Boris Johnson’s own Tory MPs turn on him after his national address


‘Six months’ of curbs at a glance

  • All pubs, bars and restaurants in England will be subject to a 10pm curfew from Thursday, with the PM adamant that premises must kick out all of their customers by the cut off point. 
  • The Hospitality sector will also be restricted to table service only as the Government outlawed drinkers making a trip to the bar. 
  • All retail workers and customers in indoor hospitality settings will be required to wear masks  – except when they are seated to eat or drink.
  • All workers who can work from home are now being encouraged to do so from tomorrow. 
  • Fines for breaking the rule of six and for failing to wear a face covering are increasing to £200 for a first offence. 
  • The police will now have the option of asking the military for support with soldiers potentially being drafted in to fulfil office roles and guard protected sites in order to allow officers more time to crackdown on rule-breakers. 
  • The number of people allowed to attend weddings in England is being slashed to 15 from Monday but the number of people allowed to attend a funeral will remain at 30.  
  • Plans for the partial return of sports fans to stadiums on October 1 has been paused.
  • Rule of six exemptions are being tightened to ban indoor team sports like five-a-side-football matches.  

Furious Tory MPs have turned on Boris Johnson after he threatened to impose a second national lockdown tonight unless the British people obey his ‘authoritarian’ new coronavirus restrictions.  

The beleaguered Prime Minister faced fire from all sides following his Commons speech today as he performed a screeching U-turn on his push to reopen workplaces again after just a few weeks.  

He also faced barbs for introducing other swingeing new measures including a 10pm pub curfew and £200 fines for mask rule-breakers in England in the face of rising coronavirus cases. 

But speaking from Downing Street tonight, Mr Johnson warned that ‘iron laws of geometrical progression are shouting at us from the graphs that we risk many more deaths, many more families losing loved ones before their time’.

And he hit out at his critics, including Tory MPs who warned of the economic impact of lockdown, adding: ‘To those who say we don’t need this stuff, and we should leave people to take their own risks, I say these risks are not our own.’ 

Responding to the Prime Minister’s address, Telford MP Lucy Allan questioning on Twitter whether the UK’s ‘collective health’ was really at risk.

‘Measures to tackle #covid must be proportionate to the risk,’ she wrote. ‘The virus is a serious threat to certain vulnerable groups. 

‘We must protect these groups with targeted measures. Shutting down society causes massive damage to health, lives, and livelihoods of the whole population.’  

Former Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage blasted Mr Johnson’s ‘authoritarian’ response to the coronavirus crisis as he bemoaned: ‘We didn’t vote for this’. 

He angrily tweeted: ‘The PM says we are a ‘freedom loving country’, but will fine you £10,000 and send the army in if he likes. 

‘This is authoritarian – I don’t believe his promises on testing or the competence of the government.

‘We didn’t vote for this.’ 

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said: ‘We all want nothing more than to beat this dreadful virus and get back to normal. Sadly, today’s statement from the Prime Minister confirms this is a long way off and there will be difficult times ahead.  

Tory MPs have turned on Boris Johnson after he threatened to impose a second national lockdown tonight unless the British people obey his draconian new coronavirus restrictions 

Responding to the Prime Minister's address, Telford MP Lucy Allan questioning on Twitter whether the UK's 'collective health' was really at risk

Responding to the Prime Minister’s address, Telford MP Lucy Allan questioning on Twitter whether the UK’s ‘collective health’ was really at risk

Responding to the Prime Minister's address, former Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage blasted Mr Johnson's 'authoritarian' response to the coronavirus crisis

Responding to the Prime Minister’s address, former Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage blasted Mr Johnson’s ‘authoritarian’ response to the coronavirus crisis

Boris faces backlash: Police blast PM’s new rules as ‘absurd’ and ‘a nonsense’ as small business owners say they will go bust if workers stay home again 

Police have blasted Boris Johnson’s new rules as ‘absurd’ and ‘a nonsense’ as small business owners say they will go bust if workers stay home again.

The Prime Minister faced fire from all sides as he U-turned on his push to reopen workplaces after just a few weeks to tell office staff to work from home if they can.

He was barbed for introducing new measures including a 10pm pub curfew and £200 fines for mask rule-breakers among new restrictions on social settings in England.

The PM also announced he is making the British Army available to help the police enforce stringent new coronavirus rules.

He said officers will now have the ‘option to draw on military support where required’ to free up staff so more can crackdown on rule-breakers as he revealed fines are being doubled to £200.

