Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent will be subject to Very High / Tier 3 Covid-19 restrictions from Wednesday 2nd December.
This will be reviewed every two weeks, with the next review on the 16th December.
The main differences between the restrictions now, in the national lockdown, and Tier 3 for business, is that retail and non-essential shops, personal care and close contact services (e.g. hairdressers) will be allowed to operate as long as they are Covid-19 secure. All hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha venues), pubs, cafes and restaurants need to stay closed– but are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.
When Staffordshire moves into ‘Very High’ from the 2nd December, it means the following for business:
- essential and non-essential retail, including indoor and outdoor markets and car boot sales can open.
- 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 – subject to relevant social contact rules in each tier. Indoor group activities and classes should not take place.
- 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 open.
- visits to care homes can take place with arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, and window visits.
- people must not socialise in groups of more than 6 in business-based outdoor spaces, including grounds of heritage sites or sports facilities – a ‘rule of 6’.
- 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.
- indoor entertainment and tourist venues must close. This includes:
- indoor play centres and areas, including trampolining parks and soft play
- bingo halls
- bowling alleys
- skating rinks
- amusement arcades and adult gaming centres
- laser quests and escape rooms
- cinemas, theatres and concert halls
- snooker halls
- indoor attractions at most outdoor entertainment venues must also close (indoor shops, through-ways and public toilets at such attractions can remain open). This includes most indoor attractions.
- leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open, but group exercise classes (including fitness and dance) should not go ahead.
- there should be no public attendance at spectator sport or indoor performances and large business events should not be taking place.
- large outdoor events (performances and shows) should not take place, with the exception of drive-in events.
- weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions are not allowed, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, 15 people can attend linked commemorative events.
- organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes cannot take place indoors. There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s.
- avoid travelling to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays other than where necessary, such as for work.
What support is there for business when we go to ‘Very High’?
We’ll keep you up to date with any further announcements over the coming days and weeks. The following are still current:
1) Extension of ‘furlough’ – The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended for a month with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. About the extension to the furlough scheme
2) Local business premises forced to close in England are to receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant. Contact your district or borough council or the city council in Stoke-on-Trent for more information.