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What to and cannot do during the new UK coronavirus lockdown


People in England have been ordered to stay home for the next month to reverse the spread of the coronavirus.

However, the country's second national lockdown, beginning today, comes with a number of exemptions, including students who continue to attend school, unlimited outdoor exercise, and “safe visit” for nursing home residents and their families.

Here, MailOnline shows some of the things you can still do during the new block compared to the previous one:

1) Leave home to meet another person

People can leave their home for recreational purposes with their own household or alone with someone from another household (a “one plus one” rule).

This can be a meeting with a friend in the park to go for a walk or sit on a bench and have a sandwich. People are not allowed to meet in houses and gardens.

During the previous lockdown, people could only meet outside in May and at home until July 4th.

2) Go to school or university

Schools, colleges and universities remain open. Students should not return home during the semester, but can return home during the Christmas break.

During the previous lockdown, schools were only open to children of key workers or vulnerable people.

3) Use a public toilet

Many city public toilets and public spaces were closed during the initial lockdown, but the government has said they can stay open this time.

4) Buy something from a non-essential retailer using Click and Collect

Non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues must be closed, but the clicking and collecting can continue. This was not available during the initial lockout.

Important stores such as supermarkets, garden centers, and stores that offer essential goods and services will remain open.

5) Take unlimited movement

People can leave their homes to get exercise, which they can do as many times a day as you'd like.

This is different from the March lockdown when people were told to go outside to exercise only once a day.

6) Visit the dentist or optician

Dentists and opticians will now be open as usual, as they were only available for emergency appointments at the beginning of the first lockdown in March.

7) Go to a church for private prayer

The churches will only remain open for private prayers as they were closed for all purposes during the previous lockdown.

And here MailOnline examines the new rules for the new block:

– When did the new rules come into force?

The lockdown runs from today (November 5th) to December 2nd, after the MPs mostly voted for the new restrictions yesterday.

Boris Johnson has tried to reassure people that measures will be eased on December 2nd as planned and should allow stores and businesses to reopen in time for Christmas.

However, the prime minister conceded that it would depend on bringing the R-number – the rate of reproduction of the virus – back below 1.

– Can I leave my home?

The government has published 32 pages of regulations, including exceptions to the general message of staying home.

Specific reasons include education when not available online, work when you cannot work from home (including when you work at other people's homes), and exercise you can do as many times a day as you can You want.

People can also leave for recreational purposes with their own household or alone with someone from another household (a “one plus one” rule).

Examples of recreation include meeting a friend in the park for a walk or sitting on a bench and having a sandwich. People are not allowed to meet in houses and gardens, and golf clubs remain closed.

People can also leave the house to buy groceries and essentials, and to look after vulnerable people or volunteers.

Attending medical appointments is also permitted or may avoid injury or damage (e.g. for people suffering from domestic violence).

Support bladders stay in place and people can still meet in their bladder.

Children can move between their parents' homes when their parents are separated.

Commuters at Leeds train station around 8:30 a.m. today at the start of the new lockdown

– What has to close?

Shops, leisure and entertainment facilities that are not absolutely necessary must be closed.

Non-essential retail stores include clothing and electronics stores, car dealerships, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops.

Leisure options include bowling alleys, leisure centers and fitness studios, sports facilities such as swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centers, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centers, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks.

Theaters, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, game centers and arcades for adults, bingo halls, zoos and other animal attractions will be closed.

Hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlors, spas, massage parlors, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture and tanning studios will also be closed.

Click and Collect can continue and key stores such as supermarkets, garden centers, and stores that offer essential goods and services will remain open.

Bars, pubs and restaurants must remain closed, except for delivery or takeaway services.

You are allowed to sell take-away alcohol as long as it is pre-ordered online, by phone, or by mail.

Pre-ordered drinks can be sold to a customer and picked up by him, "provided the buyer does not enter," says the regulations.

Hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only be opened to those who need to travel to work and for a limited number of other reasons, including those who need accommodation while moving, to attend a funeral or to isolate themselves from others, such as this is required by law.

Harriet Henry, manager of The Tea Room in Knutsford, Cheshire, posted a closed sign outside her cafe yesterday

Harriet Henry, manager of The Tea Room in Knutsford, Cheshire, posted a closed sign outside her cafe yesterday

– What is still open?

The NHS and medical services such as general practitioners and the Jobcentre Plus locations and courts.

– What if I shielded the last time?

People over 60 and those at risk are urged to be extra careful when following the rules and minimizing contact with others.

Anyone officially notified that they should screen for the last time and not go to work are advised to limit their movements again.

However, formal shielding, such as the one that took place during the March and April lockdown – where people were told not to leave the house for any reason – is not being introduced.

