Everything you can and can't do as England is plunged into a second lockdown

Boris Johnson has announced England is set to go back into lockdown from midnight on Thursday.

The second full nationwide shut-down of 2020 comes as coronavirus cases threaten to overwhelm the NHS again.

A new raft of rules will be introduced across England. The measures are some of harshest seen since the last lockdown was eased in May. But some things are set to be different this time.

The restrictions are planned to last for a month until December 2 when England will resort back to the three tiered local lockdown system again.

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Mr Johnson and his team of experts said the strict new rules were now the only way to keep the virus from spreading out of control and ensuring people can celebrate Christmas with their families.

Here Metro.co.uk breaks down exactly what you can and can’t do during lockdown 2.0.

Do I have to stay at home?

In short, yes, unless you have a good reason to leave the house. In his speech, Boris Johnson repeated his instruction from March and said simply: ‘You must stay home.’

Leaving the house is still permitted in some circumstances however. These include: 

  • Going to school
  • Going to work, if you can’t do your job from home
  • For exercise – there are no limits in place this time
  • For medical reasons
  • To escape injury or harm
  • To shop for food and other essentials
  • To care for vulnerable people
  • To volunteer

Am I allowed to see my friends and family?

Mixing between households is seen as a key driver of transmission of the virus and socialising has been severely restricted under the new rules. 

You are not allowed to visit people in their home, unless you are providing childcare or other support. 

You are not allowed to see people outside either, unless you are exercising together or visiting a public space. You are allowed to do this with one other person. 

People can sit on park benches and have picnics as long as it is with their household.

Should my child keep going to school?

Keeping schools, colleges and universities open has been a key priority for the Government throughout the pandemic.

In his speech Mr Johnson reiterated his desire to keep educational settings open, although some have argued schools should shut for older pupils.

The Prime Minister said: ‘Our senior clinicians still advise that school is the best place for children to be.

‘We cannot let this virus damage our children’s futures even more than it has already, and I urge parents to continue taking their children to school, and I’m extremely grateful to teachers across the country for their dedication in enabling schools to remain open.’

After-school clubs and sports clubs will be suspended until December 2.

Are pubs and restaurants closing?

All non essential businesses are being forced to close including pubs and restaurants. They are still allowed to offer takeaways and deliveries. 

Are shops closing?

Non-essential shops will close for the month. During the last lockdown, essential shops included supermarkets, pharmacies, pet shops and banks. The full list of what will be allowed to stay open this time has not been published by the Government but it is expected to be similar. 

Essential shops are not expected to close off aisles of non-essential items, as was seen in the Welsh lockdown. Click and collect can continue.

Can I still travel?

International travel out of the UK has been banned, except for work purposes. Travel within the UK is being discouraged. Overnight stays are not allowed unless necessary for work.

Those who are already on holiday will be able to return to the UK.

Can I still go to work?

You should work from home, unless this is impossible in your job. Work places should stay open for people who cannot work from home. 

The manufacturing and construction sectors are being allowed to continue operating.

Can I still see people in my support bubble?

Single adult households can still form exclusive support bubbles with one other household and children will still be able to move between homes if their parents are separated.

Should I shield again?

Those who are clinically vulnerable or over the age of 60 are being told to be especially careful. They should make extra effort to follow the rules and minimise contact with others.

Anyone who was formally notified that they should shield last time and not go out to work will be advised not to go out to work this time.

However, formal shielding as happened during the March and April lockdown – where people were told not to leave home for any reason – will not be brought in.

People classed as clinically extremely vulnerable are being advised to work from home. If that is not possible people may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay or Employment Support Allowance.

What other rules are there?

Gyms, leisure and entertainment venues are all being told to close. 

Services in places of worship have been banned but private prayer is permitted. Funerals are allowed with close family members only. 

Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are only allowed in ‘exceptional circumstances’.

Playgrounds will remain open. Courts will keep operating. Professional sports, including the Premier League, will go ahead but all amateur sports are banned. 

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