We thought it might be useful to flag up the latest government rules, issued last night, about how we’re supposed to behave under the new Tier 4 rules
Sorry this is rather long. What follows are lifted from the Department of Health Guidelines. The full guidance can be seen here.
“If you live in a Tier 4 area, you must follow the rules below from Sunday 20 December. This means that you cannot meet other people indoors, including over the Christmas period, unless you live with them, or they are part of your existing support bubble. Outdoors, you can only meet one person from another household. These rules will not be relaxed for Christmas.”
Stay at home
You must not leave or be outside of your home except for where you have a specific purpose, or a ‘reasonable excuse’. A reasonable excuse includes:
Work and volunteering
You can leave home for work purposes, where your place of work remains open and where you cannot work from home (including if your job involves working in other people’s homes).
You can leave home to buy things at shops which are permitted to open in your area, but you should stay local. For instance you can leave home to buy food or medicine, or to collect any items – including food or drink – ordered through click-and-collect or as a takeaway, to obtain or deposit money (e.g. from a bank or post office), or to access critical public services (see section below).
Fulfilling legal obligations
You may also leave home to fulfil legal obligations, or to carry out activities related to buying, selling, letting or renting a residential property, or vote in certain elections taking place overseas.
Education and childcare
You can leave home for education (formal provision, rather than extracurricular classes such as music or drama tuition, or out of school settings) or training, registered childcare and supervised activities for children that are necessary to allow parents/carers to work, seek work, undertake education or training, or attend a medical appointment. Parents can still take their children to school, and people can continue existing arrangements for contact between parents and children where they live apart. This includes childcare bubbles.
Meeting others and care
1 in 3 people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and will be spreading it without realising it.
You can leave home to visit people in your support bubble, or to provide informal childcare for children aged 13 and under as part of a childcare bubble, to provide care for vulnerable people, to provide emergency assistance, attend a support group (of up to 15 people), or for respite care where that care is being provided to a vulnerable person or a person with a disability, or is a short break in respect of a looked after child.
Exercise and recreation
People can also exercise outdoors or visit some public outdoor places, such as parks, the countryside, public gardens or outdoor sports facilities. You can continue to do unlimited exercise alone, or in a public outdoor place with your household, support bubble, or one other person.
Medical reasons, harm and compassionate visits
You can leave home for any medical reason, including to get a COVID-19 test, for medical appointments and emergencies, to be with someone who is giving birth, to avoid injury or illness or to escape risk of harm (such as domestic abuse), or for animal welfare reasons – such as to attend veterinary services for advice or treatment.
You can also leave home to visit someone who is dying or someone in a care home (if permitted under care home guidance), hospice, or hospital, or to accompany them to a medical appointment.
Meeting others safely
In general, you must not meet with another person socially or undertake 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
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)
the grounds of a heritage site
outdoor sports courts and facilities
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, with a disability
There are still circumstances in which you are allowed to meet others from outside your household or support bubble in larger groups, but this should not be for socialising and only for permitted purposes. A full list of these circumstances will be included in the regulations, and includes:
for work, or providing voluntary or charitable services. This includes picketing outside workplaces. This can include work in other people’s homes where necessary – for example, for nannies, cleaners or tradespeople. See guidance on working safely in other people’s homes). Where a work meeting does not need to take place in a private home or garden, it should not – for example, although you can meet a personal trainer, you should do so in a public outdoor public place.
for a wedding or equivalent ceremony in exceptional circumstances, as set out below.
for funerals – up to a maximum of 30 people. Wakes and other linked ceremonial events can continue in a group of up to 6.
to visit someone at home who is dying, or to visit someone receiving treatment in a hospital, hospice or care home, or to accompany a family member or friend to a medical appointment
for elite sportspeople (and their coaches if necessary, or parents/guardians if they are under 18) to compete and train
to facilitate a house move
Support groups that have to be delivered in person can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support – but they must take place at a premises other than a private home. This includes, but is not limited to, support to victims of crime, people in drug and alcohol recovery, new parents and guardians, people caring for those with long-term or terminal illnesses, or who are vulnerable, people facing issues relating to their sexuality or gender, those who have suffered bereavement, and vulnerable young people, including for them to meet youth workers.
