Following the Prime Minister’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 31 October 2020 this evening, the Cabinet Office published New National Restrictions from 5 November, extracts of which are reproduced below. The PM has confirmed that on Wednesday, the House of Commons will debate and vote on these measures which, if passed, will come into force on Thursday. The SI cannot be laid until Monday at the earliest, although it has been indicated that publication may be on Tuesday. A further summary is given in the Press Release issued by No 10.
The Church of England has made an initial statement pending a review of the detailed regulations and further liaison with Government departments to offer clarity to churches. The Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has issued Statement from the President and the Vice-President of the Conference on the Prime Minister’s Statement which questions the banning of communal worship and asks the Government to produce the evidence that justifies its decision.
New National Restrictions from 5 November
“…from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, the Government is taking the following action:
- Requiring people to stay at home, except for specific purposes.
- Preventing gathering with people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
- Closing certain businesses and venues.
These new measures have been carefully judged to achieve the maximum reduction in growth in the number of cases, preventing the NHS from being overwhelmed, whilst ensuring that schools, colleges and universities stay open and that as many people as possible continue to work.
Until Thursday 5 November, the relevant Local Covid Alert Level measures will continue to apply in the area where you live.
The new measures will apply nationally for four weeks up to Wednesday 2 December. At the end of the period, we will look to return to a regional approach, based on the latest data.”
5. Weddings, civil partnerships, religious services and funerals
Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people, and it is advised that only close friends and family attend. Linked ceremonial events such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 15 people in attendance. Anyone working is not included. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.
Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted to take place except in exceptional circumstances.
Places of Worship will be closed, unless they are being used for:
- To broadcast acts of worship
- Individual prayer
- Formal childcare or where part of a school
- Essential voluntary and public services, such as blood donation or food banks
- Other exempted activities such as some support groups