FAQs: Local Covid Alert Level - High

Doncaster has been placed in the HIGH level of restrictions (tier 2 on the new COVID Alert Level system).

Doncaster will increase to VERY HIGH at 00:01 Saturday morning - you can read the Mayor's statement and the VERY HIGH frequently asked questions for more information.

What level of alert is Doncaster currently in?

Doncaster is currently in the ‘HIGH’ level of restrictions, tier 2 on the new COVID-19 Alert Level system.

What does this mean?

This means new restrictions are now in place to try and ensure we slow the spread of the virus as much as possible locally:

  • you must not socialise with anybody outside of your household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place, including hospitality venues.
  • you can socialise outside but must stick to the 'rule of 6', this includes in a garden or other space, such as beaches or parks (other than where specific exemptions apply in law)
  • businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-secure manner, other than those that remain closed in law
  • certain businesses are required to ensure customers only consume food and drink while seated, and must close between 10pm and 5am
  • businesses and venues selling food for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through
  • schools, universities and places of worship remain open, but you must not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble
  • weddings, civil partnerships, receptions and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees.
  • exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors. These will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with or share a support bubble with, or for youth or disability sport
  • you can continue to travel to venues or amenities that are open, for work or to access education, but should look to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible
You must also continue to follow social distancing guidelines, wear face coverings where required, wash your hands frequently and work from home if you can.

What is a support bubble?

A support bubble is a close support network between a household with only one adult in the home (known as a single-adult household) and one other household of any size.

Who can form a support bubble?

  • If you are in a single-adult household, you can form a support bubble with another household of any size – as long as they are not part of a support bubble with anyone else – if you:
    • live by yourself – even if carers visit you to provide support
    • are a single parent living with children who were under 18 on 12 June 2020
  • If you live with other adults, including your carer/carers, you can form a support bubble with one single-adult household who are not part of a support bubble with anyone else.
  • If you share custody of your child with someone you do not live with – you can form a support bubble with another household other than the one that includes your child’s other parent.

    If you’re not a single adult household, you can form a support bubble with a single-adult household other than the one that includes your child’s other parent.

Can I change who is in my support bubble?

No. Once you have set up a support bubble, you should not change who is in it.

What can I do with my support bubble?

You can mix indoors or outdoors with your support bubble.

Is there a limit on how far away I can have my support bubble?

The government recommends that you form as support bubble with a household that lives as locally to you as possible. This will help prevent the virus spreading from an area where there might be a higher rate of infection.

What do I do if someone in my support bubble develops coronavirus symptoms or tests positive?

If anyone in your support bubble develops symptoms or tests positive for coronavirus, they need to self-isolate for 14 days. The other members of the support bubble must follow the latest stay at home guidance.

If you share custody of your child, and you and your child’s other parent are in separate bubbles, members of both bubbles should stay at home if someone develops symptoms.

If NHS Test and Trace contacts you or someone in your support bubble, you should follow their guidance.

Why has Doncaster been placed in the HIGH category?

Doncaster has been placed in the HIGH category because central government do not believe the measures previously in place were doing enough to contain the virus. This decision has been informed by the number of new cases and the predicted impact on health, care and wellbeing services in the area.

How long will Doncaster be in the HIGH alert category?

We currently have no information from government about how we move out of HIGH. However, we would expect any easing of restrictions to come as a result of a significant reduction in the number of new cases.

View the latest coronavirus rates for Doncaster.

Are we going to move up into the VERY HIGH alert level?

Doncaster will increase to VERY HIGH at 00:01 Saturday morning - you can read the Mayor's statement and the 'very high' frequently asked questions for more information.

Are local pubs and restaurants still open?

Yes, hospitality businesses such as pubs and restaurants remain open with a 10pm curfew in place.

Can I go and meet my friends or family in a pub or restaurant?

You can not meet friends or family who you do not live with or are in a support bubble with in any indoor premises, including pubs or restaurants.

Are shops still open?

Yes, shops remain open in Doncaster. You must continue to wear a face covering inside any shop and maintain 2 metres distance from others.

Are schools still open?

Yes, schools remain open.

What alert levels are the other areas of South Yorkshire in?

All of South Yorkshire has been placed under HIGH level restrictions.

What do I do if I start experiencing coronavirus symptoms?

If you start to experience coronavirus symptoms, it is important that you get a test. Visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119 to book a test.

What happens if I do not follow the new restrictions?

As the new restrictions come into place, residents can expect to see greater enforcement of the rules from organisations with enforcement powers, such as Doncaster Council and South Yorkshire Police.

Can I still visit a care home?

You should not visit a care home except in exceptional circumstances, for example to visit an individual who is at the end of their life.

Can I still go on holiday?

You can still go on holiday with members of your household or support bubble, provided you are not travelling into or through a VERY HIGH alert level area.

Why does the NHS Covid-19 app say my area is classed as ‘MEDIUM’?

The NHS Covid-19 app will be updated at midnight on Wednesday 14 October 2020, when the new restrictions come into force.