Parent and child groups can continue where they provide support to parent and/or child, and children under 5 will not be counted within the 15 person limit – meaning parents and carers can attend such groups in larger numbers. These cannot take place in private dwellings.
Where a group includes someone covered by an exception (for example, someone who is working or volunteering), they are not generally counted as part of the gatherings limit. This means, for example, a tradesperson can go into a household without breaching the limit, if they are there for work, and the officiant at a wedding would not count towards the limit.
Cleaners, trades people etc
“Where it is necessary for you to work in other people’s homes – for example, for nannies, cleaners or tradespeople – you can do so. Otherwise, you should avoid meeting for work in a private home or garden, where COVID-19 Secure measures may not be in place.”
If you break the rules
The police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups. This includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fines (fixed penalty notices).
You can be given a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400. If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of over 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000.
The government recently updated their guidance on work carried out in people’s homes – including cleaners.
The full guidance is here and at Gov.uk here, but the relevant extract reads:
Working in people’s homes as a tradesperson, cleaner or nanny
You are a tradesperson carrying out essential repairs and maintenance in people’s homes, or are carrying out other work in a home such as cleaning or paid-for childcare in a child’s home. You can continue work, providing that you are well and have no symptoms. No work should be carried out by a tradesperson, cleaner or nanny who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild, or when someone in their own household has symptoms.
Tradespeople should assess whether the visit is essential or if the work can be safely postponed. There may be alternatives to a visit, such as a phone or video call. If the visit cannot be postponed you should agree the procedures in advance.
During a visit
You should notify all clients in advance of your arrival. On entry to the home you should wash your hands using soap and water for 20 seconds. You should wash your hands regularly, particularly after blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing, and when leaving the property. Where facilities to wash hands are not available, hand sanitiser should be used, and you should carry this with you at all times.
If you are a tradesperson or cleaner, you should maintain a safe distance (at least 2 metres) from any household occupants at all times, and ensure good ventilation in the area where you are working, including opening the window.
If you are a nanny, you should maintain a safe distance (at least 2 metres) from the household occupants you are not providing care for as much as possible.
“… Businesses providing holiday accommodation (including hotels, hostels, B&Bs, campsites, caravan parks, boarding houses and short term lets) should now take steps to close for commercial use as quickly as is safely possible. …”
What have Airbnb said?
‘Airbnb says it will follow government guidance ordering accommodation providers to close except to key workers.’
Coronavirus (Covid–19) regulations are constantly being issued, and earlier ones updated.
The government’s Regulations on closing certain businesses and venues, announced on 23 March and later updated, are now, from this afternoon, enforceable by law in England due to the threat to public health.
A business or venue operating in contravention of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020 will be committing an offence. Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers will monitor compliance with these regulations, with police support provided if appropriate.
Businesses and venues that breach them will be subject to prohibition notices, and fixed penalties. With the support of the police, prohibition notices can be used to force a business or venue to close.
Thought this might be useful/reassuring for neighbours.
The latest government guidelines for coping with Covid-19, updated early this morning (25 March), states that “work carried out in people’s homes, for example by tradespeople carrying out repairs and maintenance, can continue, provided that the tradesperson is well and has no symptoms.”
“Again, it will be important to ensure that Public Health England guidelines, including maintaining a 2 metre distance from any household occupants, are followed to ensure everyone’s safety.
“No work should be carried out in any household which is isolating or where an individual is being shielded, unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household, such as emergency plumbing or repairs, and where the tradesperson is willing to do so. In such cases, Public Health England can provide advice to tradespeople and households.
“No work should be carried out by a tradesperson who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild.”
The media are mostly reporting the latest government guidance on which premises and businesses can still operate and which must close. But sometimes it’s good to see what the government are actually saying.