On Monday 23rd March, the Prime Minister announced stricter measures to help slow the spread of coronavirus. The way they plan to do this is by stopping as much day-to-day contact of people as possible.
The new measures are to be put in place for an initial three weeks and are:
People are to stay at home, except for very limited purposes which are:
- essential shopping for food or medicine
- medical needs or to provide care for a vulnerable person
- one form of exercise a day, alone or with a member of your household
- travelling to work if you are a key worker (more information below).
The closing of all non-essential shops and community spaces, including:
- non-essential retail shops e.g. clothing, electronics, beauty salons.
- Libraries, community spaces, leisure facilities, places of worship and hotels/B&Bs.
Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public, unless the people are from the same household or the gathering is essential for work purposes. Large social gatherings like weddings, baptisms and other religious ceremonies are also to be stopped. Funerals can go ahead but are limited to immediate family only.
You can find the full guidance and more detailed advice from the government here – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others
Who are considered key workers?
Under the new measures, ‘key workers’ should be the only people travelling to work. The government has identified key workers as those who work within the below sectors:
- Health and social care
- Education and childcare
- Key public services
- Local and national government
- Public safety and national security
- Utilities, communication and financial services
Full details of key workers and childcare support for these groups can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision
If you are not considered a key worker the new measures mean that you should be staying at home. Your business may have a contingency plan to facilitate working from home which you should discuss with them.