Home Coronavirus: News and Advice UK National COVID-19 Lockdown FAQ

UK National COVID-19 Lockdown FAQ

by Guy Murphy

What are the new measures?

From Thursday 5 November, the UK Government has brought in new national restrictions to help combat the spread of COVID-19. This means:

  • People are required to stay at home, except for specific purposes
  • You are not allowed to gather with people you do not live with, unless the gathering is covered within a list of specific exceptions.
  • The closure of certain businesses.

A number of businesses and sectors will also change the way in which they operate. For example, restaurants and bars must close but can provide a takeaway service

How long will the new restrictions last?

The restrictions are due to be reviewed by Parliament on 2 December.

What businesses will close?

  • All non-essential retail must close. However, essential stores such as supermarkets can continue to sell non-essential items. Retail that must close includes car showrooms, travel agents, betting shops and tobacco and vape shops.
  • Indoor and outdoor leisure and sport facilities. This includes bowling alleys, leisure centres, gyms, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding facilities, soft play centres, climbing walls and climbing centres.
  • Entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, botanical gardens, zoos and other animal attractions.
  • Personal care facilities. These include hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture and tanning salons.
  • All driving lessons and driving tests are suspended.

What businesses will remain open or offer a changed service?

  • Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can stay open but will be following COVID-secure guidelines.
  • Non-essential retail can offer delivery and click-and-collect services.
  • Service providers, such as Dog Groomers, can remain open but customers must consider how they get their pet to and from the business. This could be via a pick up and drop off service. Alternatively, different members of a household could pick up and drop off the pet as part of their daily exercise.
  • Tradespeople can continue to work in homes but must follow COVID-secure guidelines.
  • Hospitality venues such as restaurants, bars and pubs can provide takeaway and delivery services.
  • Hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for limited other reasons.

Can I travel?

You cannot travel overseas or within the UK, unless for work, education or other legally permitted reasons. You should try to keep all travel to a minimum.

Where travel is necessary, people are encouraged to walk or cycle rather than use public transport.

You can still travel for these reasons:

  • For caring responsibilities
  • To visit people in your support bubble
  • For childcare purposes
  • To medical appointments or if you are concerned about your health
  • To buy goods from essential retailers
  • To spend time or to exercise outdoors – this should be done locally wherever possible
  • To care for or exercise a pet or get veterinary services


Can I use public transport?

You should follow all relevant transport guidance when making a journey on public transport. Try to plan your journey to avoid peak times wherever possible.

You must wear a face covering on public transport, taxis and private hire vehicles and in substantially enclosed areas of transport hubs in England (as well as other indoor premises).

You will be breaking the law if you fail to do so and could be fined. Some people do not have to wear a face covering including for age, health or disability reasons.

Can I attend a support group?

Formally organised support groups such as therapy groups (not to be confused with a support bubble) can continue to meet but are limited to 15 people in attendance. This includes, but is not limited to, 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, and vulnerable young people, including for them to meet young workers

Will parent and child groups continue?

Parent and child groups can continue where they provide support to parents and/or children. Children under five will not be counted towards the 15-person limit for the group sessions.

Can weddings and civil partnerships go ahead?

Marriages and civil partnerships cannot take place until further notice, effective from 5 November 2020.

How many people can attend a funeral?

  • a limit of 30 people attending a funeral – anyone working is not included in this number
  • a limit of 15 people attending a linked religious, belief-based or ceremonial event in a COVID-19 secure venue or public outdoor place – anyone working is not included in this number

Can children’s sports clubs continue?

Most organised children’s sport outside of school activity will have to cease (see below for information on non-elite competitive sports). However, there are allowances for childcare:

  • Parents can continue to use these facilities where reasonably necessary to enable parents to work, seek work, attending training or education, or for respite care.
  • Sporting and physical activity is also permitted as part of other supervised activities for children (such as wraparound care), where it is necessary to enable parents or careers to work, seek work, attending training or education, or for respite care.

Can competitive sports continue?

All non-elite sport is suspended during the lockdown period. This includes:

  • All fixtures and training for Steps 3-6 of the National League System
  • All fixtures and training for Tiers 3-7 of the Women’s Football Pyramid
  • All fixtures and training for the Regional NLS Feeder Leagues
  • All fixtures and training for The Barclays FA WSL Academy League
  • All fixtures and training for FA Girls Regional Talent Clubs
  • All fixtures and training for indoor and outdoor youth and adult grassroots football.