Lockdown 2.0: what do the new rules mean?

New coronavirus rules come into effect today (November 5), as England enters a second lockdown.

The four-week lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday (October 31).

Yesterday, MPs overwhelmingly voted in favour of the new lockdown, which will last until December 2.

What do these new restrictions mean?

People are encouraged to stay home as much as possible, only heading out for essential reasons such as work, if this cannot be done from home.

From today, you cannot meet anyone from outside your household inside or in private outside spaces for social reasons, unless they are part of your ‘support bubble’. A bubble, similar to last lockdown, is a close support network between a household with only one adult in the home and one other household of any size. There are some care-giving exceptions - visit gov.uk for more information.

Childminders and early years settings remain open. Other childcare activities can be accessed to enable parents to work, seek work, attend education or training, or for the purpose of respite care for carers. Parents are able to form a childcare bubble with one other household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is 13 or under.

Weddings will not be permitted to take place, unless under exceptional circumstances. Funerals will be held, but can only be attended by a maximum of 30 people.

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Travel is heavily advised against, with restrictions on going overseas unless for legally permitted reasons. You must not travel at all if you are experiencing coronavirus symptoms. Spending a night away from home is also prohibited.

What amenities will be open?

Food shops, such as supermarkets, will stay open. Garden centres, hardware stores and other retailers providing essential necessities can also remain open. These establishments must follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect staff and customers.

Businesses providing non-essential items, such as clothing, may remain open, but only to offer delivery and click-and-collect services.

Pubs, bars and restaurants have shut their doors to on-premises customers, with only takeaway services still in operation.

Non-essential shops and venues, such as leisure centres, theatres, cinemas and social clubs will be forced to close.

Unlike the last lockdown which started in March; schools, colleges and universities remain open, continuing both in-person and online teaching.

On a similar theme, dentists will remain open and will continue to welcome patients for routine appointments, which wasn’t the case during the previous lockdown. This is a result of the Prime Minister encouraging patients to neglect their NHS appointments.

For full guidance on the latest coronavirus restrictions, and exceptions to any rules, visit gov.uk/guidance