Category: Coronavirus

Secure Bingham ‘Summer on the Square’ sessions well received

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NEWS FROM RUSHCLIFFE BOROUGH COUNCIL

Bingham Square in Summer

Our Economic Growth, Environmental Health, Events and Licensing teams have been delighted to work with Bingham Community Events Group to help local bars, restaurants and outlets in the town centre expand their outdoor seating arrangements in line with secure COVID practices.

The teams have worked with the volunteer group and Bingham Town Council to secure the necessary licences for ‘Summer on the Square’ to safely welcome hundreds to the Buttercross in the town to enjoy a drink or bite to eat at weekends this month, accompanied by music from local bands, securely situated away from those socially distanced on tables.

Sessions continue to be held on Fridays and Saturdays in the town and are set to be held on August 22, 23, 29 and 30.

We’ve also received thanks from Number Sixteen café in the town for helping them to secure a licence to serve customers safely in a wider area adjacent to their premises on the Buttercross.  

 

Travel corridors – updated 15th August 2020

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ist of countries and territories from where you can travel to England and may not have to self-isolate.

Stay up to date

Countries and territories can be taken off or added to this exempt list at any time.

Sign up to get an email alert whenever this page is updated.

Coronavirus regulations mean that you must self-isolate for 14 days when you arrive in the UK.

This applies to UK residents and visitors to the UK.

Exemption rules

You may not have to self-isolate when you arrive in England, if you are travelling from one of the countries or territories listed below. That is because these countries and territories are either:

  • covered by the travel corridor exemption
  • within the common travel area – Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man
  • British overseas territories

You will need to self-isolate if you visited or made a transit stop in a country or territory that is not on the list in the 14 days before you arrive in England.

This applies to all travel to England, by train, ferry, coach, air or any other route.

Example of when you would need to self-isolate

You are in a country that is not on the travel corridor exempt list. You travel to a country that is on the list and you stay there for 4 days from the day after you arrive. You then travel to England.

When you get to England, you will need to self-isolate for 10 days, not the usual 14 days. That is because you have spent 4 of the 14 days in a country that is on the exempt list.

Transit stops

A transit stop is a stop where passengers can get on or off. It can apply to coaches, ferries, trains or flights. Your ticket should show if a stop is a transit stop.

If your journey involves a transit stop in a country not on the list, you will need to self-isolate when you arrive in England if:

  • new passengers get on
  • you or other passengers get off the transport you are on and mix with other people, then get on again

You don’t need to self-isolate beyond normal timescales if, during your transit stop in a non-exempt country:

  • no new passengers get on
  • no-one on-board gets off and mixes with people outside
  • passengers get off but do not get back on

Private vehicles

You don’t need to self-isolate if you travel through a non-exempt country and you don’t stop in the country.

If you do make a stop, you don’t need to self-isolate if:

  • no new people get into the vehicle
  • no-one in the vehicle gets out, mixes with other people, and gets in again

You do need to self-isolate if you make a stop and:

  • new people get into the vehicle, or
  • someone gets out of the vehicle, mixes with other people and gets in again

FCO travel advice and your stay abroad

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) continues to advise against non-essential international travel, except to countries and territories exempt from advice against ‘all but essential’ international travel.

You will have to comply with coronavirus requirements in the country you travel to. This may include self-isolating or providing your details to local authorities.

FCO travel advice includes information on any health measures in place for visitors to a country or territory. These can include a requirement to self-isolate, quarantine or undergo testing for coronavirus, or even restrictions on entry.

Before and while you are travelling, check:

Make sure you have appropriate travel insurance in case you have unexpected costs.

Arrival in the UK – passenger locator form

You must show proof of a completed passenger locator form at the UKborder.

This applies to people entering the UK from all countries.

It applies to UK residents and visitors.

You should complete the form before you enter the UK.

You can complete it any time in the 48 hour period before you are due to arrive in the UK.

Make sure you leave yourself enough time to complete it. If you do not complete the form before you arrive in the UK, it might take you longer to enter the UK.

The form is an online form. You will need an internet connection and details of your journey to complete it.

Failure to complete the form is a criminal offence.

There are a small number people who don’t have to complete the form because of their work. People on domestic flights and people arriving from Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands also don’t have to complete the form.

Updates to the travel corridor list

We will keep the conditions in these countries and territories under review. If they worsen we will reintroduce self-isolation requirements.

Countries or territories removed from the exempt list

The following countries and territories were removed from the exempt list at 4am, Saturday 15 August 2020:

  • Aruba
  • France
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • the Netherlands
  • Turks and Caicos Islands

If you arrive in England from Aruba, France, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands or Turks and Caicos Islands after 4am 15 August, you will need to self-isolate.

If you arrived in England from Aruba, France, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands or Turks and Caicos Islands before 4am 15 August you may not need to self-isolate. Read the rules about when you need to self-isolate and for how long.

The following countries were removed from the exempt list at 4am, Saturday 8 August 2020:

  • Andorra
  • The Bahamas
  • Belgium

If you arrive in England from Andorra, The Bahamas or Belgium after 4am 8 August you will need to self-isolate.

If you arrived in England from Andorra, The Bahamas or Belgium before 4am 8 August you may not need to self-isolate. Read the rules about when you need to self-isolate and for how long.

Countries or territories added to the exempt list

The following countries were added to the exempt list at 4am on Tuesday 11 August 2020:

  • Brunei
  • Malaysia

If you arrive in England from Brunei or Malaysia after 4am 11 August you may not need to self-isolate. Read the rules about when you need to self-isolate and for how long.

If you arrived in England from Brunei or Malaysia before 4am 11 August, you will need to self-isolate.

Countries and territories with no self-isolation requirement on arrival in England

You may not have to self-isolate if you are travelling from one of the countries or territories listed below.

You will need to self-isolate if you visited or made a transit stop in a country or territory that is not on the list in the 14 days before you arrive in England.

This list may be added to following further discussions between the UK and international partners.

If you have coronavirus symptoms

Do not travel if you have coronavirus symptoms.

Tell a member of the staff or crew if you develop symptoms while travelling.

 

Face coverings: when to wear one and how to make your own

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This page explains what face coverings are, their role in reducing the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19), the settings in which they are recommended, and how they should be safely used and stored. This information is based on current scientific evidence and is subject to change.

This information relates to the use of face coverings in public spaces where social distancing is not always possible. It is important to follow all the other government advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) including staying safe outside your home.

What a face covering is

In the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, a face covering is something which safely covers the nose and mouth. You can buy reusable or single-use face coverings. You may also use a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering but these must securely fit round the side of the face.

Face coverings are not classified as PPE (personal protective equipment) which is used in a limited number of settings to protect wearers against hazards and risks, such as surgical masks or respirators used in medical and industrial settings.

Face coverings are instead largely intended to protect others, not the wearer, against the spread of infection because they cover the nose and mouth, which are the main confirmed sources of transmission of virus that causes coronavirus infection (COVID-19).

If you wish to find out more about the differences between surgical face masks, PPE face masks, and face coverings see the MHRA’s (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) regulatory status of equipment being used to help prevent coronavirus (COVID-19).

When to wear a face covering

There are some places where you must wear a face covering by law. Different rules exist in different parts of the UK about which you can find out more on the relevant regional websites:

In England, you must wear a face covering in the following indoor settings (a list of examples for each is included in the brackets):

  • public transport (aeroplanes, trains, trams and buses)
  • transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
  • shops and supermarkets (places which offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
  • shopping centres (malls and indoor markets)
  • auction houses
  • premises providing professional, legal or financial services (post offices, banks, building societies, high-street solicitors and accountants, credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses)
  • premises providing personal care and beauty treatments (hair salons, barbers, nail salons, massage centres, tattoo and piercing parlours)
  • premises providing veterinary services
  • visitor attractions and entertainment venues (museums, galleries, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, cultural and heritage sites, aquariums, indoor zoos and visitor farms, bingo halls, amusement arcades, adventure activity centres, funfairs, theme parks, casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor play areas including soft-play areas)
  • libraries and public reading rooms
  • places of worship
  • funeral service providers (funeral homes, crematoria and burial ground chapels)
  • community centres, youth centres and social clubs
  • exhibition halls and conference centres
  • public areas in hotels and hostels
  • storage and distribution facilities

You are expected to wear a face covering before entering any of these settings and must keep it on until you leave unless there is a reasonable excuse for removing it. More detailed advice on the application of these requirements in different settings can be found in the Government’s guidance for working safely.

You should also wear a face covering in indoor places not listed here where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.

Face coverings are needed in NHS settings, including hospitals and primary or community care settings, such as GP surgeries. They are also advised to be worn in care homes.

Enforcement measures for failing to comply with this law

Premises where face coverings are required should take reasonable steps to promote compliance with the law.

The police can take measures if members of the public do not comply with this law without a valid exemption and transport operators can deny access to their public transport services if a passenger is not wearing a face covering, or direct them to wear one or leave a service.

If necessary, the police and Transport for London (TfL) officers have enforcement powers including issuing fines of £100 (halving to £50 if paid within 14 days). As announced we will bring forward changes which mean fines for repeat offenders will double at each offence, up to a maximum value of £3,200.

When you do not need to wear a face covering

In settings where face coverings are required in England, there are some circumstances where people may not be able to wear a face covering. Please be mindful and respectful of such circumstances, noting that some people are less able to wear face coverings, and that the reasons for this may not be visible to others.

This includes (but is not limited to):

  • children under the age of 11 (Public Health England do not recommended face coverings for children under the age of 3 for health and safety reasons)
  • people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  • employees of indoor settings (or people acting on their behalf, such as someone leading part of a prayer service) or transport workers (see section 6) – although employers may consider their use where appropriate and where other mitigations are not in place, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidelines
  • police officers and other emergency workers, given that this may interfere with their ability to serve the public
  • where putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
  • if you are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate
  • to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others – including if it would negatively impact on your ability to exercise or participate in a strenuous activity

There are also scenarios when you are permitted to remove a face covering:

  • if asked to do so in a bank, building society, or post office for identification
  • if asked to do so by shop staff or relevant employees for identification, for assessing health recommendations (e.g. by a pharmacist), or for age identification purposes including when buying age restricted products such as alcohol
  • if required in order to receive treatment or services, for example when getting a haircut
  • in order to take medication
  • if you are delivering a sermon or prayer in a place or worship
  • if you are the persons getting married in a relevant place
  • if you are undertaking exercise or an activity and it would negatively impact your ability to do so

Face coverings are not required in restaurants with table service, bars, and pubs. If removing your face covering to eat or drink in an indoor premises with a café or designated seating area, then you can remove your face covering in this area only.

Face coverings are not required in restaurants with table service, bars, and pubs. If other indoor premises have a café or seating area for you to eat and drink, then you can remove your face covering in this area only. You must put a face covering back on once you leave your seating area. If removing your face covering to eat or drink in an indoor premises with a café or designated seating area, then you can remove your face covering in this area only.

The government’s guidance for keeping workers and customers safe during COVID-19 in restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services clearly advises that designated indoor seating areas for customers to eat or drink should at this time only be open for table service, where possible, alongside additional infection control measures.

