On Tuesday night, PM Boris Johnson delivered the updated Covid-19 restrictions to the nation. The new measures come after a sharp spike in the number of daily cases recorded in the last few days brought the UK's Covid-19 alert level from 3 to 4, meaning transmission is "high or rising exponentially", said the chief medical officers.
The PM said the new rulings have been "carefully judged" so we can reduce the R number - the rate at which the virus spreads - while causing "the minimum damage to lives and livelihoods". The new measures are expected to stay in place for the next six months, however, restrictions could get "tougher" if the new rulings were ignored or not effective enough in halting the virus.
With an increasing likelihood of the second wave during winter, we all must take responsible and appropriate actions to follow these new guidelines so that we can suppress the virus. The PM said, “now is the time for us all to summon the discipline, and the resolve, and the spirit of togetherness that will carry us through.”
Across our four nations, leaders have introduced new and differing laws in a joint effort to control the spread of the virus. Here are the main changes for each country:
What are the new rules for England?
Work from home if you can - Office workers are now being asked to work from home.
New penalties for not wearing a mask or gathering in groups of more than six will increase to £200 on the first offence.
Businesses that break the rules could be fined up to £10,000 and closed.
Fines of up to £10,000 for people who fail to self-isolate have been announced.
All pubs, bars and restaurants will be restricted to table service only and must close at 22:00.
Face coverings must be worn by all taxi passengers.
Retail staff and customers in indoor hospitality venues will also have to wear masks from Thursday, except when seated at a table to eat or drink.
From Monday 28th September, only 15 people will be able to attend weddings and civil partnerships, in groups of six.
From Monday 28th September, you can only play adult indoor sports in groups of less than six.
The planned return of spectators to sports venues will now not go ahead from 1st October.
For further guidance or more information, please view the England GOV page.
What are the new rules for Scotland?
Households will no longer be allowed to mix indoors, this will become law on Friday 25th September. Exemptions apply.
People have been advised against car-sharing, with Ms Sturgeon saying there is a ‘significant risk of transmission’ in such settings.
From Friday 25th September, pubs and restaurants will have to close by 22:00.
For further guidance or more information, please view the Scottlish GOV page.
What are the new rules for Wales?
Pubs, cafes, and restaurants in Wales will have to close by 22:00 from Thursday 24th September.
Off-licences and supermarkets will also stop selling alcohol at 22:00.
Only six people can meet indoors and must be part of a single extended household.
For further guidance or more information, please view the Welsh GOV page.
What are the new rules for Northern Ireland?
Households will no longer be allowed to mix indoors. Exemptions apply.
No more than six people from two separate households can meet in a garden.
For further guidance or more information, please view the Northern Ireland GOV page.
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