Summary
Authorities are planning to strengthen restrictions on activity in some areas from Oct. 23 in response to a rise in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. In England, Manchester will be classified as Very High risk from Oct. 23, followed by South Yorkshire, Stoke on Trent, Coventry, and Slough Oct. 24. In Scotland, the compulsory closure of bars and restaurants in central areas of the country, which was originally scheduled to expire Oct. 26, has been extended until Nov. 2, when authorities plan to introduce a five-tier COVID-19 local alert system; the details of this system will be announced Oct. 23. In Wales Oct. 23-Nov. 9, people from different households will be prohibited from meeting; nonessential businesses, including hotels, hair salons, and pubs, will close, and restaurants will be limited to carry-out services only.

Each of the UK's constituent countries has the authority to impose travel and other restrictions, though they have typically remained closely aligned in their actions. Specific nationwide measures include a requirement that facemasks be worn in enclosed public spaces, including on public transport, and a prohibition on gatherings of more than six people. As of Oct. 22 other measures include:

England

Authorities are maintaining a three-tier alert system based on localized COVID-19 activity levels; the alert levels are Medium, High, and Very High. The Medium alert is the current minimum level; in all areas, gatherings of more than six people are prohibited, and pubs and restaurants must close by 2200. For High alert areas, a ban on indoor mixing of households is also in effect; this currently applies to London, most of Essex, parts of Cheshire, Elmbridge, Greater Manchester, Derbyshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Durham, York, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Tees Valley, West Midlands, Leicestershire, and Nottinghamshire. Additional restrictions for areas rated as Very High include a complete ban on households mixing indoors or in private outdoor areas and the closure of pubs and bars that do not serve food; this currently applies to the Liverpool City Region and Lancashire.

Northern Ireland

The following restrictions are in effect:

 

  • Social bubbles are limited to 10 people from two different households.
  • All food and beverage establishments are closed, except for delivery and takeout services.
  • Indoor sports, as well as contact sports involving members of different households, are suspended.
  • Public gatherings are limited to 15 people.
  • Close-contact services, such as hairdressers and beauticians, are closed.
  • Schools are closed until at least Nov. 2.
  • Wedding ceremonies and funerals are limited to 25 people.
  • Restrictions on social activity are tighter in some areas, including Londonderry and Strabane.

 

Scotland

The following restrictions are in effect:

 

  • Individuals from more than two households are not permitted to gather indoors.
  • Pubs and restaurants must close for indoor service at 1800 and at 2300 for outdoor service.
  • Restrictions on social activity are tighter in some areas, including the health board areas of Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Forth Valley, Lothian, Ayrshire, and Arran.


Wales

The following restrictions are in effect:

 

  • Individuals from more than four households are not permitted to meet indoors.
  • Restrictions on social activity are tighter in some areas, including Cardiff, Swansea, Llanelli, Merthyr Tydfil, Bridgend, Blaenau Gwent, Newport, Neath Port Talbot, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Torfaen, Vale of Glamorgan Caerphilly, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Conwy, and Wrexham.


Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

 

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all domestic travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

 

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