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Support and advice for businesses affected by COVID-19.

FAQ on local restrictions - what you can and can't do in Preston

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This content was last updated on 26 November 2020

Following the lifting of national lockdown restrictions on Wednesday 2 December, Government has declared that Preston is a "Tier 3, Very High Alert" area according to the Government Covid Alert system.

These new measures will take effect from 00:01 Wednesday 2 December.

This page is accurate based on the information and guidance we have received from government. We will update this page with any further information we receive.

For information on the temporary lifting of restrictions between 23 and 27 December, please visit GOV.UK - Making a Christmas bubble with friends and family.

Local COVID alert level: Tier 3, Very High

This means that in addition to restrictions affecting all tiers, the following rules apply in Preston from 2 December 2020:

  • You must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble. This includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues
  • You must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in some other outdoor public spaces, including parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or castle, or a sports facility - this is called the 'rule of 6'
  • Hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha venues), pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed - they are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services
  • Accommodation such as hotels, Bed and Breakfasts, 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
  • Places of worship remain open, but you must not attend with or socialise with  anyone outside of your household or support bubble while you are there, unless a legal exemption applies
  • 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
  • Leisure and sports facilities (including gyms) may stay open, but group exercise classes (including fitness and dance) should not go ahead. Saunas and steam rooms should close
  • You can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible
  • Avoid travelling to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. You can travel through other areas as part of a longer journey
  • For international travel see the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office travel advice for your destination and the travel corridors list

View GOV.UK - detailed information on the restrictions in Tier 3

What are the exemptions for meeting with family and friends?

There are a number of exemptions to the above restrictions on meeting, including:

  • As part of a single household, or a support bubble
  • For work or providing voluntary or charitable services, including in other people's homes
  • For childcare, education or training - meaning education and training provided as part of a formal curriculum
  • For supervised activities provided for children, including wraparound care (before and after-school childcare), groups and activities for under 18s, and children's playgroups
  • For formal support groups, and parent and child groups - up to 15 people aged 5 and older
  • To allow contact between birth parents and children in care, as well as between siblings in care
  • For arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents or guardians
  • For prospective adopting parents to meet a child or children who may be placed with them
  • For birth partners
  • To attend a funeral - with no more than 30 people present - or a commemorative event such as a wake for someone who has died - with no more than 15 people present
  • To see someone who is terminally ill or at the end of life
  • To attend a wedding or civil partnership - with no more than 15 people present
  • To provide emergency assistance
  • To avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm
  • To fulfil a legal obligation, such as attending court or jury service
  • To provide care or assistance to someone vulnerable or to provide respite for a carer
  • To facilitate moving home

Businesses and venues

For detailed information, please visit our closures to businesses and support available page.

Under Tier 3 restrictions the following must close:

  • Hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha venues), pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed - they are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services
  • Accommodation such as hotels, bed and breakfasts, 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
  • A range of indoor entertainment and tourism venues must also close including indoor play centres, trampoline parks, casinos, bowling alleys, bingo halls and amusement/adult gaming venues. This list is not exhaustive, please visit our business pages for more information on specific venues.

Organised sport

  • There should be no public attendance at spectator sport or indoor performances. Elite sport events may continue to take place without spectators
  • Organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue, however higher-risk contact activity should not take place
  • 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
  • Please refer to your relevant sporting organisation body (such as the FA, RFU etc.) or Sport England for further information.

What businesses can be open?

In all tiers, the following businesses and venues can remain open:

  • Essential and non-essential retail, including indoor and outdoor markets and car boot sales
  • 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 at tier 3
  • 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
  • Public buildings, such as libraries, community centres and halls. They should not host events for private hire, such as birthday parties or most other social activities in tier 3
  • Allotments, recycling and waste centres, public toilets, car parks
  • Essential public services such as the NHS and medical services, courts, and jobcentre plus sites
  • Places of worship - communal worship can now resume, subject to relevant social contact rules in each tier

Please note: All businesses and venues that are open are expected to follow COVID-19 secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.

Is childcare still available?

Parents will still be able to access some registered childcare and other childcare activities (including wraparound care) where reasonably necessary to enable parents to work, or for the purposes of respite care.

Early years settings can remain open.

Some youth services may be able to continue, such as 1 - 1 youth work and support groups, but most youth clubs and groups will need to cease for this period.

Parents are able to form a childcare bubble with another household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is 13 or under.

As above, some households will also be able to benefit from being in a support bubble, which allows single adult households to join another household.

What is the advice for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable?

If you have been defined as clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus you should work from home.

Please stay at home as much as possible, except for exercise outdoors.

If you cannot work from home there may be support such as Statutory Sick Pay (SS) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

If you are clinically vulnerable, you are reminded to minimise contact with others, carefully follow the rules and continue to thoroughly wash your hands, as well as frequently touched areas of your home and workspace.

