By Harlow MP Robert Halfon
“IT looked like we had come down from the Coronavirus mountain, but unfortunately, some storms are on the way. As the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Adviser set out yesterday, we could face up to 50,000 new cases of the virus in October if we do not act now.
For that reason, the Government has announced the following changes to the guidance and restrictions:
- Office workers who can work from home should do so.
- From Thursday all pubs, bars and restaurants must operate table-service only, except for take-aways and together with all hospitality venues, they must close at 10pm.
- The requirement to wear face coverings will be extended 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.
- In retail, leisure, tourism and other sectors, Covid-secure guidelines will become legal obligations.
- The rule of six will include adult indoor team sports.
- From Monday, a maximum of 15 people will be able to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions. However, up to 30 can still attend a funeral.
- Large sporting events will not be able to resume as planned from 1 October.
- The penalty for failing to wear a mask or breaking the rule of six will now double to £200 for a first offence.
I know how difficult this is for every resident, business, community group and faith group in our town. We must face the fact that the coronavirus will not go away and this fight will continue until we find a vaccine.
In the meantime, we must all continue to follow the guidelines so that the ‘R rate’ falls below 1 and the number of new cases declines.
I was able to secure over £130m from the Chancellor specifically for Harlow to get us through this difficult time and I will continue to do everything possible to ensure everyone in our town has the support they need. If any resident has any concerns or questions, I would strongly encourage them to contact me.
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