England entered a strict lockdown today (5 November) and the new national restrictions are set to last for one month, until 2 December.
It is hoped that the introduction of the measures will stem the spread of the coronavirus as much of Western Europe experiences a second wave of infections.
Limits on social gatherings, the closure of non-essential businesses and the pausing of non-elite sport are among the new measures that have been introduced.
Residents of the country have also been encouraged to stay at home when possible as part of the new restrictions.
How long will the new lockdown last?
The lockdown will run from November 5 until December 2.
Boris Johnson has indicated that the measures will be eased on December 2 as planned, and should enable shops and businesses to reopen in time for the run-up to Christmas.
But the Prime Minister acknowledged that it would depend on getting the R number – the reproduction rate of the virus – back down below 1.
What are the new rules?
The Government has published 32 pages of regulations including exceptions to the general stay-at-home message.
Specific reasons include education if it is not provided online, work if you cannot work from home (including if your job involves working in other people’s homes) and for exercise, which you can take as many times a day as you wish.
People can also leave for recreational purposes with their own household, or on their own with one person from another household (a “one plus one” rule).
Examples of recreation include meeting up with a friend in the park for a walk or to sit on a bench and eat a sandwich. People will not be allowed to meet in homes and gardens, and golf clubs will remain shut.
People can also leave home to shop for food and essentials, and to provide care for vulnerable people or as a volunteer.
Attending medical appointments is also allowed or to escape injury or harm (such as for people suffering domestic abuse).
Support bubbles will remain in place and people can still meet up in their bubble.
Children can move between the homes of their parents if their parents are separated.
What businesses must close?
Non-essential shops and leisure and entertainment venues must all close.
Non-essential retail includes clothing and electronics stores, car showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops.
Leisure includes 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.
Theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, zoos and other animal attractions will close.
Hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture and tanning salons will also close.
Click and collect can continue, and essential shops such as supermarkets, garden centres and shops “providing essential goods and services” will remain open.
What are the rules for bars, restaurants and hotels?
Bars, pubs and restaurants must stay closed except for delivery or takeaway services.
They will be permitted to sell takeaway alcohol so long as it is pre-ordered online, or via phone or post.
Pre-ordered drinks can be sold to and collected by a customer “provided the purchaser does not enter inside the premises to do so”, regulations state.
Hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work and for a limited number of other reasons including people who need accommodation while moving house, to attend a funeral or if they are isolating themselves from others as required by law.
What are the rules for those shielding?
People over 60 and those who are clinically vulnerable are being told to be especially careful about following the rules and minimising their contact with others.
Anyone who was formally notified that they should shield and avoid going to work during the first lockdown, will be advised to limit their movements again.
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.
More specific guidance was released on Wednesday, two days after the Government said it would be published.
As expected, it advises those classed as clinically extremely vulnerable to avoid all non-essential travel, including visits to any shops or to pharmacies.
They should continue to attend hospital and GP appointments unless told otherwise by their doctor.
It also states that children who live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, but are not clinically extremely vulnerable themselves, should still attend school.
Are schools still open?
Yes, schools, colleges and universities will remain open. Students should not return home during term time but can return home for the Christmas holidays.
Childminders and nurseries will stay open and childcare bubbles, where for example a grandparent provides childcare while a parent works, will be able to continue.
Guidance states that while some youth services may be able to continue, such as one-to-one youth work and support groups, most youth clubs and groups will need to cease for the period of the lockdown.
Playgrounds and parks will remain open.
All students and teachers in secondary schools and colleges in England are now expected to wear face coverings in communal spaces, outside of classrooms, where social distancing cannot be maintained.
The guidance says primary school children do not need to wear face coverings, and older children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities may be exempt from wearing them, depending on their need.
Clinically extremely vulnerable staff and pupils should not come into school or college, the advice says.
Extra-curricular activities can be held before and after school, but it has to be for childcare purposes rather than simply for sports clubs.