Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 4 January 2021
PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson announced in a coronavirus briefing which was held earlier on this evening (4 January) at 8pm that the United Kingdom is set to enter a third national lockdown.
The new tighter and stricter coronavirus rules are set to be put in place from 12:01am on Wednesday morning (6 January), just days after Leicester and Leicestershire were placed in ‘Tier 4’ by Matt Hancock.
Education during lockdown
Primary schools, secondary schools, and Colleges are to shut and will instead hold their lessons remotely online, starting on Tuesday tomorrow (5 January).
University students should not return to their university campus and should take part in digital remote learning sessions online instead.
Early year learning settings, like nurseries, and those providing childcare for young children remain open.
Special education schools will remain open for those with disabilities, and places of education remain will only remain open for the children of key workers.
Exams during lockdown
Gavin Williamson, The Education Secretary, is working with exam regulating board, Ofqual, to look at alternative ways on how GCSE and A-Level exams can be assessed, despite BTEC exams still having to go ahead at the time of publication (4 January).
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive for the Association of Colleges, David Hughes, has urged the Department of Education to cancel the BTEC exams, according to teaching news and resource website, Tes.
Hughes explained: “My view is it cannot go ahead. It is not safe, and it is not fair. Attendance will be very low.”
Schools and Colleges will not re-open the doors to their sites until mid-February, and it has been confirmed that end-of-year exams shall not go ahead.
When residents can leave houses
Boris further explained the exceptions on when people can leave their houses.
He said: “You may only leave home for limited reasons permitted in law – such as to shop for essentials, to work, if you absolutely cannot from home, to exercise, to seek medical assistance, such as getting a COVID test, or to escape domestic abuse.”
What can and can’t be done in lockdown
People are able to meet up with one other person outside of their household or support bubble in public for outdoor exercise.
Pubs who are currently offering ‘takeaway alcohol services’ have to suspend and stop offering the services under the new tighter rules.
Outdoor sports venues like tennis courts, outside gymnasiums, and tennis courts, all must close once again, but outdoor playgrounds can stay open.
Amateur sports teams are unable to continue playing their games in a team, but elite sports teams like those in the Premier League can continue with their matches.
Dine-in eateries are only able to offer a ‘takeaway’ service to diners, which means that they must pick up their food on a ‘collection’ basis with a face mask inside, or have it delivered to them as a takeaway meal through a takeaway app.
Hot-food takeaways, like pizza shops, fish and chip shops, and kebab restaurants, are able to continue trading.
‘Communal worship’ events and life events, like wedding ceremonies and funerals may still go ahead with a limited number of people in attendance at the event.
Face masks and face coverings still need to be worn on essential trips out from home, and social distancing measures will ‘increase’ on Wednesday when the lockdown starts.
Full set of Government guidelines
Further information on the newly-announced rules for the third national English lockdown are available on the official Government website’s coronavirus page at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.