An important overview of the new COVID-19 guidelines
On Tuesday 23rd June the British Prime Minister announced that more of the restrictions which were put in place due to COVID-19 would be eased from the 4th July and consequently launched a new set of guidelines for the public in England to follow from that point forwards.
As more public spaces open, people are still advised to follow hygiene measures, and use equipment, such as face coverings and sanitisers, to reduce the spread of the virus. Below we discuss some of the most considerable changes and how they will affect different people across the country.
It’s important to remember that these new guidelines will only apply to England, and that advice may differ slightly for other parts of the UK.
We will see more public spaces opening
At the beginning of July we will see many leisure facilities, tourist attractions and places of worship in England start to re-open where it is safe to do so. This will include indoor spaces, such as cinemas and museums, as well as outdoor areas. Local facilities including libraries and community centres will also start to open which may be welcome news as they can provide resources and a place of support for many.
Hospitality businesses, including pubs, restaurants and hotels will be able to open, enabling guests to eat and stay overnight.
If someone is looking to get outdoors more when restrictions are reduced, but needs some support with their balance, they may consider the benefits of a mobility aid to offer improved stability and independence.
Changes to the social distancing rule
From the 4th July the two-metre social distancing rule will change. Where it is possible people are still advised to keep two metres apart from others, however a social distance of one metre plus is now acceptable, as long as other measures, such as wearing a face covering and using hand sanitiser are applied.
If people are going to be less than two metres from one another, such as in a restaurant setting, businesses are asked to take other measures to protect their staff and guests, including moving around furniture to avoid face to face seating, reducing the number of people in enclosed spaces and using protective screens/face coverings.
Where can people meet up with friends and family?
When the new guidelines come into place, people from two households will be able to meet both indoors and outdoors. Social distancing measures must still be followed, but many families will be able to spend more time together and even stay overnight in groups of up to two households. It’s important to remember that a support bubble will count as one household.
New guidelines for people who are shielding
On the 22nd June the government announced new plans to ease restrictions for over 2 million people who are clinically extremely vulnerable and have been shielding at home over the past few months. From the 6th July, people who have been shielding will be able to gather in a group of six people outdoors and form a support bubble with another household. Then, at the beginning of August, shielding will no longer be advised and people will be able to take part in activities such as visiting shops and places of worship.
Maintaining social distancing and hygiene measures is particularly important for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, and the government will continue to monitor the guidelines closely.
What can everyone do to reduce the risk of infection?
Regular hand washing and the use of hand sanitiser is still advised and people will need to follow the new social distancing measures to help protect themselves and others from the virus. Face coverings will still be mandatory on public transport, unless someone is exempt, and are advised in spaces where a social distance of two metres is not possible. The World Health Organisation still recommend the use of medical grade masks, rather than coverings in circumstances where social distancing is not feasible and for people who are over 60.
The government is constantly monitoring their advice, which may be susceptible to change at a local or national level if flare-ups occur in England. All the information in this article is correct as of 24th June 2020.
To view more of the hygiene equipment available at NRS healthcare please visit our website.
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