The New Covid 19 Rules for the UK
The CWU Health Safety and Environment Department continues to constantly monitor the position across the UK.
Further Covid restrictions were introduced in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland from 26 December.
There are currently no new measures for England, but the prime minister has said he “can’t rule out” further restrictions.
What are the Covid rules in Scotland?
From 26 December, there are limits on the size of live public events for three weeks:
- Indoors – 100 standing or 200 seated
- Outdoors – 500 seated or standing
This means the cancellation of many Hogmanay events, including Edinburgh’s main celebrations.
Football matches will be effectively spectator-free, and non-professional indoor contact sports will stop. Life events like weddings are not included.
From 27 December nightclubs will be closed for three weeks.
Pubs, bars and other hospitality venues will return to table service only. One-metre social distancing is advised in these settings, with no more than three households in each group.
Other measures include:
- People asked to limit social contact to two other households either side of Christmas – and to use lateral flow tests before meeting
- Shops and businesses to take measures to limit the spread of Covid
- Care home visits limited to two households (who need to be tested)
- Employers have a legal duty to let staff work from home
- Face coverings compulsory on public transport and most indoor spaces
- All over-18s required to prove their vaccine statusor show a negative test at many venues
What’s happening in Wales?
There are new measures from 0600 GMT on 26 December:
- Social distancing of 2m in all premises open to the public and workplaces, where reasonable
- Gatherings limited to six people in premises such as hospitality venues, cinemas and theatres
- Licensed premises to take additional measures to protect customers and staff, including table service and collecting contact details
- Face coverings required in hospitality settings, apart from when seated
- Large events not allowed – with maximum numbers of 30 at an indoor event and 50 outdoors
- Large sporting events will be played behind closed doors. For smaller sporting events, up to 50 spectators are allowed. There is an exception for events involving children.
- From 27 Decembernightclubs will be closed
Other measures include:
- NHS Covid Pass needed for entry to cinemas, theatres and concert halls, and many other events
- Working from home wherever possible
- Compulsory face coverings in schools, on public transport, and in shops and hospitals
- Advice to wear masks in pubs and restaurants, when not eating or drinking
What are the Covid rules in Northern Ireland?
From 0600 GMT on 26 December:
- Nightclubs will be closed
- Dancing in all hospitality venues will not be allowed
- All indoor standing events will not be allowed
From 0600 GMT on 27 December:
- Hospitality venues including pubs, cafes and restaurants will be table service only
- In hospitality venues a maximum of six people (or 10 from a single household) allowed at a table (excluding children aged 12 and under)
- Businesses must take measures to achieve 2m social distancing and limit the spread of Covid in office spaces
- Businesses to promote use of face coverings
- These measures do not apply to weddings or civil partnership celebrations.
Household mixing should also be limited to a maximum of three households, the government says.
Other measures include:
- Face coverings compulsory in shops, indoor-seated venues and visitor attractions, public transport and some other settings
- Post-primary pupils must wear a face covering inside school buildings, as well as on school transport. Staff are encouraged to wear masks in school areas where they can’t socially distance.
- Covid passport scheme for venues including bars and cinemas
What are the Covid rules in England?
Boris Johnson said introducing tougher measures in England was not currently justified.
However, he urged people to wear a mask indoors when required to do so, keep fresh air circulating, and take a test when visiting elderly or vulnerable relatives.
People need to show that they’re vaccinated, have recently tested negative (or are exempt) to gain entry to nightclubs and many other venues.
Face coverings are compulsory in most indoor public venues, including theatres and cinemas – as well as on public transport and in places like shops and hairdressers. Masks are not needed in pubs or restaurants, or venues like gyms where it’s “not practical”.
People should work from home “if they can” and are advised to take lateral flow tests before entering any “high-risk setting”, such as a crowded place.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer