New restrictions come into law at midnight on Friday, 16 October. However, Londoners are advised to start following them as soon as possible to help stem the spread of the virus.
The key element of the new restrictions is that we must not meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless we live with them or have formed a support bubble with them. This includes private homes, and any other indoor venues such as pubs and restaurants.
A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit public places together.
Informal childcare can also be provided via childcare bubbles.
People may continue to see friends and family if they do not live with (or have not formed a support bubble with) outside, including in a garden or other outdoor space. When people do so, they must not meet in a group of more than 6. This limit of 6 includes children of any age.
Level 1 = Medium - (fewer than 100 cases per 100,000) currently covering most of the country including London, consists of current national measures – rule of six and 10pm curfew on bars, restaurants and pubs. London is currently in this category. As you’ll be aware cases are rising rapidly in the capital and it is likely that London may soon move to Level 2, unless rates reduce. In Ealing cases have doubled in the past week.
Level 2 = High – (cases above 100 per 100,000) In these areas socialising between different households indoors is prohibited although support bubbles are still permitted. Areas such as Greater Manchester and Birmingham are impacted.
Level 3 = Very high – (when level 2 restrictions haven’t contained the virus or a serious rise in transmission take place.) In these areas people are banned from socialising with others indoors and in private gardens. Pubs and bars will be closed unless they can operate as restaurants. Residents will be encouraged not to travel. None essential shops and universities will remain open. Merseyside is identified as being in this category.
The government issued guidance on staying safe outside your home whilst still following essential social distancing rules. There are frequently asked questions that set out what you can and cannot do.
As shops and restaurants are now open, we are concerned about the greater risk to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups and want to ensure people know how to protect themselves when visiting the high street. Video in Punjabi.
The London Fire Brigade has issued advice on staying safe in your homes while spending more time indoors during the current period.
Test and Trace
Testing for COVID-19 is now available for anyone who is showing symptoms. Find out more about the symptoms to watch out for and how to arrange a test.
Public Health England has published advice for people with a possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection.