What you can and cannot do under the new UK coronavirus lockdown rules
- UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's new lockdown measures come into place on Wednesday.
- Johnson is beginning to ease the lockdown after the UK got through the peak of its coronavirus crisis.
- Most of the relaxations will apply only in England, with Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland taking a more cautious approach.
- As of today, individuals from different households in England will be able to meet in outdoor spaces.
- People who can't work from home are being encouraged to go to work.
- Here's what you can and cannot do under the new coronavirus guidelines.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Millions of people in England will be free to exercise, and meet individual family members and friends outdoors, under new coronavirus rules which Boris Johnson brought into force on Wednesday.
Under the new rules, English people will have new freedoms to exercise, relax, and meet others outdoors, while some workplaces and non-essential businesses will be up-and-running again.
Less liberal rules will apply in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, as the devolved governments have opted to take a more cautious approach to lifting the lockdown.
Here's what you will and won't be able to do under the new lockdown guidelines.
Meet up with friends and family
As of Wednesday , any individual in England will be able to meet up with one other person from a different household — as long as it's in a park or outdoor space, and both individuals maintain a distance from each other of at least two metres.
Prime Minister Johnson didn't include this particular relaxation of the rules in his TV address on Sunday.
However, it was included in the government's 50-page "road map," which was published on Monday.
It means people in England will be able to meet with relatives and friends, as long as it's one-by-one. For example, an individual could meet their mother in a park, and then meet their father in the same park later in the day.
The rule is designed to let people see friends and family but prevent people meeting in groups.
However, the rules will not apply to meeting in gardens, which is still not allowed. Meetings must be in public places.
The changes to the guidelines do not apply in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, where previous restrictions still apply.
Exercise and play sports with friends
People in England are now able to exercise as much as they want under the updated lockdown rules.
Previously, people were advised to do just one piece of exercise outdoors per day — though this was never put into law.
Individuals will be able to exercise and play sport with one person from a different household. They can also play team sports — but only with members of their household.
Non-contact sports that are now permitted include tennis and golf, with courts and courses across the country re-opening this morning. People will also be allowed to do angling and water sports, and swim in lakes and the sea.
Gyms and swimming pools are set to be off-limits for the foreseeable future, however, with scientists warning that the virus spreads quickly in these settings.
Exercise restrictions have also been loosened in Scotland and Wales where people will be able to exercise more than once a day. However, golf courses and other sporting venues are not currently due to re-open.
Travel anywhere in England
People will, as of today, be able to drive to elsewhere in England to exercise and partake in leisure activity outdoors.
Johnson in his TV address on Sunday said "you can drive to other destinations."
The government's 50-page road map says people can travel to anywhere outdoor space in England "irrespective of distance" as long as they "respect social distancing guidance while they are there."
This particular rule has prompted concern that people will flood areas of natural beauty and trigger local spikes of infections.
The chief executive of the Lake District national park on Sunday urged people not to "rush" to the region.
—Richard Leafe (@LakesChief) May 10, 2020
These new rules will not apply in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, where exercise and travel must remain within the local area.
Go back to work if you can't work from home
Johnson on Sunday night announced a "change of emphasis" regarding whether people should go to work.
He said: "We now need to stress that anyone who can't work from home, for instance those in construction or manufacturing, should be actively encouraged to go to work.
"And we want it to be safe for you to get to work.
"So you should avoid public transport if at all possible – because we must and will maintain social distancing, and capacity will therefore be limited.
"So work from home if you can, but you should go to work if you can't work from home."
The prime minister has since said that if you're not sure whether to return to work, or if issues like a lack of childcare would make it difficult for you to do so, then you should speak to your employer.
This new rule is set to affect people in industries like construction, manufacturing, and food production.
However, the change in messaging will not apply in Scotland, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon insisting that the advice to businesses in Scotland has not changed.
"I am not, at this stage, asking anybody who is not working to go back to work, although we have said we are looking, with priority, at the construction sector, the retail sector and the manufacturing sector," she told BBC Scotland.
Visit garden centres
As of Wednesday, people in England will be able to visit garden centres. People in Wales are also allowed to do so.
Garden centres are the first non-essential shops to re-open, with scientists advising the government believing that the risk of someone catching the coronavirus in an outdoors space is much lower than indoors.
The lockdown measures of the last seven weeks or so have been damaging for the industry, with growers nationwide forced to bin hundreds of millions of plants which they were unable to sell to the general public.
One in three growers in the UK face financial difficulties, the BBC reported this week.
People who visit garden centres will of course be required to follow social distancing rules.
View and buy properties
In a somewhat unexpected move, the UK government announced on Tuesday evening that as of today, people in England will be able to visit estate agents and view properties to rent and buy.
There is some confusion over how this will work in practice. For example, how many people will be able to view a property at once? And can people from different households meet up to view a property?
The UK government is set to clarify the new rules on Wednesday afternoon.Read the original article on Business Insider
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