But Downing Street ruled out deploying soldiers on the streets, saying they would be used for ‘backfilling certain duties, such as office roles and guarding protected sites, so police can be out enforcing the virus response’.

Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation Ken Marsh slammed the announcement as ‘a nonsense’ and National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales John Apter said it ‘lacked any detail’.

‘The Prime Minister must take responsibility for what has gone wrong, and apologise for the chaotic failure of his ”world beating” test and trace system. It is inexcusable that this vital test and trace operation has been totally overwhelmed in recent weeks. 

‘Ministers must outline details of the practical steps they are taking to fix the test and trace system as quickly as possible. This is the only way to avoid yet more restrictions.

‘With millions of people worried about their jobs, businesses and livelihoods, the Prime Minister must also urgently set out a new economic plan, including the extension of furlough and more help for the self-employed and small business.’ 

Labour MP Chris Bryant slammed the Prime Minister’s tone, tweeting: ‘The problem with Johnson is he can’t deliver a tough message. By saying he hates doing this he effectively undermines what he’s doing. And throughout his talk about people breaking the rules I just thought of (chief adviser Dominic) Cummings.’

The Government rushed to Mr Cummings’ defence after the Prime Minister’s chief aide flouted lockdown rules by driving to Country Durham from London and back in April.  

Meanwhile, London mayor Sadiq Khan, who threatened to force Londoners to wear face masks in all public spaces across the capital yesterday, supported the Prime Minister’s ‘early’ actions. 

He tweeted: ‘We are now in a critical period to stop the spread of coronavirus. Cases are on the rise in the capital and the Government has failed to set up an adequate testing or contact tracing system. 

‘Londoners must redouble their efforts & follow all the measures that have been laid out. I strongly believe that acting early, rather than having to impose more stringent measures later, is the right thing to do both for public health and the economy.’  

And Conservative MP Ben Bradley praised Mr Johnson, saying: ‘Tone of @BorisJohnson address tonight spot on. We all need to take responsibility for keeping ourselves and others safe in the coming weeks.

‘Good to see the boss looking well again too.’ 

The Prime Minister also announced he is making the British Army available to help the police enforce stringent new coronavirus rules.

He said officers will now have the ‘option to draw on military support where required’ to free up staff so more can crackdown on rule-breakers as he revealed fines are being doubled to £200. 

Labour MP Chris Bryant slammed the Prime Minister's tone, tweeting: 'The problem with Johnson is he can't deliver a tough message'

Labour MP Chris Bryant slammed the Prime Minister’s tone, tweeting: ‘The problem with Johnson is he can’t deliver a tough message’

Meanwhile, London mayor Sadiq Khan, who threatened to force Londoners to wear face masks in all public spaces across the capital yesterday, supported the Prime Minister's 'early' actions

Meanwhile, London mayor Sadiq Khan, who threatened to force Londoners to wear face masks in all public spaces across the capital yesterday, supported the Prime Minister’s ‘early’ actions

Conservative MP Ben Bradley praised Mr Johnson's speech, saying: 'We all need to take responsibility for keeping ourselves and others safe in the coming weeks'

Conservative MP Ben Bradley praised Mr Johnson’s speech, saying: ‘We all need to take responsibility for keeping ourselves and others safe in the coming weeks’

New mask rules in pubs will be ‘impossible’ to police: Landlords blast latest Covid measure that visitors must cover face unless they’re eating or drinking – as hospitality bosses say move will kill off sector 

Pub bosses and punters grappling with new coronavirus rules which make masks compulsory have warned Boris Johnson that enforcement will be tough.   

The Prime Minister today tightened restrictions on the hospitality sector for six months by imposing a 10pm curfew across England from Thursday and limiting business solely to table service.

Speaking in the House of Commons, he also said face coverings will be mandatory for all staff and customers unless they are seated.

The raft of measures was met with an instant backlash from the pub trade which said the ‘devastating’ curbs would torpedo sales and sink some firms.  

Greg Mulholland, campaign director for the Campaign for Pubs, said: ‘It seems questionable asking people to wear face masks yet not at the table, and there is a fear that the need to have a mask will put people off going to pubs which could see levels of trade drop even further.’

Calling on the Government to provide financial support for pubs, he added: ‘The confirmation of a curfew of 10pm and other restrictions for up to six months is devastating for many pubs and publicans. 

‘As it is, most pubs were only getting back on their feet and many were not yet trading profitably and this latest news will make it impossible for some publicans to carry on.’  

Jack Laing, 30, who manages a pub in Notting Hill, told MailOnline: ‘The movement of people around the pub with a facemask will be difficult to police.’

