What are the latest lockdown rules?
By Rob Freeman | 5th January 2021
The number of Covid patients in hospital in England have increased by more than 30 per cent in the last week with forty per cent more than in the April peak.
Mr Johnson, who will hold a press conference at 5pm today, said: "Our hospitals are under more pressure from Covid than at any time since the start of the pandemic.
"With most of the country already under extreme measures, it is clear that we need to do more, together, to bring this new variant under control while our vaccines are rolled out."
The Government is advising the clinically extremely vulnerable to begin shielding again and letters will be sent to individuals with advice.
The restrictions, which will become law at midnight, will be reviewed in the middle of February by which time the NHS hopes to have vaccinated everyone in the top four priority groups - including older care home residents and staff, everyone over 70, all frontline NHS and care staff and all those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
People are only allowed to leave home to:
- Shop for basic necessities for themselves or a vulnerable person.
- Go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home.
- Exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person once per day, not travel outside your local area.
- Meet a support or childcare bubble where necessary if legally permitted to form one.
- Seek medical assistance or to avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse).
- Attend education or childcare if eligible.
All primary schools, secondary schools and colleges have moved to remote learning, except for the children of key workers and vulnerable children.
Early years settings such as nurseries, alternative provision and special schools will remain open while vulnerable children and children of critical workers can continue to use registered childcare, childminders and other childcare activities.
Students should only return to university for face-to-face learning on selected courses involving medicine, health, dentistry, veterinary science, initial teacher training and social work.
Other students should start their term online and remain at home until at least mid-February.
All non-essential retail, hospitality and personal care services must be closed. Essential shops and garden centres can remain open.
Restaurants can continue delivery, takeaway or click-and-collect of food and non-alcoholic drinks, but venues will no longer be able to serve takeaway or click-and-collect alcohol.
Entertainment venues and animal attractions such as zoos must close, but the outdoor areas of venues such as heritage homes and botanical gardens can remain open for exercise. Playgrounds may also remain open.
Businesses that can stay open include:
- Food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences.
- Market stalls selling essential retail.
- Businesses which primarily provide repair services.
- Petrol stations, automatic (but not manual) car washes, vehicle repair and MoT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses.
- Banks, building societies, post offices, short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses.
- Funeral directors
- Laundrettes and dry cleaners
- Medical and dental services
- Vets and retailers of products and food for the upkeep and welfare of animals.
- Animal rescue centres, boarding facilities and animal groomers (for animal welfare).
- Agricultural supplies shops.
- Mobility and disability support shops.
- Storage and distribution facilities.
- Car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas.
Places of worship can remain open, but you may only visit with your household.
Weddings and funerals
Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people with only six allowed at any linked commemorative events.
Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies must only take place in exceptional circumstances with up to six people, not including anyone who is working.
Indoor and outdoor sports facilities, including sports courts, gyms, golf courses, swimming pools, and riding arenas must also close.
Elite sport and disabled sport can continue, as can PE lessons for children attending school.
You can read the full government guidance on the restrictions here
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