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The prime minister announced on Monday evening that there would be a third national lockdown in England. The regulations will be laid before parliament on Tuesday, will be subject to a vote on Wednesday and are expected to remain in place until the middle of February.
Downing Street said people would be urged to start following the new rules from Monday evening and not wait for them to become law. The new measures will apply across the whole of England and no exception will be made for those who have been vaccinated. The main changes are:
Stay at home
Everyone will be asked to immediately stay at home and only leave for the following specific reasons:
To go to work or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home – this includes key workers and those in the construction industry.
To shop for food and/or medicine for yourself or a vulnerable person.
To provide care or help to a vulnerable person.
To exercise – see below for specific rules.
To seek medical care or an appointment or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm, including domestic abuse.
To attend education or childcare if you are eligible.
Socialising outside is allowed only with people from your household or bubble. Stay 2 metres from anyone not in your household.
Outdoor exercise such as walking or running can be done with your household or bubble, or with just one person from another household. Exercise should be limited to once a day and you should stay in your local area.
Sporting venues including pools, gyms, tennis courts and golf courses will close, but playgrounds will remain open.
Education and childcare
Schools, colleges and universities will be asked to close with immediate effect, remaining open only to the children of key workers and those who are vulnerable. Nurseries will be able to stay open.
A-levels and GCSEs will not go ahead as originally envisaged. Higher education provision will remain online until mid-February, with in-person teaching for university students taking place only for those who work in critical areas, such as the health service.
Support and childcare bubbles will remain as they are under the new lockdown. Children of divorced or separated parents can continue to move freely between both parents’ homes.
Retail, hospitality and tradespeople
All non-essential retail, hospitality and personal care services such as hairdressers and salons must shut if not already, and remain closed. Essential retailers, which include supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, and builders’ merchants, may stay open.
Takeaway venues and restaurants can continue to offer click-and-collect services, but can no longer sell alcohol.
Tradespeople such as cleaners can still visit people’s homes. Dentists and opticians can stay open. Driving lessons are suspended.
Elite sporting events such as the Premier League will be able to continue, but with the same restrictions, but grassroots sport is being put on hold again.
Communal worship can continue, with social distancing. Weddings will be allowed only in exceptional circumstances. There are so far no plans to postpone the local elections.
Older and vulnerable people
Close-contact indoor visits in care homes will not be allowed, but visits involving screens, pods and through windows can go ahead.
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, you should only go out for medical appointments, for exercise, or if it is essential. You should not attend work.
Police will have powers similar to those in last year’s lockdown to arrest or fine those who breach the rules.
The government will be asked to clarify the rules over coming days. The plan is to return to a tier system after mid-February.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: England lockdown: what are the new Covid restrictions? | Coronavirus