Boris Johnson has announced a third national lockdown to last until at least the middle of February. But there are more stated exemptions than in the first lockdown. The new laws are expected to follow shortly, while the formal advice is below:
● You must not leave home without a ‘reasonable excuse’. This will be put in law with fines for non-compliance ranging from £200 (for a first offence) to £6,400.
● Work — You can go to work 'where it is unreasonable for you to do your job from home'. The examples given are 'critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing' but the advice says it’s 'not limited to' those jobs. Workers such as cleaners will still be able to go to work.
● Volunteering — You can leave home to provide voluntary or charitable services.
● Essential activities — You can leave home to buy food or medicine at shops. You can also do shopping on behalf of a vulnerable person or someone self-isolating.
● Education and childcare — You can leave home for education, childcare, and activities for children if allowed, for example under key worker exemptions. Access to education and children’s activities for school-aged pupils is restricted. People can continue existing arrangements for contact between parents and children where they live apart. This includes childcare bubbles which means separated parents can still share childcare.
● Meeting others and care — You can leave home to visit people in your support bubble, to provide informal childcare for under 14s as part of a childcare bubble (for example, to enable parents to work, and not to enable social contact between adults), to provide care for disabled or vulnerable people, to provide emergency help, to attend a support group (of up to 15 people), or for respite care, or is a short break in respect of a looked-after child.
● Exercise — You can continue to exercise with one other person, with your someone you live with or someone in your support bubble. There is no official limit but it's recommended exercise is limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area. You should maintain social distancing.
● Medical reasons — You can leave home for a medical reason, including to get a Covid-19 test, for medical appointments and emergencies.
● Harm and compassionate visits — you can leave home to be with someone who is giving birth, to avoid injury or illness or to escape 'risk of harm' (such as domestic abuse). You can also leave home to visit someone who is dying or in a care home (if the care home allows it), someone in a hospice, a hospital, or to accompany them to a medical appointment.
● Animal welfare reasons — you can leave home for animal welfare reasons, such as to attend a vet.
● Communal worship and life events — You can visit a place of worship for communal worship, a funeral or memorial, a burial ground or a remembrance garden, or to attend a wedding ceremony. You should follow the guidance on the safe use of places of worship and must not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble. These events are still subject to limits on the number of people who can attend.
There are further reasonable excuses for leaving your home under the lockdown rules. For example, you may leave home if you're buying, selling, letting or renting a home and need to meet with someone, carry out paperwork etc., or where necessary for you to vote.