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Our Summary of the COVID-19 Winter Plan

Read on for our summary of the new COVID-19 (coronavirus) Winter Plan and what the new restrictions from 2 December will mean for heritage.

This week, the Prime Minister announced new plans for when lockdown ends on 2 December. The new restrictions are set out in the COVID-19 Winter Plan.

Read all the latest guidance for the sector in our COVID-19 Guidance Hub.

What The New Restrictions Mean for Heritage

Which Sites Can Reopen and When

From 2 December, heritage sites will be able to open their doors to day visitors in Tiers 1 and 2, but not in Tier 3. However, outdoor spaces and gardens can remain open in all tiers.

It is important to note that where Government guidance used to say that the lockdown rules were in place “up to and including 2 December”, it now reads “until 2 December” meaning that businesses can open at 00:01 on 2 December.

The New Tiered System

Please find below a further breakdown of each tier’s restrictions. There is a list of exemptions from gathering limits in all tiers including for work or providing voluntary or charitable services.

The Government has also produced new posters for each of the three tiers to reflect rule changes. These pdfs are a clear way of informing both staff and customers on the rules and restrictions that are in operation in the areas that your member’s business is located.

Tier 2

This is for areas with a higher or rapidly rising level of infections, where some additional restrictions need to be in place.

In Tier 2:

  • People must not socialise with anyone they do not live with or who is not in their support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
  • People must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside, including in a garden or a public space.
  • Businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-Secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs.

Hospitality

  • Pubs and bars must close unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals.
  • Hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to:
    • provide table service only, in premises which sell alcohol
    • close between 11pm and 5am (hospitality venues in airports, ports, transport services and motorway service areas are exempt)
    • stop taking orders after 10pm
  • Hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through.
  • Early closure (11pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances  that start before 10pm.

Events

  • Public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors.
  • Certain leisure and sporting facilities such as gyms, sports courts and facilities, leisure centres, fitness and dance studios, golf courses, swimming pools, riding centres, outdoor playgrounds can remain open, subject to relevant social contact rules.
  • Public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors.
  • Places of worship remain open but you must not socialise with people from outside of your household or support bubble while you are indoors there, unless a legal exemption applies.
  • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events such as wakes  or stone settings.

Travel

  • People can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible.
  • People who live in a tier 2 area, must continue to follow tier 2 rules when they travel to a tier 1 area. Travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas should be avoided other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. Travel through a tier 3 area as a part of a longer journey is permitted.
Tier 1

In Tier 1:

  • People must not socialise in groups larger than 6 people, indoors or outdoors, other than where a legal exemption applies.
  • Businesses and venues can remain open, in a COVID secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs.

Hospitality

  • Hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to:
    • provide table service only, for premises that serve alcohol
    • close between 11pm and 5am (hospitality venues in airports, ports, on transport services and in motorway service areas are exempt)
    • stop taking orders after 10pm
  • Hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through.
  • Early closure (11pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities and bingo halls. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10pm.

Events

  • Public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 4,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors.
  • Certain leisure and sporting facilities such as gyms, sports courts and facilities, leisure centres, fitness and dance studios, golf courses, swimming pools, riding centres, outdoor playgrounds can remain open, subject to relevant social contact rules.
  • Public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 4,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors.
  • Places of worship remain open, but you must not attend or socialise in groups of more than 6 people while there unless a legal exemption applies.
  • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events.

Travel

  • People who live in a tier 1 area and travel to an area in a higher tier should follow the rules for that area while they are there. Travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas should be avoided other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. Travel through a tier 3 area as part of a longer journey is permitted.

Tier 3

This is for areas with a very high or very rapidly rising level of infections, where tighter restrictions are in place.

In Tier 3:

  • People must not meet socially indoors or in most outdoor places with anybody they do not live with, or who is not in their support bubble, this includes in any private garden or at most outdoor venues.
  • People must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in some other outdoor public spaces, including parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, a public garden, grounds of a heritage site or castle, or a sports facility.

Hospitality

  • Hospitality settings are closed – they are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.
  • Accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and guest houses must close. There are several exemptions, such as for those who use these venues as their main residence, and those requiring the venues where it is reasonably necessary for work or education and training
  • Indoor entertainment and tourist venues must close. This includes:
    • indoor play centres and areas, including trampolining parks and soft play
    • casinos
    • bingo halls
    • bowling alleys
    • skating rinks
    • amusement arcades and adult gaming centres
    • laser quests and escape rooms
    • cinemas, theatres and concert halls
    • snooker halls
  • Indoor attractions at mostly outdoor entertainment venues must also close (indoor shops, through-ways and public toilets at such attractions can remain open). This includes indoor attractions within:
    • zoos, safari parks, and wildlife reserves
    • aquariums, visitor attractions at farms, and other animal attractions
    • model villages
    • museums, galleries and sculpture parks
    • botanical gardens, biomes or greenhouses
    • theme parks, circuses, fairgrounds and funfairs
    • visitor attractions at film studios, heritage sites such as castles and stately homes
    • landmarks including observation decks and viewing platforms
    • leisure and sports facilities may continue to stay open, but group exercise classes (including fitness and dance) should not go ahead. Saunas and steam rooms should close.

Events

  • There should be no public attendance at spectator sport or indoor performances and large business events should not be taking place. Elite sport events may continue to take place without spectators.
  • Large outdoor events (performances and shows) should not take place, with the exception of drive-in events.
  • Places of worship remain open, but you must not attend with or socialise with anyone outside of your household or support bubble while you are there, unless a legal exemption applies.
  • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions are not allowed, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, 15 people can attend linked commemorative events

Travel

  • People can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible.
  • Travel to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays should be avoided, other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities. Travel through other areas as part of a longer journey is permitted.
Tourism and Testing

The Government has issued a press release about ‘Test to Release’ – its new strategy for testing international arrivals.

  • From 15 December, passengers arriving into England from countries not featured on the government’s travel corridor list will have the option to take a test after 5 days of self-isolation, with a negative result releasing them from the need to isolate.
  • People must use a private provider (a list of approved providers will be on the gov.uk website) so this does not impact NHS Test and Trace capacity.
  • People will be advised to book the test before arriving into the UK as they will need to state this on their PLF.  If they choose to opt-in after arrival, they will need to resubmit their PLF.
Covid-19 Funding

The Government’s business support finder is a helpful tool to see what financial support is available for you and your business. You can find a full list of the support the Government is offering for businesses on p.38-40 of the COVID-19 Winter Plan.