A raft of additional measures to tackle the spread of coronavirus in England have been unveiled by the Government – on top of those which came into force in Wolverhampton yesterday (Tuesday).

With rates of Covid-19 increasing both locally and nationally in recent weeks, the Government has announced that: 

  • people who can work from home should do so. Where this is not possible, people should continue to attend their workplaces
  • from tomorrow (Thursday), all pubs, bars and restaurants must operate a table service only, except for takeaways. Together with all hospitality venues, they must close at 10pm. Deliveries can continue after 10pm
  • face coverings must be worn by staff working in retail, people in taxis and private hire vehicles and staff and customers in pubs and restaurants, except for customers seated at a table to eat or drink 
  • fines for not wearing a face covering where required will now double to £200 for a first offence. The only exception is where someone is exempt, for instance on the grounds of medical reasons
  • from Monday, a maximum of 15 people will be able to attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, though up to 30 will still be able to attend funerals as is currently the case 
  • the 'rule of six' will be extended to all adult indoor team sports

In addition, people in Wolverhampton remain subject to local measures which came into effect yesterday after the city became an area of national intervention last week. These local restrictions mean: 

  • you must not allow people you don't live with or who are not part of your support bubble into your home or garden
  • you must not visit people you do not live with or who are not part of your support bubble in their home or garden, in Wolverhampton or elsewhere
  • people can only come into your home or garden for specific purposes set out in law (see the guidance for further details)

The local restrictions apply to everyone living and working within the city of Wolverhampton, though grandparents, extended family members and others who provide formal or informal care for children aged up to 14 or vulnerable adults can be part of a 'care bubble' for caring purposes where necessary. People within a support bubble – where a household with one adult joins with another household on an exclusive basis – can still visit each other, stay overnight and visit public places together.

These local measures only affect the home and garden and people should still continue to follow the Hands, Face, Space guidance when they are out and about: Wash hands regularly for 20 seconds; wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult; stay 2m apart from people who are not a member of their household or bubble, or 1m plus with extra precautions in place if 2m is not possible. 

For full details of the local restrictions, and the answers to frequently asked questions, please visit Local restrictions in Wolverhampton. Posters detailing the local measures are available to download from the same page. For details of the national measures, please visit GOV.UK

John Denley, Wolverhampton's Director of Public Health, said: "Covid-19 isn't going away and, if we're not careful, we could face a huge spike in cases in the weeks and months ahead. As we have seen in Europe, an increase in cases has led to more hospitalisations and, tragically, more deaths. 

"We simply must do all we can to stop the virus and so the Government is bringing these measures in place now to try and slow down its spread. Please do your bit – follow the guidelines and help us beat coronavirus."