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Support and advice for businesses affected by COVID-19.

FAQ on local restrictions - what you can and can't do in Preston

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This content was last updated on 16 October 2020

Government has declared that Preston (and Lancashire as a whole) is a "Tier 3, Very High Alert" area according to the Government Covid Alert system.

The majority of the new measures will take effect from 00:01 Saturday 17 October, with additional measures being implemented from 00:01 Monday 19 October (these are indicated below).

This page is accurate based on the information and guidance we have received from government. We will update this page with any further information we receive.

Local COVID alert level: Tier 3, Very High

This means that in addition to national restrictions, the following rules apply in Preston from 17 October 2020:

  • You must not socialise with anybody you do not live with (unless you have formed a support bubble with them) in any indoor setting, private garden or at most outdoor hospitality venues and ticketed events. 
  • You must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in an outdoor public space such as a park or beach, the countryside, a public garden or a sports venue
  • All pubs and bars must close, unless they serve substantial meals (such as a main lunchtime or evening meal)
  • You should try to avoid travelling outside of Lancashire or visiting any other Very High risk areas (such as Liverpool) other than for work, education or caring responsibilities. This does not apply if you are travelling through the area as part of a longer journey
  • You should avoid staying overnight in areas outside of Lancashire.

The following measures that effect from 19 October 2020

  • The adult gaming industry, casinos, bingo halls, bookmakers, betting shops and soft play areas must close
  • Car boot sales are not permitted.

The following still applies:

  • Gyms remain open
  • Schools remain open
  • Places of worship remain open, but household mixing is not permitted
  • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees. However, wedding receptions are not permitted.

View detailed information on the restrictions in Tier 3

If you are a business owner please visit our COVID-19 Business support and advice pages to find out more information.

For the latest data in your area please visit Public Health England and Lancashire County Council's website.

How can I report a Coronavirus concern?

If you are concerned about the implementation of COVID secure measures in a business, workplace or other public building please report this by using our Coronavirus report form.

Report a coronavirus concern

Where can I get tested?

For the latest information on coronavirus testing in Preston, please visit our Coronavirus testing page, using the button below.

Coronavirus Testing

Information on self-isolating due to coronavirus and the Test and Trace Support Payment

You may be asked to self-isolate for a number of reasons including a positive test for you, someone in your household, if you've been contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service or whether you are experiencing coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms.

For more information on the importance of self-isolating as well as accessing the Test and Trace Support Payment for people on low income who are required to self-isolate, please visit our self-isolating page.

View information on self-isolating due to coronavirus

Meeting family and friends

You must not meet socially with friends and family in any indoor location unless they are part of our household or support bubble. This includes homes, as well as public indoor venues such as pubs, cafes and restaurants.

Please note that you can be fined £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences to maximum of £6,400. If you hold, or are involved in hosting, an illegal gathering of over 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000.

You can meet with friends and family outdoors, excluding outdoor hospitality venues or private gardens, following the rule of 6. Children are included in the limit of 6.

The following exemptions apply:

  • in a legally permitted support bubble
  • in a legally permitted childcare bubble - for more information visit GOV.UK - section on childcare
  • for work, volunteering to provide voluntary or charitable services - for more information visit GOV.UK - guidance on working safely in other people's homes
  • for registered childcare, education or training
  • for arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents or guardians
  • for prospective adopting parents to meet a child or children who may be placed with them
  • for supervised activities provided for children, including wraparound care (before and after school childcare), youth groups and activities, and children's playgroups
  • for birth partners
  • to see someone who is dying
  • to provide emergency assistance, and to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm
  • to fulfil a legal obligation, such as attending court or jury service
  • to provide care or assistance to someone vulnerable - for more information visit GOV.UK - guidance for those who provide unpaid care to friends or family
  • to facilitate a house move
  • for a wedding or equivalent ceremony and wedding receptions where the organiser has carried out a risk assessment and taken all reasonable measures to limit the risk of transmission of the virus - up to a maximum of 15 people (not to take place in private dwellings)
  • for funerals - up to a maximum of 30 people. Wakes and other commemorative events are permitted with up to 15 people present (not to take place in private dwellings)
  • for elite sports people and their coaches if necessary for competition and training, as well as parents or guardians if they are a child
  • for outdoor exercise and dance classes, organised outdoor sport, and licensed outdoor physical activity
  • indoor organised team sports for disabled people, and youth sport
  • support groups of up to 15 participants - formally organised groups to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support (not to take place in private dwellings)
  • protests - if organised in compliance with COVID-secure guidance

How does this affect organised activities?

Activities, such as indoor exercise classes and other activity groups can only continue provided that households (including support bubbles) do not mix.

If these groups are likely to mix, these activities must not go ahead.

How does this affect childcare?

