FAQs

Updated 24.09.20

Scroll down for business FAQs.

For residents

We understand that the measures to control the virus can be confusing and frustrating. Our Coronavirus page contains lots of information about the local restrictions, testing, Covid-19 related data, the Help Hub, support for business, support for residents, and schools information. Please check these pages for the latest updates.

What are the social restrictions across the Borough?

The social restrictions are the same wherever you live in the Borough.

Gatherings in private dwellings are restricted. In Blackburn with Darwen, by law you must not:

  • host people you do not live with in your home or garden, unless they are in your support bubble
  • visit someone else’s home or garden (except in your support bubble), even if they live outside one of the restricted areas.

You may face fines from £200 if you breach this restriction. There are some exceptions such as attending a person giving birth, fulfilling legal obligations, visiting a person who is reasonably believed to be dying. Children of parents who are separated can move between their parents own households while the restrictions are in place.

The Government and Council advise that you should not:

  • Socialise with people you do not live with (except in your support bubble) at other indoor venues such as a pub, restaurant, places of worship
  • Social with people you do not live with (except in your support bubble) at outdoor venues such as parks.
Can I go for a walk with my friends?

The Government and Council advise that you should not socialise with people you do not live with.

Who is allowed in my home?

You must not meet people who you do not live with inside your home (except those in your support bubble). However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule listed below.

  • Official/registered tradespeople for work purposes as long as they follow national guidance on how to work safely
  • To provide emergency assistance
  • To attend a birth at the mother’s request
  • To visit a person who is dying
  • To fulfil a legal obligation
  • For work, volunteering or charitable purposes
  • For education or training purposes
  • For the purposes of childcare provided by a registered provider
  • To provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person
  • To facilitate a house move (this includes viewing a property)
  • To continue existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children where the children do not live in the same household as one or more of their parents.
What about childcare?

The Government have introduced ‘linked childcare households’. The Government regulations state that where a household has at least one child aged 13 or under it may link with one other household for informal childcare. Those households cannot be linked with another household for childcare. This means that grandparents/family members can form a childcare link with only one other household for childcare purposes. We are awaiting Government guidance and will update the website when this is available.

Playdates and parties should not be taking place.

You can continue to use early years and childcare settings, including childminders and providers offering before or after school clubs or other out-of-school settings for children. You can also continue to employ nannies, including those living outside of the region.

Can I visit the pub?

Yes, but this should only be with people in your household or support bubble.

Why can I visit the pub but not my relative or friends houses?

This is because the hospitality industry has enhanced measures, such as risk assessments and test and trace, which private homes don’t have.

What are the restrictions in pubs, restaurants, café’s, takeaways?

Please see the business FAQs below.

When do I have to wear a face covering?

You must wear a face covering in these instances:

  • On public transport and in transport hubs – eg train, bus, aeroplane
  • At indoor public places such as shops, shopping centres
  • At a restaurant, café, pub, takeway – except when seated to eat or drink. For example, if you are waiting for a table to be available or going to the toilet in a restaurant you should wear a face covering.
  • Premises providing personal and beauty treatments – eg hair salons, tattoo parlours, nail salons.

You can read the full list.

If you breach these restrictions you may be fined £200.

I am shielding, what should I do?

If you live in one of the eight wards with targeted interventions you should continue to shield until October 5. In the meantime please see the latest information.

Can I still go to the gym and pool?

Yes, as long as these venues have the required Covid-secure risk assessments and guidelines in place.

What about sports?

Unless formally organised by a sports club or similar organisation, with guidance issued by a sports governing body, team sports should not take place at an indoor or outdoor venue with people who you don’t live with.

You should not spectate at amateur and semi-professional sports events.

Should I use public transport or share a car?

Residents are advised to only use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work. Face coverings must be worn unless exempt.

You are advised not to share a car with those outside your household or support bubble, and to use public transport for essential journeys instead.

What information is there about covid-19 hospital activity?

You can read information published by the NHS on their website.

How do I report a business that is breaching the rules?

If you have concerns that a retail business, office or warehouse does not have proper social distancing precautions in place please email publicprotection@blackburn.gov.uk.

Please see the advice for businesses information.

How do I report a person that is breaching the rules?

Visit the Lancashire Constabulary website for information on reporting an incident.

For businesses

These FAQ are aimed at the hospitality sector. For further general advice and support on Covid matters for your business please see our Support for Business section.

Please read the Government guidance on closures and restrictions for business and venues.

Which businesses should be closed?

The following businesses must remain closed:

  • nightclubs
  • Dance halls, discos
  • sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars
What are the restrictions for hospitality venues?

In both indoor and outdoor licensed premises, food and drink must be ordered from, and served at, a table.

Licensed and unlicensed businesses must also take all reasonable steps to ensure that the customer remains seated whilst consuming the food or drink on the premises.

All hospitality venues must close from 22:00 to 05:00 each day. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can continue beyond 10pm, but only if the performance started before 10pm, however food and drink cannot be served after 10pm.

Hospitality businesses and venues can still sell food and drinks for delivery and for consumption off the premises between 22:00 to 05:00, subject to appropriate licensing arrangements. Orders received between these times should be through a website, online communication, telephone, text message or by post.

Customers and staff must wear face coverings, except when seated to eat or drink. This means, if customers are waiting for tables to become available or are visiting the toilet, they need to wear a face covering.

Walk-ins should not be accepted in restaurants and café’s that are located in one of the eight Blackburn wards under targeted interventions.

What type of hospitality venues are affected by these restrictions?
  • restaurants, including hotel dining rooms and members’ clubs
  • takeaways
  • cafes (not including cafes or canteens at workplaces where there is no practical alternative for staff at that workplace, cafes or canteens at hospitals, care homes, schools, prisons and establishments intended for use for naval, military or air force purposes, or services and for providing food or drink to the homeless)
  • bars including bars in hotels or members’ clubs
  • pubs
  • social clubs
  • casinos
  • amusement arcades or other indoor leisure centres or facilities
  • funfairs (indoors or outdoors), theme parks and adventure parks and activities
  • bingo halls
  • concert halls
What about fast-food restaurants?

Drive-through restaurants can operate after 10pm, although the restaurant will not be able to serve customers inside after 10pm.
Customers ordering inside before 10pm can do so at a counter, but food and drinks must be consumed at a table or off the premises.

What should I do if customers are mixing with people they don’t live with?

You should take all reasonable steps to ensure customer compliance with the limits on social mixing. These could include:

  • informing customers of guidance through signage or notices at the point of booking or on arrival
  • ensuring staff are familiar with the guidance, and of the local restrictions that are in place
  • asking customers for verbal confirmation of the number of people in their party at the point of arrival
  • intervening where separate tables intermingle
How should I record contact details for customers?

You must take part in the NHS Test and Trace by keeping a record of all your customers for 21 days. This will be enforced by law.

You should must also display a QR code for use with the NHS Covid-19 app which has been launched.

Please check the government guidance on creating an NHS QR code for your venue.

What will happen if I breach the rules?

You may receive a fine upto £10,000 and your venue may be closed. Alternatively, you may receive a fixed penalty of up to £4000. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are also carrying out spot checks on premises and refer areas of concern to the Council for action.