Confused about the rules of lockdown? Here’s what you can and can’t do now



  • Anyone with coronavirus symptoms – a new persistent cough, fever or loss of sense of taste or smell – should self-isolate and order a test.
  • If you test positive you must stay at home for at least 10 days.
  • If you test negative you no longer need to isolate.
  • If you feel better and do not have a fever after 10 days you can stop isolating. A cough or reduced sense of smell or taste may linger – this is ok.
  • Other members of the household should isolate for 14 days, even if they have no symptoms.
  • If they start to feel unwell during the 14 days they must order a test, and if they test positive, must start isolating for an additional 10 days.


  • Legally, up to 30 people can gather.
  • But official advice remains that people should avoid socialising outdoors in a group of more than six – except if two large households are meeting.
  • Two households can also meet indoors – including in a pub or restaurant – but should not touch each other.
  • The only exception to the touching rule is if you have formed a ‘support bubble’. This is when two households merge. This is only allowed if one of the households is either an adult living alone or a single parent with children under 18. You cannot change the members of a bubble, and if someone gets ill both households must isolate.
  • You can stay overnight in another home – including at a holiday home or second home – but you should only be with one other household. You must maintain social distancing.


  • People should either stay two metres apart or ‘one metre plus’.
  • ‘One metre plus’ means if the gap is below one metre ‘mitigations’ must be made to help prevent transmission.
  • ‘Mitigation’ usually means wearing a mask – they are mandatory on public transport, in hospitals and in shops.
  • Employers have been told staff can be within two metres of each other if it is not practical to keep them further apart but they must ensure measures are in place to protect staff. These can include screens, facing desks away from each other and ensuring there are lots of handwashing stations.


  • Staying in hotels, bed and breakfasts and campsites in the UK is allowed but you can only travel in groups of two households.
  • Foreign travel is only recommended to countries which are considered to no longer pose a high risk. These include France, Italy and Germany.
  • The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all but essential travel to any country not on its ‘exempt’ list. This means travel insurance is not usually valid. Anyone returning to the UK from these countries has to quarantine at home for 14 days, or face a £1000 fine.


  • All shops have reopened but you must wear a mask.
  • Outdoor playgrounds and public toilets are mostly open but councils can decide whether to keep them closed.
  • Places of worship are now open but only one person can sing at a time, facing away from the congregation.
  • Weddings can take place with up to 30 people.
  • Barbers and hairdressers are open.
  • Restaurants and pubs are open but no more than six people, from two households, are allowed at each table.
  • Cinemas are open but pick ‘n’ mix is still banned.
  • Indoor gyms and swimming pools can open but a third remain closed.
  • Bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos will reopen from this weekend, as will salons offering face treatments.
  • Nightclubs and soft play areas remain closed.
  • Live performances are undergoing small pilots, with a view to reopening in the autumn.
Publish : 2020-07-31 15:36:02

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