On 22nd September, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new set of rules to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the UK.
There rules were (as reported by the BBC):
- Pubs, bars and restaurants to close at 22:00 BST
- They will also be restricted to table service only
- People should work from home wherever possible
- Face masks compulsory for bar staff and non-seated customers, shop workers and waiters
- Limit on guests at weddings reduced from 30 to 15
- Plans to allow fans to return to sporting events paused
- “Rule of six” now applies to indoor team sports
- Fines for not wearing masks or following rules increased to £200 for first offence
Looking at the public reaction, there is a clear split in the opinion of the country, as to whether the new measures are appropriate or not and to what extent they will impact both the spread of the virus and the economy
According to our recent Twitter pollon the reintroduction of the government guidance to work from home, 48% said that ‘Work From Home’ guidance should have remained in place, in opposition to the July/ August messaging to go back to work if you can.. A further 25% agreed that the decision to encourage working from home was positive . However, another 23% did not agree with the new work from home guidance.This change in policy towards home-working comes as a particular blow to those businesses who only recently invested significant time and money in making offices Covid secure and moving people and equipment back from home into the office in the last month.
We also asked our Twitter audience about what impact they thought the 10pm restrictions will have on the UK economy. Unsurprisingly, a majority of you 37%, agreed that this would have ‘some’ impact on the UK economy. However, a significant 28% thought that the early closures wl have no impact on the UK economy. This could be due to a variety of factors, some have suggested that people will simply go out and spend earlier in the evening, whilst others may point to the fact that many areas are already under local lockdowns so the additional damage of this new restriction is likely to be minimal.
When we asked our audience if they supported the new guidance, 50% said ‘No’. This could have been a split between those who think the guidance is too lenient and those who think the guidance is too restrictive. There is great concern from the british public for those suffering with heightened anxiety, depression and other mental and physical illnesses. Will the new restrictions around not being able to meet people from different households further elevate the already existing concerns from health professionals?
It is still too early to tell what the economical and medical impact will be of the new guidance, and whether or not the new guidance will be able to contain the spread of the coronavirus. It could be possible that the government may need to tighten these rules further down the line.
We would like to hear your thoughts on the new guidance! Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch with us on Twitter: @KeepBritWorking