Individuals classified as extremely clinically at risk are advised to work from home. If this is not possible, people may be eligible for statutory sickness benefit or unemployment benefit.

More detailed guidelines were released on Wednesday, two days after the government announced their release. As expected, it advises those classified as extremely clinically risky to avoid all non-essential travel, including visits to shops or pharmacies. You should continue to attend hospital and general practitioner appointments unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

It also states that children living with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable but not themselves clinically extremely vulnerable should continue to attend school.

– What about visiting nursing homes?

Under the regulations, it is reasonably necessary for someone to leave their home to visit someone in a nursing home if they are in that person's household, a close family member, or a friend.

The guidelines issued by the Department of Health and Welfare set out a number of ways that nursing homes could allow visitors, including designated visitor pods with floor-to-ceiling screens and separate entrances.

Outdoor visits with another person are permitted provided the loved one can enter the area without entering the main building.

Visits to windows "where the visitor does not have to come into the nursing home or where the visitor stays in their car and the resident is socially distant" are also allowed.

Video calls between residents and family members, backed by a multi-million dollar distribution of 11,000 iPad devices to nursing homes, are also encouraged.

The department said plans are currently being developed to allow certain family members and friends to visit nursing homes that are supported by a testing program, although the trials won't begin until later in November.

– Should my children go to school or to daycare? Can you go to a playground?

Yes, schools, colleges and universities remain open. Students should not return home during the semester, but can return home during the Christmas break.

Day mothers and kindergartens remain open and childcare bubbles, in which, for example, a grandparent offers childcare while one parent works, can continue.

The guidelines state that some youth services, such as individual work and support groups, may be able to continue, but most youth clubs and groups must be suspended for the period of lockdown.

Playgrounds and parks remain open.

– What if there are students and staff in the school?

All students and teachers in secondary schools and colleges in England are now expected to wear face coverings in common areas outside of classrooms where social distance cannot be maintained.

The instructions state that elementary school children do not have to wear face coverings and older children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities can be exempt from wearing them as required.

Clinically extremely vulnerable employees and students should not come to school or college, the council said.

Extracurricular activities can be held before and after school, but must be carried out not only for sports clubs but also for childcare purposes.

Students at St Columba's High School in Gourock, Scotland wear face masks in August

Students at St Columba's High School in Gourock, Scotland wear face masks in August

– Can I go on vacation, stay the night or go to my second home?

No, it is recommended that you only travel for essential reasons.

People can travel to work and there are exceptions for overnight stays and second homes for work purposes.

Those who are already on vacation can return to the UK.

– Is there a vacation program?

Yes, 80 percent vacation is due up to a maximum of £ 2,500 for the duration of the package of tougher national measures. Support will be available across the UK.

Business premises that need to close in England will receive a Local Restrictions Support Grant grant of up to £ 3,000 per month.

A further £ 1.1 billion will be given to local authorities – split on the basis of £ 20 per capita – for one-off payments to support businesses.

– Is there any support for mortgages?

Yes. Homeowners can avail of the option of a mortgage payment vacation.

– Can I go to church?

The churches only remain open for private prayers. Downing Street stated that the ban on worship within places of worship "is critical to fighting the spread of the virus".

Funerals are limited to a maximum of 30 people, but it is recommended that only close family members attend. Stone settings and scatters shouldn't have more than 15 people.

Remembrance services on Sunday may only take place online or outdoors this year.

– What about weddings?

The government announced that weddings and civil partnership ceremonies would only be allowed in "exceptional circumstances," but the regulations published on Tuesday did not specifically state this.

They say it is “reasonably necessary” for a person to leave or be outside their home to attend a wedding, civil partnership, or alternative wedding ceremony.

Meetings of no more than six people for these purposes in a private apartment, in premises operated by or as part of premises that are used for a company, charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution or public body or in a public place in the Outdoor uses are permitted under the regulations.

A bride arrives with her father for her wedding in Witcham, Cambridgeshire last Sunday

A bride arrives with her father for her wedding in Witcham, Cambridgeshire last Sunday

– Will the Premier League football games continue?

Yes. Boris Johnson said games would continue despite the restrictions. Elite sports can still be played, but must be behind closed doors.

– What if I live in an area with lowercase letters?

You must still follow the rules that apply across England. Professor Chris Whitty said that many of the lowercase areas have the highest growth rates.

He also warned: "Some areas, including the Southwest, are likely to put pressure on beds relatively early because of the way the NHS is organized in those areas."

– What if I want to protest the ban?

Protests are not allowed, but the prime minister's spokesman said police and local authorities would first try to "oblige, explain and encourage people to obey the rules before proceeding to enforce the law".

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