New national restrictions in England from 5 November
New restrictions are being introduced across all of England on Thursday 5 November 2020, lasting until Wednesday 2 December.
Details of how the restrictions will be applied, and how they affect where you can go, and who you can meet with, can be found on the “New National Restrictions from 5 November” page on GOV.UK website.
Thomas Pocklington Trust has published a summary of the “New national Covid-19 restrictions in England” which is available to download from their website.
Where possible, your best option will still be support from a sighted guide within your household or support bubble (“household bubble”), with whom contact remains unrestricted.
You may only meet people indoors who are in your household bubble, and can exercise or visit permitted outdoor public places (not private gardens) with them. You will still need to follow the Sighted Guiding guidance [link to guidance document] published by RNIB, Guide Dogs and Thomas Pocklington Trust.
You are also able to visit outdoor public places with one person outside your household bubble, who can act as a sighted guide – again following the Sighted Guiding guidance. Children under school age with a parent, or parents/carers supporting someone needing around-the-clock care do not count towards the two-person limit.
We have been pressuring the Department of Health and Social Care for clarification as to whether the sighted guide should not count towards the limit on two people meeting outside while they are providing support, but for now we would advise to regard your sighted guide as this one other person.
You can keep up to date with advice from RNIB’s Coronavirus updates, and the Sight Advice FAQs website. Both provide information for blind and partially sighted people on how to adjust to living with the impact of coronavirus restrictions.
The Guide Dogs coronavirus section has information for blind and partially sighted people, and for those who support them, and has tips for getting out and about.
Sight Loss Councils, supported by the Thomas Pocklington Trust, have an online resources section with a range of guides that may be useful.