National Covid restrictions come into force across England from November 5

PM Boris Johnson

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced England-wide restrictions to come into force from Thursday, November 5.

At a press briefing today the PM, along with chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty, said the new round of restrictions are to be introduced in a bid to stop the rising spread of coronavirus.

The restrictions, which will be in force across the country until December 2 when they will be reviewed, will mean:


  • All pubs and restaurants have to close once again, although takeaways and deliveries will be permitted; Takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed.
  • all non-essential retail, including, but not limited to clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops.
  • indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks,
  • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens;
  • personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons.
  • Hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions which will be set out in law.


Non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect.

Playgrounds can remain open.

Some venues will be allowed to remain open for specific exempt activities, like childcare and support groups. Support groups that are essential to deliver in person can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. This includes support to victims of crime, people in drug and alcohol recovery, new parents and guardians, people with long-term illnesses, people facing issues relating to their sexuality or gender, and those who have suffered bereavement.

Funerals and weddings

Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people, and it is advised that only close friends and family attend. Linked ceremonial events such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 15 people in attendance. Anyone working is not included. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.

Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted to take place except in exceptional circumstances.

Places of Worship will be closed, unless they are being used for:

  • Funerals
  • To broadcast acts of worship
  • Individual prayer
  • Formal childcare or where part of a school
  • Essential voluntary and public services, such as blood donation or food banks
  • Other exempted activities such as some support groups

People are to stay at home unless:

They are going to work (and can’t work from home), travelling for education, for exercise, medical reasons, escaping the risk of harm, shopping for food and essentials, providing care to the vulnerable and volunteering or visit members of your support bubble.

Outdoor exercise or visit an outdoor public place – with the people you live with, with your support bubble or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household.

Outdoor public places include:

  • parks, beaches, countryside,
  • public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them), allotments
  • playgrounds

You cannot meet in a private garden.

Children with separated parents can stay at both homes

Over 60s and clinically vulnerable to minimise contact although shielding will not be brought back in.

Nurseries, schools, colleges and universities will remain open.

You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household – meaning the people you live with – or support bubble.

A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit outdoor public places together.

Staying away from home

Overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences will not be allowed- including holidays in the UK and abroad. This includes staying in a second home, if you own one, or staying with anyone you do not live with or are in a support bubble with. There are specific exceptions, for example if you need to stay away from home (including in a second home) for work purposes.


The furlough scheme will be continued throughout November until December 2, although in a different form to that in the first ‘lockdown.’ Employees will receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. Under the extended scheme, the cost for employers of retaining workers will be reduced compared to the current scheme, which ends today (October 31).

Business premises forced to close  are to receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant. A further £1.1bn is being given to Local Authorities, distributed on the basis of £20 per head, for one-off payments to enable them to support businesses.

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks.

Mortgage holidays will also no longer end today. Borrowers who have been impacted by coronavirus and have not yet had a mortgage payment holiday will be entitled to a six month holiday, and those that have already started a mortgage payment holiday will be able to top up to six months without this being recorded on their credit file.

Parliament will debate and vote on the measures on Wednesday. The PM says he expects to move back to local and regional tier measures over the coming months.

PM Boris Johnson

The PM says rapid testing is being put in place across the country and claims there is the realistic hope of a vaccine in the first quarter of next year.

During the conference the PM said: When I told you two weeks ago that we were pursuing a local and a regional approach to tackling this virus, I believed then and I still believe passionately that it was the right thing to do.

“Because we know the cost of these restrictions, the damage they do, the impact on jobs, and on livelihoods, and on people’s mental health. No one wants to be imposing these kinds of measures anywhere.

“We didn’t want to be shutting businesses, pubs and restaurants in one part of the country, where incidence was very low, when the vast bulk of infections were taking place elsewhere.

“Our hope was that by strong local action, strong local leadership, we could get the rates of infection down where the disease was surging, and address the problem thereby across the whole country.

“And I want to thank the millions of people who have been putting up with these restrictions in their areas for so long. I want to thank local leaders who have stepped up and local communities.