Stressing that he will enforce the rules, he added: ‘It’s the same as track and trace. If they don’t want to do it this isn’t the place for them. Obviously it will be a challenge but we have to do it if we’re going to be open.’  

But Downing Street ruled out deploying soldiers on the streets, saying they would be used for ‘backfilling certain duties, such as office roles and guarding protected sites, so police can be out enforcing the virus response’.

Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation Ken Marsh slammed the announcement as ‘a nonsense’ and National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales John Apter said it ‘lacked any detail’. 

The Prime Minister has already warned that the new curbs could last well into 2021, and tonight he warned it could take until then to get mass testing up and running fully and a new vaccine widely available.

He said: ‘Though our doctors and our medical advisers are rightly worried about the data now, and the risks over winter, they are unanimous that things will be far better by the spring, when we have not only the hope of a vaccine, but one day soon – and I must stress that we are not there yet – of mass testing so efficient that people will be able to be tested in minutes so they can do more of the things they love. 

‘That’s the hope; that’s the dream. It’s hard, but it’s attainable, and we are working as hard as we can to get there.’ 

He continued: ‘Never in our history has our collective destiny and our collective health depended so completely on our individual behaviour.   

‘If we follow these simple rules together, we will get through this winter together. There are unquestionably difficult months to come. And the fight against Covid is by no means over. 

‘I have no doubt, however, that there are great days ahead. But now is the time for us all to summon the discipline, and the resolve, and the spirit of togetherness that will carry us through.’ 

Mr Johnson warned the Commons this afternoon that that the curbs may have to be left in place for six months, potentially ruining families Christmases and New Year celebrations, and taking the total time spent under coronavirus restrictions of some kind up to a calendar year. 

The decision to urge workers to work from home sparked dire warnings about the future of struggling town and city centres as business groups immediately demanded the Government extend its furlough scheme which is due to close at the end of October.   

Mel Stride, the Tory chairman of the Commons Treasury Committee, told the PM that lockdowns ‘destroy jobs and also personal wellbeing’ as he urged the Government to pay attention to the concerns of businesses.

Mr Johnson did not announce a ban on households mixing indoors in England but Nicola Sturgeon this afternoon followed Northern Ireland as she said that from tomorrow Scots will not be able to meet in other people’s homes, prompting questions over which of the home nations has adopted the correct approach. 

Tory MPs criticised the plans this afternoon as they warned of the economic damage the measures could have and asked what Mr Johnson’s message is to ‘grandparents who want to live their lives before it’s too late and cannot see their families’. 

The PM was also reminded that people ‘are only young once’ as he was told that ‘blanket restrictions are affecting all people of all ages, immaterial of the actual risk posed to them’. 

Conservative MPs also said their constituents would be furious at the new crackdown after they followed the Government’s rules only to have seen ‘people at protests, at street parties, not having action taken against them’.   

They also warned the decision to ditch the back to work drive will cause widespread ‘dismay’ among workers who live in ‘cramped, overcrowded accommodation’.      

Mr Johnson faced an hour long grilling by MPs in the House of Commons this afternoon after he set out his proposals. 

Mel Stride, the Tory chairman of the Commons Treasury Select Committee, told the PM that lockdowns ‘destroy jobs and also personal wellbeing’ as he urged the Government to pay attention to the concerns of businesses. 

He said: ‘And the fact the lockdowns have damaged our national economy means that in the years ahead a smaller economy will probably have serious impacts on the health of millions of people up and down our country.’ 

He added: ‘Yes, we should listen very carefully to the epidemiologists but we must also listen very carefully to the Treasury, to businesses and to economists too.’

Mr Johnson said Mr Stride was ‘spot on’ and ‘that’s why we have to take action now to avoid the risk of having to take more drastic action later on that would do greater economic damage’. 

Tory Dame Cheryl Gillan referred to the PM’s suggestion that the measures could be in place for six months as she asked: ‘What does he say to grandparents who want to live their lives before it’s too late and cannot see their families, to worried parents and families who cannot access a test at the moment, to workers and business owners facing financial ruin and to MPs that want to debate these matters in Parliament before they are decided, not after so they can help him shoulder this onerous responsibility?

‘How can he convince all of them that he’s taking the right path and unite our country with hope of an end to this misery?’

Mr Johnson replied: ‘I thank (Dame Cheryl) and she is entirely right that Parliament should and will debate these issues and Mr Speaker will make time next week, in Government time, for a very full debate on these measures.’

