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England has been plunged into its third national lockdown

England has been plunged into its third national lockdown. All schools must shut until at least the February half-term and you must stay at home except for five specific reasons.

Britain will return to many of the toughest restrictions imposed in March last year as the new variant of coronavirus spreads rapidly nationwide.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that England will be placed under a third national lockdown in a televised address last night, Monday 4th January.

The new restrictions will come into law in the early hours of 6th January but only actually begin in law as soon as possible - probably tomorrow or the next day. People and businesses are being asked to follow the rules from now, even before they become law. The new rules are expected to last until mid-February, he said.

People in England should stay at home apart from collecting essential food supplies, attending medical appointments or getting a coronavirus test, providing childcare or caring for the vulnerable and exercising once a day.

They should work from home unless they are a key worker or cannot do their job from home.

Here is a breakdown of the restrictions across England

Stay at home

• Everyone should stay at home unless they have a "reasonable excuse"

• You can leave your house to buy food, collect essential supplies, attend medical appointments or get a coronavirus test, meet people as part of a support bubble, exercise once a day, provide care or to escape harm

• Overnight stays are not allowed outside of a support bubble

• People are allowed to visit people giving birth or dying

• You are still allowed to move house, but people outside your household should not help you move

• Estate agents are permitted to work and property viewings can still take place

• You can leave home to offer voluntary or charitable services

• These rules are being enforced by law, so you can be fined £200 if you break them, doubling to a maximum of £6,400

Exercising and meeting other people

• You can leave your home to exercise outdoors once a day, but this should be within your local area

• It can be done alone, with your household or support bubble or with one person from another household

• You must be exercising when with anyone outside your household - not meeting for a picnic

• Permitted outdoor areas for exercise include parks, beaches, countryside, public gardens, grounds of a heritage site and playgrounds

• Indoor and outdoor gyms are closed, including leisure centres, sports courts, swimming pools and golf courses

• Elite sports such as football can continue

Support bubbles and childcare

• Adults living alone can still form support bubbles with another household

• If you live with children under 14 you can form a childcare bubble to allow one other household to provide informal childcare

• Divorced or separated parents can continue to share the care of their children


• From 5 January all colleges, primary and secondary schools will move to remote working until February half-term

• Vulnerable children and those whose parents are key workers can continue going to school

• University students will not be able to return to campus, but learning can take place remotely

• In-person tuition can continue for a small number of practical courses such as medicine, nursing, social work and education

• Exams will "not go ahead as planned this year"

• Nurseries and childminders can remain open


• You must work from home unless you are a key worker or are unable to do your job from home

• Jobs that cannot be done remotely include medical workers, supermarket staff, construction workers and transport staff

• You can also work inside other people's homes if you are a nanny, tradesperson or cleaner


• Those who previously shielded should not leave home apart from for exercise and medical appointments

• Extremely clinically vulnerable should not work if unable to do so from home

• They should also avoid crowded spaces


• You must not travel anywhere unless you have a "reasonable excuse"

• If you need to travel you must stay local and only leave home for essential purposes

• You can only travel abroad unless you are legally permitted to do so, for example for work purposes

• If you are already on holiday, you should return home as soon as possible


• All pubs, restaurants, cafes and bars closed

• They are allowed to serve takeaway food and drink until 11pm

• Takeaway or click and collect alcohol is no longer permitted

• Close contact services closed

• Indoor and outdoor entertainment venues closed

• Hotels and holiday accommodation is allowed to remain open for a small number of guests

• You should only stay in a hotel or holiday rental if you are travelling for work, attending a wedding or funeral or are moving house

Care homes

• Care home visits are allowed behind screens, in visiting pods or behind windows

• Indoor visits are not allowed

• All visits will be suspended in the event of an outbreak

Weddings and funerals

• Weddings, civil partnerships and wakes are permitted with up to six people

• People working at the wedding are not included

• They should only take place for urgent reasons, for example if one person is terminally ill

• Funerals are allowed with up to 30 people

• You can stay away from home if travelling for the above purposes

• Communal worship is allowed but you must not mix with people outside your household or support bubble

Meeting family and friends:

You cannot meet people from outside your household or bubble anywhere - indoors or outdoors.

The only exemption is that one person can take exercise outside with one person from another household.

But you cannot sit down and have a drink together in the park, as you could previously under Tier 4 .

You also can't do anything that counts as "recreation and leisure" with them, which was allowed under the November lockdown.

When you do meet one person from outside your household, you should stay two metres apart, or if that's not possible, one metre with extra precautions.

Under Tier 4, children under 5 or certain adults with care needs didn’t count towards that two-person limit. It’s not fully clear yet if that rule has survived into the full lockdown.

The new lockdown applies across the whole of England, even the Scilly Isles which had been in Tier 1 . There is no set end date, but it will be reviewed by February 22nd.

People who have been vaccinated will not be exempt from any lockdown rules.

MPs will get a vote on the new measures when parliament is recalled on Wednesday.

Police will have legal powers to enforce through fines and dispersing orders. Fines will stay at their current level of £200 for a first offence.

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