“Because as you can see from some of those charts, the R has been kept lower than it would otherwise have been, and there are signs that your work has been paying off

“And we will continue as far as we possibly can to adopt a pragmatic and local approach in the months ahead. But as we’ve also seen from the charts, we’ve got to be humble in the face of nature.”

He added: “Christmas is going to be different this year, very different, but it is my sincere hope and belief that by taking tough action now, we can allow families across the country to be together.”

More detail is expected to be announced on Monday.

Thanet data

Government data shows 40 new daily cases in Thanet today and 232 positive tests for the isle between October 25-31, up 117 from the previous seven days.

The infection seven day rolling rate up to October 26 has risen again, now standing at 119.8 per 100,000. Thanet has recorded no covid-related deaths in the past seven days.

The UK’s total number of positive cases has now passed one million.

Announcement responses

In response to the restrictions announcement Kent County Councillor Karen Constantine said: “A further lockdown is necessary and a very concerning development. However the science is clear, the infection rate is growing and that puts people and the NHS is at risk. The medicine and therapeutic treatments are improving all the time and we can have confidence in our NHS, provided that  demand doesn’t exceed capacity. I thank all our NHS staff for their dedication and hard work.

“I note that SAGE were calling for a three week circuit breaker on September 21. I would prefer the Government to always listen to the formal advice and act in a more timely matter. This crisis was predictable.

“We must wait for the full details from the Government early next week, but I feel we must have more robust economic support for anybody impacted by these latest measures. A longer term plan would be advisable as people need to know that they can plan ahead.

“Many Thanet residents and businesses will be worrying about making ends meet. Financials pressures and worries are mounting up. Whilst the Furlough scheme has just been extended until early December,  this frankly doesn’t go far enough. We need longer term plans to give people certainty, to prevent poverty and importantly to boost people’s mental health and well-being.

“I hope that Kent County Council will now redouble their efforts to obtain more significant funding for Kent from central Government. We are already being asked to find £160m of savings early next year, and council tax is set to rise, whilst services may have to be cut, and the true impact of Brexit is unknown.”

Sir Roger Gale

North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale said: “We have recently seen businesses starting to get back on their feet and people getting used to some sort of normality.

“However even with the majority of people following the government guidance it’s clear that COVID is spreading in excess of the predicted ‘worst case scenario’. That is why the Government has decided, on the basis of the best scientific advice available, to escalate the restrictions upon our work patterns, leisure and movement.
“In the coming days we will learn what added help will be given to those business and families affected. Kent’s MPs will continue to work together to press the government to make sure that there is sufficient support to see everyone through what will be more tough times.
“We can and we will get through this and as always my office is here to help where we can.”


  1. There are many highly qualified experts pointing out the dangers of both lockdowns and false positives in the testing – Dr Mike Yeadon (a contemporary of Vallence and Whitty and arguably more experienced, who says they are liars and sue him if he is wrong); the Great Barrington Declaration co-authored by three professors from Oxford, Harvard and Stanford), and including Nobel Prize winner Dr Michael Levitt and the Recovery Group including ex Supreme High Court Judge Lord Sumpton and cancer expert Professor Sikora. Legal challenges are underway in Germany and in the UK regarding the harm of lockdowns. Many businesses will go under with this further lockdown and three big new insolvency centres are already being set up to deal with this. How many assets will be stripped? The lack of any courage to stand up for the rights of the people is clear to see from both the right and left, with a few exceptions. All political parties are colluding in the lies. It is shameful and an enormous psychological propaganda game is going on with the fear mongering and ever changing dodgy statistics. I don’t have that much time for the Daily Mail, but at least they published some balanced articles yesterday from Dr Mike Yeadon and Professor Sunetra Gupta, and Talk Radio has done similar. Most other main stream media are sadly lackey, but readers’ comments can be brilliant and far more insightful, and a reason to be cheerful that some are more observant.

      • What a silly thing to say Marva. Conspiracy theory was a term used by the CIA at the time of the JFK killing to shut down any questioning of the official narrative. A propaganda term that has been used by those trying shutting down intelligent debate ever since. Look at the Jimmy Savile abuse or those weapons of mass destruction or soldiers harmed by nuclear testing – nothing to see there – right? The Telegraph once published an excellent article on 15 conspiracy theories that turned out to be true. There are many. And the people listed above are highly qualified and recognised in their fields. Viva the truth one day without ignorant and infantile smears – they make me chuckle.

