Home Coronavirus: News and Advice Restrictions for England – what you need to know

Restrictions for England – what you need to know

by Gemma Melling

The Prime Minister announced a lockdown for England last night (4 January, 2021) to be followed with immediate effect.

This follows an increase in the number of COVID cases across the country, increases in deaths and significant pressure now being placed on the NHS.

Here’s what you can and can’t do:

You must stay at home

The only exceptions are for work, volunteering, essential activities such as food shopping, education or childcare, meeting people in your care, exercise limited to once a day, medical reasons, compassionate visits, animal welfare reasons (such as visiting a vet), communal worship or life event (including funerals and weddings).

Education

Schools and colleges will remain open for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other pupils will learn remotely until the February half-term. Early years settings remain open.

Exercise

You can exercise outdoors (by yourself, with others in your household / support bubble or with one person from another household) but minimise the amount of time you spend outdoors and limit exercise to once a day. Gyms and sports facilities will remain closed, along with outdoor sports courts and golf courses. Organised outdoor sport for disabled people can continue.

Clinically Vulnerable and Extremely Clinically Vulnerable

If you are clinically vulnerable, you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. There is additional advice for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to 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.

Care home visits

Visits to care homes can take place with arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, or behind windows. Close-contact indoor visits are not allowed. No visits will be permitted in the event of an outbreak. Please check arrangements with your care home in advance as appointments will need to be made.

Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and funerals

These are allowed, with strict limits on attendance (up to 6 people) 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.

Places of worship

You can attend places of worship for a service, but don’t mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble.

Travel

You shouldn’t leave your home other than for the reasons outlined above. If you do need to go out, stay local.

Moving home

You can still move home and view properties. People outside of your household or support bubble should not help you with your move.

Businesses that must close

Non-essential retail (such as clothing shops), hospitality venues (cafes, pubs, restaurants), hotels, leisure and sports facilities, entertainment venues (theatres, museums, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, soft play areas), animal attractions, hair / beauty salons, community centres must close.

There are penalties for breaking the rules

If you are found to be breaking the rules, you can face a £200 fine for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.

The full guidance can be found on the Government’s website.