As you will be aware, the Prime Minister introduced their COVID winter plan yesterday (you can read more on the Gov website here). This plan is fairly extensive, with more aspects (such as the three-tiers) still to be decided.
The relevant aspects that you may need to be aware of:
The COVID-19 Winter Plan ensures the current national restrictions can be lifted on 2nd December, so across all of England, regardless of tier:
- The stay at home requirement will end, with domestic and international travel being permitted again subject to guidance in each tier.
- Shops,personal care,gyms and the wider leisure sector will reopen.
- Collective worship, weddings and outdoor sports can resume, subject to social distancing.
- People will no longer be limited to seeing only one other person in outdoor public spaces -the rule of 6 will now apply as it did in the previous set of tiers.
Information about Protecting the Vulnerable
Under recent national measures, the clinically extremely vulnerable have been advised to take extra precautions and stay at home as much as possible. Local Authorities have been working to ensure the right support is available for those that need it.
As the national restrictions end, the guidance to the clinically extremely vulnerable not to go to work or school will also end. The Government will reintroduce the specific advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people on how they can protect themselves at each tier. The Government will constantly monitor the latest evidence and the evolving situation in local areas to keep the advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people up to date.
Support will be available for those who need it, either through Local Authorities in tier 3 areas or NHS Volunteer Responders. Supermarket priority delivery slots will also continue for those who have already registered. The Government has also made free influenza vaccinations available to the household contacts of those on the Shielded Patients List.
Protecting those from Dispraportionately Impacted Groups
Individuals who are elderly, disabled and/or from ethnic minority backgrounds have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. TheGovernment is spending up to £25 million to establish a network of Community Champions to helpthose most at risk andhard-to-reach communities access and adhere to the latestGovernment COVID-19 guidance, and to give these people a greater voice in public health.
Keeping Education Going
- Since the summer, the Governments priority has been to ensure that education remains open. The policy in England is that education settings will remain open in all tiers.
- The Government has committed to delivering a full set of exams in England next summer.
- The Department for Education will update its guidance in the coming days to reflect how settings should operate under the strengthened tier system.
- When it is necessary for children to isolate, schools have a duty to provide high quality remote education; a Direction which places an express legal duty on schools to provide remote education in these circumstances has been in effect since October.
- To support children and young people to catch up, the Government has provided £1 billion of ‘catch up’ funding, including providing catch up premium funding direct to schools, as well as launching the National Tutoring Programme.
You can access the full Winter Plan here.