9 Changes To The Coronavirus Lockdown Rules You Need To Know Today

Chris York
·5-min read

Get the latest on coronavirus. Sign up to the Daily Brief for news, explainers, how-tos, opinion and more.

The government has announced a number of changes to coronavirus lockdown rules overnight, some good and some bad depending on your current situation.

If you’re on holiday in France then you face a race to get home before quarantine restrictions are imposed but if you’re a snooker fan or have a wedding planned then things are about to improve.

1) Fines

Fines across the UK for repeatedly refusing to wear a mask could soar to £3,200 and organisers of illegal raves could face a £10,000 penalty, Boris Johnson has announced.

At present, people who refuse to wear a face-covering where it is required face a £100 fine, which can be reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days.

Under the new measures, that penalty will double for subsequent offences, up to a maximum of £3,200, PA Media reports.

In England, face coverings are mandatory in settings including public transport, shops and museums, with some exemptions for children or on medical grounds.

And a clampdown on illegal gatherings of more than 30 people could see those responsible hit with spot fines of up to £10,000, a Downing Street source indicated.

Police chiefs have promised increased patrols to prevent unlicensed events following a spate of parties during the heatwave.

2) Holidays

Last night the government said travellers arriving from France after 4am on Saturday will be required to quarantine for 14 days due to fears over rising numbers of coronavirus cases in the country.

The Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks & Caicos and Aruba have also been added to the quarantine list from Saturday.

The decision to include France will cause dismay for thousands of British holidaymakers currently in the country.

It was made in response to the spread of the virus, with the latest 14-day cumulative figures showing 32.1 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people in France, compared with 18.5 in the UK.

The move will come as a bitter blow to the hard-pressed French tourism industry which relies heavily on visitors from the UK.

<strong>People wearing masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19 walk at Trocadero plaza near Eiffel Tower in Paris, Saturday, August 8.</strong> (Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
People wearing masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19 walk at Trocadero plaza near Eiffel Tower in Paris, Saturday, August 8. (Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The Foreign Office updated its advice to warn against all but essential travel to the country because of the coronavirus risk.

But it’s not all bad news – the PM also confirmed plans to open up more of the economy from Saturday.

The changes will not apply in the specific areas where local restrictions are in place.

The following only apply to England...

3) Culture

Indoor theatre, music and performance venues will be able to reopen with socially distanced audiences.

Under the new government guidelines, such venues will have to operate at a reduced capacity and limit ticket sales to ensure distancing can be maintained inside.

There could also be increased delays between performances as venues will be required to undertake “deep cleans” before the next audience arrives.

Those on stage will also have to keep to social distancing rules.

Nightclubs, dance halls and sexual entertainment venues will remain closed.

(Photo: PA Media)
(Photo: PA Media)

4) Sport

The piloting of spectators at sporting events will resume, with a limited number of fans expected to be allowed to watch the World Snooker Championship at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre over the weekend.

The government said it will resume plans to pilot a small number of sporting events in order to test the safe return of larger crowds.

If venues are able to successfully keep fans socially distanced, sports arenas could reopen to supporters from October 1.

5) Beauty

“Close contact” beauty services such as facials, eyebrow threading and eyelash treatments will resume.

However, workplaces must still remain Covid-19 secure, with regular cleaning and hand washing taking place. Staff offering, including hairdressers, will now have to wear a face mask as well as a clear visor.

The guidance also applies to businesses that operate remotely, such as massage therapists working in people’s homes, and those learning in vocational training environments.

6) Weddings

Wedding receptions for up to 30 guests will be allowed from Saturday, but only in the form of a sit-down meal in a location that adheres to Covid-19 guidelines.

Ceremonies remain capped at no more than 30 people and should be kept “as short as reasonably possible”, the government said.

<strong>Tina-Lynn Birch and Billy Bryant get married inside the Priory Church of St Peter, as weddings were permitted to take place in the country with ceremonies capped at a maximum of 30 guests, in Dunstable, England, Saturday July 4.</strong> (Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Tina-Lynn Birch and Billy Bryant get married inside the Priory Church of St Peter, as weddings were permitted to take place in the country with ceremonies capped at a maximum of 30 guests, in Dunstable, England, Saturday July 4. (Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

7) Entertainment

Casinos, bowling alleys and skating rinks will be allowed to reopen

The tougher enforcement measures come as the Prime Minister confirmed plans to open up more of the economy from Saturday, potentially adding to the risk of spreading coronavirus.

The moves were postponed from August 1 due to concerns about a slight increase in the number of people in England testing positive but that now appears to have levelled off.

8) Conference venues

Pilots will take place at conference venues ahead of the expected resumption of business events from October 1 at the earliest.

9) Soft play centres

Soft play centres will be allowed to reopen.

In announcing the changes, the PM said: “Most people in this country are following the rules and doing their bit to control the virus, but we must remain focused and we cannot be complacent.

“That is why we are strengthening the enforcement powers available to use against those who repeatedly flout the rules.

“At every stage I have said our plan to reopen society and the economy is conditional and that it relies on continued progress against the virus.

“Today, we are able to announce some further changes which will allow more people to return to work and the public to get back to more of the things they have missed.

“However, as I have always said, we will not hesitate to put on the brakes if required, or to continue to implement local measures to help to control the spread of the virus.”

The move, which follows new evidence from the scientific advisory group for emergencies (Sage) is aimed at protecting customers and staff from respiratory droplets caused by sneezing, coughing, or speaking.

Related...

Holidaymakers Returning From France Will Have To Quarantine For 14 Days, Government Announces

‘Don’t Kill Granny’ – Why These Grandmothers Love The New Coronavirus Slogan

Here's How To Get Your Finances In Order For A Recession

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.