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PM Statement Full Summary: 22nd September 2020

Article Date: 2020-09-22

The Prime Minister has just concluded addressing the House on the updated coronavirus restrictions which will go into force from Thursday.

The PM confirmed that that takeaways are still allowed to offer eat-in table service or collection for consumption off premises from 5am-10pm. Note that we have been advised that table service includes customers ordering at the counter and having food served to them.

At 10pm, outlets must close to eat-in customers. This means that customers must vacate the premises by 10pm, rather than a call for last orders. Thereafter, takeaways can continue to offer a delivery only service until 5am for orders taken electronically or over the phone. Customers cannot make orders for collection during this time.

The PM also confirmed that face coverings have been made mandatory for staff and customers in indoor hospitality settings, unless customers are seated at a table to eat or drink.

Please see a more fulsome summary of the Prime Minister’s statement below. 

Working conditions

  • Office workers and those who can work from home should now do so.
  • Other workers who cannot work from home, such as construction or retail workers should continue to attend their workplaces, where COVID-secure working conditions should be in place.

Hospitality restrictions

  • From Thursday all pubs, bars and restaurants must operate a table-service only, apart from takeaways.
  • All hospitality venues should close by 10pm (not just last orders), the same will apply to takeaways, but deliveries can continue thereafter.

Face mask requirements

  • Face mask requirements will be extended to staff in the retail sector, users of taxi services or private hire vehicles and customers in indoor hospitality venues, apart from where seated for food or drink.
  • The penalty for failing to wear a mask or disobeying the rule of six will double to £200 for a first offence.

Legal requirements and enforcement

  • In retail, leisure, tourism and other sectors, COVID-secure guidelines will become legal obligations. Businesses will be fined, and possibly closed, if they breach the rules.
  • Police and local authorities will be provided with additional funds to enforce rules, with more police on the streets and military support given where required.

Group restrictions

  • From Monday, a maximum of 15 people will be able to attend weddings and receptions. But up to 30 can continue to attend funerals.
  • The Rule of Six will apply to all adult indoor sports.
  • Business conferences, exhibitions and large sporting events will not be allowed to open from 1st October as originally planned.

Future restrictions and government stance

  • If actions fail to bring the R-rate below one, then the Government will deploy “significantly greater restrictions”.
  • Restrictions could be in place for up to 6 months.
  • The Government is continuing to balance saving lives with protecting jobs and livelihoods.
  • The Prime Minister said it is "tempting to hope the threat has faded and seek comfort in the belief you have avoided the virus so far so are somehow immune. But that type of complacency could be our undoing."

Devolved administrations

  • Similar measures will be introduced in the devolved administrations, following a discussion between the Prime Minister and the First Ministers.

Parliament’s role

  • Parliament will have more opportunity to scrutinise the Government’s decisions around imposing restrictions and will have greater access to questioning scientific advisers as well as the scientific data relevant to their constituencies.
  • Parliamentarians will also be able to join daily calls with the Paymaster General for updates on the situation.


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