From 15 June, there is new Government guidance on coronavirus. This guidance does not apply to people who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable and are shielding – if you are part of this group, there is separate guidance available. If you are not in clinically extremely vulnerable, then you are able to leave your house for the following reasons:
- For work, where you cannot work from home. If this applies to you then you should travel to work by car, foot, or bike if possible. If you need to use public transport, try to travel at non-peak times when it should be less crowded. You will need to wear a face mask on public transport, unless there is a medical reason why you are unable to do so.
- To go to shops or to outdoor attractions which have been opened, such as zoos or safari parks. You can also visit places of worship for individual prayer.
- For unlimited leisure and recreation outside, which includes doing exercise, sitting, or playing sports with members of your household. You can meet outdoors with up to 5 people from outside your household including in private gardens. It is essential that you maintain social distancing measures whilst seeing friends and family and stay 2 metres away from anyone outside your household. You should not go into anyone else’s house unless you are accessing their garden or using the toilet.
- Any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
- To attend the funeral of a close family member or member of your household.
- To access critical public services, such as social services, support services for victims, or services provided by the Department for Work and Pensions.
- If you’re an adult who lives alone or a single parent with dependent children, you can form a support bubble with one other household. This means all those in the support bubble can spend time with each other inside and outside the home without having to social distance.
You should still follow social distancing guidance
Restrictions are starting to ease but it's still important that you observe government guidance to reduce the spread of the virus. When you go outside you should stay at least 2 metres apart from others (excluding members of your own household or support bubble) and you should continue to wash your hands with soap and water frequently and dry them thoroughly.
More information about changes can be found on the Government website.
Everyone must comply
Everyone in the UK must comply with these new measures. The relevant authorities, including the police, have been given powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.
Those at a higher risk
People aged 70 and over, people with long term conditions, and pregnant women are understood to be at an increased risk of severe illness if they become infected with the coronavirus.
While the guidance for these groups of people is the same, people who are more vulnerable may wish to limit their time outdoors and social contact further.
'Extremely Clinically Vulnerable'
There are a smaller number of people who are at very high risk and are advised to take additional precautions to stay safe. In the past weeks and months, people classed as extremely vulnerable will have been contacted by their GP or hospital and have been advised if this applies to them.
The advice for this group of people was updated on the 1 June.
If you are in the group of people classed as 'extremely clinically vulnerable' you are advised to stay inside as much as possible. But under the new guidance you can go outside with members of your household. If you live by yourself, you can also meet up with 1 person outside of your household. If you choose to do this, you should meet up with the same person each time you go outside.
If you do choose to go outside you should:
- make sure that you socially distance by staying at least 2 metres away from other people
- wash your hands regularly
- avoid touching your face and eyes.
It’s a good idea to limit how often you go outside, for example going out once a day.
You should not:
- attend group gatherings
- meet up with people in inside spaces
- visit inside or covered spaces, such as supermarkets or shops.
You should still only allow essential visitors, such as NHS staff or your carers, into your home. If you need to have something delivered or if family and friends are bringing shopping or other essentials, it must be left at the doorstep.
The guidance around social bubbles currently does not apply to those advised to shield.
On 22 June Government announced that some restrictions will be lifted for people who are shielding from 6 July. These include:
- Those who are shielding will be able to meet up to 5 other people in outdoor spaces, including those from a different household
- If you are shielding you will also be able to form a support bubble, if you or another household live alone.
- You will no longer need to socially distance from people that you live with.
The rest of the guidance for people who are shielding will remain the same and you shouldn’t at this stage go to shops or other indoor spaces such as places of worship.
In addition from 1 August the advice to shield will be paused and those considered clinically extremely vulnerable will be advised to adopt strict social distancing measures instead, meaning you will be able to go out to shops and see more people but should take care to minimise contact with others outside your household or support bubble. You will also be able go to work if you cannot work from home. Some support measures such as the food and medicine boxes will be stopped, but there will still be support available from the NHS First Responder Scheme and organisations including Age UK. People who have been shielding will also be able to retain their online priority delivery slots, and if you haven’t done so already can register for food support up until 17 July. Everyone who is on the shielding list will be written to outlining these next steps.