Boris Johnson told the House of Commons Oon Monday that the lockdown measures in England will expire and not be renewed after 2 December. However, the Prime Minister then unveiled a set of new rules the country must follow once the lockdown lifts as it returns to the previous three-tiered system.
He told MPs: “From next Wednesday people will be able to leave their home for any purpose and meet others in outdoor public spaces, subject to the rule of six, collective worship, weddings and outdoor sports can resume, and shops, personal care, gyms and the wider leisure sector can reopen.
“But without sensible precautions, we would risk the virus escalating into a winter or New Year surge.
“The incidents of the disease is, alas, still widespread in many areas.”
“The hard truth is we’re not there yet. First we must get through winter without the virus spreading out of control and squandering our hard-won gains at exactly the time where the burden on the NHS is always greatest.
“Our winter plan is designed to carry us safely to spring.”
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Under Tier 2, you must also “you must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble, this includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues”, the guidance says.
The Rule of Six applies for outside spaces including parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or castle, or a sports facility.
Indoor entertainment and tourist attraction must close. This includes:
- indoor play centres and areas, including trampolining parks and soft play
- bingo halls
- bowling alleys
- skating rinks
- amusement arcades and adult gaming centres
- laser quests and escape rooms
- cinemas, theatres and concert halls
- snooker halls
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Indoor attractions at mostly outdoor entertainment venues must also close, such as model villages, botanical gardens and theme parks, although indoor shops, through-ways and public toilets at such attractions can remain open.
Group exercise classes must be cancelled, though some leisure and sports facilities may open.
Places of worship remain open, but you must not attend with or socialise with anyone outside of your household or support bubble.
Up to 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies, but wedding receptions are not allowed.
While up to 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies.
Large outdoor events including performances and shows should not take place, with the exception of drive-in events.
Reacting to the news, Chair of Concert Promoters Association Phil Bowdery said: “The Prime Minister’s announcement today is a huge blow for the live music industry.
“It’s enormously disappointing that venues which have worked hard to operate safely under the existing guidelines, are now subject to additional, arbitrary restrictions on audience numbers.
“And by removing alcohol sales on top, any notion of being able to operate profitably now evaporates. We need an urgent exemption from this new rule for ticketed events, including grassroots venues.”
Mark Davyd, CEO of Music Venue Trust, added: “Failure to reach equivalency between food and culture on this issue results in a distorted market where an individual can choose to attend a restaurant, consuming as much alcohol as they wish, prior to a gig, but upon arrival at the event cannot consume any alcohol at all.
“We believe consistency within the restrictions is the most likely route by which the public will understand and comply with them. We therefore strongly encourage the government to think again on the specifics of Tier 2 restrictions in relation to ticketed cultural events.”
Organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue but indoor sport must remain closed.
The guidance adds: “You should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible”.
“Avoid travelling to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities.
You can travel through other areas as part of a longer journey.”