For the attention of the Clerk of the Council
14th May 2020
I am writing to you to provide you and your Council with the latest information concerning the government’s new regulations for social distancing.
In view of the falling death rate and fewer infections in the community and new scientific evidence, the government has made some modest modifications to the lockdown restrictions. These changes took effect yesterday (Wednesday 13th May).
There has been no major change to the rules on work, although the government has signalled a change in emphasis. People are still encouraged to work from home where they can. However, if they cannot work from home, they are now encouraged to go to work.
The government has issued a further clarification that professional childcare is work that cannot be done from home, so people such as nannies or childminders can go to work.
Similarly, there has been no change to the rules regarding schools, but parents who are already allowed to send their children to school, such as critical workers, or parents of vulnerable children, will be encouraged to do so.
In view of scientific advice which suggests that risk of transmission is measurably lower outdoors, the government has made a number of changes to the rules. These include:
§ Lifting the restriction on exercise once a day, so people can now exercise outdoors as many times as they wish.
§ People are now permitted to spend time outside even when not exercising, so sunbathing, angling and other outdoor pursuits are allowed. This includes sports which can be played whilst socially distanced, such as tennis.
§ Meeting up with one person from outside your household is now allowed, so long as you remain at least two metres away.
§ People may drive to outdoor open spaces irrespective of distance, so long as they maintain social distancing requirements while there.
People are still not allowed to play team sports such as cricket or football, except with members of their own household, nor is it permissible to meet up in groups.
People should continue to avoid public transport where at all possible. The Government is now advising that people should aim to wear a face-covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible and they come into contact with others that they do not normally meet, for example on busses or in shops.
While you are allowed to drive to outdoor spaces irrespective of distance, this is not an excuse to travel miles for tourist purposes. Caravanning is still not allowed and caravan sites remain closed for non-permanent residents.
The government’s advice on international travel has not changed, however, international arrivals are likely to be required to self-isolate for fourteen days when entering the country. This requirement is expected to be in force by the end of the month.
The government is increasing the fines for those who break these regulations. Fines now start at £100 for a first infraction, doubling for each further offence, up to a maximum of £3,200.
The government has extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to October. There will be no changes to the scheme until the end of July. From August, the scheme will continue, with greater flexibility to allow employees to return to work.
The government has made some changes to the rules around the housing market, to make it easier for people to move home. People are now allowed to move house, so long as this is done in line with social distancing. Further, estate agent offices and show homes can reopen and viewings are permitted.
Further changes will be made no sooner than 1st June, if the number of infections and the rate of infection continue to fall.
While these modifications to the rules provide greater opportunities for individuals and families to enjoy the outdoors, it is important no one takes unacceptable advantage of it.
My own view is that what is allowed is not always wise, and I am urging everyone to consider the possible consequences of their actions. The best advice is still to stay at home where possible and I am discouraging tourists from visiting East Yorkshire at the present time.
If you have any concerns 0r questions relating to this new guidance, please feel free to contact me.
Telephone enquiries call 01377 812123 or 020 7219 4077.
If sending an email, please write to email@example.com
or, you can write to:
The Rt Hon Sir Greg Knight House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA. However, please note that the post is currently subject to some delays.
Sir Greg Knight MP