What is a support bubble?

A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household.

Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit outdoor public places together.

For more information please visit GOV.UK - Making a support bubble with another household.

Where can I get tested?

For the latest information on coronavirus testing in Preston, please visit our Coronavirus testing page, using the button below.

View our Coronavirus testing page

I've been asked to self-isolate, how do I get the support payment?

You may be asked to self-isolate for a number of reasons including a positive test for you, someone in your household, if you've been contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service or whether you are experiencing coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms.

For more information on the importance of self-isolating as well as accessing the Test and Trace Support Payment for people on low income who are required to self-isolate, please visit our self-isolating page.

View information on self-isolating due to coronavirus

Can I go to work?

Everyone who can work effectively from home must do so. Where this is not possible (such as critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing) they should continue to travel to work and attend their workplace.

Public sector employees working in essential services, including education settings, should continue to go into work.

All work places must closely follow Covid-secure guidelines, and extra consideration should be given to those at higher risk.

If I live at university can I visit my parents' home?

If you live at university, you must not move back and forward between your permanent home and student home during term time. You should only return home at the end of term for Christmas.

Please contact your University for further information and guidance.

How can I report a Coronavirus concern?

If you are concerned about the implementation of COVID secure measures in a business, workplace or other public building please report this by using our Coronavirus report form.

Report a coronavirus concern

Where can I get tested?

For the latest information on coronavirus testing in Preston, please visit our Coronavirus testing page, using the button below.

Coronavirus Testing

Information on self-isolating due to coronavirus and the Test and Trace Support Payment

You may be asked to self-isolate for a number of reasons including a positive test for you, someone in your household, if you've been contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service or whether you are experiencing coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms.

For more information on the importance of self-isolating as well as accessing the Test and Trace Support Payment for people on low income who are required to self-isolate, please visit our self-isolating page.

View information on self-isolating due to coronavirus

COVID-19 symptoms

For a comprehensive list of COVID-19 symptoms visit NHS - COVID-19.

If you are displaying these symptoms or feel unwell please get tested as soon as possible. Where practical please avoid the use of taxis or public transport to attend a testing site.

Can I still access help?

Help for vulnerable people is still available via Preston Together 

Face coverings

What is the latest guidance on face coverings?

For the latest guidance and exemptions visit GOV.UK - Face coverings - when to wear one and how to make your own.

Can I be fined for not wearing a face covering?

The new legislation means it's a legal requirement to wear a face covering in shops and supermarkets.

Police can issue fines of £200 for non-compliance and have the powers to enforce the requirement to wear face coverings in certain premises and on public transport. 

You can report any non-compliance Covid-19 issues to the Police using their Covid-19 online report form.

What if I refuse?

On public transport, for example, those who obstruct or ignore orders from police "without reasonable excuse" commit an offence and can be prosecuted.

What about pubs, cafes and restaurants?

From Thursday 24 September you must wear a face covering in pubs, cafes and restaurants except when seated at a table to eat or drink. This means you must wear a face covering when being shown to a table, when leaving the venue and when going to and from toilet facilities.

Places where you need to wear a face covering

There are different rules for customers and employees regarding the wearing of a face covering.

Exemptions do still apply and employees who are unsure should contact their employer for further guidance.

Members of the public

You must wear a face covering, unless exempt:

  • on public transport and in transport hubs
  • while in a taxi or other private hire vehicle
  • while in a hospitality venue (pub, restaurant, cafe etc.) except when seated at a table to eat or drink (from 24 September)
  • in shops, supermarkets and shopping centres - even your local corner shop and includes indoor markets
  • Post Office, bank, solicitor's office etc
  • hair salon, barber and nail bars - including close contact services
  • vets
  • visitor attractions - museums and galleries, cinemas and bingo halls
  • libraries
  • places of worship
  • funeral homes and crematorium

Employees

GOV.UK provides guidance on the use of face coverings at work.

Employers must make sure that the risk assessment for their business addresses the risks of COVID-19 using BEIS guidance to inform decisions and control measures including close proximity working.

From 24 September:

  • Staff in hospitality and retail sectors will now be required to wear a face covering unless exempt
  • Staff performing close contact services (such as beauty treatments) must now wear a face covering and visor
  • Staff working on public transport and taxi drivers will continue to be advised to wear face coverings.

If you are unsure of how this applies to you, please contact your employer

Face covering exemptions

Some people are exempt from face covering, including:

  • children under 11
  • people with a medical exemption
  • employees in indoors settings
  • Police and emergency workers
  • speaking with someone who relies on lip reading
An image relating to Residencies affected by area of intervention measures
Following the announcement from Government that Preston is an area of intervention, new restrictions apply to residents within the area administrated by Preston City Council.

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