Latest Government Advice
Hands. Face. Space.
Wearing face coverings in indoor public spaces such as shops, places of worship, museums, salons, galleries and cinemas in England is now compulsory.
Anyone, who does not comply, faces a £200 fine (£100 if paid within 14 days. Penalties for ignoring the rules will double for each offence up to a maximum of £3,200.
Rules will be enforced by the police, not shop workers, and only ''as a last resort''.
On Monday 12 October, Prime Mniister Boris Johnson announced a 3-tier system of restrictions in England to stop the spread of Coronavirus.
Rules apply from 00.01 on Wednesday 14 October. The whole of the Tees Valley region is included in Tier 2, which applies to areas where infection levels are higher and some additional restrictions are in place.
in addition to Tier 1 restrictions, people living in Tier 2:
- Must not socialise with anybody outside of their household or support bubble indoors
- Must not socialise in a group of more than 6 outside
- Must operate businesses and venues in a COVID-secure manner
- Must ensure all hoispitality venues serviing food and drink are table service only and must close between 10pm and 5am
- Must restrict the number of people attending weddings and funerals
- Should only continue with exercise indoors if it is possible to avoid mixing with people they do not live with or share a support bubble with, or if they are taking part in youth or disability sport
- Should look at reducing the number of journeys, which they make.
They must wear a face covering in those areas where this is required by law and should also continue to:
- Follow social distancing rules
- Work from home wherever possible
- Walk or cycle where possible, or plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport
More details are available on the Government website.
Staying Safe Outside
Safety Guidance (after 31 July)
UK Recovery Plan (Revised 24 July 2020)
The local Perspective
The Government has given English councils powers to close shops, cancel events and shut outdoor public spaces to manage local outbreaks of coronavirus to avoid the need for stricter local lockdown measures.
Stopping the spread of coronavirus and protecting vulnerable people are at the heart of Middlesbrough's Covid-19 response plan, which has the full support of the PCC.
The Council has developed its Local Outbreak Control Plan as part of the NHS Test and Trace programme. The plan focusses on preventing local spikes. Stopping the spread of infection will save lives and help the town's economy recover.
Local Outbreak Control Plan
The 3 other councils, which make up the Cleveland Force Area, have also written similar plans:
Test and Trace
The NHS Test and Trace service forms part of the Government’s coronavirus recovery strategy.
Anyone with symptoms will be tested. Close contacts of anyone, who tests positive for coronavirus, will have to share information about their recent interactions. This could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes.
Those contacts will be traced and contacted by NHS Test and Trace. Close contacts must isolate for 14 days, even if they have no symptoms, to avoid spreading the virus.
Test and Trace will help identify, contain and control coronavirus, reduce its spread and save lives.
Police and Local Authority Powers
From Monday 14 September, it has been against the law in England to hold most social gatherings of more than 6 people. Police will be able to break up larger groups and fine those, who don't follow the rules.
A gathering is when 2 or more people are present in the same place in order to engage in any form of social interaction with each other, or to undertake any activity with each other. Exemptions from this rule are:
- If all members are from the same householdi
- If members are from a linked household
These are called Qualifying Groups.
There are also exemptions for certain types of gathering including workplaces, schools and occasions like weddings and funerals.
This ruling is covered by the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restriction) (No.2) (England) Regulations 2020
The latest amendment to the law allows police to:
- Direct a gathering of more than 6 to disperse
- Direct any person in the gathering to return home
- Remove any person from the gathering
The initial police response will always be to encourage voluntary compliance with the rules. Police will continue to apply the four-step escalation principles:
4.Enforce - but only as a last resort.
Officers may use reasonable force, if necessary, in exercising the new powers. If you are part of a group which refuses to disperse when told to by police, you could get a £100 penalty ticket (£50 if paid within 14 days).This doubles with every additional offence, rising to £3,200 for six or more offences.
The latest rules also allow the Secretary of State to:
- Restrict access to public spaces;
- Ensure certain businesses remain closed including nightclubs and discos;
- Limit larger gatherings (more than 30 people) with some exceptions.
Organisers of illegal gatherings in England can be fined £10,000. This penalty came in after a number of house parties and unlicensed gatherings were broken up by police.
Police are generally responsible for enforcing the regulations but local authorities and the Secretary of State can nominate other agencies to make sure people keep to the rules.
The law is due to expire in six months' time but it must be reviewed at least every 28 days unti then.
How to protect yourself and others
Staying home if you think you have coronavirus (self-isolating)
Staying Alert and Safe (Social Distancing)
For information what to do if you think you have Coronavirus go to the NHS website www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
For advice and updates from the Government, go to www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Testing and treatment are free of charge, regardless of immigration status. Information in 40 languages including Punjabi, Urdu, Arabic, Polish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Kurdish, Czech, Farsi and Tamil can be accessed here.
Latest updates from the Police and Crime Commissioner
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20 May 2020. Public Snub of Mass Gatherings praised by Chief in Scrutiny Session
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29 April 2020 - PCC and Teesside University join up on research project during Covid-19
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