The following people can provide childcare support in your or their home and garden:

  • registered childcare providers, including nannies
  • people in your support bubble
  • people in your childcare bubble

A childcare bubble is where someone in one household provides informal (unpaid and unregistered) childcare to a child aged 13 or under in another household.

For any given childcare bubble, this must always be between the same 2 households.

Please note: friends or family who do not live with you and are not part of a support or childcare bubble must not visit your home to help with childcare. Childcare bubbles are to be used to provide childcare only, and not for the purposes of different households mixing where they are otherwise not allowed to do so.

There are exceptions from legal gatherings limits for registered childcare, education or training, and supervised activities provided for children, including wraparound care, youth groups and activities, and children's playgroups.

This means you can continue to use early years and childcare settings, including childminders, after-school clubs and nannies.

Going to work

All workplaces should be implementing COVID secure measures.

Anyone who cannot work from home should go to their place of work, carefully following the measures in place.

If you are able to work from home, with your employers consent, you should do so.

Public sector employees working in essential services should continue to go into work as necessary.

Those classed as clinically extremely vulnerable can go to work as long as the workplace is COVID-19 Secure. However, if you are able to work from home you should do so.

There are no group size limits when gathering/meeting for work purposes but all workplaces should be set up to meet Covid-19 Secure guidelines.

Are residents required to shield?

For Local Covid Alert Level - Very High

The Government is advising all residents who are vulnerable and previously shielding to take the following precautions and advice:

  • Reduce the number of different people you meet outside
  • Avoid travel except for essential journeys and work from home where possible
  • Reduce the number of shopping trips made or go at quieter times of the day

You can still go to work if you cannot work from home because all workplaces should be covid secure, and children should still attend school.

This is on top of restrictions for everyone to not meet other households indoors, unless part of a support bubble, and to only meet in groups of up to six people outdoors.

For the latest information and guidelines on shielding please visit Public Health England's guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19.

COVID-19 symptoms

For a comprehensive list of COVID-19 symptoms visit NHS - COVID-19.

If you are displaying these symptoms or feel unwell please get tested as soon as possible. Where practical please avoid the use of taxis or public transport to attend a testing site.

Can I still access help?

Help for vulnerable people is still available via Preston Together 

Face coverings

What is the latest guidance on face coverings?

For the latest guidance and exemptions visit GOV.UK - Face coverings - when to wear one and how to make your own.

Can I be fined for not wearing a face covering?

The new legislation means it's a legal requirement to wear a face covering in shops and supermarkets.

Police can issue fines of £200 for non-compliance and have the powers to enforce the requirement to wear face coverings in certain premises and on public transport. 

You can report any non-compliance Covid-19 issues to the Police using their Covid-19 online report form.

What if I refuse?

On public transport, for example, those who obstruct or ignore orders from police "without reasonable excuse" commit an offence and can be prosecuted.

What about pubs, cafes and restaurants?

From Thursday 24 September you must wear a face covering in pubs, cafes and restaurants except when seated at a table to eat or drink. This means you must wear a face covering when being shown to a table, when leaving the venue and when going to and from toilet facilities.

Places where you need to wear a face covering

From Tuesday 22 September the list of places where members of the public are required to wear a face covering has expanded.

There are different rules for customers and employees regarding the wearing of a face covering. Exemptions do still apply and employees who are unsure should contact their employer for further guidance.

Members of the public

You must wear a face covering, unless exempt:

  • on public transport and in transport hubs
  • while in a taxi or other private hire vehicle
  • while in a hospitality venue (pub, restaurant, cafe etc.) except when seated at a table to eat or drink (from 24 September)
  • in shops, supermarkets and shopping centres - even your local corner shop and includes indoor markets
  • Post Office, bank, solicitor's office etc
  • hair salon, barber and nail bars - including close contact services
  • vets
  • visitor attractions - museums and galleries, cinemas and bingo halls
  • libraries
  • places of worship
  • funeral homes and crematorium


GOV.UK provides guidance on the use of face coverings at work.

Employers must make sure that the risk assessment for their business addresses the risks of COVID-19 using BEIS guidance to inform decisions and control measures including close proximity working.

From 24 September:

  • Staff in hospitality and retail sectors will now be required to wear a face covering unless exempt
  • Staff performing close contact services (such as beauty treatments) must now wear a face covering and visor
  • Staff working on public transport and taxi drivers will continue to be advised to wear face coverings.

If you are unsure of how this applies to you, please contact your employer

Face covering exemptions

Some people are exempt from face covering, including:

  • children under 11
  • people with a medical exemption
  • employees in indoors settings
  • Police and emergency workers
  • speaking with someone who relies on lip reading

Local Covid Alert Level

Local COVID alert level - Very High

An image relating to Residencies affected by area of intervention measures
Following the announcement from Government that Preston is an area of intervention, new restrictions apply to residents within the area administrated by Preston City Council.

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