Exercise, weddings, childcare and meeting people - Rules in full for the third national lockdown
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a third national lockdown with strict new measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The announcement, which was made in a televised address to the nation on Monday, January 4, followed First Minister Nicola Sturgeon imposing a lockdown on Scotland for the rest of the month.
People in all of England and mainland Scotland must now stay at home with the restrictions expected to be in place for around six weeks.
In England, the new rules will become law on Wednesday, January 6, but Mr Johnson advised that people should start following them now.
Here is everything you need to know about the lockdown rules:
When can I leave home?
People may leave the home for the following reasons:
To shop for basic necessities, for yourself or a vulnerable person. To go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home. For 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. To meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one. For medical assistance or to avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse). Attend education or childcare - for those eligible.
Are schools and colleges open?
Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers.
All other children will learn remotely until February half term. Early Years settings (including nurseries and childminders) remain open.
Higher Education provision will remain online until mid February for all except future critical worker courses.
What are the rules around childcare?
You can only leave home for education, registered childcare, and supervised activities for children where they are eligible to attend.
People can continue existing arrangements for contact between parents and children where they live apart.
This includes childcare bubbles to provide informal childcare for children under 14.
Can I provide care for vulnerable or disabled people?
You can leave home to provide care for disabled or vulnerable people.
You are also allowed to provide emergency assistance or attend a support group of up to 15 people.
People are also allowed to leave their homes 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.
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.
Who am I allowed to meet?
You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with (if you are legally permitted to form one).
People may exercise on their own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble.
You should not meet other people you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, unless for a permitted reason.
What are the rules on 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 maintain social distancing.
Outdoor sports venues, including tennis courts, golf courses and swimming pools will be closed.
Am I allowed to leave the local area?
No, under the new rules you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live.
However, you may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.
Am I allowed to go to work?
You can only leave home for work purposes where it is unreasonable for you to do your job from home.
This includes – but is not limited to – people who work within critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing that require in-person attendance.
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you should not attend work.
Those who volunteer can also leave home to provide voluntary or charitable services.
What are the rules on 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 of your village, town or the part of a 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.
Avoid car sharing with anyone from outside your household or your support bubble.
You should not travel abroad unless it is permitted. This means you must not go on holiday, travel internationally – or within the UK – unless you have a legally permitted reason to leave home.
UK residents currently abroad do not need to return home immediately. However, they should check with your airline or travel operator on arrangements for returning.
Can I stay away from home overnight?
You cannot leave your home or the place where you are living for holidays or overnight stays unless you have a reasonable excuse for doing so.
This means that holidays in the UK and abroad are not allowed.
This also includes staying with anyone who you don’t live with unless they’re in your support bubble.
Can weddings and funerals still take place?
Weddings and civil ceremonies may only take place in exceptional circumstances.
You can leave home to attend or visit a place of worship for communal worship, a funeral or event related to a death.
Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people.
What if I need to shield?
People who are clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus 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.
Can I still move house?
People can still move home and property viewings are still permitted.
However people outside your household or support bubble should not help with moving house unless absolutely necessary.
What happens if you break the rules?
The police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups. This includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fines (fixed penalty notices).
You can be given a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.
If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of over 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000.