Coronavirus: What you can and can't do after England goes into second lockdown

October 31, 2020

England is to be placed under stricter nationwide restrictions from Thursday in an attempt to slow down the spread of coronavirus.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the new measures just after confirmed COVID-19 cases passed the one million mark across the UK.

The new restrictions will initially be imposed from 12.01am on 5 November until 2 December across the whole of England, with the plan to then ease them on a local and regional basis.

The furlough scheme will remain until then.

Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have their own restrictions.

These are the new restrictions for England:

  • Only leave your home for specific reasons - for childcare or education, work if you cannot work from home, to exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place, medical reasons, to escape injury or harm, shop for food and essentials, to provide care for vulnerable people or visit people in your support bubble, or as a volunteer
  • No mixing of different households inside homes, except for childcare and other support
  • No mixing of households outside, except for exercising or visiting a public place with one other person
  • People who shielded in March do not have to shield again, but clinically vulnerable and over-60s are advised to limit social contacts and follow rules carefully
  • All pubs, bars and restaurants to close - takeaways and deliveries are allowed, but no takeaway alcohol
  • All non-essential retail to close, but deliveries to customers and click-and-collect can continue
  • Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open
  • Some venues will be allowed to remain open for specific exempt activities, like childcare and support groups.
  • Support groups that are essential to deliver in person can remain open, with up to 15 participants, where organised to give mutual aid, therapy or any other means of support. For example, support to victims of crime, people in drug and alcohol recovery, new parents and guardians, people with long-term illnesses, people facing issues relating to their sexuality or gender, and those who have suffered bereavement
  • International travel out of the UK banned, except for work
  • Avoid all non-essential travel by private or public transport
  • Overnight stays and holidays away from your home are not allowed, including holidays in the UK and abroad. This includes staying in a second home, if you own one, or staying with anyone you do not live with or are in a support bubble with. Staying away from home for work purposes is allowed
  • Work places should stay open where people cannot work from home
  • Support bubbles remain
  • Children allowed to move between homes if parents separated
  • Outdoor exercise and recreation encouraged and is unlimited - only with your household/bubble, on your own or with one other person from a different household (golf is not allowed)
  • People can sit on park benches and have picnics as long as it is with their household
  • Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies will not be allowed except in exceptional circumstances
  • Services in places of worship banned but private prayer permitted
  • Funerals allowed to continue with a maximum of 30 people, with only close friends and family advised to attend
  • Linked ceremonial events like stone settings and ash scatterings can also keep going ahead, with up to 15 people
  • Manufacturing and construction to continue
  • Childcare settings, schools, colleges and universities to remain open
  • University students must not move back and forth between their permanent home and student accommodation during term time and should only return home at the end of term for Christmas
  • Playgrounds to remain open
  • Medical appointments to continue as normal
  • Vets to remain open
  • Courts to remain open
  • Job centres to remain open
  • Professional sports, including the Premier League, allowed but amateur sports are not
  • Hotels and hostels to remain open for people travelling for work and limited other reasons

Scotland has a four-tier system in place, with different areas under different levels of restriction.

Northern Ireland is under a four-week circuit breaker that started on 16 October.

Wales is under a two-week "firebreak" system that will end on 9 November.

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