The end of lockdown: its all ended in tiers!

As of 2nd December, Lockdown 2.0 ceased and we now have entered what feels like another lockdown period! The good news for organisations is that a lot of the hard work required to prepare for the tiered approach should already have been completed. We haven’t seen any significant changes in the guidance to prepare your workplace to be COVID-Secure.

Just to clarify, the changes on the 2nd have meant that the countrywide lockdown has ceased, and geographical areas have now moved back to the 3-tier system. Your area will be designated as one of the three tiers and you can check which one here: https://www.gov.uk/find-coronavirus-local-restrictions. These haven’t really changed since their last implementation, but for clarity we’ll set out the general requirements of each below (please note that we are highlighting the business guidance that we feel is applicable to the majority of our clients. The full guidance is available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/local-restriction-tiers-what-you-need-to-know):

 

 

All Tiers

  1. Persons who were previously classified as being ‘Clinically Extremely Vulnerable’ should work from home wherever possible. If this is not possible then this group may now return to work provided that the workplace is COVID-Secure. We would strongly advise any organisation where such persons are going to return to the workplace make additional arrangements to ensure social distancing, enhanced housekeeping, and hygiene are in place.
  2. For educational organisations, pupils who had previously been classified as ‘Clinically Extremely Vulnerable’ should now return to school with additional measures in place. Only pupils who have specifically been advised by a doctor or specialist not to attend an education setting should remain at home. We expect this to be a small cohort of persons, and they will have been specifically advised. The blanket letter that was issued to all potentially affected persons will not apply for this period.
  3. Persons who live with someone previously classified as being ‘Clinically Extremely Vulnerable’, but are not classified as such, should continue to attend work if they are unable to work from home. For educational organisations, pupils who are in the household but are not clinically extremely vulnerable themselves should continue to attend school.
  4. Essential and non-essential retail can re-open.
  5. Certain leisure and sporting facilities (such as gyms, sports courts and facilities, leisure centres, fitness and dance studios, golf courses, swimming pools, riding centres, outdoor playgrounds) can re-open subject to the social contact rules in each tier.
  6. Personal care and close contact services (such as hairdressers and barbers, beauty salons, tattoo parlours, nail salons, spas and beauty services, massage parlours and tanning salons) can re-open.
  7. Places of worship can resume.
  8. Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events
  9. Travel for work purposes is permitted across all tiers.

Please remember that the guidance remains that everyone who can work from home should do so, however those that cannot should continue to travel to their workplace. This includes essential services, such as education settings, where employees should continue to go into work where necessary.

 

Tier 1 – Medium Alert

  1. Nightclubs must remain closed.
  2. Hospitality businesses that serve alcohol must provide:
    1. Table service only.
    2. Close between 11pm and 5am.
    3. Stop taking orders after 10pm.

Please note that there is now a 1 hour ‘drinking up’ period from 10pm to 11pm to facilitate an orderly emptying of the premises.

  1. Organised outdoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes can continue
  2. Organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes can continue to take place, if the rule of 6 is followed.
  3. Public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 4,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
  4. Public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 4,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors

 

Tier 2 – High Alert

As per Tier 1, except:

  1. Pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals
  2. Hospitality businesses that serve food or drink must provide:
    1. Table service only.
    2. Close between 11pm and 5am.
    3. Stop taking orders after 10pm.
  3. Hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through.
  4. Public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
  5. Public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors

 

Tier 3 – Very High Alert

As per Tier 1 and 2, except:

  1. Hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha venues), pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed – they are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.
  2. Accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and guest houses must close. There are several exemptions, such as for those who use these venues as their main residence, and those requiring the venues where it is reasonably necessary for work or education and training
  3. Indoor entertainment and tourist venues must close. This includes: indoor play centres and areas, including trampolining parks and soft play; casinos; bingo halls; bowling alleys; skating rinks; amusement arcades and adult gaming centres; laser quests and escape rooms; cinemas, theatres and concert halls ; snooker halls.
  4. Indoor attractions at mostly outdoor entertainment venues must also close (indoor shops, through-ways and public toilets at such attractions can remain open). This includes indoor attractions within: zoos, safari parks, and wildlife reserves; aquariums, visitor attractions at farms, and other animal attractions; model villages; museums, galleries and sculpture parks; botanical gardens, biomes or greenhouses; theme parks, circuses, fairgrounds and funfairs; visitor attractions at film studios; heritage sites such as castles and stately homes; landmarks including observation decks and viewing platforms.
  5. Leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open, but group exercise classes (including fitness and dance) should not go ahead. Saunas and steam rooms should close
  6. There should be no public attendance at spectator sport or indoor performances and large business events should not be taking place. Elite sport events may continue to take place without spectators
  7. Large outdoor events (performances and shows) should not take place, with the exception of drive-in events
  8. Organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue, however higher-risk contact activity should not take place
  9. Organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes cannot take place indoors. There are exceptions for indoor disabled sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for the under-18s.

 

We appreciate that these continue to be exceptional times for businesses, particularly those that are not able to function as normal. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact our consultants on 01302 341 344.

 

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