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Detailed guide: New National Restrictions from 5 November

Cabinet Office

November 20
16:59 2020

Remember - Hands. Face. Space:

  • hands wash your hands regularly and for 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 or increasing ventilation indoors)

National restrictions from 5 November

Applies to: England (see guidance for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland)

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 00:01 on Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, you must:

  1. Stay at home, except for specific purposes.
  2. Avoid meeting people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
  3. Close certain businesses and venues.

These new measures will reduce the growth rate of the virus, which will:

  • prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed
  • ensure schools, colleges and universities can stay open
  • ensure that as many people as possible can continue to work

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 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.

There is separate guidance for households with a possible or confirmed coronavirus infection.

1. Stay at home

You must not leave or be outside of your home unless where permitted by law. This may include:

Work and volunteering

You can leave home for work purposes, or to provide voluntary or charitable services, where you cannot do this from home.

Essential activities

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.

Moving home

You may leave home to carry out activities related to buying, selling, letting or renting a residential property.

Education and childcare

You can leave home for education. This includes schools, universities or formal education provision.

You cannot leave home for extracurricular classes or training such as music or drama tuition.

You cannot leave home for driving lessons.

You can also leave home for registered childcare and supervised activities for children that are necessary to allow parents or carers to work, seek work, or undertake education or training.

Parents can still take their children to school, and continue existing arrangements for contact with children where they live apart.

Meeting others and care

You can leave home to exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place (see section 3).

You can leave home to visit people in your support bubble indoors or outdoors, including to stay overnight with them.

You can leave home to meet outdoors with one other person, who is not in your support bubble. If doing so, you can be accompanied by a child under 5 or a disabled person who requires continuous care.

You can leave home to provide informal childcare for children aged 13 and under as part of a childcare bubble.

You can also leave home to:

  • provide care for vulnerable people
  • provide emergency assistance
  • attend a support group (of up to 15 people)
  • 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

Medical reasons, harm and compassionate visits

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 such as 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.

Events

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.

2. Meeting others safely

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, your 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 others households, and visit outdoor public places together.

You can exercise or visit a public outdoor space:

  • by yourself
  • with the people you live with
  • with your support bubble
  • or, when on your own, 1 person from another household

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:

  • neighbourhood streets, parks, beaches, and parts of the countryside that are accessible to the public
  • public gardens and grounds (whether or not you pay to enter them)
  • allotments
  • outdoor playgrounds

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.

3. Where and when you can meet in larger groups

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 l

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