Conservative former minister Andrew Percy told Mr Johnson: ‘I must express to him the concern of constituents in my area where our seven-day rolling average is well below 20 and falling, where people have followed the rules and seen people at protests, at street parties, not having action taken against them and we will now suffer as a result of these further measures.’

Mr Johnson said the majority do feel ‘let down by the minority who are not obeying the rules’ and that is why the Government is toughening up enforcement measures and increasing fines to £200.        

Conservative former cabinet minister Stephen Crabb raised the issue of working from home. 

He said: ‘While working from home has been great for many – for senior managers living in larger properties with nice gardens – that hasn’t been the experience for a great many others living in cramped, overcrowded accommodation.

‘So does (Mr Johnson) recognise that there will be dismay today amongst those people for whom the return to Covid-secure workplaces has been so important for mental, physical, social wellbeing and it feels like it’ll be a long six months for them having to work back in their own homes?’

Mr Johnson replied: ‘Where people must go into work for their job, for their mental health, wellbeing or whatever it happens to be, then of course they should do so.

‘What we’re saying is you should work from home if you can.’

Tory Nick Fletcher said ‘blanket restrictions are affecting all people of all ages, immaterial of the actual risk posed to them’ as he suggested people should be able to carry out a ‘personal Covid risk assessment’.   

He said the results could be used to determine whether ‘someone needs to shield or can go about their daily lives’. 

He added: ‘This will help boost the economy while protecting the vulnerable. After all, many people’s lives are being affected tremendously by these restrictions, especially the young, who as we all know – are only young once.’

But Mr Johnson told Mr Fletcher the ‘tragedy of the coronavirus pandemic is that people who are not badly affected themselves can nonetheless pass it on unwittingly to older or more vulnerable people’.

‘So your harmless cough can be someone else’s death knell unfortunately, and that is why we have to apply the restrictions that we do,’ he said.

‘Your mild cough can be someone else’s death knell’: Boris Johnson’s televised address in full

Good evening, 

The struggle against Covid is the single biggest crisis the world has faced in my lifetime.

In less than a year this disease has killed almost a million people, and caused havoc to economies everywhere.

Here in the UK we mourn every person we have lost, and we grieve with their families.

And yet I am more certain than ever that this is a struggle that humanity will win, and we in this country will win – and to achieve what we must I want to talk to you directly tonight about the choices that we face – none of them easy – and why we must take action now.

I know that we can succeed because we have succeeded before.

When the sickness took hold in this country in March, we pulled together in a spirit of national sacrifice and community. We followed the guidance to the letter. We stayed at home, protected the NHS, and saved thousands of lives.

And for months with those disciplines of social distancing we have kept that virus at bay.

But we have to acknowledge this this is a great and freedom-loving country; and while the vast majority have complied with the rules there have been too many breaches – too many opportunities for our invisible enemy to slip through undetected.

The virus has started to spread again in an exponential way. Infections are up, hospital admissions are climbing.

We can see what is happening in France and Spain, and we know, alas, that this virus is no less fatal than it was in the spring, and that the vast majority of our people are no less susceptible, and the iron laws of geometrical progression are shouting at us from the graphs that we risk many more deaths, many more families losing loved ones before their time; and I know that faced with that risk the British people will want their government to continue to fight to protect them, you, and that is what we are doing, night and day. And yet the single greatest weapon we bring to this fight is the common sense of the people themselves – the joint resolve of this country to work together to suppress covid now.

So today I set out a package of tougher measures in England – early closing for pubs, bars; table service only; closing businesses that are not Covid secure; expanding the use of face coverings, and new fines for those that fail to comply; and once again asking office workers to work from home if they can while enforcing the rule of six indoors and outdoors – a tougher package of national measures combined with the potential for tougher local restrictions for areas already in lockdown.

I know that this approach – robust but proportionate – already carries the support of all the main parties in parliament.

After discussion with colleagues in the Devolved Administrations, I believe this broad approach is shared across the whole UK. And to those who say we don’t need this stuff, and we should leave people to take their own risks, I say these risks are not our own.

The tragic reality of having Covid is that your mild cough can be someone else’s death knell.

And as for the suggestion that we should simply lock up the elderly and the vulnerable – with all the suffering that would entail – I must tell you that this is just not realistic, because if you let the virus rip through the rest of the population it would inevitably find its way through to the elderly as well, and in much greater numbers.

That’s why we need to suppress the virus now, and as for that minority who may continue to flout the rules, we will enforce those rules with tougher penalties and fines of up to £10,000. We will put more police out on the streets and use the army to back-fill if necessary.

