Social distancing, shielding, travelling and seeing friends and family: What you can and can't do under the current lockdown rules

With lockdown measures continuing to change and ease, people are wondering what you can and can’t do based on the current guidelines.

People are now able to go to pubs and on holiday abroad while nail salons and gyms are also set to reopen.
People are now able to go to pubs and on holiday abroad while nail salons and gyms are also set to reopen.

Saturday, July 4 saw the biggest easing of lockdown measures in England to date as the hospitality sector reopened and households were allowed to reunite.

Then there was further information on when culture and leisure facilities could reopen.

But what can you do in England right now? Here is what we know based on the latest lockdown guidance from the Government:

Social distancing

What you can do

– Use mitigation measures such as wearing a face-covering to go no less than one-metre from another person

– Social distancing guidance does not have to be followed by people in the same household or support bubble

What you should do

– Stay two-metres apart from anyone outside of your household at all times

What you can’t do

– Social distancing is Government guidance to help reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission, it is not currently enforceable by law in England

Seeing friends and family

What you can do

– Form a support bubble with one other household occupied by a single adult

– Meet in groups of up to six people you do not live with outside

– Meet people from one other household or support bubble indoors

– Stay overnight away from your home with one other household

What you should do

– Adhere to social distancing rules at all times

– Limit the number of different households you interact with

– Refrain from approaching people you have not planned to meet up with in advance, even if you know them

What you can’t do

– Form more than one support bubble with individuals from outside your household

– Meet up with more than one other household indoors

– Meet up with more than six people outdoors unless only two households are present

– It is against the law for gatherings of more than 30 people to take place at a private residence (inside or outside) or in a public outdoors space, unless planned by an organisation in compliance with COVID-19 Secure guidance


What you can do

– Anyone who is deemed clinically extremely vulnerable will have been advised to follow shielding measures by the Government

– Those who are shielding can meet outside with a group of up to six people

– No longer need to social distance from people inside their own household

– Create support bubbles with another household providing one household is a ‘single adult’ household

– Shielding guidance will relax from August 1, allowing those who are shielding to go back to work or go to the shops

What you should do

– Stay at home as much as possible

– Minimise contact with others outside of your household or support bubble

– Be especially careful and be diligent about social distancing and hand hygiene

What you can’t do

– Shielding guidance is not enforceable but is strongly recommended for the health and safety of those particularly at risk of becoming seriously ill with Covid-19


What you can do

– Travel anywhere you like in England without restrictions

– Visit holiday parks, hotels and second homes and stay overnight along with members from one different household

– Travel abroad to countries such as France, Spain and Greece (among others) without having to quarantine

– Return from countries that have not formed a travel corridor with the UK (eg. the USA, Mexico, Canada, China) and quarantine for 14-days

What you should do

– Walk or cycle where possible

– Avoid public transport

– Avoid travelling with people from different households in a private vehicle unless social distancing measures can be followed effectively

– Wear a face covering if you have to use public transport

What you can’t do

– Failure to follow quarantine travel rules when returning from a country that has not formed a travel corridor could lead to fines of up to £1,000 and further action could be taken

Public places

What you can do

– Take part in grassroots team sports

– Visit an outdoor gym, swimming pool or water park

– Go shopping

– Go to a pub or restaurant

– Get your hair cut

– Visit a salon, spa or tattooist

– From July 25 – go to an indoor gym, leisure centre or swimming pool

– See an outdoor arts performance from theatre, opera, dance and music venues

What you should do

– Meet with only one other household in an indoor setting

– Ensure mitigations are in place to allow for appropriate social distancing such as face coverings, plastic screens, gloves and hand sanatiser

– Plan ahead and contact places in advance to check what measures are in place and whether advance bookings are required

– Avoid face to face contact where possible

– Use contactless payment methods

– Avoid any beauty treatment on or around your face (excluding hair cuts)

What you can’t do

– Visit a nightclub, casino or sexual entertainment venue

– Visit an indoor leisure centre, swimming pool or gym before July 25

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