Last updated: Wednesday 23rd September 2020
New national restrictions have been announced to tackle a worrying rise in Covid cases nationally:
- We are once again asking office workers who can work from home to do so. In key public services – and in all professions where homeworking is not possible, such as construction or retail – people should continue to attend their workplaces. The Government, Parliament as well as national and local government will be able to continue to take forward its business in a Covid-secure way and contribute to our national effort.
- From Thursday 24th September, all pubs, bars and restaurants must operate table-service only, except for take-aways and together with all hospitality venues, they must close at 10pm. To help the police to enforce this rule, this means closing, not calling for last orders. The same will apply to takeaways - though deliveries can continue thereafter. We must act to stop the virus from being transmitted in bars and restaurants.
- We will extend the requirement to wear face coverings. This will include staff in retail, all users of taxis and private hire vehicles and staff and customers in indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table to eat or drink.
- In retail, leisure, tourism and other sectors, our Covid-secure guidelines will become legal obligations. Businesses will be fined and could be closed if they breach these rules.
- We will tighten up the rule of six. From Monday 28th September, a maximum of 15 people will be able to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions. However, up to 30 can still attend a funeral as now. We will also have to extend the rule of six to all adult indoor team sports.
- The spread of the virus is now affecting our ability to reopen business conferences, exhibitions and large sporting events so we will not be able to do this from 1 October. We recognise the implications for our sports clubs, the life and soul of our communities, and the Chancellor and Culture Secretary are working urgently on how we can support them.
- This is not a return to the full lockdown in March. We are not issuing a general instruction to stay at home. We will ensure that schools, colleges and universities stay open - because nothing is more important than the education, health and well-being of our young people. We will ensure that businesses can stay open in a Covid-compliant way.
No social gatherings of more than six people are permitted. When meeting friends and family you do not live with, you must not meet in a group of more than six, indoors or outdoors. The police will have the powers to enforce these legal limits, including issuing fines (fixed penalty notice) of £200, doubling for further breaches up to a maximum of £3,200.
If you live in a household with more than 6 people, you can continue to gather in and attend all settings together. This same applies for your support bubble. All venues should continue to accommodate groups larger than 6 who live together or are in the same support bubble.
There are exceptions where groups can be larger than 6 people, including:
- for work, or the provision of voluntary or charitable services
- registered childcare, education or training
- supervised activities provided for children, including wraparound care, youth groups and activities, and children’s playgroups
- providing support to a vulnerable person
- providing emergency assistance, and to avoid injury or illness or to escape risk of harm
- for arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents
- fulfilling a legal obligation such as attending court or jury service
- weddings and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions – from 28 September, up to 15 people, in a public place
- funerals – up to 30 people. From 28 September, this does not include wakes (which are subject to the rule of 6), other than for religious ceremonial purposes
- organised outdoor sport or licensed outdoor physical activity, and supervised sporting activity (indoors or outdoors) for under-18s. Organised indoor sport or exercise classes can take place in larger numbers, provided groups of more than 6 do not mix. Organised indoor team sports for disabled people can take place in any number.
- elite sporting competition and training
- support groups up to 15 – formally organised groups to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. This includes support to victims of crime, recovering addicts, new parents, people with long-term illnesses, those facing issues relating to their sexuality or gender, and those who have suffered bereavement.
- protests – if organised in compliance with COVID-19 Secure guidance. All individuals must be socially distanced.
Where a group includes someone covered by one of these exemptions, they are not counted as part of the gatherings limit. This means, for example, that a tradesperson can go into a household of six without breaching the limit if they are there for work.
The government's Covid FAQs provides further advice on what you can and can't do.
Norfolk County Council's Protect Norfolk campaign recognises the level of infection in Norfolk has been relatively low. Now, we want to keep it that way. You can help by:
- Frequent and regular hand-washing with soap. The 'regular' bit of this means - washing hands whenever it is possible or likely you have had contact with surfaces that may be contaminated such as goods in shops, or surfaces used by people outside your bubble. Use water above 25°C.
- Use a face mask when in public places. Face masks are now mandatory in most public places. You can find a complete list of all the places where face masks should be worn, and the exemptions for certain types/ages of people here.
- Social distancing. Keep a minimum of one metre apart from others, and preferably two metres if possible.
Norfolk's Director of Public Health has led on the development of our Local Outbreak Plan in partnership with district councils, NHS executives, and the Norfolk Resilience Forum. The main aim is to work with community partners and council departments to prevent local outbreaks in the first place but, if they do occur, they will be tracked and managed to limit further transmission.
Tourism & Visitors
If you are planning to visit Norfolk, please download this useful information leaflet beforehand.
This poster is available for hotels, B&Bs, campsites and other types of local accommodation to display for guests' information. And this useful flow chart describes the process for dealing with guests with suspected coronavirus.
Latest Advice from the Government
You can search for guidance and sources of support here.
If you need medical help, please use the 111 online coronavirus service. Please click here for the Government's stay at home advice and here for more general information. If you receive a letter regarding an extremely vulnerable person or are caring for someone who has, you can register for further support here https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable or call 0800 028 8327, the government’s new dedicated helpline.
Broadland District Council: If you need help from Broadland District Council (e.g. someone to do your shopping or collect, or want to volunteer to help those in self-isolation, use this link: https://www.broadland.gov.uk/coronavirus or telephone 01508 533933.
North Norfolk District Council: North Norfolk District Council has an online page with contact details and advice: https://www.north-norfolk.gov.uk/news/2020/march/public-access-to-offices-restricted/. NNDC has a coronavirus hotline on 01263 516000.
Norfolk County Council: For the latest health advice and information about disruptions to services and events, including school closures from Norfolk County Council please use the following link: https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/care-support-and-health/health-and-wellbeing/adults-health/coronavirus
Adult social care: A 24-hour number 0344 800 8020 is operational for anyone with individual concerns. Further information on the advice to care providers is on the NCC website here.
- On 7th July, the government announced a further package of support measures including 'Eat out to Help Out', 5% VAT on certain goods and services relating to hospitality and tourism, and a £1000-per-employee furlough job retention bonus. You can find further details here.
- The Business Interruption Loan Scheme is available to qualifying businesses.
- Advice on how to claim for the Wage Support Scheme (Furlough).
- The Government has set up an additional discretionary fund to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. The fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. The Government is asking local authorities to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates. You can find further information here.
- Businesses can apply for Bounce Back Loans up to a maximum of £50,000, or 25% of turnover, with the government paying the interest for the first 12 months. The Government will support lending by guaranteeing 100% of the loan. You can find further information here.