Conflicting information from the Government has led to UK-wide confusion as to what is and isn’t changing as lockdown is eased – but here is a full list of what you can and can’t do.
At all times you should continue to observe social distancing guidelines when you are outside your home, including ensuring you are two metres away from anyone outside your household.
It has been confirmed today that the Government are exploring the concept of ‘bubbles’, which would mean allowing people to expand their household group to include one other household. For the time being, you cannot visit friends or family, except to spend time outdoors with up to one person from a different household.
The new rules come into effect on Wednesday 13 May – you can:
Public spaces/outdoor activities/exercise
- spend time outdoors – for example sitting and enjoying the fresh air, picnicking, or sunbathing
- meet one other person from a different household outdoors – following social distancing guidelines
- exercise outdoors as often as you wish – following social distancing guidelines
- use outdoor sports courts or facilities, such as a tennis, basketball court or golf course – with members of your household, or one other person while staying two metres apart
- visit a garden centre
- swim in the sea
- leave home for work, where you cannot work from home
- go to shops that are permitted to be open – to get things like food and medicine
- donate blood, avoid injury or illness, escape risk of harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
- [you should] wear face coverings (not medical grade masks) in enclosed public spaces where social distancing is not possible or where you are more likely to come into contact with people you do not normally meet. These are not compulsory.
Going to work / safer spaces
- Go back to work where the business is permitted to be open including:
- – supermarkets
- – those in construction and manufacturing
- – those working in labs and research facilities
- – those administering takeaways and deliveries at restaurants and cafes
- – tradesmen, cleaners and others who work in people’s homes
- – those who are facilitating trade or transport goods
- – and so on
Non-essential retail, restaurants, pubs, bars, gyms and leisure centres remain closed. They will reopen in a phased manner provided it is safe to do so no earlier than 1st June.
Meeting family and friends
- meet one other person from outside your household if you are outdoors. Public gatherings of more than two people from different households are prohibited in law. There are no limits on gatherings in the park with members of your household.
- travel – including day trips – to outdoor open space irrespective of distance but not into Wales or Scotland where the rules remain unchanged at this time
- if you cannot work from home and have to travel to work, or if you must make an essential journey, you should cycle or walk wherever possible
The advice for those aged 70 and over continues to be that they should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their household.
If they do go out more frequently, they should be careful to maintain distance from others. They and everyone should continue to comply with any general social distancing restrictions.
Anyone who has been advised to shield by the NHS or their GP, including those 70 and over, should continue to do this until at least the end of June.
You currently can’t and still can’t from Wednesday:
- visit family or friends in their homes
- leave your home – the place you live – to stay at another home, including second homes or holidays
- exercise in an indoor sports court, gym or leisure centre, or go swimming in a public pool
- use an outdoor gym or playground
- visit a private or ticketed attraction
- gather in a group of more than two (excluding members of your own household), except for a few specific exceptions set out in law (for work, funerals, house moves, supporting the vulnerable, in emergencies and to fulfil legal obligations)
If the police believe that you have broken the law – or if you refuse to follow their instructions enforcing the law – a police officer may issue you with a fixed penalty notice of £100 (reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days), an increase of £40 from the previous £60 fixed penalty amount.
If you have already received a fixed penalty notice, the amount for further offences will increase by double each additional time. For both individuals and companies, if you do not pay your fine you could be taken to court, with magistrates able to impose unlimited fines.
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