The Speaker
Monday, 20 May 2024 – 22:12
Photo by Number 10 Downing Street (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

What do the new lockdown three rules mean for you?

Boris Johnson has announced a new national lockdown for England, just hours after Nicola Sturgeon announced similar measures for Scotland.

The new rules are the third lockdown that England is facing, with the expectation being that restrictions will be far tougher than the November lockdown, instead resembling the March lockdown that was imposed, allowing only ‘essential’ establishments to remain open.

Boris Johnson’s closing message after his statement was to “Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives”.


So When Can You Leave Home?

Under the new legislation that Parliament will likely approve on Wednesday, there are only limited circumstances in which you can leave the house:

Work – you can only leave your home for work where it is unreasonable to work from home.

Volunteering – providing voluntary and charity services.

Essential Activities – it is permitted to leave home to buy essentials from shops or to obtain neccesary services.

Education and Childcare – can only leave home to access education, childcare and supervised activities where children are eligible to attend. Universiry students are encouraged not to travel back to university, except for a limited number of courses where face to face teaching is neccesary.

Meeting Others and Care – it is permitted to visit people in your support bubble (if permitted to form one).

Exercise – you can exercise alone, within your household or with one other person, provided that you maintain social distancing and do not travel outside of your local area. This should be limited to once per day.

Medical Reasons – you can leave for medical reasons, including to seek a COVID test.

To Escape Violence and Compassionate Visits – you can leave to escape domestic violence or other harm, as well as to avoid injury or illness, or to support someone who is giving birth. Some may be permitted to visit carehomes, depending on specific guidance.

Animal Welfare Reasons – can leave home to attend vetinary services.

Communal Worship and Life Events – attending a place of worship, even when communal, as well as funeral and events related to death, burial, remembrance and weddings will also be permitted, subject to specific guidance.

The guidance on Covid support bubbles remains relatively the same as before the new national lockdown, meaning that single-occupancy households who are particularly vulnerable may join with other households in order to protect their mental health and access other vital support that they need.

With professional sport still going ahead, larger groups are permitted under specific circumstances, with childcare bubbles, birth partners, work and volunteering, all providing some specific provisions which allow for derogation from the more general rules.


What if You Are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable?

The government are asking those who are most at risk to shield for the foreseeable future, with the rising cases meaning that the NHS is at breaking point. Boris Johnson said that those who are considered to be at most risk will be contacted by letter in the coming days and that they will be asked to adhere to tougher restrictions for their own safety.

This could mean not leaving the house except for the most important circumstances, such as medical emergency, and those who believe they are in this category should look out for government correspondence in the coming days.


Travel Within the UK or Abroad 

Travel within the UK or abroad should only happen where there is a legally permitted reason to do so. This means that under most circumstances, it is not permitted. 

It is also encouraged that anyone seeking to travel abroad should check the guidance in the country they are wishing to visit, with many imposing a mandatory quarantine period if British travellers wish to visit their country. 

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has issued guidance on this.


What If You Break The Rules?

The Police will have the same enforcement powers as before; being able to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 for the first offence, with fines rising up to a potential £6,400 for multiple offences. The fine for gatherings of over 30 people remains at £10,000, whilst there is an expectation that the Police will apply fines more strictly than in recent months.


Skip to content