Can grandparents/family members/friends still provide childcare?

The following people can provide childcare support in private homes and gardens:

  • 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.

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.

What about funerals/weddings/civil partnerships?

The new guidance includes an exception 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 gatherings after a funerals, for example at a pub, the general rules for pubs apply and must follow COVID mitigation guidance. You must not meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them. This includes private homes, and any other indoor venues such as pubs and restaurants.

Wedding and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions must only take place in COVID-secure venues or in public outdoor spaces unless in exceptional circumstances. Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and wedding receptions are restricted to 15 people. Receptions should be sit down meals to ensure people can keep their distance from each other, and mustn’t take place in private dwellings.

Find out more here.

Can people still do work in my house?

It is recognised that for providers of in-home services, it is often not possible to work from home. There are exceptions where people from different households can gather beyond the new limits. These exceptions include work, volunteering to provide voluntary or charitable service. For more information see guidance on working safely in other people’s homes, which applies to those working in, visiting or delivering to home environments.

These include, but are not limited to, in home workers – such as repair services, fitters, meter readers, plumbers, cleaners, cooks, visiting childcare providers, and surveyors (this is not an exhaustive list) to home services – such as delivery drivers momentarily at the door

Why are schools still open?

The importance of children’s education and social interaction is at the heart of this decision. The risk to children’s health and wellbeing caused by missing school is significant. The health risk of COVID is generally low for most children. These measures seek to balance the risk of school attendance with the benefits this provides.

Schools are required to have COVID mitigation measures in place that include reducing the number of contacts among children as far as possible. Team Doncaster work closely with local schools to manage risk and respond to any incidents or outbreaks there. There is also specialist support from the Department for Education on this matter.

Why does the indoor rule of household mixing not apply to schools/work places?

The Government has given an exception to the new guidance including the rule of six to schools and workplaces among other settings.

The new guidelines recognise the need to balance the health risk from COVID with the health risk of disruptions to education and the economy. Schools and other workplaces should have COVID mitigation measures in place to reduce the risk of transmission. People are also encouraged to work from home where they can as another means of reducing social contact and thus the risk of spreading COVID.

Team Doncaster is supporting local workplaces to manage the risk of COVID transmission on their sites.

Is it down to each individual business owner (eg. pub landlord) to ensure that people are sticking to the  indoors no household mixing rule within their establishment?

It is a joint responsibility of people taking bookings for a business and those making them to ensure that parties seated together or otherwise mixing will not be from more than one household.

What support is available for local businesses?

The Chancellor has announced that there will be some support for businesses.

You can also find out more about support for local business on the Business Doncaster website.

What mental health support is available?

Under current guidance you are still able to undertake activities that can support good mental health, such as physical activity and socialising according to the current guidance (no indoor household mixing and maintaining the rule of six outdoors). If eligible you may wish to form a support bubble. You can also consider telephone or digital ways to keep in touch with your existing support system. There are many more tips available here.

There are a number of charities available that can help with mental health information and support such as Mind and the Samaritans.

GPs can discuss mental health concerns including therapies and referrals to specialist mental health services.

What is the guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable?

New guidance has been released by the government for those classed as vulnerable.

If you have any of the following health conditions, you may be clinically vulnerable, meaning you could be at higher risk of severe illness from Coronavirus. If you are clinically vulnerable you:

  • can go outside as much as you like but you should still try to keep your overall social interactions low
  • can visit businesses, such as supermarkets, pubs and shops, whilst keeping 2 metres away from others wherever possible
  • should continue to wash your hands carefully and more frequently than usual and maintain thorough cleaning of frequently touched areas in your home and/or workspace

Clinically vulnerable people are those who are:

  • aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
  • under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (that is, anyone instructed to get a flu jab each year on medical grounds):
    • chronic (long-term) mild to moderate respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
    • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
    • chronic kidney disease
    • chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
    • chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), or cerebral palsy
    • diabetes
    • a weakened immune system as the result of certain conditions or medicines they are taking (such as steroid tablets)
    • being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
  • pregnant women

There is a further group of people who are defined, also on medical grounds, as clinically extremely vulnerable to Coronavirus – that is, people with specific serious health conditions. At each local COVID alert level, there is additional advice that clinically extremely vulnerable people must follow

At local COVID alert level: high, you must not meet with people indoors in any setting unless they are part of your household or support bubble. This includes private homes, and indoors in hospitality venues, such as pubs and restaurants.

You may continue to see friends and family you do not live with outside, including in a garden or other outdoor space. If you do so, you must not meet in a group of more than 6. In England, this limit of 6 includes children of any age.

At this alert level, our additional advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people is that you keep the number of different people you meet with low. The fewer people you meet, the less likely you are to catch COVID-19.

You are encouraged to continue to go outside with your household and/or support bubble because of the benefits of exercise. If you do choose to meet other households outside of your support bubble, this must be outside, must be in groups of less than 6 people and we advise you to keep the numbers low.

You do not need to maintain social distancing within your household.

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Last updated: 21 October 2020 11:46:05