As of Thursday 5th November until Wednesday 2nd December the Government has placed England on another national lockdown to try and prevent a large second peak that threatens to overwhelm the National Health Service.
At the end of this lockdown they will look to return to a regional tier approach to control infections based on each areas ‘R’ rate.
As of today the following guidance has been published about what will and will not be allowed under the impending lockdown, with further detailed guidance due to be provided.
The Government has once again asked members of the public to stay home where possible. If your workplace remains open and you cannot work from home you are still permitted to travel for work purposes. Other reasons for being able to leave your home are as follows:
You must no longer meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are a part of your household or support bubble, you also can not socialise in private gardens.
Stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with or use extra precautions, such as face coverings, if this is not possible.
Certain business and venues have been ordered to close; these include:
Non-Essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers on a click-and-collect basis.
Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still operate as a takeaway service. During this lockdown takeaway of alcohol will no longer be allowed.
Hotels, hostels, and other accommodation businesses should only be open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions soon to be updated on.
Once again weddings have been put on hold as weddings and civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted to take place during the lockdown period. Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people, and linked ceremonial events such as ash scattering can continue with up to 15 people in attendance.
Schools, colleges, Early Years settings and universities are to remain open during this lockdown period compared to the lockdown in March earlier this year.
Travel outside of your local area has been advised against, with overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences being banned.
The ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ (CJRS) will now remain open until December and will not close as originally planned on 31st of October. The exact end date has not been published yet and the introduction of the ‘Job Support Scheme’; both open and closed as previously discussed in our newsletters, will now be postponed until the end of the CJRS.
The level of the CJRS will mirror levels available in August meaning that the government will pay up to 80% of an employee’s normal pay up to a cap of £2,500 and employers will be responsible only for National Insurance and Pension contributions. As with the original CJRS employers are still able to top up employees wages above the scheme grant at their own expense if they wish.
Employees do not need to have been on the previous CJRS scheme, in order to be eligible they need to have been on an employer’s PAYE payroll before midnight on 30th October. This is a significant change to the original CJRS where the vast majority of employees had to have been furloughed for a period of at least 3 consecutive weeks to sit on the original scheme.
Flexible furloughing will continue to be an option in addition to full-time furloughing so that employees will be able to work some of their hours, being paid for these by their employer, and receive furlough pay for unworked hours.
Employers are being advised that it’s a sensible measure to get relevant employees to return signed letters indicating their agreement to an extension to the furlough scheme, or at least to respond by email confirming their agreement to remain on furlough until December on existing furlough terms.
For more details or to check for updated guidelines please click here for the official page on gov.uk: