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Coronavirus outbreak FAQ: what you can and can’t do.

By Carol Harris Battle Town Council

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

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Battle Town Council Contributor

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This week has seen more changes in COVID-19 instruction from the Government, which have inevitably generated a lot of questions from people across the country. From the gov.uk website, here are just a few frequently asked questions on what we can and can’t do as we enter the next phase of lockdown in England. For a full list of detailed frequently asked questions please see: Coronavirus outbreak FAQ: what you can and can’t do.

What can I do from Wednesday 13 May that I couldn’t do before?

There will be a limited number of things you can do on Wednesday that you cannot do now:

· spend time outdoors – for example sitting and enjoying the fresh air, picnicking, or sunbathing

· meet one other person from a different household outdoors - following social distancing guidelines

· exercise outdoors as often as you wish - following social distancing guidelines

· use outdoor sports courts or facilities, such as a tennis or basketball court, or golf course – with members of your household, or one other person while staying 2 metres apart

· go to a garden centre

At all times, should continue to observe social distancing guidelines when you are outside your home, including ensuring you are 2 metres away from anyone outside your household. As with before, you cannot:

· visit friends and family in their homes

· exercise in an indoor sports court, gym or leisure centre, or go swimming in a public pool

· use an outdoor gym or playground

· visit a private or ticketed attraction

· gather in a group of more than two (excluding members of your own household), except for a few specific exceptions set out in law (for work, funerals, house moves, supporting the vulnerable, in emergencies and to fulfil legal obligations)

If you are showing coronavirus symptoms, or if you or any of your household are self-isolating, you should stay at home - this is critical to staying safe and saving lives.

Does easing restrictions apply to healthy 70 year olds and over?

The advice for those aged 70 and over continues to be that they should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their household. If they do go out more frequently, they should be careful to maintain distance from others. They and everyone should continue to comply with any general social distancing restrictions.

We know that those aged 70 and over can be absolutely fit and healthy and it’s not the case that everybody over 70 has a chronic health condition or an underlying disease. But unfortunately, we also know that as you get older, there is a higher risk of coronavirus having a more serious impact with infection. Complications and deaths are more common in the elderly, even those without pre-existing conditions.

Anyone who has been advised to shield by the NHS or their GP, including those 70 and over, should continue to do this until at least the end of June.

Who is allowed to go to work?

In the first instance, employers should make every effort to support working from home, including by providing suitable IT and equipment as they have been already. This will apply to many different types of businesses, particularly those who typically would have worked in offices or online.

Where work can only be done in the workplace, Government has set out tailored guidelines for employers to help protect their workforce and customers from coronavirus while still continuing to trade or getting their business back up and running. They will be publishing even more detailed COVID-19 secure guidelines in the coming days, which has been developed in consultation with businesses and trades unions.

These ‘back to work’ guidelines apply to those in essential retail such as:

· supermarkets

· construction and manufacturing

· those working in labs and research facilities

· takeaways and deliveries at restaurants and cafes

· tradesmen, cleaners and others who work in people’s homes

· those who are facilitating trade or transport goods

· and so on

Non-essential retail, restaurants, pubs, bars, gyms and leisure centres will remain closed. They will reopen in a phased manner provided it is safe to do so.

There are specific guidelines for those who are vulnerable, shielding, or showing symptoms.

Who is allowed to travel on public transport?

If you cannot work from home and have to travel to work, or if you must make an essential journey, you should cycle or walk wherever possible. Before you travel on public transport, consider if your journey is necessary and if you can, stay local. Try to reduce your travel. This will help keep the transport network running and allows people who need to make essential journeys to travel.

Government will be setting out further guidance for passengers with more advice on how to stay safe during your journeys later this week.

Contact Information

Carol Harris

Find Battle Town Council

The Almonry, High Street, Battle, East Sussex, TN33 0EA

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