Business support and advice
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 28 September 2020.

Following the announcement of stronger measures for Lancashire, additional restrictions will apply affecting residents and businesses both in Preston and across the county.

The current restrictions for Preston (implemented 7 August) remain in place. This means that:

  • You cannot have others in your homes and gardens
  • You cannot visit other people's homes or gardens, even if they are in an unaffected area
  • You are not permitted to mix with other households in indoor venues (including homes, bars, restaurants and cafes).

As well as this the below is now mandatory:

  • Hospitality for food and drink must operate table service only.
  • Leisure and entertainment venues must close between 10pm and 5am

Residents are also advised to follow the below guidelines to further reduce the spread of the virus:

  • Residents should not socialise with other people outside of their own household or support bubble in all outdoor public spaces including parks, beer gardens, outside restaurants or pavement cafes
  • Residents are advised to only use public transport for essential journeys - such as travelling to school or work. A face covering must be worn on public transport unless you are exempt
  • Residents are advised against attending amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators

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.

What areas are covered by these new restrictions?

The restrictions on opening times and table service affects all hospitality businesses in England. The rules on visiting other households or indoor public venues apply to all areas of Lancashire except for Blackpool. As such they affect every resident in Preston.

If you're unsure whether or not your address falls within the boundaries of Preston City Council, use GOV.UK's find your local council online tool using your postcode to find out who you pay your council tax to.

What about testing?

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

Coronavirus Testing

Who is allowed into my home?

You must not meet people who you do not live with or are part of a protective support bubble with inside your home.

However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule listed below:

  • To provide emergency assistance
  • To attend a birth at the mother's request
  • To visit a person who is dying
  • To fulfil a legal obligation
  • For work, volunteering or charitable purposes
  • For education or training purposes
  • For the purposes of childcare for children under 14 
  • To provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person
  • To facilitate a house move (this includes viewing a property)
  • To continue existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children where the children do not live in the same household as one or more of their parents.

What is a support bubble?

For the latest information and guidelines on support bubbles please visit GOV.UK's guidance on making a support bubble with another household.

How does this affect childcare?

Government have announced that people looking after children under the age of 14 are exempt from the ban on mixing households.

Please note this covers formal/informal childcare, not playdates or parties.

Are residents required to shield?

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.

Do these measures affect education?

No. Schools, colleges and universities remain open and are operating in a COVID secure way.

Can I travel for work or schools?

Yes. People can travel in or out of Preston for work and education purposes. Workplaces and schools should be implementing COVID secure measures.

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.

Can I visit someone's house in an area not subject to restrictions?

You must not visit anyone's home either within or out of the restricted area except for your support bubble or for the excepted reasons listed above.

What are the changes for hospitality venues?

Hospitality venues must close between 10pm and 5am.

During open hours businesses must operate table service only including ordering food and drinks.

Between 10pm and 5am hot food takeaways can only operate a delivery service.

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

What about furlough for people who won't be able to work as a result?

The government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is due to continue during September and October.

From 1 September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a maximum cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will top up employees' wages to ensure they receive 80% (up to £2,500).

To see whether you can claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, please visit GOV.UK's guidance, check if you can claim for your employees' wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Can I still meet people outside of my household or support bubble in a pub, café or restaurant?

As Preston is already an area with increased local restrictions you are unable to meet with other households in any indoor location.

Government advice is to minimise your contact with people outside of your household and social bubble elsewhere.

For the latest information from government, please visit GOV.UKs guidance on North of England local restrictions.

Can I still meet people outside of my household or support bubble in public outdoor spaces?

Government advice is to minimise your contact with people outside of your household and social bubble elsewhere.

What are the changes to playing sports?

Unless formally organised by a sports club or similar organisation, with guidance issued by a sports governing body, team sports should not take place at an outdoor venue with people who you don't live with.

Indoor organised sport for over 18s will no longer be exempt from the rule of six. There is an exemption for indoor organised team sports for disabled people.

You should not spectate at any sports events, including at professional and semi-professional sports events.

Can I have someone in my house (or go into someone's house) to do repairs or other work?

Official/registered trades people can go to other people's homes for work purposes as long as you follow national guidance on how to work safely there.

What about public transport and car sharing?

Residents are advised to only use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work or for food shopping.

Face coverings must be worn unless exempt.

You are advised not to share a car with those outside your household or support bubble, and to use public transport for essential journeys instead.

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.

How often will additional measures be reviewed?

Additional measures affecting many areas of the North West - including Preston - are reviewed by The Department of Health and Social Care on a fortnightly basis. There is sometimes a delay in receiving this information.

This information will be shared via our website and social media channels as soon as it is provided (where permission to share is granted).

What data are these measures based on?

We understand there is some confusion in relation to data available online about cases at a local level. We are in continued conversation with Government and Public Health on the number of cases in Preston.

Any steps to reduce the number of cases in Preston are based on data from the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health Lancashire. 

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

Employees

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
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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