Exemption cards

Those who have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering should not be routinely asked to give any written evidence of this, this includes exemption cards. No person needs to seek advice or request a letter from a medical professional about their reason for not wearing a face covering.

Some people may feel more comfortable showing something that says they do not have to wear a face covering. This could be in the form of an exemption card, badge or even a home-made sign.

This is a personal choice and is not necessary in law.

Access exemption card templates

For exemptions in different parts of the UK please refer to the specific guidance for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

The reason for using face coverings

Coronavirus (COVID-19) usually spreads by droplets from coughs, sneezes and speaking. These droplets can also be picked up from surfaces, if you touch a surface and then your face without washing your hands first. This is why social distancing, regular hand hygiene, and covering coughs and sneezes is so important in controlling the spread of the virus.

The best available scientific evidence is that, when used correctly, wearing a face covering may reduce the spread of coronavirus droplets in certain circumstances, helping to protect others.

Because face coverings are mainly intended to protect others, not the wearer, from coronavirus (COVID-19) they are not a replacement for social distancing and regular hand washing. It is important to follow all the other government advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) including staying safe outside your home. If you have recent onset of any of the most important symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste (anosmia)

you and your household must isolate at home: wearing a face covering does not change this. You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19.

How to wear a face covering

A face covering should:

  • cover your nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably
  • fit comfortably but securely against the side of the face
  • be secured to the head with ties or ear loops
  • be made of a material that you find to be comfortable and breathable, such as cotton
  • ideally include at least two layers of fabric (the World Health Organisation recommends three depending on the fabric used)
  • unless disposable, it should be able to be washed with other items of laundry according to fabric washing instructions and dried without causing the face covering to be damaged

When wearing a face covering you should:

  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on
  • avoid wearing on your neck or forehead
  • avoid touching the part of the face covering in contact with your mouth and nose, as it could be contaminated with the virus
  • change the face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it
  • avoid taking it off and putting it back on a lot in quick succession (for example, when leaving and entering shops on a high street)

When removing a face covering:

  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before removing
  • only handle the straps, ties or clips
  • do not give it to someone else to use
  • if single-use, dispose of it carefully in a residual waste bin and do not recycle
  • if reusable, wash it in line with manufacturer’s instructions at the highest temperature appropriate for the fabric
  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser once removed

Face coverings at work

There is no universal face coverings guidance for workplaces because of the variety of work environments in different industries. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has provided detailed guidance for specific workplace settings. Employers must make sure that the risk assessment for their business addresses the risks of COVID-19 using BEIS guidance to inform decisions and control measures including close proximity working.

It is important to note that coronavirus (COVID-19) needs to be managed through a hierarchy or system of control including social distancing, high standards of hand hygiene, increased surface cleaning, fixed teams or partnering, and other measures such as using screens or barriers to separate people from each other.

These measures remain the best ways of managing risk in the workplace, but there are some circumstances when wearing a face covering may be marginally beneficial and a precautionary measure; this will largely be to protect others and not the wearer. If employees choose to wear a face covering, normal policies relating to occupational workwear and PPE will continue to apply.

Staff in indoor settings

Employees should continue to follow guidance from their employer based on a workplace health and safety assessment.

Face coverings are not required by law for employees as employers already have a legal obligation to provide a safe working environment. Employers should assess the use of face coverings on a case by case basis depending on the workplace environment, other appropriate mitigations they have put in place, and whether reasonable exemptions apply.

For example, there will be times when screens or visors are in use, or when a staff member is not in close proximity to people they do not normally meet, and so it will not be necessary for staff to wear a face covering. For recommendations and requirements in specific settings please check the Government’s workplace settings guidance.

Transport workers

Transport workers are also not required to wear a face covering by law. However, face coverings offer some benefits in situations where social distancing is difficult to manage. For example, when working in passenger facing roles including when providing assistance to disabled passengers.

Public health advice is that staff wear a face covering when they are unable to maintain social distancing in passenger facing roles, recognising that there will be exceptional circumstances when a staff member cannot wear a face covering, or when their task makes it sensible (based on a risk assessment) for them not to wear a face covering.

Buying and selling face coverings

In the UK, face coverings are being sold by a large number of retailers online and in store. Details of a product’s conformance to any standards can be found under the product details section online, or on the packaging or label of the covering itself. Access the Office for Product and Safety Standards (OPSS) guidance for manufacturers and sellers of face coverings.

Due to the complexity of the different contexts in which COVID-19 can spread and the rapidly changing and growing evidence base on the effectiveness of face masks and coverings, there are currently no UK product standards for face coverings.

The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) approved a Workshop Agreement on 17 June with performance requirements, methods of testing and uses of community face coverings. This was created under the stewardship of AFNOR (the French national organization for standardization), who published a French specification for “barrier masks” intended for both mask manufacturers and the public in March 2020.

In June 2020, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) released a specification for Textile Barrier Face Coverings designed for both disposable and reusable coverings. The specification sets out the design, performance and chemical requirements of coverings, as well as labelling instructions. The performance requirements do not include tests for filtration efficiency which are incorporated under the CEN and AFNOR guidelines.

The British Standards Institution will not be creating a separate standard and intend to adopt the CEN Workshop Agreement. Copies of both the CEN and AFNOR documents are freely available for the public to download.

Making your own face covering

If you want to make your own face covering, instructions are widely available online. We do not endorse any particular method but be considerate of materials and fabrics that may irritate different skin types.

Emerging evidence suggests that the risk of transmission may be reduced by using thicker fabrics or multiple layers. However, the face covering should still be breathable.

Children should make face coverings under the supervision of an adult and face coverings for children should be secured to the head using ear loops only.

If you would like more information on how to make a face covering with materials from around your home please visit the Big Community Sew website. Here you will find step-by-step video tutorials on how to make face coverings and other useful tips and advice.

Maintaining and disposing of face coverings

Do not touch the front of the face covering, or the part of the face covering that has been in contact with your mouth and nose.

Once removed, store reusable face coverings in a plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash them. If the face covering is single use, dispose of it in a residual waste bin. Do not put them in a recycling bin.

Make sure you clean any surfaces the face covering has touched using normal household cleaning products. If eating in a café, for example, it is important that you do not place the face covering on the table.

Wash your face covering regularly and follow the washing instructions for the fabric. You can use your normal detergent. You can wash and dry it with other laundry. You must throw away your face covering if it is damaged.

The government has also published guidance on the safe disposal of waste for the public and businesses.

Reopening of recycling centres: frequently asked questions

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Why were the recycling centres closed?

The recycling centres were closed at 1pm on 24 March following the Government’s announcement of a ‘lockdown’ due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. The Government specified specific reasons for leaving your home:

  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
  • one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
  • any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home.

Visits to recycling centres are not one of the reasons listed and therefore the decision was taken to close the sites with the view of reviewing this decision when the lockdown was amended, or relaxed or further guidance was provided by the Government. The Government provided further guidance and clarity on 5 May, which stated sites could be reopened where it was safe to do so.

Are all of the recycling centres in Notts reopen?

Yes, all recycling centres in Nottinghamshire are now open.

All sites will be operating strict social distancing measures and delays are likely.

Don’t forget that you need to be a resident of Nottinghamshire (excluding Nottingham City) and have registered your vehicle to use the Nottinghamshire recycling centres – it’s quick and easy to register.

What will happen when I visit a recycling centre?

Please be aware that due to the social distancing rules on site there is likely to be significant delays when visiting the sites.

On approach, there may be a member of staff to help manage the traffic, and another controlling the gate to the site. 

They will advise you when to enter the site and, provided social distancing is possible, guide you where to go onsite.

You must follow their instructions at all times as they are there to ensure you and everyone else is kept safe.

Please pay attention to container labels and only put your waste in the correct container. 

Please do not use containers that have a barrier to the gantry.

Continue to follow social distancing guidelines and maintain a two-metre distance between yourself, staff and any other members of the public on site at the same time.

What times are the sites open?

All sites are open 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.

Sites may still have to close temporarily during the course of their opening to allow for cleaning, or for the changing of containers.

The site may be operating under minimal staffing levels and so to ensure the safety of the site and its users, may also need to close to give staff opportunities to rest. Our operatives are working hard to keep the site running. 

If you are visiting the recycling centre towards the end of the day, please allow yourself plenty of time to ensure you are allowed in to the site. All vehicles need to have entered the site, unloaded their waste and left the site by closing time at 8pm.

What social distancing measures will be in place on the sites?

The sites will have demarcation zones around container bays or ramps to restrict access to one person at a time giving consideration to the 2-metre social distancing.

The sites will also be operating on a ‘one in one out’ basis.

What other health and safety measures will be in place at the sites?

All site staff will be wearing the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which may include face masks. Remember they will be on site all day so need to be protected from a much higher level of risk than someone making a quick one-off visit.

Cleaning on sites will take place, with hand rails up to containers being disinfected approximately every 30 minutes.

I need help with my waste – can I get assistance from a member of staff?

No. Due to social distancing rules, staff will not be able to assist with disposing of waste items at this time.

You can take one additional adult who lives in your household with you if you have a large item to unload from your vehicle such as a fridge or washing machine or are disabled and need assistance, however only one person will be allowed on the gantry at a time.

Otherwise contact your district or borough council bulky waste collection service or employ a registered waste carrier. 

I don’t have a vehicle; can I access the sites on foot?

Unfortunately, to maintain the safety of site users and staff sites will not be accessible by foot at this time.

Why am I queuing to use the site?

In order to meet the requirements of social distancing it is necessary to restrict the number of service users on the recycling centre to a level where the two-metre social distancing can be maintained.

The sites will be operating under a one in one out system. Therefore, it is expected that there will be significant delays. Please be patient and remain in your car whilst queuing. We appreciate it might be frustrating but be assured staff are working hard in difficult conditions to get you through as quickly and safely as they can. 

There will be uniformed staff at the gates to manage traffic on the sites. Please listen and follow their instructions. They are there to help you and make sure you stay safe and can complete your trip in as quick a time as possible. 

Can I collect paint from the Recycling Centres?

Whilst these social distancing restrictions are in place there will be no appointments available to collect paint from the Recycling Centres at this time.

Will all containers be open?

Not all containers/bays will be open. Some will be for mixed wastes to ease the volume of waste being deposited.

Can I take a family member to help me unload my waste?

Yes, you can take one additional adult who lives in your household with you if you have a large item to unload from your vehicle such as a fridge or washing machine or are disabled and need assistance, however only one person will be allowed on the gantry at a time.

My waste is normally recycled but has gone into a mixed / general waste bin.  Will it go to landfill?

We have combined some containers to ensure social distancing rules are met, and this will mean that some waste that is normally sent for recycling will go to landfill/energy from waste. This is another reason why we must ask you to ensure you only visit the site if absolutely necessary.

I / my household have been self-isolating – can I take my waste to the recycling centre?

No – Self-isolating households should follow Government advice and store tissues and disposable cleaning cloths double-bagged, tied securely and separate from other waste for 72 hours before putting with general waste. Don’t take this to the recycling centres – place it in your general waste bin at home.

