National lockdown

What you can and cannot do during the national lockdown.

This is a summary. Full details can be found at GOV.UK.

You must stay at home. The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

Leaving home

You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:

  • Shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person.
  • Go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you can’t do this from home.
  • Exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
  • Meet your support bubble or childcare bubble.
  • Seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse) – this includes being tested for coronavirus.
  • Attend education or childcare – only for those eligible.

Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers.

All other children will be provided remote learning until schools fully re-open.

Early years settings remain open.

Higher education provision will remain online for all except future critical worker courses.

If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local where you live. You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You should not attend work.

When you can leave home

You must not leave or be outside of your home except where you have a ‘reasonable excuse’. This will be put in law. A ‘reasonable excuse’ includes:

  • Work - you can only leave home for work purposes where it is unreasonable for you to do your job from home, including but not limited to people who work within critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing that require in-person attendance.
  • Volunteering - you can also leave home to provide voluntary or charitable services.
  • Essential activities - you can leave home to buy things at shops or obtain services. You may also leave your home to do these things on behalf of a disabled or vulnerable person or someone self-isolating.
  • Education and childcare - You can only leave home for education, registered childcare, and supervised activities for children where they are eligible to attend.
  • Meeting others and care - You can leave home to visit people in your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one), to provide informal childcare for children under 14 as part of a childcare bubble, to provide care for disabled or vulnerable people, to provide emergency assistance, to attend a support group (of up to 15 people), or for respite care where that care is being provided to a vulnerable person or a person with a disability, or is a short break in respect of a looked-after child.
  • Exercise - You can continue to exercise alone, with one other person or with your household or support bubble. This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area. You should keep a distance.
  • Medical reasons - You can leave home for a medical reason, including to get a COVID-19 test, for medical appointments and emergencies.
  • Harm and compassionate visits - you can leave home to be with someone who is giving birth, to avoid injury or illness or to escape risk of harm (such as domestic abuse). You can also leave home to visit someone who is dying or someone in a care home , hospice, or hospital, or to accompany them to a medical appointment.
  • Animal welfare reasons – you can leave home for animal welfare reasons, such as to attend veterinary services for advice or treatment.
  • Communal worship and life events - You can leave home to attend or visit a place of worship for communal worship, a funeral or event related to a death, a burial ground or a remembrance garden, or to attend a wedding ceremony. You should follow guidance on these activities.
  • There are further reasonable excuses. For example, you may leave home to fulfil legal obligations or to carry out activities related to buying, selling, letting or renting a residential property, or where it is reasonably necessary for voting in an election or referendum.

Exercising and meeting other people

You should minimise time spent outside your home.

It is against the law to meet socially with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble. You can only leave your home to exercise, and not for the purpose of recreation or leisure (for example a social meeting). This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.

You can exercise in a public outdoor place:

  • By yourself.
  • With the people you live with.
  • With your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one).
  • In a childcare bubble where providing childcare.
  • Or, when on your own, with one person from another household.

Public outdoor places include:

  • Parks and countryside accessible to the public.
  • Public gardens.
  • Playgrounds.

Outdoor sports venues, including tennis courts, golf courses and swimming pools, must close.

When around other people, stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.  

You must wear a face covering in many indoor settings, such as shops or places of worship where these remain open, and on public transport, unless you are exempt. This is the law.

Support and childcare bubbles

A support bubble is a support network which links two households. You can form a support bubble with another household of any size only if you are eligible.

It is against the law to form a support bubble if you do not follow these rules.

You are permitted to leave your home to visit your support bubble (and to stay overnight with them).

If you live in a household with anyone aged under 14, you can form a childcare bubble.

You must not meet socially with your childcare bubble, and must avoid seeing members of your childcare and support bubbles

Protecting people more at risk from coronavirus

If you are clinically vulnerable, you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus.

Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should not attend work, school, college or university, and limit the time you spend outside the home. You should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential.