And of course I am deeply, spiritually reluctant to make any of these impositions, or infringe anyone’s freedom, but unless we take action the risk is that we will have to go for tougher measures later, when the deaths have already mounted and we have a huge caseload of infection such as we had in the spring.

If we let this virus get out of control now, it would mean that our NHS had no space – once again – to deal with cancer patients and millions of other non-Covid medical needs.

And if we were forced into a new national lockdown, that would threaten not just jobs and livelihoods but the loving human contact on which we all depend.

It would mean renewed loneliness and confinement for the elderly and vulnerable, and ultimately it would threaten once again the education of our children. We must do all we can to avoid going down that road again.

But if people don’t follow the rules we have set out, then we must reserve the right to go further. We must take action now because a stitch in time saves nine; and this way we can keep people in work, we can keep our shops and our schools open, and we can keep our country moving forward while we work together to suppress the virus.

That is our strategy, and if we can follow this package together, then I know we can succeed because in so many ways we are better prepared than before.

We have the PPE, we have the beds, we have the Nightingales, we have new medicines – pioneered in this country – that can help save lives.

And though our doctors and our medical advisers are rightly worried about the data now, and the risks over winter, they are unanimous that things will be far better by the spring, when we have not only the hope of a vaccine, but one day soon – and I must stress that we are not there yet – of mass testing so efficient that people will be able to be tested in minutes so they can do more of the things they love. That’s the hope; that’s the dream. It’s hard, but it’s attainable, and we are working as hard as we can to get there.

But until we do, we must rely on our willingness to look out for each other, to protect each other. Never in our history has our collective destiny and our collective health depended so completely on our individual behaviour.

If we follow these simple rules together, we will get through this winter together. There are unquestionably difficult months to come.

And the fight against Covid is by no means over. I have no doubt, however, that there are great days ahead.

But now is the time for us all to summon the discipline, and the resolve, and the spirit of togetherness that will carry us through. 

Those new rules in full that will wipe out Christmas and New Year: Working from home is back, facemasks in pubs and restaurants – and will hairdressers and gyms be included in the Rule of Six?

By David Wilcock, Whitehall Correspondent, and Jack Wright for MailOnline

Boris Johnson took a hammer to Britons’ social lives  as he reintroduced lockdown measures in England to see off a second wave of coronavirus.

Pubs and other leisure and hospitality businesses like restaurants will face a 10pm curfew from Thursday. 

People working in retail, those travelling in taxis, and staff and customers in indoor hospitality will also have to wear face coverings – except while seated at a table to eat or drink.

And in a dramatic reversal of the Government’s recent drive to get people back to workplaces, all office workers will be advised to work from home where they can as soon as possible. 

In a grave Commons statement the Prime Minister warned that the new curbs could last for six months ‘unless we palpably make progress’. 

Here we look at the new rules that have been unveiled today: 

PUBS AND RESTAURANTS

ENGLAND — 

From this Thursday, businesses selling food or drink (including, cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants), social clubs, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement arcades (and other indoor leisure centres or facilities), funfairs, theme parks, and adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls will be required to closed between 10pm and 5am. Some exemptions apply, including cinemas, theatres and concert halls which have started shows before 10pm, however they will not be permitted to serve food or drink to customers after 10pm. 

Businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises, can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service or drive-thru. 

Customers will not be allowed to order drinks at the bar. All pubs and bars must become table service only, like restaurants.

This is a change from the current rules, where standing at the bar for a pint was allowed as long as there was social distancing in place.

It also applies to takeaway services, many of which sustained businesses through the worst of the original lockdown.

But food (and drink) deliveries are allowed to continue after 10am because it is easier to limit human contact.

It is mandatory for certain businesses, including the hospitality and tourism and leisure sectors, close contact services, local authority run services and places of worship, to have a system to collect NHS Track and Trace data, and to ask customers to provide these details. Businesses will be required to retain these details for 21 days, and will need to ensure that the Rule of Six is not flouted. 

Boris Johnson called on the British public to 'get through this winter together' and said the people need to 'summon the discipline, and the resolve, and the spirit of togetherness that will carry us through'

Boris Johnson called on the British public to ‘get through this winter together’ and said the people need to ‘summon the discipline, and the resolve, and the spirit of togetherness that will carry us through’ 

WALES, SCOTLAND AND NORTHERN IRELAND —

The same rules for England are expected to apply in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The devolved administrations will announce their plans this week.

IS THE 10PM CURFEW ECONOMICALLY DAMAGING?

The Prime Minister told the Commons ‘the spread of the disease does tend to happen later at night after more alcohol has been consumed’.

