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The main items are the updates on the rules and restrictions in place in lockdown areas. It is important to note that there are differences in the restrictions both within and between the lockdown area, especially when it comes to weddings.
- Leicester Weddings Update
Additional guidance has been produced regarding holding weddings in the Leicester lockdown area. Weddings are still allowed to take place but only an maximum of 30 people are able to attend and those 30 people can only be from a maximum of two households. In addition, no wedding receptions or parties should take place no celebrations involving more than one household or support bubble should take place in any place including hotels, pubs and restaurants.
- Northern Lockdown Update
The Guidance for the Northern Lockdown area have been updated, specifically to address the issue of people from different households meeting-up at hospitality and leisure venues. The main points are:
- You may attend these venues such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions. with people you live with (or are in a support bubble with), but should avoid interaction with individuals or groups from other households.
- If you run such a business or organise events on their premises, you should take steps to ensure people do not interact with people they do not live with, in line with COVID-19 secure guidance
The rules for weddings in the Northern Lockdown area are very similar to those for Leicester. However, there is one main difference in that the maximum of 30 people attending a wedding in the Northern Lockdown are can be from more than two households.
It should also be noted that while casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor play areas, including soft play areas, exhibition centres and conference halls must remain closed throughout the Northern Lockdown area, In Bradford, indoor gyms, indoor fitness and dance studios, indoor sports courts and facilities, indoor swimming pools, including indoor facilities at water parks must also remain closed.
- Restrictions for Blackburn with Darwen, Oldham and Pendle
The Government also produced separate guidance on local restrictions for Blackburn with Darwen, Oldham and Pendle over the weekend. The restrictions are very similar to Northern Lockdown Area but it should be noted that:
- In the Blackburn with Darwen area, indoor gyms, indoor fitness and dance studios, indoor sports courts and facilities, indoor swimming pools, including indoor facilities at water parks must remain closed in addition to the standard casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor play areas, including soft play areas, exhibition centres and conference halls
- For Weddings – a maximum of 20 people can attend and, while it seems they can be from more than two households, they should be limited to close family of the people getting married.
- Funding Available through the Culture Recovery Fund
DCMs have published guidance that pulls together the various schemes under the £1.57bn Cultural recovery Fund that are open for applications at the moment. They include:
- Arts Council England Grants– £500m grants for cultural organisations that are at risk of failure because of COVID-19 and who need funding of up to £3m
- Culture Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas – £30m for independent cinemas who provide a year round film programme, that are at risk of failure because of COVID-19
- Arts Council England Repayable Finance – £270m repayable finance for cultural organisations that are at risk of failure because of COVID-19 and who need funding of over £3m
- Historic England – £50m heritage stimulus fund (capital) to restart vital construction and maintenance projects on heritage sites, stalled due to the restrictions caused by COVID-19
- Arts Council England Capital – capital expenditure funding for existing Arts Council capital grant holders who can demonstrate a capital funding shortfall due to COVID-19.
- Transport Operators Guidance Clarification
The guidance for transport operators has been updated to clarify that services through or within lockdown areas can continue as normal with the normal rules and restrictions. However, operators are advised to review their risk assessments regularly to ensure they remain relevant and appropriate for these areas.
- Applying for a Visa if a VAC is Closed
The Home Office has updated its guidance on how foreign nationals can apply for a visa if a VAC is closed due to coronavirus restrictions. Where a VAC is closed, Applicants can apply for any type of visa online using the following link and then select a VAC in any country worldwide, subject to that country’s entry requirements, to submit their application and biometrics.
The ability to do this will be reviewed by 30 November 2020.
- Make it Home in One Piece
The Highways Agency has launched a new campaign linked to Enjoy Summer Safety to urge motorists to be additionally careful, especially over the August bank Holiday. The key messages being:
- Take a break from driving at least every 2 hours
- Don’t drive tired
- Plan your journey
Attached is a powerpoint toolkit for the campaign that has been sent through to raise awareness.