As cases of coronavirus up and down the UK rise, the Government has announced new restrictions on business operations in a bid to slow its spread.
The restrictions are compulsory as of 24 September 2020 and carry fines of up to £10,000 if a business is caught in breach of the new rules. To stay on the right side of the law and do your part to prevent more people falling ill this Autumn, make sure you are familiar with and understand the new restrictions:
- While many people have returned to work, those who are able to work from home should do so.
- Any business selling food or drink, those with indoor leisure facilities, theme parks, funfairs, bingo halls, and so on must close between 10pm and 5am, without exception.
- Takeaways may continue to operate after 10pm but on a delivery basis only.
- Pubs, bars and restaurants may continue welcoming customers but only for groups of up to 6 people and they must provide table service only.
- All bar and retail workers must now wear face masks at all times while working. This includes waiting staff and those in close-contact services.
- From 23 September, customers in private hire cars or taxis must wear face masks.
- Businesses must display the NHS QR code on posters, allowing customers to ‘check-in’ at that location as an alternative to leaving their contact details for tracking in the event of a local coronavirus outbreak.
As before, people with certain medical conditions are considered exempt from the restrictions. For everyone else, the fine for failing to wear masks or follow other restrictions has now risen to £200 for a first-time offence, and businesses are being encouraged to actively approach anyone not wearing a mask.
In a clear response to concerns that have been raised previously, the Government has also stated that employers must not try to encourage or force someone who is self-isolating due to suspected coronavirus to return to work until the isolation period has passed.
For further details on the new restrictions, visit the Government website.