MPS have voted for another national lockdown for England, forcing millions to stay home again to drive soaring coronavirus cases down.
People are now only able to leave home for essential reasons – and the nation’s pubs, restaurants and shops will be shut for four weeks.Nurseries and schools will remain open but pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops will shut
Boris Johnson announced the measures at a press conference last Saturday
So what exactly did the PM announce, and what are the rules for the next month?
What did the PM say?
Boris Johnson announced another lockdown which will take place across England.
It came into place on Thursday November 5 and will remain for four weeks, ending on Wednesday December 2.
What will be closed?
All non-essential shops and retail including clothing, electronics, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, car washes, tobacco and vape shops.
Entertainment venues including:
- 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 will all close.
Hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services.
Ministers have said takeaway pints won’t be allowed – but a crucial loophole will allow pubs to sell them anyway.
A loophole in new regulations carved out an exception for pubs to sell alcohol if it is ordered by phone, over the internet or by post.
That means Brits can still order booze if they do it through an app, or even call up their pub and place their order.
Click and collect services can continue as normal.
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.
Will people have to stay at home again?
Yes, they will – and people face a £200 fine if they do so without a reason.
People in England will only be allowed to leave their home for the following reasons:
- Work if you cannot work from home
- For exercise and recreation outdoors – with your own household, on your own or with one other person from another household
- Medical reasons
- To escape injury or harm
- Shop for food and essentials
- Provide care to vulnerable
- Animal care, such as vet visits
People will be allowed to sit on park benches and on beaches, and they won’t be told to move along like the last lockdown.
Brits will also be able to leave their home to visit a prison if a close family or friend is there.
Anyone who works from someone else’s home – such as cleaners and nannies – can continue to go to do so.
I am vulnerable, do I have to shield again?
The PM said shielding would not be brought back in – but the new guidance for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable is to stay at home as much as possible.
They are “strongly advised” not to go to shops or pharmacies.
Unlike the shielding program in the March lockdown, people are advised they can exercise outside with people they live with or their support bubble.
But vulnerable people who cannot work from home, should not attend work.
People who live in the same household can attend work.
And given fresh evidence that coronavirus poses a very low risk of children from Covid-19, most kids who originally had to shield will no longer need to do so and can still go to school.
Parents should take their children to their GP to check if they are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable.
According to new regulations, anyone aged over the age of 60 is considered vulnerable – but do not need to shield
The guidance says people in this category should “be especially careful to follow the rules and minimise your contacts with others.”
Can I see my friends or family?
Only if you are living with them, or they are part of your support bubble.
People living alone can form a support bubble with another household.
And that means people can stay overnight with people in their support bubble.
People will be allowed to see one person outside.
And this doesn’t have to be for exercise – the new regulations say Brits can meet up with one other person for “open air recreation”.
While the chilly weather might rule out sunbathing, it does mean people can sit outside.
But you can’t socialise with people indoors.
Children will still be able to see their parents if they are under 16 and their parents have separated.
And kids will still be able to access childcare.
Can I see a friend while with my baby?
Health Minister Nadine Dorries announced a specific exemption for new parents to meet with friends outside.
It means new parents won’t fall foul of the rule saying only two people from different households can meet at any one time.
Any children under the age of 5 will not be counted.
And kids who need full-time care, for example for those with disabilities, will also not change parents’ ability to meet up with friends.
What about Remembrance Sunday?
Minister have set out a specific exception for people to commemorate Remembrance Sunday.
People are allowed to attend an outdoor event, which does not include private gardens, on Remembrance Sunday.
And the Westminster Abbey service for Armistice Day on November 11 will also go ahead with strict social distancing.
Can I still get married?
Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted to take place except in exceptional circumstances.
The new regulations set out that weddings can only take place on compassionate grounds where one person is seriously ill or dying.
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.
What will stay open?
Schools, colleges and universities will stay open.
Childcare provisions will be allowed to stay in action.
Any store selling essentials, like supermarkets, food shops, hardware shops and garden centres will be allowed to remain open.
Churches will remain open for private worship, but there won’t be any services and people are legally allowed to leave their homes to visit any places of worship.
Click and collect services can continue, and pubs, cafes and restaurants can continue offer takeaways.
Playgrounds will remain open this time too.
Vets will continue to stay open.
Courts, job centres, civil registration offices will remain open.
NHS services like GPs and walk in centres will remain.
Support groups for mental health services, young people’s groups and new parents meetings will also be allowed to continue.
Can I travel?
No, everyone should remain at home apart from essential journeys – or for the reasons above.
Anyone leaving their home to travel could face a £200 fine.
And international travel will be banned to all countries – meaning holidays for thousands will have to be cancelled.
People who are on holiday will be allowed to return home.
Only essential work or education trips will be allowed.
Can I still play sport?
Amateur sport is now going to have to be cancelled – including lower league football.
But the Premier League will continue behind closed doors as currently.
Kids won’t be able to play grassroots football but they will be able to while at school.
And tennis, golf, swimming, horse riding will also banned.
Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities will all close, including:
- 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
But gyms and sports facilities will be allowed to stay open for kids under 16 doing supervised activities – such as dance classes or other fitness activities.
The PM with Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance at the press conference over the weekend
Will furlough continue?
Yes, for businesses that have to shut the furlough scheme will carry on through the four-week lockdown and beyond.
They will carry on getting 80 per cent of pay for the duration, up to £2,500 a month.
But businesses will have to play National Insurance and pensions contributions for November.
Rishi Sunak announced on 5 November the furlough scheme would carry on until March – meaning the programme will be in place for a year by the time it comes to an end.
The new measures are expected to cost billions of pounds extra for the Treasury.
What happens after that and is the Tiers system over?
Mr Johnson introduced a three-tier system last month to try to steer the nation away from a second national lockdown.
It’s expected that he will reintroduce local measures for the tiers system after the lockdown is over.
He will look at the figures and examine which areas will go back into the tier system at a later date.
Do MPs have a say in this?
Yes, MPs voted in favour of the rules on Wednesday evening, though he did face a rebellion from some of his MPs.
Powerful Tory MP Sir Charles Walker blasted the national lockdown as “authoritarian”.
And Sir Graham Brady branded them “evil measures”.
But the move still passed 516 – 38 as Labour supported the new laws.
Ex-PM Theresa May led furious attacks on the PM as up to 50 Tories rebelled by voting against the new rules – or not voting at all.