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Latest Lock Down Restrictions

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Click here to read information on the status of Community Action Norfolk's Services. As well as links to other information and advice
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Updated: 2nd December 2020

This is part of our Covid-19 guidance. To view the main guidance page please click here. This page is being regularly updated however the situation continues to change and in all cases please defer to official government guidance. 

Government Guidance

As of 2nd December we have moved into a tiered system of restrictions.  Norfolk is currently in Tier 2 - High Alert (the other tiers being "Tier 1 - Medium Alert" and "Tier 3  -Very High Alert").  The latest government guidance has been published and can be found by clicking here.  Across all tiers you must:

  • wear a face covering in most indoor public settings, unless there is an exemption.  
  • attend school or college as normal, unless self-isolating. Schools, universities, colleges and early years settings remain open in all tiers.
  • follow the gathering limits for your tier except for in specific settings and circumstances. 
  • work from home where possible.
  • continue to operate to COVID-Secure guidelines if you are a business or venue that is open.

 

Tier 2 Restrictions

  • you must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting
  • you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside, including in a garden or a public space – this is called the ‘rule of 6’
  • businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-Secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law
  • 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 and, 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
  • 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
  • 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 stonesettings.
  • organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue
  • organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes will only be permitted if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with). There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s, which can take place with larger groups mixing
  • you can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible
  • if you live in a tier 2 area, you must continue to follow tier 2 rules when you travel to a tier 1 area. Avoid travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities.You can travel through a tier 3 area as a part of a longer journey
  • for international travel see the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office travel advice for your destination and the travel corridors list

Engage, Explain, Encourage and Enforce

Norfolk Police and Trading Standards have again confirmed an overall policy of Engage, Explain, Encourage and Enforce in-relation to lock-down restrictions, using enforcement only as a last resort. Where an individual or organisation are trying to do the right thing but maybe haven't quite implemented guidance correctly or are working in areas where permitted activities are less clearly defined, officials will seek to engage and explain, responding in a fair, sensible and proportionate manner. Blatant breaking of the rules will lead to more rapid enforcement.

VCSE Services

The government guidance provides a number of situations where VCSE activity is permitted to continue.

“You can leave home for work purposes, or to provide voluntary or charitable services, where you cannot do this from home.” This includes  “work in other people’s homes where necessary” and “to provide care for vulnerable people, to provide emergency assistance, attend a support group (of up to 15 people), or receive respite care.”

The focus, however, is on leaving your home only where necessary. What constitutes a support group is an area that we know a number of organisations have been discussing.  Within the guidance support group is defined quite broadly;

“Support groups that have to be delivered 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, but is not limited to, 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, and vulnerable young people, including for them to meet young workers.”

The purpose of a lockdown is to limit contact to the minimum possible – this should be your starting point. However, where you view your activity as essential you should maintain a focus on your end beneficiaries. In making a decision as to whether you continue to operate running your group it will be important to balance the risk of the likely harm caused by the suspension of the support group (and the inability to deliver a reasonable alternative for example online) versus the risk posed by the virus. This, therefore, may mean that you decide that similar types of support group activity with people at lower risk to the virus continue but those targeting individuals at higher risk to the virus close.

In all situations where you continue to operate an assessment of the risks posed to your employees, volunteers and clients and the steps you have taken to reduce these will be important.

How this affects volunteering

Decision making around volunteer flow diagram, click here for a large format version

Revised guidance on volunteering is due to be produced but currently it is understood that:

  • Where possible, people should volunteer from home. If they cannot do so, they can volunteer outside their home if they follow the social distancing guidance and no one in their household has symptoms of coronavirus or has tested positive for coronavirus.
  • Volunteer-involving organisations must ensure their workplaces meet coronavirus safety standards.
  • People over the age of 60 and those who are clinically vulnerable do not face any specific restrictions on volunteering and should follow the same guidelines as above. However, as this group could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus, they may need additional support to follow social distancing rules and minimise contact with others.
  • People who are defined on medical grounds as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) to coronavirus are advised not to volunteer outside the home. The government will be writing to CEV people to provide detailed advice about the new restrictions.

All organisations are reminded that they should only hold face-to-face services where it not practical to offer services by other means.  If they are currently face-to-face can you deliver them differently? By phone? Online? Can they wait? If you choose to continue face-to-face services you must fully risk assess them and they should only take place if absolutely necessary to safeguard lives.

Guides for specific organisations

The following guides are available for specific organisations:

Guides for Individuals

The following guides are available for individuals and those caring for them:

  • Guidance for those shielding and protecting those who, on medical grounds, are extremely vulnerable.  Please click here.  
  • Guidance for forming Christmas Bubbles between 23rd - 27th December.  Please click here