Travel

You must not leave your home unless you have a reasonable excuse (for example, for work or education purposes). If you need to travel you should stay local – meaning avoiding travelling outside your part of the city where you live – and look to reduce the number of journeys you make overall.

If you need to travel, walk or cycle where possible, and plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practice social distancing while you travel.

Avoid car sharing with anyone from outside your household or your support bubble.

If you need to use public transport, you should follow Transport for Greater Manchester advice.

Going to work

You may only leave your home for work if you can’t reasonably work from home.

Where people cannot work from home - including, but not limited to, people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction, or manufacturing - they should continue to travel to their workplace.

Public sector employees working in essential services, including childcare or education, should continue to go into work.

Where it is necessary for you to work in other people’s homes - for example, for nannies, cleaners or tradespeople - you can do so.

Childcare

There are several ways that parents and carers can continue to access childcare:

  • Early years settings (including private nurseries and childminders) remain open
  • Vulnerable children and children of critical workers can continue to use registered childcare, childminders and other childcare activities
  • parents are able to form a childcare bubble with one other household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is under 14. This is mainly to enable parents to work, and must not be used to enable social contact between adults
  • some households will also be able to benefit from being in a support bubble
  • nannies will be able to continue to provide services, including in the home

Places of worship

You can attend places of worship for a service. However, you must not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble. You should maintain strict social distancing at all times.

Sports and physical activity

Indoor gyms and sports facilities will remain closed. Outdoor sports courts, outdoor gyms, golf courses, outdoor swimming pools, archery/driving/shooting ranges and riding arenas must also close. Organised outdoor sport for disabled people is allowed to continue.

Care home visits

These can take place with arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, or behind windows. Close contact indoor visits are not allowed.

Weddings, civil partnerships, religious services and funerals

Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and funerals are allowed with strict limits on attendance, and must only take place in COVID-19 secure venues or in public outdoor spaces unless in exceptional circumstances.

Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Linked events, such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to six people in attendance.

Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies must only take place with up to six people. These should only take place in exceptional circumstances, for example, an urgent marriage where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover.

Businesses and venues

Businesses and venues which must close

The businesses that must close include:

  • Non-essential retail. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services.
  • Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery.
  • Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for providing accommodation or support to the homeless, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes.
  • Leisure and sports facilities.
  • Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, indoor play and soft play centres.
  • Indoor attractions at venues such as heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open for outdoor exercise.
  • Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. These services should not be provided in other people’s homes.
  • Community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities.

Some of these businesses and places will also be permitted to be open for a small number of exempt activities, see GOV.UK for further details

Businesses and venues which can remain open

These include:

  • Essential retail.
  • Market stalls selling essential retail.
  • Businesses providing repair services may also stay open, where they primarily offer repair services.
  • Petrol stations, automatic car washes, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses.
  • Banks, building societies, post offices, short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses.
  • Funeral directors.
  • Laundrettes and dry cleaners.
  • Medical and dental services.
  • Vets and retailers of products and food for the upkeep and welfare of animals.
  • Animal rescue centres, boarding facilities and animal groomers (may continue to be used for animal welfare, rather than aesthetic purposes).
  • Mobility and disability support shops.
  • Car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas.
  • Outdoor playgrounds.
  • Outdoor parts of heritage sites for exercise.
  • Places of worship.
  • Crematoriums and burial grounds.

Public services

The majority of public services will continue and you will be able to leave home to visit them. These include:

  • The NHS and medical services like GPs and dentists. We are supporting the NHS to carry out urgent and non-urgent services safely, and it is vital anyone who thinks they need any kind of medical care comes forward and seeks help.
  • Jobcentre Plus sites.
  • Courts and probation services.
  • Civil registrations offices.
  • Passport and visa services.
  • Services provided to victims.
  • Waste or recycling centres.
  • Getting an MOT, if you need to drive when lawfully leaving home.
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