How can I prepare for my visit to the recycling centre?

Only bring what you can safely handle as site staff will not be able to assist you as they normally would.

Stay safe – wear protective gloves, appropriate footwear and clothing.

Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Prime Minister announces stronger enforcement measures as easements resume

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The Government has announced a series of tough new enforcement measures targeting the most serious breaches of social distancing restrictions.

  • Fines will double to a maximum of £3,200 for those who repeatedly flout face covering rules
  • New fines to be introduced for people hosting raves or other unlawful gatherings of more than 30 people
  • Bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos to reopen for the first time as well as indoor play and soft play centres which comply with new Covid-19 Secure guidelines
  • Beauty salons, tattoo studios, spas, barbers across England will be able to offer all close contact services and treatments
  • Wedding receptions for up to 30 people to resume – and indoor performances with socially distanced audiences will recommence
  • Sports and business events pilots to resume

The Government has announced a series of tough new enforcement measures targeting the most serious breaches of social distancing restrictions.

Fines for repeatedly not wearing face coverings where mandated will be significantly increased in the coming weeks, and on the spot fines for hosting or facilitating illegal gatherings of more than 30 people will be introduced.

The announcement comes as a number of remaining aspects of England’s culture, sport, leisure and business sectors will be permitted to reopen from this weekend. Two weeks ago the ONS had expressed concerns about a slight increase in the number of people in England testing positive. The situation now appears to have levelled off.

The plan set out in the ‘roadmap to recovery’ which was paused for two weeks will resume from Saturday 15 August in England – except for specific areas where local restrictions are in place.

  • Indoor theatres, music and performance venues will be able to reopen with socially distanced audiences under updated performing arts guidance published by the Government. This follows a successful series of pilots and marks stage 4 of the government’s 5-stage roadmap for the return of professional performing arts.
  • Wedding receptions in the form of a sit-down meal in a COVID-secure location for up to 30 guests will now be permitted.
  • The piloting of a small number of sporting events to test the safe return of spectators will resume from August 15 with a view to reopening competition venues for sports fans, with social distancing measures in place from 1 October. This will commence with the final of the World Snooker Championship at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre during 15-16 August, with a full pilot programme to follow.
  • Indoor play and indoor soft play, bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos will be permitted to reopen.
  • Beauty salons, tattoo studios, spas and barbers across England will be able to offer all close contact services – including front of the face treatments such as eyebrow threading, eyelash treatments and facials from August 15 under new guidance.
  • A number of pilots will now take place at event venues across the country to help plan how best to restart indoor business events and implement social distancing practices. Business events and conferences will be permitted to resume from 1 October provided rates of infection remain at current levels.

Taking into account new evidence provided by SAGE and consultation with industry, the Government has also confirmed today that all staff offering close contact services, including hairdressers, should now wear a face mask (type 2 surgical), in addition to a clear visor that covers the face. This will help protect the customer and staff from respiratory droplets caused by sneezing, coughing, or speaking.

The guidance also applies to businesses that operate remotely, such as massage therapists working in people’s homes, and those learning in vocational training environments.

The Government will continue to review these measures announced today, which are based upon the very latest infection rates.

More detail on the new enforcement measures will be set out in the coming week.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

Most people in this country are following the rules and doing their bit to control the virus, but we must remain focused and we cannot be complacent. That is why we are strengthening the enforcement powers available to use against those who repeatedly flout the rules.

At every stage I have said our plan to reopen society and the economy is conditional and that it relies on continued progress against the virus.

Today, we are able to announce some further changes which will allow more people to return to work and the public to get back to more of the things they have missed. However, as I have always said, we will not hesitate to put on the brakes if required, or to continue to implement local measures to help to control the spread of the virus.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

Coronavirus remains a real and present threat to all of us and the majority of the British public are doing the right thing.

I will not stand by and see these sacrifices undermined by a small minority of senseless individuals.

These measures send a clear message – if you don’t cooperate with the police and if you put our health at risk, action will follow.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

The nation’s hard work to keep the virus under control means we can now make further careful progress on recovery with allowing audiences back for indoor performances, fans back at sports events and the reopening of more Covid-19 secure leisure businesses.

We must all continue to Stay Alert but today’s welcome news means these organisations can finally get going safely, and we can enjoy more of the things we love as a nation.

I have no doubt that they will work incredibly hard to keep their fans, patrons, and customers safe.

Business Secretary, Alok Sharma said:

From Saturday, salons, spas and other close contact services across England will once again be able to offer all services in a way that is safe for workers and clients.

I am pleased to give these often small, independent businesses a much-needed boost as we progress with our plan to kickstart the economy to protect jobs and incomes.

Opening up the economy is conditional on our continued success at controlling the spread of coronavirus. Therefore it remains essential businesses comply with Covid-19 secure measures to protect workers and the public.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

We introduced mandatory face coverings on public transport to protect people and stop coronavirus spreading. I’m grateful to all those who have complied, and of course many people have legitimate reasons not to wear face coverings – but for those who aren’t exempt, there is no excuse.

That’s why we must get tougher on repeat offenders. This new system will look to ensure everybody who is not exempt wears a face covering on public transport, continuing the public’s excellent efforts in helping this country recover.

Nightclubs, dance halls, and discotheques, as well as sexual entertainment venues and hostess bars, remain closed in law.

COVID – GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENT 31st July 2020

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Announcement

The government has announced some adjustments to the roadmap to recovery set out on 17 July. This is because we are starting to see warning signs that the virus may be growing again. We have always been clear that any planned changes are conditional and reviewed based on infection rates. We will continue to review these measures and set out further details of any changes.

Greater Manchester, East Lancashire, parts of West Yorkshire

We are restricting social contact in Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire. In these areas, we will be prohibiting in law any gatherings with people from other households in private homes or in their gardens. We will be strongly advising against household mixing in public venues, such as bars and restaurants.

People in these areas can still go to work, visit shops and carry out other activities as before. In addition, regulations will be passed to close gyms, pools and sports venues in Bradford, at the request of the local council.

Luton, Leicester

We are easing restrictions in other regions where the prevalence of the virus has decreased sufficiently. This includes Luton (from 1 August), and the Oadby and Wigston suburbs of Leicester (3 August). Some other premises in Leicester – in line with the national 4 July changes – will also be able to reopen from 3 August.

Face coverings and quarantine

We are extending the list of areas where face coverings are mandatory from 8 August. Face coverings will be made mandatory in a greater number of public indoor settings, such as museums, galleries, cinemas and public libraries. The full list is set out below, and will be reflected in updated guidance on face coverings. This is in addition to shops, supermarkets and public transport, as is currently the case.

We will enhance our approach to enforcing existing laws on face coverings and quarantine for people who have just arrived in the UK. If premises or event organisers are not complying with COVID-19 Secure guidance, local authorities will act to close them down or cancel events.

Pilot testing crowds at events

We are stopping the pilots testing the return of crowds to sporting and performing arts events. This means planned pilots at venues such as the Sheffield Crucible, Goodwood, county cricket, and concerts and business events will not go ahead.

Shielding paused

We are pausing national shielding guidance from 1 August as average incidence rates across the country remain sufficiently low. This will continue to be kept under close review. In areas where incidence and transmission rates are increasing, we will take a more targeted approach to shielding advice at local authority level. Specific areas where local measures are in place are currently Leicester, Luton and Blackburn with Darwen.

Working safely

We are giving employers more discretion on how they ensure employees can work safely, as set out in the roadmap published on 17 July, and in line with updated guidance on gov.uk. Working from home is one way to do this, but workplaces can also be made safe by following COVID-19 Secure guidelines.

Delaying proposed changes

We are not changing the list of premises allowed to open, aside from in places such as Leicester, Luton and others outlined above, where restrictions are being lifted. We are delaying the changes that had been proposed in the roadmap for 1 August until at least 15 August.

We set out in the roadmap that these changes would only take place if prevalence had not risen. Specifically, this means:

  • remaining leisure settings, such as bowling, skating rinks and casinos, will remain closed
  • indoor performances will not be permitted
  • restrictions will remain on the highest risk close contact services, such as treatments on the face including eyebrow threading or make-up application

Guidance on weddings and civil partnerships will be unchanged. Ceremonies can be attended by up to 30 people, but larger receptions (that is, those that exceed the guidance on gatherings in your local area) including sit-down meals, should not take place.

Guidance on visiting care homes is unchanged. In the event of an outbreak in a care home or evidence of community hotspots or outbreaks leading to a local lockdown, care homes should restrict visits to exceptional circumstances only.

Q&A

1. Working from home

Who should go to work?

Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should carry on working from home wherever possible, but can go to work if the workplace is COVID-19 Secure.

From 1 August, employers should consult with their employees to determine how to work safely.

What’s changing from 1 August?

From 1 August, employers should consult with their employees to determine how to work safely. Working from home is one way to do this, but workplaces can also be made safe by following COVID-19 Secure guidelines.

These are tailored guidelines for employers, developed in consultation with businesses and trade unions, to help protect their workforce and customers from coronavirus while still continuing to trade or getting their business back up and running.

Where it is decided that workers should come into their place of work, this will need to be reflected in the risk assessment and other actions taken to manage the risks of transmission in line with COVID-19 Secure guidelines.

Your employer should consult with you on how you can work safely, and ensure workplaces are COVID-19 Secure if they are asking you to return.

Is it safe for me to go into work?

Your employer should consult with you on how you can work safely. Working from home is one way to do this, but workplaces can also be made safe by following COVID-19 Secure guidelines.

If employers decide that workers should come into their place of work, they need to make sure workplaces are safe by following the COVID-19 Secure guidelines, which have been developed in consultation with businesses and trade unions.

What are the ‘COVID-19 Secure’ safety guidelines workplaces have to put in place?

We have set out clear, practical steps that businesses should take to ensure their workplaces are COVID-19 Secure and give their staff the confidence to return to work.

These are tailored guidelines for employers to help protect their workforce and customers from coronavirus while still continuing to trade or getting their business back up and running.

The guidelines include how to keep as many people as possible safely apart from those they do not live within various workplace settings.

How will health and safety regulations be enforced?

If an enforcing authority, such as the Health and Safety Executive or your local authority, identifies employers who are not taking action to comply with the relevant public health legislation and guidance to control public health risks they will consider a range of actions to improve control of workplace risks.

Examples of not complying could be not completing a new risk assessment taking account of the risk of COVID-19, or taking insufficient measures in response.

The action an enforcing authority might consider includes giving specific advice to a business, or issuing an improvement notice, which a business must respond to in a fixed time, or a prohibition notice.

Failure to comply is a criminal offence, which can lead to fines or imprisonment for up to 2 years.

Local authorities also have new powers to close any premises if they believe it necessary to help prevent transmission of COVID-19.

My employer is asking me to come to work but I’m scared – what should I do?

Your employer should consult with you on how you can work safely, and ensure workplaces are safe if they are asking you to return.

If you remain concerned that your employer is not taking all practical steps to promote social distancing then you can report this to your local authority or the Health and Safety Executive who can take a range of action, including where appropriate requiring your employer to take additional steps.

