Events like conferences and exhibitions won’t start again in October as previously expected, prime minister Boris Johnson said last Tuesday.
“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,” he said at the House of Commons. “we will spare no effort in developing vaccines, treatments and new forms of mass-testing, but unless we palpably make progress, we should assume that the restrictions I have announced will remain in place for perhaps six months. For the time being, this virus is a fact of our lives and I must tell the House and the country that our fight against it will continue.”
Johnson added that, on the advice of four chief medical officers, the UK’s COVID-19 alert level was raised from 3 to 4. This is the second most serious stage, meaning that transmission is high or rising exponentially.
Private events with up to 6 attendees can continue, with exceptions for wedding ceremonies (15 people allowed) and funerals (30).
In retail, leisure, tourism and other sectors, coronavirus-secure guidelines will become legal obligations. So businesses will be fined and could be closed if they breach these rules.
“We have already introduced a fine of up to £10,000 for those who fail to self-isolate and such fines will now be applied to businesses breaking COVID-19 rules,” Johnson said. “The penalty for failing to wear a mask or breaking the rule of six will now double to £200 for a first offence. We will provide the police and local authorities with the extra funding they need, a greater police presence on our streets, and the option to draw on military support where required to free up the police.”
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