The Somerset Guardian, 23rd September 2020

This week, the Prime Minister has unveiled a new set of limitations in light of the rising numbers of Covid-19 transmission rates, warning that "significantly greater restrictions" would be imposed if necessary.

In a speech to the House of Commons, Boris Johnson said that the United Kingdom (UK) has reached "a perilous turning point" and that the new regulations have been "carefully judged" to achieve the maximum reduction in the 'R' number whilst mitigating against damage to lives, livelihoods and the economy. The Premier said that the new measures may last for six months but that everything will be monitored in line with Coronavirus data and medical and scientific advice.

As of this week, fines for people eligible to wear masks will be increased to £200 for a first offence and all shop workers and taxi drivers and their passengers will be required to wear one. Similarly, gatherings of more than six people will incur higher penalties.  Where possible, people are being asked to work from home once again.

From Thursday 24th September, all pubs, bars and restaurants will be limited to table service and these venues will be required to close their doors at ten o'clock. Exemptions to the "rule of six" will be disallowed, which means that people playing indoor team sports will only be permitted to meet in groups of six. From Monday 28th September, the rules change as regards weddings and civil partnerships - only fifteen people will be able to attend congregating in groups of six or less - but funerals will still be allowed to have up to thirty attendants.

The Prime Minister has also announced further Government spending to provide support to the police and local authorities in England to enable the implementation of these changes, which are not a return to the full lockdown that we experienced during the first half of the year.

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