Updated 14.04.201 @ 16:21
As per the government’s four-step roadmap, restrictions are being lifted on various activities. There are, however, still some restrictions in place. The information below explains the restrictions that are in place in Blackburn with Darwen and the rest of the country.
Read the government’s ‘Covid-19 Response – Spring 2021’. This sets out a four-step roadmap to ease restrictions across England and provide a route back to a normal way of life.
- Meeting others safely / exercising
People are able to meet outside in groups up to a maximum of 6 people (the Rule of 6) or with one other household. People from different households will still need to socially distance from each other. Indoor mixing is still not allowed.
Indoor and outdoor sports and leisure facilities are now open. Indoor leisure facilities (including gyms) are open for individual use or within household groups. Saunas and steam rooms cannot open until Step 3. Indoor adult exercise classes are not allowed. Formally organised outdoor sports (for adults and under 18s) can also take place and will not be subject to the gatherings limits, but should be compliant with guidance issued by national governing bodies.
- Business and venues that must close
To reduce social contact, the Government have imposed restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. Details of the businesses and venues which must remain closed.
The rules changed on 12th April as we move into Step 2 of the Government’s roadmap. How the rules will change.
Many businesses are now open. However, the following must remain closed (they can continue to operate click-and-collect and delivery services):
- Indoor hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and drink for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery.
- Some leisure and sports facilities such as indoor adult exercise classes
- Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for providing accommodation or to the homeless, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes. Self-contained accommodation can open.
- Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres), animal attractions, water parks, theme parks
- Indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open for outdoor exercise
Some of these businesses and places will also be permitted to be open for a small number of exempt activities, including:
- education and training - for schools to use sports, leisure and community facilities where that is part of their normal provision
- childcare purposes and supervised activities for children
- hosting blood donation sessions and food banks
- to provide medical treatment
- for elite sports persons to train and compete (in indoor and outdoor sports facilities), and professional dancers and choreographers to work (in fitness and dance studios)
- for training and rehearsal without an audience (in theatres and concert halls)
- for the purposes of film and TV filming
- Business and venues that are open
To reduce social contact, the Government have imposed restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. Details of the businesses and venues which must remain closed and those that are permitted to stay open.
The rules changed on 12th April as we move into Step 2 of the Government’s roadmap. How the rules will change.
The following businesses and venues are now open providing they follow COVID-19 Secure guidelines:
- All retail
- All market stalls
- Libraries and community centres
- Personal care premises
- Indoor leisure (including gyms) are open for use individually or within household groups. This does not include saunas and steam rooms.
- Self-contained accommodation (household only)
- Outdoor parts of botanical gardens and heritage sites for exercise
- Outdoor attractions such as zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas
- Outdoor hospitality: hospitality venues will be able to open for outdoor service, with no requirement for a substantial meal to be served alongside alcoholic drinks, and no curfew. The requirement to order, eat and drink while seated (‘table service’) will remain
- All children’s activities, indoor parent & child groups (up to 15 parents)
- Council services
Children are able to attend any indoor children’s activity, including sport, regardless of circumstance. Parent and child groups of up to 15 people (not counting children aged under five years old) can restart indoors.
You can currently access the following forms of childcare:
- a childcare bubble with one other household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is 13 or under
- some households will also be able to benefit from being in a support bubble
- early years settings and childminders
- nannies will be able to continue to provide services, including in the home
- Some youth services are able to continue, such as 1-1 youth work and support groups, but most youth clubs and groups will need to cease for this period.
- out-of-school settings and wraparound providers can offer:
- 1. outdoor provision to all children, without restrictions on the purpose for which they may attend
- 2. indoor provision to:
- vulnerable children and young people
- children on free school meals, where they are attending as part of the Department for Education’s holiday activities and food programme
- other children, where the provision is:
- reasonably necessary to enable their parents and carers to work, search for work, undertake education or training, or attend a medical appointment or address a medical need
- being used by electively home educating parents as part of their arrangements for their child to receive a suitable full-time education
- for the purposes of obtaining a regulated qualification, meeting the entry requirements for an education institution, or to undertake exams and assessments
Friends or family who do not live with you and are not part of a support or childcare bubble must not visit your home to help with childcare. Childcare bubbles are to be used to provide childcare only, and not for the purposes of different households mixing where they are otherwise not allowed to do so. Read guidance on making and using a childcare bubble.
- Care homes
Every care home resident can nominate a single named visitor who can come in for a regular visit.
From 12 April, every care home residents can nominate upto 2 named visitors who will be able to come for regular visits.
Visitors will have to take rapid lateral flow tests every time they visit, wear PPE and keep physical contact to a minimum.
People are no longer legally required to Stay at Home. However, certain lockdown restrictions remain in place. People should continue to minimise travel wherever possible.
Please walk or cycle where possible, plan ahead, and if you use public transport avoid busy times.
Avoid car sharing with anyone from outside your household or support bubble. See the guidance on car sharing.
If you need to use public transport, you should follow the safer travel guidance.
Self-contained accommodation is now open for overnight stays in England with your household or support bubble. Self-contained accommodation is those that do not require shared use of bathing, entry/exit, catering or sleeping facilities.
International travel: You can only travel internationally, or within the UK, where you have a legally permitted reason to leave home. If you do need to travel abroad see the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Travel Advice for your destination and the travel corridors list.
