-essential travel by private or public transport should be avoided. Essential travel includes, but is not limited to
  1. Essential shopping
  2. Travelling to work where your workplace is open or you cannot work from home
  3. Travelling to education and for caring responsibilities
  4. Hospital GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health 

The national restriction guidance has been updated (Wednesday 4th November) with some further information and clarifications.

  • The guidance for those currently on holiday has been updated: if you were already on holiday, you should return to your home as soon as practical and comply with the ‘stay at home’ requirements in your holiday accommodation in the meantime.

Further updates to businesses and venues that can remain open, these now include:

  • Car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas.
  • Outdoor grounds of botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks (indoor attractions at these venues must close).  

Three Tiered System of COVID Alert Levels

On Monday 12th October, the Prime Minister made a statement to the House of Commons, setting out how the Government plans to standardise and simplify local lockdown measures, by introducing a three tiered system of local COVID Alert Levels in England - set at medium, high, and very high. View the areas in England listed as local COVID alert level high and local COVID alert level very high and the postcode checker on GOV.UK 

Local COVID Alert Level - Medium - Thanet is at this level 

Covering most of the country - this will consist of the current national measures, which came into force on Saturday 25th September. For areas where national restrictions continue to be in place, this means:

  • All businesses and venues can continue to operate in a COVID-Secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law, such as nightclubs.
  • Certain businesses selling food or drink on their premises are required to close between 10pm and 5am.
  • Businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-thru.
  • Schools, universities and places of worship remain open. Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees.
  • Organised indoor sport and exercise classes can continue to take place, provided the Rule of Six is followed.
  • People must not meet in groups larger than six, indoors or outdoors.
  • Motorway services, airports and seaports will be exempted from the 10pm hospitality curfew (though no alcohol is to be served between 10pm and 5am).
  • In addition to delivery and drive-thru, hospitality venues will now be able to offer a click-and-collect service for the sale of food and non-alcoholic drink between 10pm and 5am, provided customers have pre-ordered by phone, online, or by post.
  • Theatres, concert halls and cinemas will be exempt from requiring people to be seated whilst ordering food and drink.
  • The restrictions on singing, dancing and loud music in hospitality premises will be removed.

See the guidance and restrictions for areas where the Local COVID Alert level is Medium

 

Read the latest Prime Minster statement from Tuesday 22nd September

  • From Thursday 24th September, all pubs, bars and restaurants will operate a table service only (except for takeaways) and all hospitality businesses must close at 10pm. Customers at indoor hospitality venues with the exception of when seated at a table to eat or drink are required to wear a face covering.
  • From Monday 28th September a maximum of 15 people will be able to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions. Up to 30 will still be able to attend funerals.
  • Business events, and large sports events, will not be able to reopen from 1 October as intended.
  • Office workers who can work from home have been asked to do so.
  • In professions where this is not possible, people should continue to go into their workplace.
  • The rule of six will be extended to all adult indoor team sports.

These rules will be enforced by tighter penalties. The penalty for breaking the rule of 6 or not wearing a mask when required will double to £200 for a first offence. The police will be provided with extra funding, and given the ability to draw on military support when needed. We will update you as and when more guidance becomes available.

Read the latest Prime Minster statement from Wednesday 9th September

This outlined the new rule of six in England and the official Government guidance for working safely during COVID-19 has been updated. Specialised advice has also been updated, including the Visitor Economy guidance and guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services 

For all the latest news from VisitBritain/VisitEngland please click here 

 

New NHS COVID-19 App

From Friday 18th September, keeping a record of all your customers for 21 days will be enforced in law. Some exemptions apply. Check ‘Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace’ for details.

Businesses are urged to prepare for the NHS COVID-19 App that will be launched across England and Wales on Thursday 24th September. Businesses are to ensure they have NHS QR code posters visible on entry, so customers who have downloaded the new NHS COVID-19 app can use their smartphones to easily check-in at venues.

Venues that fall into the following sectors are required to do this

  • Hospitality, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés
  • Tourism and leisure, including gyms, swimming pools, hotels, museums, cinemas, zoos and theme parks 
  • Close contact services
  • Facilities provided by local authorities, including town halls and civic centres (for events), libraries and children’s centres  

Operators can create a QR Code and associated poster for their business that links with the app on this webpage or visit the NHS COVID-19 website for resources'. Further details are available here and a useful guide can be found on the BBC website of how it works 

 

Guidance on NHS QR codes in hotels

Displaying an official NHS QR code poster and collecting contact details for NHS Test and Trace is a legal requirement for hotels. However, if a guest chooses to check in by scanning the NHS QR code, they do not also need to complete the customer log. In this case the guest should scan the hotel’s QR code for each day of their stay.

If a hotel has different venues within it, such as a restaurant or bar, separate QR code posters should be displayed in each of these. Guests can check into these spaces allowing them to be sent notifications with public health advice if needed. Further guidance can be found here.

 

‘We’re Good to Go’ Industry Standard

VisitBritain/VisitEngland launched a UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark, in partnership with the national tourist organisations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to provide a ‘ring of confidence’ for tourism as the sector works towards reopening.

The ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard and supporting mark means businesses across the sector can demonstrate that they are adhering to the respective Government and public health guidance, have carried out a Covid-19 risk assessment and check they have the required processes in place.

The scheme is free to join and open to all businesses across the sector.

Further information and links to the self-assessment online platform can be found here

Download a poster to advise your guests what to do if they are showing symptoms of Coronavirus should you wish to print and display

Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace
The government has issued guidance for businesses providing an on-site service to collect and maintain data on staff, customers and visitors upon reopening to help support NHS Test and Trace. The guidance applies to:
  • Hospitality, including pubs, bars and restaurants (it does not apply to businesses operating a takeaway/delivery only basis).
  • Tourism and leisure, including hotels, museums, cinemas, zoos and theme parks
  • Facilities provided by local authorities including town halls and civic centres for events, community centres, libraries and children’s centres.
  • Places of worship including use for events and other community activities.
The information businesses should collect is outlined here (scroll down). The data needs to be kept for 21 days and should be collected in a way that is manageable for your establishment.
Guidance on collection and maintenance of data from Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
The ICO has also published a statement and a short data protection checklist for protecting customer data:
  • Ask for only what’s needed
  • Be transparent with customers and what the information is being used for
  • Store the data carefully
  • Don’t use it for other purposes
  • Erase the data in line with the government guidelines 

 

Safety and Distancing Signage

Local companies that are able to assist with safety and distancing signage for venues planning to reopen. Posters and signs are available to download for free and print yourself from www.thanet.gov.uk/highstreets. If you wish to purchase ready-printed signs, the businesses below are able to help.