What if they try to fire me because I won’t go to work but cannot work at home?

We urge employers to take socially responsible decisions and listen to the concerns of their staff. Employers and employees should come to a practical agreement about their working arrangements.

If individuals need advice, they should approach ACAS where they can get impartial advice about work disputes.

2. Close contact beauty services, leisure and sport

Will any financial support be offered to businesses who can’t open now?

As part of the government’s response to the pandemic, the Chancellor has announced a host of measures to help businesses, including loans, tax deferrals and cash grants.

There is particular support for smaller businesses and the self-employed, to help bolster the existing package of support available. For example, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme enables small businesses quicker access to finance, where they can borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 with no repayments due for a year, and no interest charged during that time either.

Can salons continue offering other beauty services?

Yes, salons can continue to offer other services which are not around the face, provided they are done in a COVID-19 Secure way in line with guidance.

What beauty treatments are still not allowed?

Services in the highest risk zone – the area around the face – which require staff and customers to be face-to-face and in very close proximity, are not permitted at this time. Examples include, but are not limited to, facial hair removal services, facial treatments, make-up applications and eyebrow treatments.

The highest risk of transmission is through aerosols and droplets when people are in prolonged close, face-to-face contact within 2 metres. Considering the balance of risks, we are postponing the resumption of these highest risk services.

Can I still do the other things you previously announced such as going to a restaurant?

Yes, you can still go to a restaurant provided you are with up to one other household or bubble inside, or with up to one other household or bubble or up to 6 people from different households outside.

When will casinos, bowling alleys and ice skating rinks be allowed to open?

The reopening of these venues has been postponed until 15 August at the earliest.

Does this mean indoor performances of any kind must be cancelled?

Indoor performances are not permitted at this time. We have been and will continue to work with the sector to determine how and when indoor performances can restart in a safe way.

Will there be any compensation for cancelled performances?

As part of the government’s response to the pandemic, the Chancellor has announced a host of measures to help businesses, including loans, tax deferrals and cash grants.

Particular support for the sector has included the Culture Recovery Fund, where £500 million of grants and £270 million in long-term loans are being made available to organisations, and the Emergency Grassroots Music Venues Fund, where £2.5 million has been available for venues at risk of imminent closure.

Will performance trials continue during this pause?

We have been and will continue to work with these sectors to determine how and when they can safely open. This includes considering how to adapt our plans for pilot events, if and when it is safe to do so.

Will trials of sporting events with fans continue?

No – all pilots will be put on hold from today until such time that the balance of risk allows us to progress with plans. We will look to resume pilot events if and when it is safe to do so.

3. Weddings

What is changing to guidance on weddings?

Wedding and civil partnership ceremonies can still go ahead, but people should not be holding large wedding receptions and celebrations at this time. Any celebrations after a wedding need to follow the guidance, which allows up to 6 people from multiple households outdoors or 2 households indoors.

Some areas now have added restrictions in place on visiting people in their homes. In these areas you should not, and it will be illegal to, visit or host people in private homes or gardens. You should follow the specific rules in your local area.

Why do I have to cancel my wedding reception?

By their very nature wedding receptions and celebrations bring families and friends together from a variety of different locations. Unfortunately, we do not believe it is safe to hold such gatherings at this time.

What if I booked and paid for something already, can I get my money back?

We appreciate this is disappointing news for many couples. You should consult with your venue on what policy they have in place for cancellations.

Can I still have the ceremony?

Yes, wedding ceremonies up to 30 people can still go ahead. These are subject to COVID-19 Secure guidance and venue capacity.

How many people can I have at my home to celebrate my wedding?

Any celebrations after a wedding need to follow the guidance which allows up to 6 people from multiple households outdoors or 2 households indoors.

Some areas now have added restrictions in place on visiting people in their homes. In these areas you should not, and it will be illegal to, visit or host people in private homes or gardens. You should follow the specific rules in your local area.

If I have a reception in my garden, is that illegal or just advised against?

People should not be holding wedding receptions at this time. It is not safe to do so.

Our guidance states that up to 6 people from multiple households can meet outdoors and 2 households indoors.

Will I need to wear a mask at the wedding ceremony? Will the bride or groom?

Face coverings will be required in places of worship, including guests at wedding ceremonies, which have the potential to lead to the spread of coronavirus. Face coverings will, of course, not have to be worn by the bride or groom, and can be removed where required for the wedding ceremony.

4. Eid

Can I celebrate Eid this weekend?

People may attend a mosque, or other place or worship, subject to COVID-19 Secure guidance and venue capacity.

We also recommend at this time that, if possible, prayer and religious services take place outdoors.

We understand these measures are difficult, especially during Eid, but it is critical that we take all the precautions that are necessary to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

How many people can be in a mosque to worship?

There are no set limits on places of worship, but all places should follow COVID-19 Secure guidance to ensure they only host numbers they can do so safely, with social distancing in place.

How many people can I have in my house to celebrate? Are outdoor celebrations for Eid still allowed? For how many people?

You can meet in groups of no more than 2 households indoors, or of up to 6 people from multiple households outdoors. When you do so you should socially distance from those you don’t live with and avoid physical contact.

Some areas now have added restrictions in place on visiting people in their homes. In these areas you should not, and it will be illegal to, visit or host people in private homes or gardens. You should follow the specific rules in your local area.

We understand these measures are difficult, especially during Eid, but it is critical that we take all the precautions that are necessary to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

5. Care Homes

Are care home visits allowed?

We appreciate the challenges which care homes face in safeguarding their residents, and difficulties that residents and their families have faced as a result of lockdown.

The decision on whether or not to allow visitors, and in what circumstances, is for each individual care home provider or manager of each home to make, based on assessment and advice from local directors of public health. In the event of an outbreak in a care home or evidence of community hotspots or outbreaks leading to a local lockdown, care homes should restrict visits to exceptional circumstances only to protect residents and staff.

What are the current rules for care homes?

Care homes can develop a policy for limited visits, following the advice set out in the guidance published on 22 July.

The decision on whether or not to allow visitors, and in what circumstances, is an operational decision and therefore ultimately for the provider and managers of each individual setting to make.

Any decisions on visits should be based on the advice from the Director of Public Health, as well as any additional advice or guidance from the local infection control lead from the clinical commissioning group and the local PHE Health Protection Team.

How will visits work if they are permitted?

Care home providers should encourage all visitors to wear a face covering and to wash their hands thoroughly before and after putting it on and taking it off.

Visitors should wear appropriate further PPE depending on the need of their visit, including gloves and aprons.

Providers should also consider whether visits, if they are permitted, could take place in a communal garden or outdoor area, which can be accessed without anyone going through a shared building.

To limit risk where visits do go ahead, this should be limited to a single constant visitor, per resident, wherever possible. This is to limit the overall number of visitors to the care home and the consequent risk of infection. A constant visitor is a nominated person, a son, or wife for example, who can visit the resident.

Will the rules for care homes be different in areas with stricter lockdown measures?

Yes, they could be.

In the event of an outbreak in a care home or if there is evidence of outbreaks in the community, care homes should rapidly impose visiting restrictions to protect vulnerable residents, staff and visitors.

6. Shielding

What is the advice from 1 August?

Based on the latest clinical advice, shielding for the clinically extremely vulnerable will be paused from 1 August.

Do elderly people and care home residents need to shield from 1 August?

From 1 August, clinically extremely vulnerable people are no longer advised to shield.

However those in the clinically extremely vulnerable category should continue to follow the updated guidance.

In areas where incidence and transmission rates are increasing, a more targeted approach to shielding advice at local authority level will be taken. Specific areas where local measures are in place are currently Leicester, Luton and Blackburn with Darwen.

What can those no longer shielding now do?

From 1 August:

  • you do not need to follow previous shielding advice
  • you should carry on working from home if you can, but you can go to work as long as the workplace is COVID-19 Secure
  • clinically extremely vulnerable children should attend education settings in line with the wider guidance on reopening of schools and guidance on full opening of special schools and other specialist settings
  • you can go outside as much as you like but you should still try to keep your overall social interactions low
  • you can visit businesses, such as supermarkets, pubs and shops, while keeping 2 metres away from others wherever possible or 1 metre plus other precautions
  • you should continue to wash your hands carefully and more frequently than usual and that you maintain thorough cleaning of frequently touched areas in your home and/or workspace
  • you will no longer receive free food parcels, medicine deliveries and basic care from the National Shielding Service

Should those in Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire continue to shield?

Based on the latest clinical advice, shielding for the clinically extremely vulnerable will be paused from 1 August across most of England.

However in areas where incidence and transmission rates are increasing, we will take a more targeted approach to shielding advice at local authority level.

Currently specific areas where local measures are in place are Leicester, Luton and Blackburn with Darwen.

Will you bring back shielding if infections rise?

Clinically extremely vulnerable people could be advised to shield again if the situation changes and there is an increase in the transmission of COVID-19 in the community. NHS Digital will maintain the shielded patient list securely, and individuals will be contacted quickly if the advice changes.

Any future changes will be reflected in the clinically extremely vulnerable guidance.

7. Face coverings

Where will people need to wear face coverings?

We are now recommending that face coverings are worn in additional indoor settings and this will be enforceable in law.

Currently you are required to wear face coverings in shops, supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, indoor transport hubs and public transport.

For members of the public, from 8 August this will be expanded to include:

  • funeral directors
  • premises providing professional, legal or financial services
  • cinemas
  • theatres
  • bingo halls
  • concert halls
  • museums, galleries, aquariums, indoor zoos or visitor farms, or other indoor tourist, heritage or cultural sites
  • nail, beauty, hair salons and barbers – other than where necessary to remove for treatments
  • massage parlours.
  • public areas in hotels and hostels
  • places of worship
  • libraries and public reading rooms
  • community centres
  • social clubs
  • tattoo and piercing parlours
  • indoor entertainment venues (amusement arcades, funfairs, adventure activities such as laser quest, go-karting, escape rooms, heritage sites)
  • storage and distribution facilities
  • veterinary services
  • auction houses

We recommend face coverings are worn in these settings now, but this will not be mandatory until 8 August.

Why do I now have to wear a face covering in more enclosed spaces?

In recent weeks, we have reopened more retail, leisure and other facilities, where you will come into contact with people you would not ordinarily. We want to give more confidence to people to use these facilities, and increase protection for those who work in them, minimising risk wherever possible.

Do I need to wear a face covering in school?

Public Health England does not recommend the use of face coverings in schools. This evidence will be kept under review. Face coverings are not required in schools because pupils and staff are mixing in consistent groups, and because misuse may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission. There may also be negative effects on communication and thus education.

Do I need to wear a face covering at work?

There is no universal face coverings guidance for workplaces because of the variety of work environments in different industries. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has provided detailed guidance for specific workplace settings. Employers must make sure that the risk assessment for their business addresses the risks of COVID-19 using BEIS guidance to inform decisions and control measures including close proximity working.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) needs to be managed through a hierarchy or system of control including social distancing, high standards of hand hygiene, increased surface cleaning, fixed teams or partnering, and other measures such as using screens or barriers to separate people from each other.

These measures remain the best ways of managing risk in the workplace, but there are some circumstances when wearing a face covering may be marginally beneficial and a precautionary measure. This will largely be to protect others and not the wearer.

If employees choose to wear a face covering, normal policies relating to occupational workwear and PPE will continue to apply.

Published 31 July 2020

Statement from the UK Chief Medical Officers on extension of self-isolation period: 30 July 2020

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The self-isolation period has been extended to 10 days for those in the community who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or a positive test result.

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In symptomatic people COVID-19 is most infectious just before, and for the first few days after symptoms begin. It is very important people with symptoms self-isolate and get a test, which will allow contact tracing.

Evidence, although still limited, has strengthened and shows that people with COVID-19 who are mildly ill and are recovering have a low but real possibility of infectiousness between 7 and 9 days after illness onset.

We have considered how best to target interventions to reduce risk to the general population and consider that at this point in the epidemic, with widespread and rapid testing available and considering the relaxation of other measures, it is now the correct balance of risk to extend the self-isolation period from 7 to 10 days for those in the community who have symptoms or a positive test result.

This will help provide additional protection to others in the community. This is particularly important to protect those who have been shielding and in advance of the autumn and winter when we may see increased community transmission.

Updated: What you can and can’t do.

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1. Changes in national restrictions

1.1 What is changing and what can I do that I couldn’t do before?

The UK Government is continuing to ease restrictions in a manner that is safe, cautious and consistent with our plan.

In recent weeks, a wide range of sectors and activities have been able to restart, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidelines, and we have eased the restrictions on social contact – enabling people to meet in groups of two households in any location (or, as previous, in a group of any six people outdoors).

The Prime Minister updated on progress on 17 July, setting out the next stages of our roadmap. This includes the following steps.

From 24 July:

  • in order to help contain the spread of the virus as we open up more premises, face coverings will be required in shops and supermarkets – in addition to public transport where they are already required. People are also strongly encouraged to wear face coverings in other enclosed public spaces where there are people they do not normally meet

From 25 July, subject to rates of transmission closer to the time:

  • sports facilities and venues, including such as indoor gyms, fitness and dance studios, indoor swimming pools and indoor water parks, can open

From 1 August, subject to rates of transmission closer to the time:

  • employers will have more discretion, in consultation with their employees, on how to ensure people can work safely – working from home is one way to do this, but workplaces can also be made safe by following COVID-19 Secure guidelines
  • the clinically extremely vulnerable will no longer need to follow advice on shielding, though should still take particular care to follow the social distancing guidelines when meeting people
  • bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos can open
  • conference and exhibition centres will be able to reopen in order to enable pilots for business events to take place – they should not yet be open fully to host events more widely
  • indoor performances to a live audience can begin to take place, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidelines and subject to the success of pilots that are taking place as soon as possible
  • further pilots of larger events can take place in venues, including in sports stadia and business conferences
  • small wedding receptions – sit-down meals for no more than 30 people – can take place, subject to COVID-19 Secure guidance
  • all remaining close contact services – such as facial treatment and make up application – can restart, in line with COVID-secure guidelines

From 1 September:

  • schools, nurseries and colleges will open for all children and young people on a full-time basis
  • universities are working to reopen as fully as possible

From 1 October, if prevalence remains around or below current levels:

  • we will bring back audiences in stadiums, and allow conferences and other business events to recommence in a COVID-19 Secure way

In November, our ambition is to scale back remaining social distancing measures, but this is contingent on a number of factors, including consideration of the specific challenges as we move into winter.

1.2 What should I still avoid doing?

It remains the case that you should not:

  • socialise indoors in groups of more than two households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household) – this includes when dining out or going to the pub
  • socialise outdoors in a group of more than six people from different households; gatherings larger than six should only take place if everyone is from exclusively from two households or support bubbles
  • interact socially with anyone outside the group you are attending a place with, even if you see other people you know, for example, in a restaurant, community centre or place of worship
  • hold or attend celebrations (such as parties) where it is difficult to maintain social distancing, besides small wedding celebrations as outlined above
  • stay overnight away from your home with members of more than one other household (your support bubble counts as one household)

It is against the law for gatherings of more than 30 people to take place in private homes (including gardens and other outdoor spaces). Businesses and venues following COVID-19 Secure guidelines can host larger groups provided they comply with the law. This can include weddings and funerals (which we advise should be limited to no more than 30 people), religious ceremonies and services, community activities and support groups. If attending a place or event that is following COVID-19 Secure guidelines, you should take care to limit your interactions with anyone outside of your group and you should continue to maintain social distancing from those that you do not live with. It is critical that you follow these guidelines to keep both yourself and others safe.

1.3 I don’t have to stay at home anymore?

You don’t have to stay at home anymore but when you leave your home, you should follow the guidelines on staying safe outside your home.

As businesses reopen and people begin to socialise more regularly, you should maintain social distancing from people you do not live with or are not in your support bubble, and should wash your hands regularly. This will help to protect you and anyone you come into contact with and is critical to keeping everyone as safe as possible.

The more people you have interactions with, the more chance the virus has to spread. Therefore, try to limit the number of people you see – especially over short periods of time.

If you or someone in your household or your support bubble is showing coronavirus symptoms, everyone in your support bubble should self-isolate, stay at home and get a test. If you or a member of your support bubble is contacted as part of the test and trace programme, the individual contacted should stay at home. If that individual becomes symptomatic, everyone in the support bubble must then isolate. This is critical to staying safe and saving lives.

Find out more about meeting people you don’t live with.

1.4 What will need to remain closed by law?

Some businesses will need to remain closed, as we have assessed that they cannot yet be made sufficiently COVID-19 Secure. See a full list of businesses that will need to remain closed. This list will be updated as the reopening described above comes into effect.

1.5 What do the local lockdown restrictions mean?

So that more people can lead lives closer to normal, the Government is replacing national restrictions with local action to contain local outbreaks. Where increased local transmission of COVID-19 is identified, areas may be required to take additional measures to reduce the spread of the virus. This could include closing certain premises or restricting the movements of people and interactions with others.

1.6 Is my area in a local lockdown and what does this mean?

You can check whether your area is in local lockdown here.

1.7 Can the government stop me going to a particular public place?

Where the risk of a local flare-up is identified, it is important that we take quick and appropriate action to control the spread. Government, and Local Authorities, will be able to impose a range of different restrictions – from closing down individual premises to preventing people from going to a particular outdoor space. Any measure will be proportionate to the risk identified and we will publicise online, and at the place itself, if these powers have been used.

2. Social contact and events

2.1 Can I visit people indoors?

Yes, you are able to meet indoors in groups of up to two households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household). This includes inviting people from one household into your home or visiting the home of someone else with members of your own household. You should continue to maintain social distancing with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble when doing so.

If you are in a support bubble you can continue to see each other without needing to maintain social distancing.

The more people you have interactions with, the more chance the virus has to spread. Therefore, try to limit the number of people you see – especially over short periods of time. The risk of transmission is also higher indoors, so you should take extra care to stay as safe as possible.

2.2 How many people am I allowed to meet with outdoors?

You can meet in groups of up to six people who you do not live with or who are not in your support bubble. You should only meet in groups of more than six people if everyone is a member of the same household or support bubble.

You can also meet people in groups of more than six people if everyone is exclusively from two households (anyone in the same support bubble counts as one household).

There is more information about the guidelines you should follow when meeting people you do not live with here.

2.3 Can I visit a clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable person?

We know that people 70 and over, those with certain underlying conditions and pregnant women may be more clinically vulnerable, so we have advised them to take particular care to avoid contact with others.

Although such individuals can meet people both outdoors and indoors, you and they should be especially careful and be diligent about social distancing and hand hygiene. Never take a chance on visiting a clinically vulnerable person if you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, however mild.

Never visit a clinically vulnerable person if you have been advised to isolate by NHS Test and Trace because you have been in contact with a case.

You can also visit a clinically vulnerable person inside if you are providing care or assistance to them. You should not do so if you have coronavirus symptoms, however mild.

Wherever possible, you should stay socially distant from others, use a tissue when sneezing and dispose of it safely, cough into the crook of your elbow and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser if washing facilities are not easily available.

Until 1 August, if someone is defined as clinically extremely vulnerable and being asked to shield, you should follow the guidance for a shielded person.

2.4 Can I use public transport if I’m seeing friends in a park or going to my parents’ garden?

You can use public transport but it is better to travel in other ways if possible. If you need to use public transport, you should follow the safer travel guidance for passengers.

2.5 Can I share a private vehicle with someone from another household?

You should avoid sharing a private vehicle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble as you will not be able to keep to strict social distancing guidelines. The Department for Transport has provided specific guidance on using private vehicles. Please see their guidance on private cars and other vehicles for more information on car sharing and traveling with people outside your household group.

2.6 Can I stay overnight in someone else’s home?

Yes, you can stay overnight in someone else’s home. However, you should ensure you maintain social distancing with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble. Take particular care to maintain excellent hygiene – washing hands and surfaces – and avoid using shared facilities like bathrooms wherever possible.

You should also only stay overnight in groups of up to two households. This means if you are staying overnight in someone’s home, you should only do so with members of your own household, in addition to the household of your host.

2.7 Is there a limit on the number of people attending funerals?

You should only invite close friends and family. The premises will limit capacity based on how many people it can safely accommodate with social distancing in place, and we advise that funerals are limited to a maximum of 30 people.

The guidance on funerals can be found here.

2.8 Can weddings go ahead?

Yes, wedding ceremonies and civil partnerships are allowed to take place. You should only invite close friends and family, up to a maximum of 30 people where this can be safely accommodated with social distancing in place. The lower the number of attendees, the lower the risk of spreading the virus.

See further guidance on wedding ceremonies and civil partnerships.

Large wedding receptions or parties should not currently be taking place and any celebration after the ceremony should follow the broader social distancing guidance of involving no more than two households in any location or, if outdoors, up to six people from different households.

However, from 1 August, small wedding receptions will be able to take place – this means sit-down meals for no more than 30 people and subject to COVID-19 Secure guidance.

2.9 Can I gather in larger groups for any reason?

You should only be socialising in groups of up to two households (including your support bubble) indoors and outdoors or up to six people from different households when outdoors.

More generally, you can continue to meet in larger groups if necessary for work, voluntary or charitable services, education, childcare or training, elite sporting competition or training, to fulfil legal obligations, to provide emergency assistance, or to enable someone to avoid illness, injury or risk of harm.

It is otherwise against the law for gatherings of more than 30 people to take place in private homes (including gardens and other outdoor spaces). Businesses and venues following COVID-19 Secure guidelines can host larger groups. This is also the case for events in public outdoor spaces that are organised by businesses, charitable or political organisations, and public bodies, provided they take reasonable steps to mitigate the risk of transmission, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance and including completion of a risk assessment. This can include weddings, civil partnerships and funerals (which we advise should be limited to no more than 30 people), religious ceremonies and services, community activities and support groups. Any other gathering in an outdoor space or in a private home (or garden) must not be any larger than 30 people.

If taking part in activities with larger groups, you should take particular care to follow social distancing guidelines. In addition to those guidelines, the following principles should be observed to ensure you meet people in a way that minimises the risk of spreading infection:

  • limit the time you spend interacting with people from outside your household or support bubble to the activity which you are partaking in
  • limit the number of different activities which you partake in succession to reduce the potential chain of transmission
  • follow strict social distancing guidelines from people outside your household or support bubble
  • group size should be limited to the minimum which allows the activity to take place
  • if organising an activity, you should carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment to identify actions which could minimise the risk of transmission. Employers have a legal responsibility to protect workers and others from risk to their health and safety

3. Visiting public places and taking part in activities

3.1 Are there restrictions on how far I can travel?

No. You can travel irrespective of distance, but you should take hygiene and safety precautions if using services on the way.

You can use public transport but it is better to travel in other ways if possible. It is difficult to socially distance during car journeys and transmission of coronavirus can definitely occur in this context. So avoid travelling with someone from outside your household or, your support bubble unless you can practise social distancing. Further guidance on car sharing is available. If you need to use public transport, you should follow the safer travel guidance for passengers. When travelling on public transport you are legally required to wear a face covering by law.

If visiting other parts of the UK – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – you must adhere to the laws and guidance of the devolved administrations at all times. If you wish to travel internationally, you should follow the laws of other countries and FCO international travel guidance. Upon return to the UK, you must by law self-isolate for 14 days, unless you have come from one of the countries listed in section 7. This is crucial to help to ensure the virus does not spread across borders.

3.2 Are day trips ok?

Yes, day trips to outdoor open space are allowed. You should take hygiene and safety precautions if using services on the way. You should practise social distancing from other people outside your household or support bubble. You can use public transport but it is better to travel in other ways if possible. If you need to use public transport, you should follow the safer travel guidance for passengers.

3.3 Can I go on holiday? Can I stay in my second home?

Yes, you can stay overnight away from the place where you are living. This includes staying overnight in a second home, hotels, bed and breakfasts or campsites.

You should only stay overnight in groups of up to two households (anyone in the same support bubble counts as one household) and should ensure you maintain social distancing with anyone you do not live with or is not in your support bubble. Take particular care to maintain excellent hygiene – washing hands and surfaces – and avoid using shared facilities like bathrooms wherever possible.

3.4 Do I need to follow the rules if I’m on holiday in another country?

If you are abroad, you should follow the rules of the country you are in. You should also follow the same principles to keep you and your loved ones safe. It is essential to maintain social distancing wherever possible from those you don’t live with and wash your hands regularly. These rules are important wherever you are in the world.

3.5 Will public toilets and playgrounds reopen?

Councils are responsible for public toilets and this decision is up to them. If you need to use any of these facilities, you should practise social distancing and good hygiene (i.e. washing your hands thoroughly).

Outdoor playgrounds are also able to reopen but the people responsible for them – for example, the local authority – should ensure they comply with COVID-19 Secure guidelines to help avoid risks of transmission. Anyone using playgrounds should take particular care to wash their hands after use and avoid touching their face. Children should be supervised carefully to maintain good hygiene and should not use playgrounds if they have any signs or symptoms of coronavirus.

3.6 Can I visit outdoor tourist sites? What about indoor ones?

Yes, you can still travel to outdoor areas, such as National Parks or beaches. It is advisable to check ahead to ensure the venue is open to visitors.

You are also able to visit most indoor sites and attractions. It is strongly advised that you only attend these places in groups of up to two households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household).

3.7 Can I pray in a place of worship?

Yes, places of worship can open for services and communal prayer in line with guidance for reopening Places of Worship. We advise that you limit your social interaction in these venues to your own household and up to one other, wherever possible. Strict adherence to social distancing is strongly advised and a distance of 2 metres (or 1 metre with additional COVID-19 Secure measures in place) should be kept from people you do not live with wherever possible.

3.8 Can I attend an activity club or support group?

Yes, you can. Premises such as activity clubs, community centres and youth clubs can reopen, and should follow COVID-19 Secure guidelines. It is important to maintain social distancing and good hand hygiene in these circumstances. Outside of these formal activities, to help control the virus, you should limit your interactions with those you don’t live with.

3.9 Can I send my teenagers to their youth club?

Yes, you can. However, you should advise your children to maintain social distancing, wash their hands regularly and limit social interaction outside of these formal activities with anyone you do not live with.

The club should also follow COVID-19 Secure guidance.

3.10 Can I go to a pub or restaurant with people I don’t live with?

When eating or drinking out with people you do not live with (and who are not in your support bubble), you should keep to the wider guidance on group sizes: up to two households indoors, and up to either two households or six people from more than two households outdoors.

In all cases, people from different households should ensure they socially distance as much as possible. You should think about where to sit at a table with this in mind – the premises should also take reasonable steps to help you do so in line with COVID-19 secure guidelines. It remains the case that you do not need to maintain social distancing with those in your support bubble. This change also does not affect the support you receive from your carers.

3.11 Can I register the birth of my child?

You are permitted to register the birth of your child. You should check whether your local register office is open. The office will also be able to advise you on appointment availability.

3.12 Can I go to the theatre or a concert?

Outdoor performances are permitted given the risk of transmission is lower outdoors. You should only be seated with members of one other household and, wherever possible, socially distance from those you do not live with (or who are not in your support bubble) to reduce the risk of chains of transmission.

Currently, venues should not permit indoor performances, including dramatic, musical or comedy performances, to take place in front of a live audience. The government is piloting indoor performances with a socially distanced audience in accordance with COVID-19 Secure guidelines.

From 1 August indoor performances to a live audience can begin to take place, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidelines, subject to the successful completion of pilots, and provided prevalence remains around or below current levels.

There may be an additional risk of infection in environments where you or others are singing, chanting, shouting or conversing loudly. This applies even if others are at a distance to you. Venue managers should ensure sing-alongs or similar activities are avoided. You should also avoid environments that require you to raise your voice to communicate with anyone outside your household.

3.13 When will I be able to go to a football match?

Through our close work with the sectors and public health experts, we will look into ways to safely re-open large venues, such as sports stadiums, to the public and will be piloting new approaches over the course of the next few months. As set out in the Government’s plan, if prevalence remains around or below current levels into the autumn, we will bring back audiences in stadia in a COVID-19 Secure way, from 1 October.

3.14 Can I play sport outside?

You can play team sport in any number if this is formally organised by a sports club or similar organisation and sports-governing body guidance has been issued. You should only be playing team sports where the relevant governing body has published guidance on how to do so safely. For example, the English Cricket Board has published guidance here. If you are playing one of these sports informally, such as in the park or a private garden, there must be no more than 30 people involved (including participants, coaches, umpires, spectators).

Team sports that do not have approved guidance should not be played if you cannot socially distance from people you do not live with. Instead, people should train together and take part in activities such as conditioning or fitness sessions in groups of no more than six people (outdoors) or two households (in any setting).

At all times, you should comply with COVID-19 Secure measures and limit social interaction outside of the sporting activity.

3.15 Do I have to wear a face covering in public?

Face coverings are currently mandatory on public transport, and will be mandatory in shops and in supermarkets from 24 July 2020. People are also strongly encouraged to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces where there are people they do not normally meet. Relevant guidance on face coverings is available here.

4. Vulnerable groups, shielding, 70 year olds and over, and care homes

4.1 Does easing restrictions apply to 70 year olds and over?

Yes. However, the advice for those aged 70 and over continues to be that they should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their household.

If they do go out, they should be careful to maintain distance from others. They and everyone else should continue to comply with any general social distancing restrictions.

We know that those aged 70 and over can be absolutely fit and healthy and it’s not the case that everybody over 70 has an underlying health problem.

But unfortunately, we also know that as you get older, there is a higher risk of coronavirus infection resulting in more serious disease. Complications and deaths are more common in the elderly, even those without pre-existing conditions.

4.2 How is guidance to those shielding (clinically extremely vulnerable) being relaxed?

Current government advice is that the clinically extremely vulnerable:

  • may, if they wish, meet in a group of up to six people outdoors, including people from different households, while maintaining strict social distancing
  • no longer need to observe social distancing with other members of your household
  • in line with the wider guidance for single adult households (either an adult living alone or with dependent children under 18), may also form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household. All those in a support bubble will be able to spend time together inside each other’s homes, including overnight, without needing to socially distance

This is a small advisory change that brings those affected a step nearer others in their communities.

From 1 August, the government will be advising that shielding will be paused. From this date, the government is advising you to adopt strict social distancing rather than full shielding measures. Strict social distancing means you may wish to go out to more places and see more people but you should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside your household or support bubble.

In practice, this means from 1 August you are advised that you no longer need to shield and:

  • you can go to work, if you cannot work from home, as long as the business is COVID-19 Secure
  • children who are clinically extremely vulnerable can return to their education settings if they are eligible and in line with their peers. Where possible children should practise frequent hand washing and social distancing
  • you can go outside to buy food, to places of worship and for exercise but you should maintain strict social distancing
  • you should remain cautious as you are still at risk of severe illness if you catch coronavirus, so the advice is to stay at home where possible and, if you do go out, follow strict social distancing

The guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable group remains advisory.

4.3 What safety standards will need to be put in place in care homes?

We have issued detailed guidance about infection control and staff safety in care homes to help admit and care for residents safely and protect care home staff.

This includes isolation procedures, PPE and infection control training for all staff, cleaning and how to provide personal care safely.

As with all of our advice, this guidance is kept under constant review and updated frequently, in line with the latest scientific evidence.

5. Going to work and being COVID-19 Secure

5.1 Who is allowed to go to work?

With the exception of the organisations listed in this guidance on closing businesses and venues, the government has not required any other businesses to close to the public – it is important for business to carry on.

In order to keep the virus under control, it is important that people work safely. Until 1 August, people who can work from home should continue to do so. Where it is decided that workers should come into their place of work then this will need to be reflected in the risk assessment and actions taken to manage the risks of transmission in line with COVID-19 Secure guidelines. These are tailored guidelines for employers – developed in consultation with businesses and trade unions – to help protect their workforce and customers from coronavirus while still continuing to trade or getting their business back up and running.

From 1 August, it will be at the discretion of employers as to how staff can continue working safely. Working from home is one way to do this, but workplaces can also be made safe by following COVID-19 Secure guidelines. Your employer should consult with you on how you can work safely, and must ensure workplaces are safe if they are asking you to return, as above.

There are specific guidelines for those who are vulnerable, guidance for those who are shielding, and guidance for those showing symptoms that should be observed when considering adjustments to enable people to go back to work.

5.2 What are the ‘COVID-19 Secure’ safety guidelines workplaces have to put in place?

We have set out clear, practical steps that businesses should take to ensure their workplaces are COVID-19 Secure and give their staff the confidence to return back to work.

These include how to keep as many people as possible safely apart from those they do not live with in various workplace settings.

5.3 What does the review of 2m mean in practice?

People should either stay 2m apart or ‘1m plus’ – which is one metre plus mitigations that will help to prevent transmission. These mitigations will depend on the workplace or setting. For example, on public transport (and from July 24, in shops and supermarkets), people must wear a face covering, as it is not always possible to stay 2m apart.

In other spaces, mitigations could include installing screens, making sure people face away from each other, putting up hand washing facilities, minimising the amount of time you spend with people outside your household or bubble, and being outdoors.

We have set out COVID-19 Secure guidance to help businesses take the measures that are right for them.

5.4 How will health and safety regulations be enforced?

Where the enforcing authority, such as the Health and Safety Executive or your local authority, identifies employers who are not taking action to comply with the relevant public health legislation and guidance to control public health risks (for example, not completing a new risk assessment taking account the risk of COVID-19, or taking insufficient measures in response), they will consider a range of actions to improve control of workplace risks. This includes giving specific advice to a business, or issuing an improvement notice, which a business must respond to in a fixed time, or a prohibition notice. Failure to comply is a criminal offence, which can lead to fines or imprisonment for up to two years, giving the COVID-19 Secure guidelines indirect legal enforceability.

Local authorities also have new powers to close any premises if they believe it necessary to help prevent transmission of COVID-19.

6. Workers’ rights

6.1 My employer is asking me to come to work but I’m scared.

Employers and staff should discuss and agree working arrangements.

For now, people who can work from home should continue to do so. Employers should decide, in consultation with their employees, whether it is viable for them to continue working from home. Where it is decided that workers should come into their place of work then this will need to be reflected in the risk assessment and actions taken to manage the risks of transmission in line with this guidance.

From 1 August, it will be at the discretion of employers as to how staff can continue working safely. Working from home is one way to do this, but workplaces can also be made safe by following COVID-19 Secure guidelines. Your employer should consult with you on how you can work safely, and must ensure workplaces are safe if they are asking you to return, as above.

If you remain concerned that your employer is not taking all practical steps to promote social distancing then you can report this to your local authority or the Health and Safety Executive who can take a range of action, including where appropriate requiring your employer to take additional steps.

6.2 What if they try to fire me because I won’t go to work but cannot work at home?

We urge employers to take socially responsible decisions and listen to the concerns of their staff. Employers and employees should come to a pragmatic agreement about their working arrangements.

If individuals need advice, they should approach ACAS where they can get impartial advice about work disputes.

7. Public Transport

7.1 Who is allowed to travel on public transport?

You can use public transport but it is better to travel in other ways if possible. If you are using public transport, you should follow the safer travel guidance for passengers.

7.2 Should people wear face coverings on public transport?

Yes. It is a legal requirement to wear a face covering on public transport. This is helping to ensure that transport is as safe as possible as more people begin to return to work and go about their lives. Transport operators will enforce this requirement, and the police can also do so. This will mean you can be refused travel if you don’t comply and could be fined. You should also be prepared to remove your face covering if asked to do so by police officers and staff for the purposes of identification.

Face coverings are currently mandatory on public transport and will be mandatory in shops and in supermarkets from 24 July. People are also encouraged to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces where there are people they do not normally meet.

We have published guidance for those making face coverings at home, to help illustrate the process.

A face covering is not the same as the surgical masks or respirators used as part of personal protective equipment by healthcare and other workers; these should continue to be reserved for those who need them to protect against risks in their workplace such as health and care workers and those in industrial settings like those exposed to dust hazards.

7.3 Will a face covering stop me getting COVID-19?

The evidence suggests that face coverings can help us protect each other and reduce the spread of the disease from someone who is suffering from coronavirus, but not showing symptoms. That is why it is important to wear a face covering on public transport and it is required by law. From 24 July, it will also be mandatory to wear face coverings in shops and in supermarkets.

To protect yourself, you should also continue to follow social distancing measures and isolation guidance and wash your hands regularly.

8. Schools and Childcare

8.1 Can children go back to early years settings and schools or university?

The government is committed to doing everything possible to allow all children to go back to school safely, to support their wellbeing and education and help working parents. The government’s plan is for all students in England to return to education settings in September.

You can find out more about the government’s approach to education and how schools are preparing.

8.2 How will you make sure it is safe?

Keeping children and staff safe is our utmost priority. As more children return to school, we require new safety standards to set out how schools and early years settings can be adapted to operate safely.

We have published guidance advising schools and early years on reopening to ensure schools can adequately prepare new safety measures to operate safely and minimise the spread of the virus.

Protective measures to reduce transmission include regular hand cleaning, hygiene and cleaning measures, and small consistent group and class sizes of no more than 15 pupils. We have asked schools to consider staggering drop-off and arrival times, break times and assemblies, and make use of outdoor space.

9. Borders / international visitors

9.1 Are you isolating people at the border now?

The scientific advice shows that when domestic transmission is high, cases from abroad represent a small amount of the overall total and make no significant difference to the epidemic. Now that domestic transmission within the UK is coming under control, we need to impose measures relating to people arriving in the UK. Exemptions are in place for some countries where the risk of transmission is low. Find out more about self-isolation when you travel to the UK.

In England, if you are required to self-isolate and do not, you can be fined £1,000. If you do not provide an accurate contact detail declaration – or do not update your contact detail form in the limited circumstances where you need to move to another place to self-isolate – you can be fined. These fines start at £100, and will double – up to £3,200 – for repeated offences.

9.2 How do the quarantine exemptions work?

Unless you have visited or stopped in any other country or territory in the preceding 14 days, passengers arriving from the countries and territories listed here will not be required to self-isolate on arrival into England.

We will keep the conditions in these countries and territories under review. If they worsen we will not hesitate to reintroduce self-isolation requirements.

Travellers should always check the latest FCO travel advice. Travel advice includes information on any health measures in place for visitors to the country or territory. These can include a requirement to self-isolate, quarantine, or undergo testing for COVID-19, or even restrictions on entry.

Information on self-isolation in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be published in due course by the Devolved Administrations.

9.3 What rules do I need to follow if I am visiting the UK?

People should follow the government guidelines, including maintaining social distancing with those they are not staying with and washing their hands regularly.

Meeting people from outside your household

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If you are in Leicester you should follow the local lockdown guidance

If you live in an area that is experiencing a local COVID-19 outbreak and where local lockdown measures have been imposed, different guidance and legislation will apply. Please consult the local lockdown restrictions guidance to see if any restrictions are in place in your area.

The government recognises how difficult it has been for people to be cut off from their family and friends in recent months. This has been necessary to help us all stay alert, control the virus and save lives.

This guidance explains how you can protect yourself and others from coronavirus when meeting people that you do not live with. At all times, it’s important to maintain social distancing from people you do not live with to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. You should only have close contact with people outside of your household if you are in a support bubble with them.

You should only meet people you do not live with in 3 types of groups:

  • you can continue to meet in any outdoor space in a group of up to 6 people from different households
  • single adult households – in other words adults who live alone or with dependent children only – can continue to form an exclusive ‘support bubble’ with one other household
  • you can also meet in a group of 2 households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household), in any location ‒ public or private, indoors or outdoors. This does not need to be the same household each time.

It remains the case ‒ even inside someone’s home ‒ that you should socially distance from anyone not in your household or bubble. Those who have been able to form a support bubble (which is those in single adult households) can continue to have close contact as if they live with the other people in their bubble. This should be exclusive and should not change. This change also does not affect the support you receive from your carers.

Staying alert when meeting people you do not live with

In order to keep you and your family and friends safe, it remains very important that you stay alert when meeting family and friends.

You should:

  • only socialise indoors with members of up to 2 households ‒ this includes when dining out or going to the pub
  • socialise outdoors in a group of up to 6 people from different households or up to 2 households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household)
  • not hold or attend celebrations of any size (such as parties) where it’s difficult to maintain social distancing
  • not stay overnight away from your home with members of more than 2 households (including your support bubble)
  • limit social interaction with anyone outside the group you are attending a place with, even if you see other people you know, for example, in a restaurant, community centre or place of worship
  • try to limit the number of people you see, especially over short periods of time, to keep you and them safe, and save lives. The more people with whom you interact, the more chances we give the virus to spread

You can also minimise the risk of spreading infection by following some key principles. You should:

  • continue to follow strict social distancing guidelines when you are with anyone not in your household or your support bubble
  • take hygiene precautions by washing your hands as soon as you are home for at least 20 seconds, use hand sanitiser when you are out, use a tissue when sneezing and dispose of it safely, and cough into the crook of your elbow
  • form a support bubble with one other household, and if you or they are in a single adult household. You should not change or add to your support bubble once formed
  • access private gardens externally wherever possible – if you need to go through someone else’s home to do so, avoid touching surfaces and loitering
  • avoid using toilets in other people’s home (outside of your support bubble) wherever possible and wipe down surfaces as frequently as possible
  • using disinfectant, wipe down any surfaces or door handles people from outside of your household or support bubble come into contact with if walking through your home
  • avoid sharing plates and utensils with people outside of your household or your support bubble
  • avoid using paddling pools or other garden equipment with people outside of your household or bubble

Where to meet indoors

Members of 2 different households can meet in any indoor space, including a private home (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household). Anyone in your support bubble counts as one household.

You should, wherever possible, socially distance from people you do not live with or who are not in your support bubble and take particular care to maintain excellent hygiene – washing hands and surfaces – when using shared facilities like bathrooms.

Where to meet outdoors

You can meet people in both public and private outdoor spaces, such as gardens, yards or roof terraces – but you should maintain social distancing at all times with people who are not in your household or support bubble. Garages, sheds or cabins are all indoor areas where the risk of transmission is as high as if you were in a small room in a house.

If you do need to use the toilet in someone’s home or are passing through to access someone’s garden, try to avoid touching surfaces and if you use the toilet wash your hands thoroughly, wipe down surfaces, use separate towels or paper towels and wash or dispose of them safely after use.

Going to a pub or restaurant with members of another household

When eating or drinking out with people you do not live with, you should only meet one other household if you are seated indoors.

If you are eating or drinking outdoors, you can do so with one other household or in a group of up to 6 people from different households. You should take care to limit your interactions with anyone outside the group you visit these places with.

In all cases, people from different households (unless in support bubbles) should ensure they socially distance as much as possible. Premises should also take reasonable steps to help you do so in line with COVID-19 secure principles.

Staying overnight with members of another household

You, and members of your household or support bubble, should only stay overnight in groups of up to 2 households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household). This can be in each other’s homes or other accommodation, such as hotels or apartments. You should, wherever possible, socially distance from people you do not normally live with, take particular care to maintain excellent hygiene – washing hands and surfaces – and avoid using shared facilities like bathrooms wherever possible.

Sharing food and drink

You should try, wherever possible, not to pass each other food or drink unless you live together or are in a support bubble together. You should ensure that plates or utensils are thoroughly cleaned before use. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds and use disposable towels if possible.

Using garden equipment

You should not share garden equipment with people outside of your household or your support bubble because of the risk of transmission from shared surfaces. You could bring your own equipment or if you have to use chairs, for example, you should wipe them down carefully with household cleaner before and after use.

You should try to avoid shared equipment. For example you should use your own tennis racquet, golf club or basketball. Any equipment that is used should be cleaned frequently. Cleaning should be particularly thorough if it is to be used by someone else.

You should avoid using paddling pools and private swimming pools with people outside of your household or support bubble.

Playing sport

The government has published guidance on how team sports can restart safely.

Sports governing bodies are developing tailored guidance outlining how their sport can be conducted safely, which will be reviewed by Public Health England. People should follow the approved guidance when playing team sports.

You are able to play team sport in any number if this is formally organised by a sports club or similar organisation and sports-governing body guidance has been issued. Where there is clear guidance in place, sports can be played in groups larger than 2 households. If you are playing one of these sports informally, such as in the park or a private garden, there should be no more than 30 people involved (including participants, coaches, umpires, spectators).

Team sports that do not have approved guidance should not be played. Instead, people should train together and take part in activities, such as conditioning or fitness sessions in groups of no more than 6 people (outdoors) or 2 households (in any setting). You should socially distance from people you do not live with. While groups could practise ball skills like passing and kicking, equipment sharing should be kept to a minimum and strong hygiene practices should be in place before and after.

You can also play non-team sports, such as tennis, with people from outside of your household (or support bubble) but you should socially distance wherever possible. Any equipment that is used should be cleaned frequently. Cleaning should be particularly thorough if equipment is to be used by someone else.

Gatherings in COVID-19 secure venues

When meeting friends and family, even in venues like restaurants, pubs, places of worship or community centres, you should follow the guidance on gatherings and:

  • only meet indoors in groups up to 2 households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household) – this includes when dining out or going to the pub
  • only meet outdoors in a group of no more than 2 households or in a group of up to 6 people from different households

Anyone in your support bubble counts as one household.

Clubs or groups can begin to meet again in COVID-19 secure venues. However, you should take care to remain socially distant from anyone you do not live with or is not in your support bubble. You should also limit social interaction with anyone outside of these formal activities even if you see other people you know. Venues should ensure they comply with COVID-19 secure guidelines.

It’s against the law for gatherings of more than 30 people to take place in private homes (including gardens and other outdoor spaces), or in a public outdoors space, unless planned by an organisation in compliance with COVID-19 secure guidance.

Group prayer

Places of worship can open for services and group prayer, but should operate in compliance with COVID-19 secure guidelines. You should socially distance from anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble. You should also limit social interaction with anyone outside the group you are with even if you see other people you know.

Travelling to meet people

You can travel to meet people irrespective of distance. You may use public transport but should consider cycling, walking or driving wherever possible.

This guidance applies to England.You must adhere to the individual country laws and guidance of the devolved administrations (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).

You should take particularly care if you are travelling to an area that is experiencing a local COVID-19 outbreak and where local lockdown measureshave been imposed – you should avoid doing so if possible.

You should not travel with someone from outside your household or your support bubble unless you can practise social distancing, for example by cycling.

Gathering in larger groups

You should only be socialising in groups of up to 2 households (including your support bubble) indoors and outdoors or up to 6 people from different households when outdoors.

More generally, you can continue to meet in larger groups if necessary for work, voluntary or charitable services, education, childcare or training, elite sporting competition or training, to fulfil legal obligations, to provide emergency assistance, or to enable someone to avoid illness, injury or risk of harm.

You can also meet in larger groups for weddings (from 1 August this will include sit-down wedding receptions), funerals, religious ceremonies and services, community activities and support groups – which should be limited to no more than 30 people and subject to COVID-19 secure guidelines.

It is otherwise against the law for gatherings of more than 30 people to take place in private homes (including gardens and other outdoor spaces). Businesses and venues following COVID-19 secure guidelines can host larger groups. This is also the case for events in public outdoor spaces that are organised by businesses, charitable or political organisations, and public bodies, provided they take reasonable steps to mitigate the risk of transmission, in line with COVID-19 secure guidance and including completion of a risk assessment.

If taking part in activities with larger groups, you should take particular care to follow social distancing guidelines. In addition to those guidelines, the following principles should be observed to ensure you meet people in a way that minimises the risk of spreading infection:

  • limit the time you spend interacting with people from outside your household or support bubble to the activity which you are partaking in
  • limit the number of different activities which you partake in succession to reduce the potential chain of transmission
  • group size should be limited to the minimum which allows the activity to take place
  • maintain high standards of hand hygiene
  • if organising an activity, you should carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment to identify actions which could minimise the risk of transmission. Employers have a legal responsibility to protect workers and others from risk to their health and safety.
  • you are also strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing may be difficult and where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet

Making a support bubble with another household

In England, if you live by yourself or are a single parent with dependant children – in other words, if there is only one adult in your home – you can expand your close support network so that it includes one other household of any size. This is called making a ‘support bubble’ and means you are able to have close contact with them as you could if they were members of your own household.

We recognise how difficult this time has been, particularly on lonely and isolated people, and this change is designed to provide extra support to some of those most impacted by the current social restrictions. Once you are in a support bubble, you can think of yourself as in a single household.

Keeping support bubbles exclusive

You should not change who is in your bubble or have close contact with anyone else you do not live with. This is critical to keeping you, and your family and friends, as safe as possible.

Members of support bubbles developing coronavirus symptoms

If you or someone in your household or your support bubble (if applicable) are showing coronavirus symptoms, everyone in your support bubble should stay home. If you or a member of your support bubble is contacted as part of the test and trace programme, the individual contacted should stay at home. If the individual becomes symptomatic, everyone in the support bubble should then isolate. This is critical to staying as safe as possible and saving lives.

Physical contact with members of your support bubble

You can have close physical contact with members of your support bubble if you and they want to. Members of your support bubble can effectively be treated like members of your household.

Support bubbles are a cautious step to help people who may be lonely and therefore at greatest risk of isolation. You do not need to socially distance from people in your bubble, but good hand hygiene and other measures can help to keep you and the people you meet as safe as possible.

Some people already take extra precautions with those they live with – for example, if one of them is clinically vulnerable, or one of them has a lot of contact outside the house – and you might want to do the same if you expand your bubble.

Support bubbles and isolation

If any member of your support bubble – either someone in your own household or one that you have formed a bubble with – develops symptoms or tests positive for coronavirus you should follow advice on household isolation.

If you share custody of your child, and you and your child’s other parent are both in separate bubbles, all households would need to isolate if someone becomes symptomatic in the group.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable (shielding)

If you are shielding, you may, if you wish, also form a ‘support bubble’ with one single adult household. All those in a support bubble will be able to spend time together inside each other’s homes, including overnight, without needing to socially distance.

The government is advising clinically extremely vulnerable people to shield until 31 July.

If you are clinically vulnerable or have a higher risk of catching coronavirus (such as a frontline healthcare worker)

If you are clinically vulnerable, you should continue to take particular care to minimise contact with others. You should bear this in mind when deciding to form a support bubble. If you are at a higher risk of exposure to those with coronavirus (for example, if someone in your house is a healthcare or care worker that interacts with patients that have coronavirus), you should take particular care when deciding whether to form a support bubble.

If you share custody of your child with someone you do not live with

Children with separated parents have always been permitted to move between both households. It is also permitted for those households – if there is only a single adult in them – to form a support bubble with another household.

However, it is very important that if someone in any of these linked households shows coronavirus symptoms, or is otherwise self-isolating, you should all stay at home. This is critical to controlling the virus, by avoiding a chain of transmission.

Using a support bubble for informal childcare

If you are a lone parent you can form a support bubble with another household to provide informal (unpaid) childcare for them or for them to provide informal childcare for you. You should not form a support bubble with more than one household.

Lone adults with children over 18

If you live with children over the age of 18, you will not be able to form a support bubble.

The exception to this is if the child was under the age of 18 on 12 June 2020 and is in a single-parent household. That household can continue to participate in their current support bubble or form a support bubble if they have not already done so, once that child turns 18. This is a targeted intervention to provide extra support to some of those most impacted by the current social restrictions.

Lone adults with carers

If you are the only adult in your household, then you will be able to form a support bubble with any other household that is willing to exclusively bubble with you. This is irrespective of whether carers visit you to provide support.

If you live with other adults including your carers, then you will still be able to form a support bubble, however this would need to be with a single adult household.

Travelling to form a support bubble

There is no limit on how far you can travel in England to meet members of your support bubble but we recommend that you form a support bubble with someone who lives locally wherever possible. This will help to prevent the virus spreading from an area where there might be a higher rate of infection If you live in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland you must follow the specific rules in those parts of the UK.

Returning from abroad

When you arrive in England you will need to self-isolate unless you are arriving from an exempt country. You should self-isolate in one place for the full 14 days, where you can have food and other necessities delivered, and stay away from others, including people you bubble with. See guidance on how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK.

Advice on accessing green spaces safely

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The risk of the coronavirus being passed on to others outdoors is considered to be low as long as people maintain social distancing.

You can meet in groups of:

  • up to 2 households (your support bubble counts as one household), indoors or outdoors
  • up to 6 people from different households, outdoors

This guidance applies to England. When using outdoor spaces, you should follow the rules in:

Do not travel to different parts of the UK if the rules in that country do not allow you to.

You must follow social distancing guidelines when spending time outdoors.

When accessing green spaces, try to avoid using public transport, and aim to walk, cycle, or drive instead. If using public transport, you must wear a face covering, unless you are exempt for health, disability or other reasons.

You can travel any distance to get to the countryside.

Before travelling, you should check if facilities, such as car parks and toilets, are open to visitors. Do not park on verges or block gates. This restricts access for other vehicles.

You can stay overnight away from your home with your own household or support bubble, or with members of one other household.

Campsites and caravan sites may open, but some facilities may be closed. You should seek permission from the landowner before camping on other land.

To stay safe, you should:

  • take hygiene precautions when you are outside
  • wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors
  • keep at least 2 metres apart from anyone outside your household or support bubble where possible, or at least one metre with precautions such as wearing a face mask
  • take hand sanitiser with you in case there are no handwashing facilities

Respect other people and protect the natural environment

Read signs and respect the measures that local authorities and site management have put in place to help ensure social distancing.

When in the countryside, follow the Countryside Code. You should:

  • take all of your litter home
  • not use barbecues as they risk causing wildfires
  • keep dogs under effective control and on a lead when you are around farm animals – read further guidance for pet owners
  • leave gates as you find them and following instructions on signs
  • use footpaths and follow signs where they suggest alternative routes

Wildlife, including nesting birds, may have moved into new areas. Land managers may have provided extra protection for wildlife. Be vigilant and comply with these protective measures so that you do not disrupt the local wildlife.

If you own or manage land

You should read:

You may need to take a different approach if you’re managing land in the countryside.

You should clean gates and stiles, if possible.

You can display signs at access points to remind the public to take hygiene precautions and wash hands regularly.

You should consider tying gates open if it is safe to do so, so that walkers do not need to touch the gate.

You do not have the legal right to block or obstruct public rights of way or open access land. However,where large numbers of people are using such routes, you may:

  • temporarily display notices to encourage the public to use alternative routes that do not pass through gardens, farmyards or schools
  • offer an alternative route around gardens and farmyards where it’s safe to do so – you must gain permission from relevant landowners and make sure the route is safe for users and livestock, and you must maintain the original right of way
  • put up signs warning people where footpaths are narrow and it is difficult to follow social distancing guidelines