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General

From 12 April, England moved into ‘Step 2’ of the COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021 (the roadmap out of lockdown). This guidance sets out how people can see others safely:  

  • schools, further education and Early Years settings can remain open for all  
  • wraparound childcare and other children’s activities, including sport can continue for all children, regardless of circumstance, both indoors and outdoors. 
  • formally organised parent and child groups can take place indoors and outdoors for up to 15 attendees – children under 5 will not be counted in this number  
  • outdoor hospitality venues can reopen, with table service only 
  • you can meet outdoors either in a group of 6 (from any number of households), or in a group of any size from up to 2 households (each household can include existing support bubbles, if eligible) 
  • you will be able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports with any number of people 
  • indoor leisure and sports facilities can reopen for individual exercise, or exercise with your household or support bubble 
  • non-essential retail can reopen 
  • personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons can reopen 
  • self-contained accommodation can open for overnight stays in England with your household or support bubble 
  • care home residents will be able to nominate two named individuals for regular indoor visits (following a rapid lateral flow test) 
  • work from home if you can  
  • weddings, civil partnership ceremonies, wakes and other commemorative events will be able to take place for up to 15 people (anyone working is not included in this limit) 

Click here to read official Government advice 

This page sets out key FAQs to help you prepare for these changes. 

You must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place. 

Exemptions apply.

People can meet outside either: 

  • in groups up to a maximum of 6 people (from any number of households) or 
  • in a group of any size from up to 2 households (each household can include existing support bubbles, if eligible  

This will apply in all outdoor settings, including private gardens and outdoor hospitality.  

Everyone who can work effectively from home must do so. Where people cannot do so – including, but not limited to, people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction, or manufacturing – they should continue to travel to their workplace. This is essential to keeping the country operating and supporting sectors and employers. 

Public sector employees working in essential services, including childcare or education, should continue to go into work. 

Where it is necessary to work in other people’s homes – for example, for nannies, cleaners or tradespeople – you can do so. 

The risk of transmission can be substantially reduced if COVID-19 secure guidelines are followed closely. Extra consideration should be given to those people at higher risk. 

Schools and colleges 

Colleges, primary (reception onwards) and secondary schools will remain open. 

Universities and higher education 

Students in university and other higher education settings undertaking practical and practice-based courses who require specialist equipment and facilities can attend in-person teaching and learning where reasonably necessary. Providers should not ask students to return if their course can reasonably be continued online. 

All other students should continue to learn remotely. They should remain at their current accommodation until they return to in-person teaching. 

There is guidance for universities and students starting and returning to higher education in the spring term. 

Students who have returned to higher education settings, including university, should not move back and forward between their permanent home and student home during term time, unless they meet one of the exemptions. 

There are several ways that parents and carers can continue to access childcare during the national restrictions: 

  • early years settings (including nurseries and childminders) remain open
  • wraparound childcare and other children’s activities, including sport can continue for all children, regardless of circumstance, both indoors and outdoors. 
  • formally organised parent and child groups can take place indoors and outdoors for up to 15 attendees – children under 5 will not be counted in this number  
  • parents are able to form a childcare bubble with one other household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is under 14. This is mainly to enable parents to work, and must not be used to enable social contact between adults 
  • some households will also be able to benefit from being in a support bubble – see specific details on ‘support bubbles’ 
  • nannies will be able to continue to provide services, including in the home 

Care home residents can nominate two named individuals who can come in for a regular visit. The visitor will have to take a rapid lateral flow test every time they visit, wear PPE and keep physical contact to a minimum.

From 1 April, if you have been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable you will no longer be advised to shield. However, you should continue to take extra precautions to protect yourself. It is important that you continue to keep the number of social interactions that you have low and try to limit the amount of time you spend in settings where you are unable to maintain social distancing.  

If you are in this group, you will previously have received a letter from the NHS or from your GP telling you this. 

Visit our dedicated Community Hub page if you require practical help, or need support and advice. 

People will no longer be legally required to Stay at Home.  

If you need to travel you should look to reduce the number of journeys you make overall. 

Walk or cycle where possible, and plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport.  

Avoid car sharing with anyone from outside your household or your support bubble. See the guidance on car sharingIf you need to use public transport, you should follow the safer travel guidance. 

International Travel  

You should not travel abroad unless it is permitted. This means you must not go on holiday. 

You can only travel internationally where you first have a legally permitted reason to leave home. In addition, you should consider the public health advice in the country you are visiting. 

If you do need to travel overseas (and are legally permitted to do so, for example, because it is for work), even if you are returning to a place you’ve visited before, you should look at the rules in place at your destination and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice. 

Outbound travellers will be legally obliged to provide their reason for travel on the Declaration to Travel form.  

Self-contained accommodation – those that do not require shared use of bathing, entry/exit, catering or sleeping facilities – can open for overnight stays in England with your household or support bubble. 

Funerals 

Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people where social distancing at the venue allows. Please visit our Lytham Cemetery and Crematoria webpage for the latest information at this venue.

Linked ceremonial events such as stone settings, wakes and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 15 people in attendance (in premises that are permitted to open). Anyone working is not counted in these limits. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble. 

Weddings 

Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and receptions can take place with up to 15 people in attendance (in premises that are permitted to open). 

Anyone working is not counted in these limits. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble. 

There is guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships. 

You can book a test online, by downloading the NHS COVID-19 app or by calling 119. 

Click here to book a test online 

Click here to download the NHS COVID-19 app 

Support Bubble

Asupport bubble is a close support network between a household with only one adult (but no limit on children under 18) in the home (known as a single-adult household) and one other household of any size.   

