First, we are once again asking office workers who can work from home to do so. In key public services – and in all professions where homeworking is not possible, such as construction or retail – people should continue to attend their workplaces. And like Government, this House will be free to take forward its business in a Covid-secure way which you, Mr Speaker, have pioneered.
Second, from Thursday all pubs, bars and restaurants must operate table-service only, Mr Speaker, except for takeaways. Together with all hospitality venues, they must close at 10pm. To help the police to enforce this rule, I am afraid that means alas closing, and not just calling for last orders. Simplicity is paramount. The same will apply to takeaways – though deliveries can continue thereafter. I am sorry this will hurt many businesses just getting back on their feet, but we must act to stop the virus from being transmitted in bars and restaurants.
Third, we will extend the requirement to wear face coverings to include staff in retail, all users of taxis and private hire vehicles, and staff and customers in indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table to eat or drink.
Fourth, in retail, leisure, tourism and other sectors, our Covid-secure guidelines will become legal obligations. Businesses will be fined and could be closed if they breach these rules.
Fifth, now is the time to tighten up the rule of six. I’m afraid that from Monday, a maximum of 15 people will be able to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions. Though, up to 30 can still attend a funeral as now. We will also have to extend the rule of six to all adult indoor team sports.
Finally, we have to acknowledge that the spread of the virus is now affecting our ability to reopen business conferences, exhibitions and large sporting events so we will not be able to do this from 1 October. And I recognise the implications for our sports clubs, which are the life and soul of our communities, and my RH Friends the Chancellor and Culture Secretary are working urgently on what we can do now to support them.
Boris Johnson: PM Commons statement on coronavirus: 22 September 2020