In reply to Meg Hillier, Labour chairwoman of the Commons Public Accounts Committee he said: ‘These are not easy decisions, nobody wants to be curtailing the right of restaurants and other businesses to go about their lawful business.

‘What we have seen from the evidence is that alas the spread of the disease does tend to happen later at night after more alcohol has been consumed.

‘This is one way that we see of driving down the R without doing excessive economic damage and that’s the balance we have to strike.’

Ministers have been warned that a 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants will be the ‘final nail in the coffin’ for many businesses still treading water after the first wave of Covid-19.

Exasperated hospitality bosses are fuming that they are bearing the brunt of Boris Johnson’s coronavirus crackdown when Government figures show a comparably low spread of the disease in food and drink outlets.

Public Health England data reveals that of the 729 outbreaks in the week to September 13, only five per cent occurred in food outlets such as restaurants and pubs – 45 per cent were in care homes, 21 per cent in schools and 18 per cent in places of work.

People sit in a restaurant in Covent Garden in London today as the PM clobbered civil liberties

People sit in a restaurant in Covent Garden in London today as the PM clobbered civil liberties

Pubs like the French House in Soho, central London, will have to close at 10pm. That is not last orders at 10pm, that is close at 10pm.

Pubs like the French House in Soho, central London, will have to close at 10pm. That is not last orders at 10pm, that is close at 10pm.

Wetherspoons founder Tim Martin said: ‘The curfew doesn’t even stand up to five minutes consideration by an intelligent person because if you look at the stats… there are relatively few transfers of infections in pubs.’

The Government faced renewed calls to do more to support businesses, with the hospitality industry warning that the new restrictions would be a ‘crushing blow’.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of trade body UKHospitality, said: ‘It is hard to understand how these measures are the solution to fighting the disease when Government data shows that just 5 per cent of infections out of the home are related to hospitality.’

Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association, warned the measures could trigger ‘a surge of unregulated events and house parties which are the real hot-beds of infection, attended by frustrated young people denied access to safe and legitimate night-time hospitality venues’.

Up to 6,000 jobs are being axed at Premier Inn owner Whitbread, which also operates the Beefeater pubs and Brewers Fayre chains.

The Wetherspoon pub chain also said it had written to its 1,000 airport staff to warn them that between 400 and 450 jobs are at risk of redundancy.

Officer workers have been told to work from home 'if possible' although those in 'key public services and in all professions' where this is not possible, such as construction and retail, should continue to go in

Officer workers have been told to work from home ‘if possible’ although those in ‘key public services and in all professions’ where this is not possible, such as construction and retail, should continue to go in

WORKING FROM HOME

Office workers have been told to work from home ‘if possible’, although those in ‘key public services and in all professions’ where this is not possible, such as construction and retail, should continue to go in.  

Where an employer, in consultation with their employee, judges an employee can carry out their normal duties from home they should do so. 

Public sector employees working in essential services, including education settings, should continue to go into work where necessary. 

Anyone else who cannot work from home should go to their place of work. 

The risk of transmission can be substantially reduced if Covid-secure guidelines are followed closely. Extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk.  

According to Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove: ‘We are stressing that if it is safe to work in your workplace, if you are in a Covid-secure workplace, then you should be there if your job requires it.

‘But, if you can work from home you should.’ 

The new message brings England into line with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which have all advised people to work from home wherever possible throughout the pandemic.

If businesses are not Covid-secure, flout the mask regulations or break the Rule of Six, they will be fined £10,000 or closed down.

If people prevent others from self-isolating – such as bosses threatening redundancy – they can also be fined.

FACEMASKS

Face masks must be worn on public transport and in many indoor spaces, including shops, shopping centres, indoor transport hubs, museums, galleries, cinemas and public libraries. 

From tomorrow it will be law for passengers to wear face coverings in taxis and private hire vehicles, and from Thursday, face coverings must also be worn in hospitality venues, like restaurants and bars, other than when you are eating and drinking. Staff in retail and hospitality settings will also be legally required to wear face coverings. 

If necessary, the police and Transport for London (TfL) officers have enforcement powers including issuing fines of £200 (halving to £100 if paid within 14 days). 

As announced, the Government will bring forward changes to mean that for repeat offenders these fines would double at each offence up to a maximum value of £6,400.  

The Prime Minister has also announced tougher enforcement measures, with businesses facing fines or closure for failing to comply with coronavirus rules, meaning there will be consequences for pubs that try to serve you at the bar.

