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Detailed guide: North East of England: local restrictions

Department Of Health

September 30
06:27 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

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

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

Early closures

Across England, the following businesses and venues must close from 22:00 to 05:00 each day except to deliver food or drinks or provide drive-through services. Take-away is not permitted during this time period.

  • all hospitality businesses and venues listed above (apart from workplace canteens if there is no practical alternative for staff at that workplace to obtain food)
  • bowling alleys
  • amusement arcades or other indoor leisure centres or facilities (excluding indoor gyms and fitness studios)
  • funfairs (indoors or outdoors), theme parks and adventure parks and activities
  • bingo halls
  • cinemas
  • theatres
  • concert halls

Cinemas, theatres or concert halls can stay open beyond 22:00 to conclude a performance that has begun before 22:00, but they must close once the performance has concluded.

For England, including the areas affected in this guidance, hospitality venues must take reasonable steps to ensure that customers only consume food and drink while seated and, if the business serves alcohol for consumption on the premises, it must also only take orders for food and drink from customers who are seated. Take-away orders can be made at a counter or bar.

Hospitality venues subject to these restrictions include:

  • restaurants, including restaurants and dining rooms in hotels or members clubs.
  • cafes, including workplace canteens, but not including:
    • cafes or canteens at a hospital, care home or school
    • canteens at a prison or an establishment intended for use for naval, military or air force purposes or for the purposes of the Department of the Secretary of State responsible for defence
  • services providing food or drink to the homeless
  • bars, including bars in hotels or members clubs
  • public houses
  • social clubs
  • casinos

In all areas affected, hospitality venues should also take steps to ensure that people do not socialise outside of their households inside and outside your premises.

Across England, the following businesses and venues must close from 22:00 to 05:00 each day each day except to deliver food, or provide drive-thrus, but take-away is not permitted:

  • all hospitality businesses and venues listed above (save that workplace canteens can remain open if there is no practical alternative for staff at that workplace to obtain food)
  • bowling alleys
  • amusement arcades or other indoor leisure centres or facilities (excluding indoor gyms and fitness studios)
  • funfairs (indoors or outdoors), theme parks and adventure parks and activities
  • bingo halls
  • cinemas
  • theatres
  • concert halls

Cinemas, theatres or concert halls can stay open beyond 22:00 to conclude a performance that has begun before 22:00, but they must close once the performance has concluded.

Business restrictions

Hospitality venues must take reasonable steps to ensure:

  • customers only consume food and drink while seated in the premises
  • orders are taken from customers who are seated, if the business serves alcohol for consumption on the premises
  • bookings are not accepted, or customers admitted onto the premises if:
    • groups include more than one household and support bubble if they will be located indoors
    • groups include more than one household and support bubble, or more than 6 people if the group includes multiple households, if they will be located outdoors
  • Customers do not join other groups inside the premises (including outdoor areas such as beer gardens)
  • Tables are appropriately spaced to enable social distancing

Take-away orders can continue to be made at a counter or bar.

Hospitality venues subject to these restrictions include:

  • restaurants, including restaurants and dining rooms in hotels or members clubs.
  • bars, including bars in hotels or members clubs
  • public houses
  • social clubs
  • casinos
  • cafes,
  • workplace canteens (except those exempted below)

The following businesses and venues are not subjected to these restrictions:

  • cafes or canteens at a hospital, care home or school
  • canteens at a prison or an establishment intended for use for naval, military or air force purposes or for the purposes of the Department of the Secretary of State responsible for defence
  • services providing food or drink to the homeless

There are also some limited exceptions to the one household restrictions indoors or the 6 person limits outdoors set out in law. In particular, for hospitality settings, there is a limit of 15 persons in relation to people attending a wedding or civil partnership reception.

Across England, unless you have an exemption, you must wear a face covering in a range of indoor premises. This now includes hospitality venues (bars, pubs, restaurants, cafes), except when eating or drinking.

Businesses can be fined by local authorities or the police if they fail to fulfil the obligations placed on them in law, such as ensuring that people do not meet in their premises with people outside of their household or support bubble, ensuring that tables are appropriately spaced, that loud music isnt played and that customers do not sing in non-household groups, or dance. Fines will be issued:

  • 1,000 for the first offence
  • 2,000 for the second offence
  • 4,000 for the third offence
  • and then 10,000 for the fourth and all subsequent offences

Social contact restrictions

If you live in the affected local areas, you must not (unless theyre in your support or childcare bubble):

  • host people you do not live with in your home or garden
  • meet people you do not live with in their home or garden, whether inside or outside the affected local areas
  • socialise with people who you do not live with in indoor settings, whether inside or outside of the affected local areas

Your household is defined as the people you live with and any 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.

A childcare bubble is where someone in one household can provide informal (i.e. unpaid and unregistered) childcare to a child aged 13 or under in another household. This must occur on an exclusive basis - always the same two households.

The police will be able to take action against those who break these rules, including asking people to disperse and issuing fixed penalty notices starting at 200 for those who participate in illegal gatherings.

People aged 18 or over can be fined:

  • 200 for the first offence, lowered to 100 if paid within 14 days
  • 400 for the second offence, then doubling for each further offence up to a maximum of 6,400

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.

Gatherings within indoor settings, as well as your home or garden can still take place 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 ch

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