COVID 'rule of six': A rough guide for businesses + NUMBERS

This week brings more new measures from the Government as it reacts to the recent rise in COVID-19 infections in the UK.

From Monday, individuals will not be permitted to meet with those from other households socially in groups of more than 6 -- indoors, outdoors, and in private homes.

The new rules are enforceable by law, with increasingly large fines for non-compliance. The government has said it will support local authorities and police forces in their response to breaches of COVID-19 Secure guidelines. The widely-criticised plan to roll out COVID-19 Secure Marshals is part of this arsenal.

The new rules do not, however, apply to most businesses. The important exemptions are:

-COVID-19 Secure venues
-Education and work settings
-Organised team sports
-Weddings and funerals (max 30 people)

It has further threatened another country-wide lockdown should these measures and others, including local lockdowns, prove to be ineffective in stemming the coronavirus tide.

The risks to businesses are more likely to emanate from public distaste and possible civil unrest in response to what is perceived by some as a haphazard and inconsistent response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

We foresee that independent security companies guarding business and residential estates will also find themselves under increasing pressure.

CIR readers will already be aware of the Health & Safety Executive's rules and their unscheduled visits to enforce them.

Information on local lockdowns may be accessed here:

Cases and quarantines

The number of new reported cases of coronavirus has risen sharply in Europe, overtaking the US this week, making it the global hotspot for cases, France and Spain particular.

French Polynesia, Hungary, Reunion and mainland Portugal (not including Madeira and the Azores) are no longer on the travel advice exemptions list, following the latest assessment of COVID-19 risks. The FCDO advises against all non-essential travel to these countries and territories. Sweden has been added to the travel advice exemptions list.

In the UK, reported in the 24 hours rose sharply to 2,919, with 14 reported deaths.

It is also worth noting that the UK saw earlier this week its biggest jump in reported cases in a single day since 22nd May, although just three deaths were recorded.

On examination of the R rate, SAGE’s view is that the epidemic is growing.

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