Commuters walk across the London Bridge during the morning rush hour in September

Commuters walk across the London Bridge during the morning rush hour in September

A man enjoys a a drink at The Kings Ford pub in Chingford, East London, as the PM made his announcement in the Commons this afternoon

A man enjoys a a drink at The Kings Ford pub in Chingford, East London, as the PM made his announcement in the Commons this afternoon

National Police Chiefs’ Council chairman Martin Hewitt said: ‘Individuals, businesses and households all have a responsibility to ensure the virus is suppressed and police will play their part in supporting the public to navigate the measures in place for our safety.

‘Our approach of engaging with people and explaining the regulations in place will remain. The vast majority of situations are resolved following those two stages, with little need for further encouragement or enforcement action to be taken,’ he said.

‘Police will continue to work with their communities and only issue fines as a last resort.

‘Chiefs will be stepping up patrols in high-risk areas and will proactively work with businesses, licensing authorities and local authorities to ensure the rules are being followed.

‘If members of the public are concerned that the law is being broken or they are experiencing anti-social behaviour, they can report this to the police, who will consider the most appropriate response and will target the most problematic behaviour.’

RULE OF SIX AND SELF-ISOLATION

In England, a maximum of six people from multiple households can meet up both indoors and outdoors — in private homes, pubs, restaurants and parks. 

All ages are included in the headcount. There are some exceptions — for example, when a single household has more than six occupants.

The Rule of Six has been extended to take in ‘leisure, entertainment, tourism and close contact’ sectors’. The latter includes hairdressers and other beauty treatments.

More details are awaited on what else specifically it will mean for places like gyms, although Mr Johnson today banned indoor group sports like five-a-side football.

So it means that currently hairdressers, nail bars and beauty salons can still operate, but they will need to cut still further the number of people they can serve at any one time. 

Anyone who breaks the rules on social gatherings in England will be fined £200 with the penalty doubling on each further repeat offence up to £3,200.

Businesses that break the Rule of Six will be fined £10,000 or closed down.

Further guidance is expected on the specifics of this but has yet to be published by the Government.

People with coronavirus symptoms who do not self-isolate will face fines of £1,000, rising to £10,000 for repeat offences from September 28.

SCHOOLS

Schools will remain unaffected by the new restrictions. Along with protecting the economy, one of the main thrusts of today’s announcements is the Government’s desire to prioritise keeping schools open.

Mr Johnson said: ‘I want to stress that this is by no means a return to the full lockdown of 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.’

WEDDINGS AND FUNERALS

From next Monday, wedding ceremonies and receptions in England have to be capped at 15 people — down from 30 people.

But funeral services are exempt from the new restrictions, with the maximum number of mourners remaining at 30.

Celebrations held this weekend will narrowly avoid the new restrictions.

Setting out the measures in the House of Commons, Mr Johnson said: ‘Fifth, now is the time to tighten up the Rule of Six.

‘I’m afraid that from Monday a maximum of 15 people will be able to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, though up to 30 can still attend a funeral as now.’

From next Monday, wedding ceremonies and receptions in England have to be capped at 15 people — down from 30 people. But funeral services are exempt from the new restrictions, with the maximum number of mourners remaining at 30

From next Monday, wedding ceremonies and receptions in England have to be capped at 15 people — down from 30 people. But funeral services are exempt from the new restrictions, with the maximum number of mourners remaining at 30

Current guidance states that up to 30 attendees are permitted in Wales, while in Scotland, ceremonies and receptions are limited to 20 people, and numbers are dependent on the venue in Northern Ireland.

One bride, due to get married on December 12 after being engaged for five years, who had originally planned a wedding with 100 people in Norfolk, said she felt ‘gutted’ following the announcement.

‘We are then seeing people say online that it doesn’t matter, it’s not important and at least we don’t have Covid and then we feel like our feelings are not valid,’ 40-year-old Laura Brown told the PA news agency.

‘It’s a day but it’s so much more than a day, because of all the emotions that go into it.’

Meanwhile, self-employed wedding celebrant Chris Gray, from Glasgow, called the restrictions around weddings ‘nonsensical’, such as couples being required to wear coverings during the ceremony.

The 29-year-old added: ‘That’s led so many people having to cancel or rearrange weddings and in the short-term it’s been an absolute hammer blow for cash flow for me.’

OTHER PUBLIC SPACES

TRAVELLING

People can spend time outdoors, including for exercise, as often as they wish. At all times, they should follow the guidance on group sizes, meeting in groups of no more than six unless there is an exception set out in law.  

They should aim to walk or cycle if you can, but where that is not possible they can use public transport or drive. 