The Department for Transport has released a Report of the Global Travel Taskforce – The Safe Return of International Travel. The report sets out a framework for the return of non-essential travel with 14 recommendations around risk-based reopening; readiness and transition. Further details will be provided by early May 2021 and resumption of international travel from 17th May is not confirmed.
- Sport and physical activity
Indoor and outdoor sports and leisure facilities are now open. Indoor leisure facilities (including gyms) are open for individual use or within household groups.
Saunas and steam rooms cannot open until Step 3 of the Roadmap.
Indoor adult exercise classes are not allowed.
Formally organised outdoor sports (for adults and under 18s) can also take place and will not be subject to the gatherings limits, but should be compliant with guidance issued by national governing bodies.
- Weddings, funerals and other ceremonies
Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Linked religious, belief-based or commemorative events such as ash scatterings can continue with up to 15 people in attendance. Anyone working at the event is not included.
Weddings and receptions can take place with up to 15 attendees (in premises that are permitted to open).
- Going to work, school, college and university
To help contain the virus, everyone who can work effectively from home must do so. Where people cannot do so, they should continue to travel to work/attend their workplace.
Workplaces should be covid-secure. If you are concerned about a breach of restrictions in retail businesses, office or warehouse please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please report manufacturing businesses if they are failing to comply with social distancing using the Health and Safety Executive's online form.
Schools and colleges
All primary, secondary and college pupils have returned to their place of education from 8th March 2021. Please see the Schools section for more information on the return to education and testing
The Government has confirmed that all university students yet to return to in-person teaching will be able to do so from Step 3 of the roadmap. Step 3 will be implemented no earlier than 17th May 2021.
- Shielding (protecting people more at risk from Covid-19)
From 1 April 2021, people categorised as clinically extremely vulnerable no longer need to shield.
However, you should continue to take extra precautions to protect yourself. It is important that you continue to keep the number of social interactions that you have low and try to limit the amount of time you spend in settings where you are unable to maintain social distancing.
- Financial support
- Face coverings
In England you must wear a face covering in the majority of indoor settings. You are expected to wear a face covering before entering any of these settings and must keep it on until you leave unless there is a reasonable excuse for removing it.
- public transport
- taxis and private hire vehicles
- transport hubs
- NHS settings including hospitals and GP surgeries
- shops and supermarkets
- shopping centres and indoor markets
- premises providing hospitality (bars, pubs, restaurants, cafes), except when seated at a table to eat or drink (see exemptions)
- post offices, banks, building societies, high-street solicitors and accountants, credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses
- premises providing personal care and beauty treatments (hair salons, barbers, nail salons, massage centres, tattoo and piercing parlours)
- premises providing veterinary services
- libraries and public reading rooms
- places of worship
- community centres, youth centres and social clubs
- storage and distribution facilities
Please note, this is not an exhaustive list and we advise you to check government guidance on the link below. You should also wear a face covering in indoor places not listed here where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
In settings where face coverings are required in England there are some circumstances where people may not be able to wear a face covering. Please be mindful and respectful of such circumstances. Some people are less able to wear face coverings, and the reasons for this may not be visible to others.
Full information on the guidance on face coverings can be found here: Face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
On council premises
Visitors are asked to wear a face covering before entering the council premises and indoor spaces listed below. The Council will take reasonable steps to promote compliance with the law. This may include, asking the visitor to show staff an exemption card or restricting access to the premises. Abusive or aggressive behaviour towards any members of staff or other members of the public will not be tolerated, and visitors will be asked to leave the premises.
- All council owned community centres
- All libraries
- Blackburn bus station
- Blackburn Town Hall
- Care homes
- Darwen Library Theatre
- Darwen Town Hall
- King George’s Hall
Visors should not take the place of a cloth face covering, but can be used in addition to a face covering, if the wearer feels they are at risk of droplets entering their eyes.
- Support bubbles
A support bubble is a close support network between a household with only one adult in the home (known as a single-adult household) and one other household of any size. Once you’re in a support bubble, you can think of yourself as a single household with the people from the other household. It means that you can have close contact with them as if you lived together. It is very important that you only make one support bubble and that you follow the rules if you need to change your bubble.
You can form a support bubble with another household of any size if:
- you live by yourself – even if carers visit you to provide support
- you are the only adult in your household who does not need continuous care as a result of a disability
- your household includes a child who is under the age of one or was under that age on 2 December 2020
- your household includes a child with a disability who requires continuous care and is under the age of 5, or was under that age on 2 December 2020
- you are a child aged 16 or over living alone or with other children and without any adults
- you are a single adult living with one or more children who are under the age of 18 or were under that age on 12 June 2020
You should not form a support bubble with a household that is part of another support bubble and you should try to limit how far you travel to your support bubble. If you decide to change your support bubble, you should treat your previous bubble as a separate household for 14 days before forming a new bubble.
For more information please read the government guidance.
From 2 December 2020 you may change your support bubble provided that:
- Your household, or the one you intend to form a new support bubble with, meets at least one of the criteria under ‘Who can make a support bubble’
- The other household is not already part of a support bubble which they intend to remain a part of.
If you decide to change your support bubble, you should treat your previous bubble as a separate household for 14 days before forming a new bubble.