Support bubbles have been expanded; from 2 December you can form a support bubble with another household if any of the following apply to you: 

  • you are the only adult in your household (any other members of the household having been under 18 on 12 June 2020), or are under 18 years old living alone  
  • live with someone with a disability who requires continuous care and there is no other adult living in the household 
  • you have a child under 1, or who was 1 on 2 December 2020 
  • you live with a child under 5, or who was under 5 on 2 December  

Once you’re in a support bubble, you can think of yourself as being in a single household with people from the other household. It means you can have close contact with that household as if they were members of your own household.  

From 2 December you may change your support bubble provided that: 

  • your household, or the one you intend to form a new support bubble with, meets at least one of the criteria under Who can make a support bubble  
  • the other household is not already part of a support bubble which they intend to remain a part of 

If you decide to change your support bubble, you should treat your previous bubble as a separate household for 14 days before forming a new bubble. This means following the rules on meeting people from other households in the tier you are in. 

No. The only exception to the social distancing rules are a formal ‘support bubble’. forming a new bubble. This means following the rules on meeting people from other households in the tier you are in. 

No. The only exception to the social distancing rules are a formal ‘support bubble’. 

No – One of the households in a formal ‘support bubble’ must be a single-adult household.  

A childcare bubble is where someone in one household provides informal (unpaid and unregistered) childcare to a child aged 13 or under in another household. For any given childcare bubble, this must always be between the same 2 households.  

Friends or family who do not live with you and are not part of a support or childcare bubble must not visit your home to help with childcare. Childcare bubbles are to be used to provide childcare only, and not for the purposes of different households mixing where they are otherwise not allowed to do so.  

Click here to find out more about childcare 

No – Childcare bubbles are to be used to provide childcare only, and not for the purposes of different households mixing where they are otherwise not allowed to do so. 

Business and Venues

  • essential and non-essential retail, including indoor and outdoor markets and car boot sales 
  • leisure and sporting facilities such as gyms, sports courts and facilities, leisure centres, fitness and dance studios, golf courses, swimming pools, riding centres, outdoor playgrounds 
  • outdoor hospitality venues, with table service only 
  • personal care and close contact services such as hairdressers and barbers, beauty salons, tattoo parlours, nail salons, spas and beauty services, massage parlours and tanning salons 
  • most outdoor attractions including zoos, theme parks 
  • public buildings, such as libraries, community centres and halls.  
  • allotments, recycling and waste centres, public toilets, car parks 
  • places of worship 
  • crematoriums and burial grounds 

The full list businesses that can remain open can be found at this link. 

The majority of public services will continue. These include: 

  • the NHS and medical services like GPs and dentists. We are supporting the NHS to safely carry out urgent and non-urgent services and it is vital anyone who thinks they need any kind of medical care comes forward and seeks help 
  • Jobcentre Plus sites 
  • Courts and probation services 
  • Civil Registrations Offices 
  • Passport and Visa Services 
  • Services provided to victims 
  • Waste or Recycling Centres 

To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. The full list of these businesses can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England, but include: 

Certain indoor leisure facilities such as: 

  • indoor play areas and indoor play centres, including soft play centres and soft play areas, trampoline parks and inflatable parks 
  • other indoor leisure centres or facilities, including laser quest and escape rooms, snooker and pool halls, indoor skating rings 

Entertainment venues such as: 

  • Concert halls 
  • Theatres (except drive-in theatres) 
  • Cinemas (except drive-in cinemas) 
  • Circuses (except drive-in circuses) 
  • Casinos Adult gaming centres and arcades
  • Bingo halls 
  • Bowling alleys

Pubs, Bars, Social Clubs and Private Members Clubs 

Pubs, bars, social clubs, and private members clubs are permitted to open their outdoor area, with table service only.  

Hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to: 

  • close any indoor premises, or indoor part of the premises in which food and drink are provided for consumption – customers are permitted to enter the premises for the use of toilets, baby changing rooms and breast-feeding rooms 
  • only provide food or drink to customers that are seated outdoors on the premises  

Premises with an alcohol licence 

Premises with an alcohol licence may sell food or drink for consumption on the premises only if: 

  • the food or drink is ordered by and served to a customer who is seated outdoors on the premises 
  • all reasonable steps are taken to ensure that the customer remains seated outdoors on the premises whilst consuming the food or drink 

Customers are permitted to enter the premises indoors for the use of toilets, baby changing rooms and breast-feeding rooms 

Premises without an alcohol licence 

Premises without an alcohol licence may sell food or drink for consumption on the premises only if all reasonable steps are taken to ensure that the customer remains seated outdoors on the premises whilst consuming the food or drink. 

Customers are permitted to enter the premises indoors for: 

  • the use of toilets, baby changing rooms and breast-feeding rooms 
  • to order and pay for food or drink 

Leisure, sports and exercise

Indoors 

Gyms and sporting facilities will be open for individual exercise, or exercise with your households or support bubbles. 

Saunas and steam rooms will remain closed.

Outdoors 

Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools, can open. These facilities can be used by people in line with the wider social contact limits.  

Indoors 

Indoor group exercise classes and group activities are not permitted. You can continue to exercise as an individual, or with your household or support bubble. 

Outdoors 

Formally organised outdoor sports – for adults and under 18s  is permitted and is not subject to the gatherings limits but should be compliant with guidance issued by national governing bodies.  

All children will be able to access any indoor or outdoor childcare and supervised activities. 

Support

Workers in any part of the UK can retain their job, even if their employer cannot afford to pay them, and be paid at least 80% of their salary up to £2500 a month. 

To see whether you can claim for your employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme click here. 

If you test positive for COVID-19 or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace and instructed to self-isolate you may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 if you are on a lower income and cannot work from home, losing income as a result. The Test and Trace Support Payment scheme in Fylde is now live. Click here for the full eligibility criteria and to apply for the scheme. 

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