By Rachael Grealish
After a failure to get COVID-19 under control with local lockdowns the Prime Minister announced last night, England would enter lockdown 2.0.
From November 5 until December 2 England will be under lockdown – but one slightly different from Spring, Boris Johnson insisted.
In his speech last night he said: “We will get through this but we must act now to contain this autumn’s surge.”
“We’re not going back to the full scale lockdown of March and April, the measures I’ve outlined are less restrictive.
“But I’m afraid from Thursday the basic message is the same: Stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”
So The Herdwick News has answered some questions for you of what you need to know for lockdown 2.0.
How long will it last?
The PM has stated the lockdown will last, nationally, from Thursday November 4 until Wednesday December 2.
What must close?
- all non-essential retail, including, but not limited to clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops.
- indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks,
- entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens;
- personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons.
What can stay open?
- Food shops, supermarkets, garden centres and certain other retailers providing essential goods and services can remain open – Essential retail should follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.
- Non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect.
- Playgrounds can remain open.
- Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services – including takeaway alcohol.
- Hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes and for a limited number of other exemptions which will be set out in law.
- Some venues will be allowed to remain open for specific exempt activities, like childcare and support groups.
- Support groups that are essential to deliver in person can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support – This includes support to victims of crime, people in drug and alcohol recovery, new parents and guardians, people with long-term illnesses, people facing issues relating to their sexuality or gender, and those who have suffered bereavement.
What about the NHS and other public services?
A number of public services will also stay open and you will be able to leave home to visit them. Including:
- the NHS and medical services like GPs. The government are supporting the NHS to safely carry out urgent and non-urgent services and it is vital anyone who thinks they need any kind of medical care comes forward and seeks help.
- Jobcentre Plus sites
- Civil Registrations Offices
What about weddings, funerals and other religious services?
Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people, and it is advised that only close friends and family attend.
Linked ceremonial events such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 15 people in attendance.
Anyone working is not included. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.
Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted to take place except in exceptional circumstances.
Places of Worship will be closed, unless they are being used for:
- To broadcast acts of worship
- Individual prayer
- Formal childcare or where part of a school
- Essential voluntary and public services, such as blood donation or food banks
- Other exempted activities such as some support groups
Can I still go to work?
People should work from home wherever possible. Workplaces should stay open where people cannot work from home – for example, in the construction or manufacturing sectors.
Should children go to school still?
Unlike in Spring nurseries, schools, colleges and universities will remain open throughout the lockdown, as the PM said: “My priority, our priority, remains keeping people in education – so childcare, early years settings, schools, colleges and universities will all remain open. Our senior clinicians still advise that school is the best place for children to be.”
Johnson continued in his statement to say: “I urge parents to continue taking their children to school and I am extremely grateful to teachers across the country for their dedication in enabling schools to remain open.”
Older children and teachers must also wear masks in school.
What about childcare and children’s activities?
Parents will still be able to access some registered childcare and other childcare activities (including wraparound care) where reasonably necessary to enable parents to work, or for the purposes of respite care.
Early years settings can remain open. Parents are able to form a childcare bubble with another household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is 13 or under.
As above, some households will also be able to benefit from being in a support bubble, which allows single adult households to join another household.
Some youth services may be able to continue, such as 1-1 youth work and support groups, but most youth clubs and groups will need to cease for this period.
Should I shield again?
Shielding as practised in the spring will not currently be reintroduced.
The clinically vulnerable, or those over the age of 60, should be especially careful to follow the rules and minimise contacts with others.
Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should not only minimise their contacts with others, but also not go to work if they are unable to work from home.
Can I go on holiday abroad or in the UK?
There is no exemption for staying away from home on holiday.
This means people cannot travel internationally or within the UK, unless for work, education or other legally permitted exemptions.
Overnight stays away from primary residences will not be allowed, except for specific exceptions including for work – so trips to Barnard Castle or Durham are off the cards for those who don’t live their already.
What counts as essential travel?
Essential travel includes, but is not limited to
- essential shopping
- travelling to work where your workplace is open or you cannot work from home
- travelling to education and for caring responsibilities
- hospital GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health.
Although slight different from spring the Prime Minister says the message is the same: “Stay at home. Protect the NHS. And save lives.”