COVID-19: NI lockdown extended – but what are the different rules across the UK?

Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland currently have different rules and regulations in place for fighting coronavirus.

In Northern Ireland, the executive has announced the “circuit breaker” lockdown in the country will be extended for another two weeks.

Elsewhere, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced stricter conditions there, a move backed by the devolved parliament.

Here, Sky News explains what the current lockdown measures are in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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England

England remains under a second national lockdown, which started on 5 November.

It is due to last four weeks until 2 December.

For the duration of this period, the government is urging people to stay at home – although you are allowed to leave for work if necessary.

People are also allowed to leave to go to the shops, move house, visit support bubbles and exercise outdoors.

You are also allowed to meet one person from another household outdoors – as long as you remain socially distanced.

Non-essential shops are closed, and the hospitality industry is only open for delivery services.

Scotland

Scotland is currently operating a tier system, where different parts of the country have different levels of restrictions.

Following a vote earlier this week, swathes of Scotland will be moved to Tier 4 restrictions – the highest level.

In these parts of the country, non-essential shops, gyms and the hospitality industry will be closed.

A travel ban has also been imposed, and if people are caught travelling out of Tier 3 or 4 areas they face a £60 fine.

Mrs Sturgeon also said there must be no non-essential travel between Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Wales

Wales went into a “firebreak” lockdown on 23 November, and came out of it on 9 November.

The government there still has strong guidance in place however.

This includes working from home if possible, meeting people outdoors instead of indoors and maintaining social distancing – even if outdoors.

Restaurants, pubs and bars are open for table service only – and alcohol cannot be served after 10pm.

Schools are open in Wales, as are places of worship.

Travelling in and out of Wales is not allowed without a “reasonable excuse” – such as travelling to work.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s “circuit breaker” lockdown has been extended after it was first put into place on 16 October.

It will return for another two weeks from 27 November.

Cafes and close-contact services like hairdressers will be able to open this weekend, but will have to shut again the following Friday.

Pubs and restaurants serving alcohol were due to reopen on 27 November, but will instead remain closed for the fortnight.

Schools will stay open, but places of worship will be shut except for weddings and funerals with no more than 25 people allowed to attend.

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