COVID National lockdown: business, travel + latest numbers

Businesses face tougher national restrictions in England this week as the country enters a second national lockdown. From Thursday, 5th November, everyone must stay at home, and may only leave for:

-work, if they cannot work from home. Workplaces will stay open where people cannot work from home – for example, in the construction or manufacturing sectors;
-school, college, other education
- exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household, support bubble or on your own with one person from another household;
-for all medical reasons, appointments and to escape injury or harm;
-to shop for food and essentials;
-and to provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.

Non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues will be closed. Click and collect services will continue and essential shops, including supermarkets, will remain open.

Pubs, bars, restaurants are closing. Takeaway and delivery services remain open.

Public services, such as medical services and courts, will also remain open. Church gatherings and organised team sports will not be allowed.

It was initially understood that the new restrictions would be in place for a month, but there is still a lack of clarity around timeframes -- something CBI director-general, Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, said must improve if businesses are to plan properly.

“Lockdown is a decision for government, not business, and firms share the Prime Minister’s ambition to defeat the virus, But for many businesses, a second national lockdown marks the start of a bleak midwinter. “With the right support firms will do everything possible to minimise the damage. Across the country they have already shown how resilient they can be in the face of tighter restrictions. And thanks to huge efforts by businesses to make workplaces COVID-secure, more of the economy can now stay open.

“Extending furlough is a vital step. It will bring instant relief and protect jobs. It’s also a breakthrough to hear government support for rapid mass testing. Affordable fast tests are a game-changer for business, enabling more firms to stay open and operate normally. We must use this lockdown month to prepare and roll-out mass testing as a matter of national urgency. However, some sectors may need more tailored support in the coming weeks.

“It’s also clear that communication needs to improve. Firms can’t plan on the basis of speculation. Formal business involvement in lockdown planning is now urgently needed, matched by coordination with devolved nations to minimise confusion and build confidence.”


Travel

Holidays or overnight stays will not be allowed during this national lockdown; people cannot travel internationally or within the UK, unless for work, education or "other legally permitted exemptions".

People are required to avoid travelling in or out of their local area, but can and should still travel for work (where this cannot be done from home); education, medical needs; visiting venues that are open; and exercise.

British nationals currently abroad do not need to return home immediately, but for those planning to travel home to England, they should check the current travel corridor list for isolation requirements.

In numbers: Coronavirus cases

There were 23,254 new cases of the virus in the UK during the 24 hours to Sunday, taking the total to 1,034,914. 162 additional deaths were recorded.

Globally, as of early this morning, there have been 46,166,182 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 1,196,362 deaths, reported to WHO.

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