    • So nice to read a comment that is full of truths rather than blind following and support of policy. More need to listen to the real science rather than taking government advisors guidance as the be all and end all of what should be considered when trying to really contain Covid.

  2. These are very difficult times ,and
    No prime minister has ever had to deal with anything like this so now is the time when everyone needs to act in a responsible manner, it is not a time to blame the government, and start playing party politics lets get through this crisis together , there will be plenty of time when this is over to debate what if anything could have been done better.

  3. Roger Gale said “However even with the majority of people following the government guidance …”
    Sadly, this is not the case.
    Research has shown that around 80% of people who should have been quarantined/self isolating didn’t do what they were supposed to.
    The majority of people have regularly ignored the regulations.
    The evidence?
    If *everyone* had done the right thing, CV would have disappeared from the UK by the end of April.
    The fact that it hasn’t shows that far, far too many people have not been practising social distancing. There have been, for example, several self-reported cases of people being fined £10,000 for having large, illegal gatherings. I bet there have been many, many more that no one knew about (until the local death rate went up)
    Stay apart. Stay safe.

    • What sort of nonsense is that? No, Covid would not have vanished by the end of April if everybody had ‘done what they are supposed to’-that isn’t how viruses work. Even this incompetent government weren’t claiming that going into lockdown for months was going to eradicate Covid-19, the idea was to slow it down, reduce the number of infections & deaths & stop the NHS from being overwhelmed. It just shows their gross stupidity that now we are into the winter bugs season where nurseries, hospitals & care homes become overrun with Norovirus/Winter Vomiting Bug, older people start getting pneumonia, the common cold is prolific etc that they insist that schools & universities stay open-when as was proven for months on end they can study from home.

      The big problem is viruses come into being because large swathes of the world have abysmal sanitation, living standards & personal hygiene & those of us lucky enough to live in places with proper toilets, clean water, soap etc in large swathes also decide not to wash our hands after going to the toilet, stick our fingers up our noses, cough & sneeze into our hands or in the air-especially on buses & trains which then spreads these things exponentially.

  4. This government is a joke

    Puts the north on level 4 lockdown and will only pay 60% of their wages. Than the Tories, oh sh*t we all need to go into lockdown level 4, we cant put our voters on only 60% pay we will need to extend furlough now or we will lose the next election, cant have the southerners struggling on only 60%,

    • Even yesterday he was talking about places going into high tiers in the next few days, yet from Thursday the whole country will be going into Lockdown-so what is the point of putting a region into tier 3 or 4 on Tuesday & then 24 hours later every region is locking down? What is so difficult about making every region follow the same rules as we are all now showing big transmission rates?

  5. We live in a global society. If anyone thinks a virus disappears when you lock down society for a few weeks they are deluded. As soon as restrictions are lifted we will be back to where we started. This has nothing to do with stopping the virus and everything to do with not having photos plastered all over the media of full up hospitals.

    They are buying time until a vaccine can be rolled out to the vulnerable.

    • Indeed, if the governments of the world had acted back in January when we first heard about it, rather than mid-late March when it had been circulating for months with no measures being put in place then likely we would have got a much better outcome. Locking down society is purely to drastically reduce numbers rapidly to save a total collapse of the NHS & untold deaths-once something is in mass circulation then ‘following orders’ will only do so much.

      As for the vaccine-it is quite possible that like the common cold there will be no effective vaccine. Eventually we will just have to accept it as part of our lives & accept that lockdowns-both national & local will be a semi-regular thing. Even if they developed one by the end of the year, the people it gets rolled out to first are hospital workers, care home workers, police officers, the extremely vulnerable etc & the head of UK vaccines has already stated that under half of the UK population would receive it & that it is mostly for people 50 or over. Plus any vaccine is unlikely to be a cure-all as virologists have stated & frankly the way the trials are being rushed & who knows what these pharma companies are covering up in their trial data(they do this all the time if negative results happen) which will not be peer reviewed due to time constraints it appears, then the people getting it first will basically be guinea pigs.

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