November 5, 2020
COVID-19 case numbers are rising rapidly across the whole of the UK and in other countries. We must act now to control the spread of the virus. The single most important action we can all take to fight coronavirus is to stay at home, to protect the NHS and save lives.
When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we reduce the spread of the infection. That is why, from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, you must:
These new measures will reduce the growth rate of the virus, which will:
On Thursday 5 November these national restrictions replaced the Local Covid Alert Level measures.
The new measures will apply nationally for four weeks up to and including Wednesday 2 December. At the end of that period, we will return to a regional approach, based on the latest data.
These measures will be underpinned by law. Police and other authorities will have powers to give fines and break up gatherings.
You can help to protect your friends and family by downloading the NHS COVID-19 App to keep updated on the latest guidance from Thursday 5 November
There is separate guidance for households with a possible or confirmed coronavirus infection.
You must not leave or be outside of your home unless where permitted by law. This may include:
You can leave home for work purposes, or to provide voluntary or charitable services, where you cannot do this from home.
You can leave home to buy things at shops which are permitted to open. For instance to buy food or medicine, or to collect any items – including food or drink – ordered through click-and-collect or as a takeaway, to obtain or deposit money (e.g. from a bank or post office), or to access critical public services (see section below).
You may also leave home to fulfil legal obligations.
You may leave home to carry out activities related to buying, selling, letting or renting a residential property.
You can leave home for education (formal provision, rather than extracurricular classes such as music or drama tuition, or driving lessons) or training. You can also leave home for the purposes of registered childcare and supervised activities for children that are necessary to allow parents/carers to work, seek work, or undertake education or training. Parents can still take their children to school, and people can continue existing arrangements for contact between parents and children where they live apart.
You can leave home to visit people in your support bubble, or to provide informal childcare for children aged 13 and under as part of a childcare bubble, to provide care for vulnerable people, to provide emergency assistance, attend a support group (of up to 15 people), or 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. People can also exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place (see section 3).
You can leave home for any medical reason, including to get a COVID-19 test, for medical appointments and emergencies, to be with someone who is giving birth, to avoid injury or illness or to escape risk of harm (such as domestic abuse), or for animal welfare reasons – e.g. to attend veterinary services for advice or treatment.
You can also leave home to visit someone who is dying or someone in a care home (if permitted under care home guidance), hospice, or hospital, or to accompany them to a medical appointment.
You can leave home to attend a place of worship for individual prayer, a funeral or a related event for someone who has died, to visit a burial ground or a remembrance garden, or to attend a deathbed wedding. A list of what constitutes a ‘reasonable excuse’ for leaving home can be found in the regulations.
In general, you must not meet with another person socially or undertake any activities with another person. However, you can exercise or meet in a public, outdoors space with people you live with, your support bubble (or as part of a childcare bubble), or with one other person.
You should minimise time spent outside your home. When around other people, stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household – meaning the people you live with – or your support bubble. Where this is not possible, stay 1 metre apart with extra precautions (e.g. wearing a face covering).
You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble.
A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight in each other’s households, and visit outdoor public places together.
You can exercise or visit a public outdoor space:
Children under 5, and up to two carers for a person with a disability who needs continuous care, are not counted towards the outdoors gatherings limit.
There is further guidance on what exercise and other physical activity can continue during the period of national restrictions.
Public outdoor places include:
You cannot meet people in a private garden, unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them.
Face coverings are required by law to be worn in many indoor settings, such as shops or places of worship where these remain open, and on public transport.
There are still circumstances in which you are allowed to meet others from outside your household or support bubble in larger groups, but this should not be for socialising and only for permitted purposes. A full list of these circumstances can be found in the regulations and includes:
To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. These include:
These businesses and places will also be permitted to be open for a small number of exempt activities, including:
Other businesses and venues are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 Secure guidelines. This includes those providing essential goods, including:
The majority of public services will continue and you will be able to leave home to visit them. These include:
Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Linked funeral ceremonial events such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 15 people in attendance. Anyone working is not counted in the 15 or 30 person limit. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.
Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted to take place except where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover (‘deathbed wedding’). These weddings are limited to 6 people.
To help contain the virus, everyone who can work effectively from home should do so. Where people cannot do so – including, but not limited to, people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction, or manufacturing – they should continue to travel to their workplace. This is essential to keeping the country operating and supporting sectors and employers.
Public sector employees working in essential services, including childcare or education, should continue to go into work.
Where it is necessary for you to work in other people’s homes – for example, for nannies, cleaners or tradespeople – you can do so. Otherwise, you should avoid meeting for work in a private home or garden, where COVID-19 Secure measures may not be in place.
The risk of transmission can be substantially reduced if COVID-19 secure guidelines are followed closely. Extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk.
Schools, colleges and universities remain open. The Government will continue to prioritise the wellbeing and long-term futures of our young people and will not be closing core educational facilities, like early years settings, schools, colleges, universities and vocational training centres. It remains very important for children and young people to attend, to support their wellbeing and education and help working parents and guardians. Senior clinicians still advise that school is the best place for children to be, and so they should continue to go to school. Schools have implemented a range of protective measures to make them safe. For those who are home-schooled, pupils can still access education and training in community settings where needed to receive a suitable full-time education.
