Summary: what you can and cannot do during the national lockdown
You must stay at home. The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.
You should follow this guidance immediately. This is the law.
You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:
- shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
- go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
- 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.
- meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
- seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
- attend education or childcare - for those eligible
If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local - unless it is necessary to go further, for example to go to work. Stay local means stay in the village, town, or part of the city where you live.
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you are advised to only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. We recommend that you do not attend work
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).
You may exercise on your own, 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 cannot meet other people you do not live with, or have not formed a support bubble with, unless for a permitted reason.
Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.
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 remain open.
Higher Education provision will remain online until mid February for all except future critical worker courses.
Who this guidance is for
You should follow this guidance immediately. This is the law. There is additional guidance for households with a possible or confirmed coronavirus infection.
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you are advised to follow shielding guidance. We recommend that you do not attend work, school, college or university. You should limit the time you spend outside the home. You should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential.
Hands. Face. Space.
Approximately 1 in 3 people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and could be spreading it without realising it.
Remember - Hands. Face. Space.
- hands wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds
- face wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet
- space stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings)
You should avoid all non-essential meetings and interactions. In all circumstances, you should follow the guidance on meeting others safely.
Reducing the chance of catching or spreading the virus in your home
Coronavirus spreads from person to person through small droplets, tiny airborne particles known as aerosols and through direct contact.
To reduce the chance of catching or passing on coronavirus to or from the people you live with, you should:
- wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds
- regularly clean frequently touched surfaces
- make sure you let plenty of fresh air into your home without getting uncomfortably cold. This should be balanced with other considerations such as comfort, safety and security.
There is further guidance on:
- letting fresh air in
- grandparents, parents and children living together where someone is at increased risk or has possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection
- households with a possible or confirmed coronavirus infection
- landlords, tenants and local authorities
When you can leave home
You must not leave or be outside of your home except where you have a reasonable excuse. This is the law. The police can take action against you if you leave home without a reasonable excuse, and issue you with a fine (Fixed Penalty Notice).
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.
A reasonable excuse includes:
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
You can also leave home to provide voluntary or charitable services. You must volunteer from home unless it is not reasonably possible for you to do so.
You can leave home to buy things at shops or obtain services where necessary. You may also leave your home to do these things on behalf of a disabled or vulnerable person or someone self-isolating.
Education and childcare
You can only leave home for education, registered childcare, and supervised activities for children where the child is eligible to attend. Access to education and childrens activities for school-aged pupils is restricted. See further information on education and childcare. You can continue existing arrangements for contact between parents and children where they live apart. If you live in a household with anyone aged under 14, you can also form a childcare bubble.
Meeting others and care
You can leave home:
- to visit people in your su