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Covid lockdown rules mapped: All the rules for England, Wales, Scotland & Northern Ireland

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When the lockdown ends on December 2, England is expected to return to the three tier system in place before. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the lockdown on Saturday, October 31, on the same day the UK surpassed one million lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus. MPs voted in favour of the proposal in the House of Commons on November 4.

Rules in England

The key restrictions from the current lockdown are similar, but not exactly the same, as the Spring lockdown.

They include:

  • Pubs, bars and restaurants must close, but food takeaways and deliveries are allowed
  • All non-essential retail, leisure and entertainment venues have to close
  • A ban on mixing of households aside from support bubbles or childcare reasons
  • A restriction on travel, including outbound international travel and within the UK, except for work
  • Staying at home is encouraged, except for education, work, medical reasons, shopping for food or essentials, caring for others, or exercise

Unlike the first lockdown, nurseries, colleges, schools and universities are allowed to remain open.

Rules in Wales

Coronavirus rules are in place in Wales for the next two weeks, First Minister Mark Drakeford recently confirmed.

The Firebreak rules which were introduced and ended on November 9 have been extended until Monday, December 7.

The rules for Wales are:

  • There are no travel restrictions within Wales for residents
  • Two households can join together to form a support bubble
  • Only people in extended households can meet inside their homes
  • You can meet indoors in other settings like pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants, in groups of a maximum of four, where social distancing should be adhered to
  • Up to 15 people can take part in an indoors activity and up to 30 in an outdoor setting
  • Schools are to remain open until the end of term
  • Businesses premises can remain open
  • Places of worship can continue to hold services with social distancing
  • Council services continue
  • People should avoid non-essential travel and work from home wherever possible
  • Two metre social distancing and wearing masks in enclosed public spaces

Rules in Scotland

Scotland has introduced a five-level system that provides different restrictions based on infection rate.

The majority of Scottish councils are currently in Level 4.

The Level 4 restrictions are alike to an entire, full lockdown, and include:

  • Indoor household mixing will be prohibited, barring exceptions like caring duties
  • Socialising outside is still allowed with a limit of six people from two households
  • Non essential shops and hospitality establishments will close, with no exception
  • Hairdressers and other close contact services like hairdressers and beauticians, will have to close
  • Working from home is advised for all sectors with the exception of essential work, outdoor work, construction and manufacturing jobs
  • Non essential travel into or out of level 4 areas will be prohibited and public transport should only be used when essential
  • Gyms will close and outdoor sports will be restricted to non-contact games, but professional sports are allowed to continue
  • Informal childcare is permitted for the children of key workers

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Rules in Northern Ireland

Ministers in Northern Ireland were told on Thursday that the R Number was sitting at around 1, and that while the current restrictions have had some positive impact, hospital inpatients numbers are still at a higher level than the first wave and are declining slowly.

First Minister Arlene Foster said: “The Executive has been presented today with the sobering prospect of our hospitals becoming overwhelmed within weeks.

“It is clear that a tough, carefully timed, intervention is required to give us the best chance to have a safe and happy Christmas and further into the new year period.

“We all need to work together to save our hospitals, to save Christmas, to save lives.”

The full list of measures agreed by the Executive:

  • Closure of all retail except essential retail that was permitted to stay open in the Spring
  • Off licenses can stay open, with an 8pm curfew
  • Closure of close contact services, and driving instruction (not motorcycles), except close contact for film and TV production, medical, health and social care services, and elite sports therapeutic services
  • Closure of all hospitality. Takeaway and delivery remain open
  • Closure of all leisure and entertainment, including soft plays, gyms, swimming pools etc.
  • Sporting events only allowed for elite sports, but household and individual exercise and school PE should continue
  • Elite sports events behind closed doors without spectators
  • No household gatherings of more than one household, other than for caring, maintenance, house moves and support bubbles
  • Closure of places of worship, except for weddings, civil partnerships and funerals. 25-person limit.
  • Work from home where possible, and only leave for essential reasons
  • Schools and childcare to stay open
  • Universities to provide learning at a distance except where face-to-face is essential
  • Public parks and outdoor play areas remain open

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