As readers will know, the Government has had to introduce a number of new measures in the fight against Coronavirus. These are in addition to the restrictions on social contact which remain in place across Solihull.
There is no doubt in my mind that these measures will be difficult for many people, but the Government feels they are vital to help stop the spread of Coronavirus.
The Government is once again asking office workers who can work from home to do so. In key public services – and in all professions where homeworking is not possible, such as construction or retail – people should continue to attend their workplaces.
From Thursday all pubs, bars and restaurants must operate table-service only, except for take-aways and together with all hospitality venues, they must close at 10pm.
The same rules will apply to takeaways - though deliveries can continue thereafter.
As well as this, the Government are extending the requirement to wear face coverings. This will include staff in retail, all users of taxis and private hire vehicles and staff and customers in indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table to eat or drink. Exemptions will continue to be in place for those who are unable to wear a face mask, under the same rules already in place.
In retail, leisure, tourism and other sectors, Covid-secure guidelines will become legal obligations. In addition, business conferences, exhibitions and large sporting events so we will not be able to reopen from 1st October as originally planned.
Finally, from Monday, a maximum of 15 people will be able to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions. However, up to 30 can still attend a funeral. The Government will also be extending the rule of six to all adult indoor team sports.
There has been a change to the local lockdown measures in Solihull. Following my letter to the Health Secretary I am very pleased to see updated guidance on informal childcare. This allows looking after children under the age of 14, or vulnerable adults by families and grandparents. This is vitally important for so many working families and the change is welcomed.