Last updated: Wednesday 23rd September 2020
New national restrictions have been announced to tackle a worrying rise in Covid cases nationally:
- We are once again asking office workers who can work from home to do so. In key public services – and in all professions where homeworking is not possible, such as construction or retail – people should continue to attend their workplaces. The Government, Parliament as well as national and local government will be able to continue to take forward its business in a Covid-secure way and contribute to our national effort.
- From Thursday 24th September, all pubs, bars and restaurants must operate table-service only, except for take-aways and together with all hospitality venues, they must close at 10pm. To help the police to enforce this rule, this means closing, not calling for last orders. The same will apply to takeaways - though deliveries can continue thereafter. We must act to stop the virus from being transmitted in bars and restaurants.
- We will extend the requirement to wear face coverings. This will include staff in retail, all users of taxis and private hire vehicles and staff and customers in indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table to eat or drink.
- In retail, leisure, tourism and other sectors, our Covid-secure guidelines will become legal obligations. Businesses will be fined and could be closed if they breach these rules.
- We will tighten up the rule of six. From Monday 28th September, a maximum of 15 people will be able to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions. However, up to 30 can still attend a funeral as now. We will also have to extend the rule of six to all adult indoor team sports.
- The spread of the virus is now affecting our ability to reopen business conferences, exhibitions and large sporting events so we will not be able to do this from 1 October. We recognise the implications for our sports clubs, the life and soul of our communities, and the Chancellor and Culture Secretary are working urgently on how we can support them.
- This is not a return to the full lockdown in 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.
No social gatherings of more than six people are permitted. When meeting friends and family you do not live with, you must not meet in a group of more than six, indoors or outdoors. The police will have the powers to enforce these legal limits, including issuing fines (fixed penalty notice) of £200, doubling for further breaches up to a maximum of £3,200.
If you live in a household with more than 6 people, you can continue to gather in and attend all settings together. This same applies for your support bubble. All venues should continue to accommodate groups larger than 6 who live together or are in the same support bubble.
There are exceptions where groups can be larger than 6 people, including:
- for work, or the provision of voluntary or charitable services
- registered childcare, education or training
- supervised activities provided for children, including wraparound care, youth groups and activities, and children’s playgroups
- providing support to a vulnerable person
- providing emergency assistance, and to avoid injury or illness or to escape risk of harm
- for arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents
- fulfilling a legal obligation such as attending court or jury service
- weddings and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions – from 28 September, up to 15 people, in a public place
- funerals – up to 30 people. From 28 September, this does not include wakes (which are subject to the rule of 6), other than for religious ceremonial purposes
- organised outdoor sport or licensed outdoor physical activity, and supervised sporting activity (indoors or outdoors) for under-18s. Organised indoor sport or exercise classes can take place in larger numbers, provided groups of more than 6 do not mix. Organised indoor team sports for disabled people can take place in any number.
- elite sporting competition and training
- support groups up to 15 – formally organised groups to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. This includes support to victims of crime, recovering addicts, new parents, people with long-term illnesses, those facing issues relating to their sexuality or gender, and those who have suffered bereavement.
- protests – if organised in compliance with COVID-19 Secure guidance. All individuals must be socially distanced.
Where a group includes someone covered by one of these exemptions, they are not counted as part of the gatherings limit. This means, for example, that a tradesperson can go into a household of six without breaching the limit if they are there for work.
The government's Covid FAQs provides further advice on what you can and can't do.
Norfolk County Council's Protect Norfolk campaign recognises the level of infection in Norfolk has been relatively low. Now, we want to keep it that way. You can help by:
- Frequent and regular hand-washing with soap. The 'regular' bit of this means - washing hands whenever it is possible or likely you have had contact with surfaces that may be contaminated such as goods in shops, or surfaces used by people outside your bubble. Use water above 25°C.
- Social distancing. Keep a minimum of one metre apart from others, and preferably two metres if possible.
- Use a face mask when in public places. Face masks are now mandatory in most public places. You can find a complete list of all the places where face masks should be worn, and the exemptions for certain types/ages of people here.
Norfolk's Director of Public Health has led on the development of our Local Outbreak Plan in partnership with district councils, NHS executives, and the Norfolk Resilience Forum. The main aim is to work with community partners and council departments to prevent local outbreaks in the first place but, if they do occur, they will be tracked and managed to limit further transmission.
Tourism & Visitors
If you are planning to visit Norfolk, please download this useful information leaflet beforehand.
This poster is available for hotels, B&Bs, campsites and other types of local accommodation to display for guests' information. And this useful flow chart describes the process for dealing with guests with suspected coronavirus.
Latest Advice from the Government
You can search for guidance and sources of support here.
Support for the Vulnerable
If you are vulnerable and in need of support, Norfolk County Council has a dedicated helpline to provide assistance: telephone 0344 800 8020.
Norfolk County Council has updated its guidance for carers, which can be found here.
The NCC Short Breaks Team has made funding available for the families of over 900 children with special educational needs and disabilities who receive short breaks, to buy play equipment to support their needs at home (eg. books, arts, craft materials, and tables) - with a spend of up to £500 per child deducted from annual short breaks funding allowance.
Mental Health & Wellbeing
Norfolk County Council wants parents, carers, children, and young people to know about the NHS 'Just One Norfolk' mental health portal which is now the single place to access mental health advice and support for 0-25 year olds. No referral is needed, and advice and support can be requested straight away. If needed, users will be referred for more specialist help. There is also a 24/7 helpline for people of all ages, offering immediate support for mental health difficulties arising from the coronavirus situation. The line is also open for healthcare professionals such as ambulance staff and GPs, social care colleagues and police personnel, who may need advice when working with individuals undergoing mental health difficulties. Telephone 0800 196 3494.
The government's Hardship Fund, providing council tax relief to vulnerable people and households affected by coronavirus, is administered by North Norfolk District Council. Telephone 01263 516000 for assistance.
- The government's Business Support Finder tool is now live and can be found here.
- The government will cover 80% of employees' wages, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
- The package of other measures in place can be found here.
- The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership offers free advice and support to businesses: details here. Business grants are administered by North Norfolk District Council. You may find New Anglia LEP's factsheet helpful - available for download below.
- The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is now open for applications. Further information can be found here.
- A new scheme for businesses in need of smaller loans was announced on 27th April. Bounce Back Loans, up to a maximum of £50,000 or 25% of turnover will be available from 0900 on Monday 4th May. The government will support lending by guaranteeing 100% of the loan and will pay the interest for the first twelve months. Further details here.
The government has announced £750m of support for charities. Charities will also be able to access much of the support currently available for businesses. Further details here.
NORTH NORFOLK DISTRICT COUNCIL
Coronavirus advice page here.
NORFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL
Coronavirus advice page here. Helpline: 01263 516000.
NORFOLK & WAVENEY HERE TO HELP
A Facebook resource linking people with community initiatives and projects. Search for 'Norfolk & Waveney Here to Help'.
NATIONAL CAREERS SERVICE
Job search support, careers and training advice. Telephone 0800 917 9419.
Many town and parish councils and community groups are providing support for the most vulnerable - please contact your local council for details.