GovWire

Detailed guide: North East of England: local restrictions

Department Of Health

September 20
17:51 2020

An outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has been identified in the North East of England. The government and the relevant local authorities are working together to control the spread of the virus.

Restrictions and guidance apply to the specified areas below.

Affected local areas

  • Durham (County Council area)
  • Gateshead (Metropolitan Borough Council area)
  • Newcastle (City Council area)
  • Northumberland (County Council area)
  • North Tyneside (Metropolitan District Council area)
  • South Tyneside (Metropolitan District Council area)
  • Sunderland (City Council area)

Local restrictions

Business and venue closures and restrictions

The following businesses and venues must remain closed nationally, including in the affected areas:

  • nightclubs, dance halls, and discotheques
  • sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars

Hospitality venues must only sell food and drink for consumption on the premises if it is served to customers sitting at a table. They may also sell food and drink for consumption off the premises. Hospitality venues include:

  • restaurants, including hotel dining rooms and members clubs
  • cafes (not including cafes or canteens at workplaces, hospitals, care homes, schools, prisons, establishments intended for the use of naval, military or air force purposes and for providing food or drink to the homeless)
  • bars including bars in hotels or members clubs
  • pubs
  • social clubs
  • casinos

The following businesses and venues must close from 22:00 to 05:00 each day (please see below an exemption for food and drink deliveries):

  • the hospitality businesses and venues listed above
  • restaurants, including hotel dining rooms and members clubs
  • cafes (not including cafes or canteens at workplaces, hospitals, care homes, schools, prisons, establishments intended for the use of naval, military or air force purposes and for providing food or drink to the homeless)
  • bars including bars in hotels or members clubs
  • pubs
  • bowling alleys
  • social clubs
  • cinemas
  • theatres
  • casinos
  • amusement arcades or other indoor leisure centres or facilities
  • funfairs (indoors or outdoors), theme parks and adventure parks and activities
  • bingo halls
  • concert halls

Businesses and venues can still sell food and drinks for consumption off the premises between the hours of 22:00 to 05:00 but only for delivery service in response to orders received:

  • through a website, or otherwise by online communication
  • by telephone, including orders by text message
  • by post

Social contact restrictions

If you live in one of the affected areas, you must not:

  • host people you do not live with in your home or garden, unless theyre in your support bubble
  • meet people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside of the affected areas, unless theyre in your support bubble.

A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household (on an exclusive basis). Households within a bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit public places together.

The police are able to take action against those that break these rules, including asking people to disperse and issuing fixed penalty notices starting at 100 for those who participate in illegal gatherings.

People aged 18 or over can be fined:

  • 100 for the first offence, lowered to 50 if paid within 14 days
  • 200 for the second offence, then doubling for each further offence up to a maximum of 3,200

The government has also introduced fines for those who hold illegal gatherings of over 30 people. Holding or being involved in the holding of an illegal gathering of more than 30 people is an offence, and police may issue fines of 10,000 to those who break the law.

People can still come inside your home or garden for specific purposes set out in law:

  • where everyone in the gathering lives together or is in the same support bubble
  • to attend a birth at the mothers request
  • to visit a person who is dying
  • to fulfil a legal obligation
  • for work purposes (see guidance on working safely in other peoples homes), or for the provision of voluntary or charitable services
  • for the purposes of education or training
  • for the purposes of childcare provided by a registered provider or for the purposes of supervised activities provided for children
  • to provide emergency assistance
  • to enable one or more persons in the gathering to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm
  • to facilitate a house move
  • to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person
  • to continue existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children where the children do not live in the same household as their parents, or one of their parents.

From Monday 14 September, when meeting friends and family you do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with) you must not meet in a group of more than 6. Further detail can be found in the guidance for meeting others safely, including associated exemptions. In the affected local area, you must not meet or host people you do not live with in private homes or gardens unless they are in your support bubble. In addition to these restrictions, we advise that you should not:

  • socialise with people you do not live with, unless theyre in your support bubble, in any public venue. This applies to inside and outside of the affected areas. Examples of public venues include pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions.
  • visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances. Care homes should restrict visits to these circumstances.

If you operate a business or organise events within the affected areas you should take steps to ensure people do not socialise with people they do not live with, in line with COVID-19 secure guidance.

Travel restrictions

You should follow all relevant transport guidance when making a journey into, within or out of the affected areas.

You must wear a face covering on public transport and in substantially enclosed areas of transport hubs in England (as well as in a range of other indoor premises). You will be breaking the law if you fail to do so and could be fined. Some people do not have to wear a face covering including for age, health, or disability reasons.

We advise that you should only travel for essential reasons when travelling into, within and out of the affected areas. We encourage you to walk or cycle where possible and to plan your journey in advance, avoiding busy times and routes if possible. Examples of essential travel include:

  • to get to and from work
  • to get essential food or medical supplies including click and collect services
  • to support someone who is vulnerable, if no one else can do so
  • to travel to and from the homes of others in your support bubble
  • to attend an early years setting, school or college, or to accompany a child who is attending an early years setting, school, college or university where necessary
  • to fulfil legal obligations
  • to seek medical care, or avoid illness, injury or harm

You should also try not to share a car with those outside your household or support bubble. If you need to, try to:

  • share the car with the same people each time
  • keep to small groups of people at any one time
  • open windows for ventilation
  • travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where seating arrangements allow
  • consider seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle
  • clean your car between journeys using standard cleaning products make sure you clean door handles and other areas that people may touch
  • ask the driver and passengers to wear a

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