It is difficult to socially distance during car journeys and transmission of coronavirus can occur in this context. 

So people should avoid travelling with someone from outside their household or their support bubble unless they can practise social distancing.

SPORTS MATCHES

In England, a maximum of six people can take part in indoor team sports. However, large sports events and conferences will not take place from October 1, as previously planned.

Mr Johnson announced that the planned return of spectators to sports venues in England could be on hold for six months, raising the prospect of months more of games behind closed doors.

A number of pilot test events, in which capacities have been capped at 1,000, have taken place and it was hoped venues would be allowed to welcome more spectators from the start of October.

In England, a maximum of six people can take part in indoor team sports. However, large sports events and conferences will not take place from October 1, as previously planned

In England, a maximum of six people can take part in indoor team sports. However, large sports events and conferences will not take place from October 1, as previously planned

In England, a maximum of six people can take part in indoor team sports. However, large sports events and conferences will not take place from October 1, as previously planned

In England, a maximum of six people can take part in indoor team sports. However, large sports events and conferences will not take place from October 1, as previously planned

But the PM set out a range of tough new restrictions for England designed to limit the spread of Covid-19.

‘We have to acknowledge that the spread of the virus is now affecting our ability to reopen business conferences, exhibitions and large sporting events,’ he told the House of Commons.

‘So we will not be able to do this from October 1 and I recognise the implications for our sports clubs which are the life and soul of our communities, and… the Chancellor and the Culture Secretary are working urgently on what we can do now to support them.’

He said the measures being announced on Tuesday would remain in place for ‘perhaps six months’.

It is a devastating blow to sporting organisations, many of whom rely heavily on match-day revenue for survival, and there have already been calls from governing bodies for the government to provide emergency funding.

Professional sport, including the Premier League and Test cricket, has largely been played behind closed doors since it returned following the coronavirus shutdown earlier this year.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport confirmed all pilot events scheduled for September had now been cancelled. They will now take place with no fans.

In a statement this afternoon, the Premier League said fans would be ‘as safe or even safer than at any other public activity currently permitted’.

‘The Premier League notes the Government’s announcement today and while the health of the nation must remain everyone’s priority, we are disappointed that the safe return of supporters to matches has been postponed,’ it said.

‘The Premier League is certain that, through League-wide guidelines and a code of conduct developed with scientific experts and agreed by the Government’s Sports Ground Safety Authority, fans in stadiums will be as safe or even safer than at any other public activity currently permitted. This is already evident in other European leagues.’ 

How long will the new restrictions be in place for? 

The new restrictions brought in today could last for six months – but Mr Johnson has insisted they are not a return to the national lockdown seen in March. 

He said: ‘For the time being, this virus is a fact of our lives and I must tell the House and the country that our fight against it will continue. 

‘We will not listen to those who say let the virus rip, nor those who urge a permanent lockdown. We are taking decisive and appropriate steps to balance saving lives with protecting jobs and livelihoods.’ 

Many families will be anxious for Christmas after hearing the new rules – but ministers have insisted they do not want to ruin the holiday season. 

The five days of panic which paved the way for Boris Johnson to impose a curfew on pubs

Thursday: The latest official data presented to ministers showed that coronavirus cases were on the rise in all age groups while hospitalisations were also increasing across the board. The numbers are said to have prompted Michael Gove to call for decisive action to be taken. 

By the end of the day a ‘consensus’ had reportedly emerged around a plan for a total shutdown of the hospitality and leisure sectors, with Mr Gove and Health Secretary Matt Hancock said to be the leading advocates. 

Advisers on the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies also backed the plans on the grounds that it was not possible to predict the impact of a less severe curfew on pubs, bars and restaurants. 

Mr Johnson was reportedly initially in favour of the total shutdown. 

Friday: The prospect of a total shutdown spooked ministers and officials in the Treasury and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy who were afraid of the damage such a move would do to the economy. 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is said to have asked to see the Prime Minister and the pair then met on Friday afternoon. Mr Sunak spelled out his fears in person and Mr Johnson was apparently sympathetic to the message from the Chancellor, asking officials to look at other options. 

Saturday and Sunday: Mr Johnson held further talks with senior ministers as well as with Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty as the premier tried to hammer out an agreed way forward. Mr Johnson eventually decided to go ahead with a curfew plan instead of a total shutdown as the ‘hawks’ in the Cabinet appeared to win the battle with the ‘doves’.

Monday: The PM’s latest lockdown plans were formally decided upon by senior ministers ahead of a formal announcement today.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk