COVID-19 CRISIS: WHAT YOU CAN AND CAN’T DO IN LOCKDOWN 2
When and where will the lockdown begin and end?
The lockdown will begin at 12.01am on Thursday November 5, subject to approval by Parliament. It will end on Wednesday December 2 – when it is intended to ease the new restrictions on a local and regional basis, according to the latest data and trends at that time.
Will I have to stay at home?
Yes, much like in March. Under the terms of the new lockdown, you may only leave your home for specific reasons. These will include:
■ Work, if you cannot work from home
■ Exercise and recreation outdoors, either with your household or bubble, or on your own with one person from another household or bubble
For medical reasons, appointments, or to escape from injury or harm, including domestic abuse
To shop for food and essentials
To provide care for vulnerable people or as a volunteer
What shops and venues will be shut?
The list of closures will be almost identical to the first lockdown.
Non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues and gyms will all close.
Pubs, bars and restaurants must also close, except for takeaway and delivery.
As in the previous lockdown, click-and-collect services can continue and essential shops, including for food, will remain open. Officials believe there is no need for stockpiling.
The definition of essential retail will be similar to the last lockdown.
Hairdressers will be closed.
Places of worship will remain open for private prayer.
Full lists of closures are expected to be published in the coming days.
Will the Premier League continue?
Yes. Elite sport – including the Premier League – can continue because it has Covid measures in place. But amateur sport, including Saturday leagues, will be put on hold for the duration of the four-week lockdown.
It is likely golf clubs will need to shut.
Is the rule of six still in place?
No, the rule of six will be replaced by the rules below. However, that restriction may return from December 2.
Can I meet friends and family?
Like in the first lockdown, any social mixing between different households or bubbles – indoors or outdoors – will be banned.
The exception to this is two people only, from two households or bubbles, will be allowed to meet in a public open space, such as a park.
That means only one person from each household or bubble – no more.
The meeting place must be open space – the exemption does not apply to private gardens.
You can also continue to meet people as part of a support bubble or childcare bubble – see panel Do bubbles still exist (top right).
The existing exemptions – for workplaces and education, for example – still apply.
Will travel be banned?
Yes – although it is not currently clear if this will be a legal ban or just guidance.
People will be told not to travel unless for a limited number of essential reasons – similar to those for leaving your house (above).
People will be expected not to go on holidays, either here in the UK or abroad.
Travel for work – including abroad – will still be allowed.
The Government is expected to clarify whether this will be a legal ban or just guidance.
The current system of travel corridors is expected to remain in place.
Will shielding resume?
No, shielding will not resume under the new lockdown.
However, the more than 2■million people deemed “clinically extremely vulnerable” who shielded last time will be asked to minimise their contact with others, and to not go to work even if they are unable to work from home.
The “clinically vulnerable” – which includes all over-70s and people with conditions such as diabetes and asthma – will be asked to be especially careful to follow the rules and to minimise contacts with others.
Should I still go to school, university and work?
Yes, unless you can work from home. The exception to this is people who previously shielded. Even if they cannot work from home, they are advised not to return to the workplace. What are the differences between this lockdown and the March lockdown?
The biggest difference is that schools and other educational settings are being told to remain open.
The other biggest difference is that this one has a set cut-off date, which is December 2.
And while working from home will be preferred, those who cannot do so – including in construction and manufacturing – are being encouraged to keep going to work.
In another big difference, people will be told to continue using the NHS for non-Covid health care. The idea of this lockdown is to prevent the NHS having to once again stop routine care.
The rules on going outside are also slightly more relaxed than they initially were in March.
Unlike before, there will be no limit to the number of times a day you can exercise.
Playgrounds will also stay open, which they did not in the first lockdown.
And people will be allowed to sit down in the park, including for a picnic or on a bench.
In a public open space, such as a park, people can meet one person from one other household or bubble – but only if there’s no more than two people in the gathering.
Will furlough resume?
Yes. It is expected people will be paid 80 per cent of their wages, as they were under the original furlough scheme, until December 2. The exact rules are yet to be announced. However, this would be more generous than the Job Support Scheme (JSS) which had been due to apply from today.
Under the JSS, people whose venues were shut down were to get 67 per cent of their salary from November 1 – less than the 80 per cent under the original furlough scheme.
People whose venues remained open would have been able to work part-time, getting 73 per cent to 100 per cent of their salary, depending on how many hours they worked.
Do ‘bubbles’ still exist?
Yes. Support bubbles will remain, which means one household of any size can “bubble up” with a household that only has one adult in it.
Those two can then act as if they are in one household, as long as the arrangement is exclusive and they are not in any other bubbles.
The definition or rules for support bubbles will not change.
Childcare bubbles – which allow informal childcare for kids under 14 – will also remain as they are now.
Why is this happening now?
Officials say they had no choice but to act after data shown to Ministers indicated the NHS would have become overwhelmed by new cases long before Christmas.
However, critics of Boris Johnson say that danger has been clear for months and he was too slow to respond.
Ministers were told that SAGE’s pandemic modelling group, SPI-M, assessed from the current trajectory of infections that the NHS will surpass its fixed and surge bed capacity in the first week of December.
The “surge capacity” includes the Nightingale hospitals, reallocated resources, and the cancelling of other elective surgery.
Ministers were told the virus is actually spreading faster in some less badly hit areas.
Within four weeks, the South West could be in the position the North West is today.
In the South East, numbers are doubling faster than in the North West, while the East Midlands and West Midlands have the fastest doubling times in the country.
Ministers were also shown Office for National Statistics estimates that around 568,100 (1 in 100 in England) now have Covid19, compared to 1 in 2,300 in July.
While the prevalence is worse in parts of the North, the R value is above 1 everywhere.
Will MPs get a vote on the new lockdown? Yes. There will be a debate and a vote on the lockdown in the Commons, likely to happen on Wednesday. Johnson spoke to Starmer and the Speaker yesterday and will make a statement to MPs tomorrow at 3.30pm.