New Lockdown: What you need to know

On Monday night, PM Boris Johnson announced a new lockdown for England. People were urged to stay home from Monday evening, with the new lockdown ruling coming into force from Wednesday and expected to last till March. 

Mr Johnson addressed the importance of the new lockdown as concerns for the NHS's capacity rise. The chief medical officers have backed the move up from alert level 4 to 5, in response to the record numbers of Covid cases and hospital admissions across the country. The top alert level 5 means “transmission is high or rising exponentially” and the NHS is at risk of being overwhelmed.

We must once again stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. Here are the latest government guidelines: 

Leaving home

You must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:

  • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • attend education or childcare - for those eligible

Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term. Early Years settings remain open.

Higher Education provision will remain online until mid-February for all except future critical worker courses.

Meeting others

  • You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with (if you are legally permitted to form one).
  • You may exercise on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble.
  • You should not meet other people you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, unless for a permitted reason.
  • Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.

For more information, please visit 


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