Schools and colleges should be continuing to offer before and after school or college activities/clubs for their pupils, in order to enable parents to work, seek work, or to undertake education or training, and for the purposes of respite care (i.e. for vulnerable children). This includes activities/clubs related to PE/sport, music, dance and drama. See DfE guidance on education and childcare settings.
The Government have been clear that exams will go ahead next summer, as they are the fairest and most accurate way to measure a pupil’s attainment. We therefore need to keep schools and colleges open so that children are able to keep progressing towards exams and the next stage of education or employment. Students now have more time to prepare for their exams next year, as most AS, A levels and GCSEs will be held 3 weeks later to help address the disruption caused by the pandemic.
Universities have welcomed back students and we have published guidance advising universities on reopening to ensure they have safety measures in place to minimise the spread of the virus. Universities and adult education settings should consider moving to increased levels of online learning where possible.
There are further restrictions in place:
There are several ways that parents and carers can continue to access childcare during the national restrictions:
Some youth services are able to continue, such as 1-1 youth work and support groups, but most youth clubs and groups will need to cease for this period.
If you are over 60 or clinically vulnerable, you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. You:
Clinically vulnerable people are those who are:
There is a further group of people who are defined, also on medical grounds, as clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus – that is, people with specific serious health conditions. Over this period, we are advising the clinically extremely vulnerable to work from home. If you cannot work from home, you are advised not to go to work and may be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Employment Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit. We are advising clinically extremely vulnerable people to stay at home as much as possible, except to go outdoors for exercise or to attend essential health appointments. You may wish to meet up with one other person from outside your household or support bubble, for example, to exercise in an outdoor public place, but we suggest that you always try to do so as safely as possible. The full guidance is available and the Government has written to everybody who is clinically extremely vulnerable to set out detailed advice while the new restrictions are in place.
Detailed guidance on care home visits during the period of national restrictions has been published.
If you live in England, you must stay at home and avoid travel in the UK or overseas, unless for work, education or other legally permitted reasons. If you need to travel you should look to reduce the number of journeys if possible.
However you can and should still travel for a number of reasons, including:
If you need to travel we encourage you to walk or cycle where possible, and to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practise social distancing while you travel.
You must not travel if you are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, are self-isolating as a result of coronavirus symptoms, are sharing a household or support bubble with somebody with symptoms, or have been told to self-isolate after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace. The fine for breaching self-isolation rules start at £1,000. This could increase to up to £10,000 for repeat offences and the most serious breaches, including for those preventing others from self-isolating.
For those planning to travel into England, you should check the current travel corridor list to see whether you need to isolate for 14 days. You will still be required to abide by the restrictions set out here even if you do not need to isolate. If you do need to travel overseas from England before 2 December (and are legally permitted to do so, for example, because it is for work), even if you are returning to a place you’ve visited before, you should look at the rules in place at your destination and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice.
UK residents currently abroad do not need to return home immediately. However, you should check with your airline or travel operator on arrangements for returning.
You cannot leave home for holidays or stays overnight away from your main home unless permitted by law. This means that holidays in the UK and abroad are not allowed. This includes staying in a second home or caravan, if you own one, or staying with anyone you do not live with or are in a support bubble with.
You are allowed to stay overnight away from your home if you:
If you were already on holiday, you should return to your home as soon as practical and comply with the ‘stay at home’ requirements in your holiday accommodation in the meantime.
Guest accommodation providers such as hotels, B&Bs and caravan parks may remain open for the specific reasons set out in law, including where guests are unable to return to their main residence, use that guest accommodation as their main residence, need accommodation while moving house, are self-isolating as required by law, or would otherwise be made homeless as a result of the accommodation closing. Accommodation providers are also encouraged to work cooperatively with Local Authorities to provide accommodation to vulnerable groups including the homeless during this period of national restrictions.
You can still move home. People outside your household or support bubble should not help with moving house unless absolutely necessary.
Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work and people looking to move home can continue to undertake viewings.
Workers in any part of the UK can retain their job, even if their employer cannot afford to pay them, and be paid at least 80% of their salary up to £2500 a month.
The flexibility of the current CJRS will be retained to allow employees to continue to work where they can.
Employers small or large, charitable or non-profit are eligible and because more businesses will need to close, they will now be asked to pay just National Insurance and Pensions contributions for their staff during the month of November – making this more generous than the support currently on offer.
The Job Support Scheme will not be introduced until after the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends.
Wherever you live, you may be able to get financial help through the:
If you are entitled to vote in an election or other democratic process in another country you are permitted to leave home if necessary to vote. Those organising the voting may provide alternatives to voting in person for people who want or need it, such as giving you the option of voting by proxy or post. Over the period of National Restrictions this applies to those entitled to vote in the Moldovan and Georgian elections.
*This information is taken directly from the Gov.uk website and the guidance provided there. For the most current and up to date version of this information you should check the Gov.uk website and the information and resources available there.