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General

The Government has published guidance on how we can reduce the spread of the virus:

  • Schools are closed to all but vulnerable children and those of critical workers. Early Years settings remain open.
  • You cannot leave or be outside of the place you are living unless for one of the defined reasons set out on the government website.
  • You cannot meet socially with others, unless in your support bubble.
  • ‍Local outdoor exercise once per day is permitted with your household, support bubble, or one other person from another household
  • Work from home if you can
  • Clinically extremely vulnerable should shield

Click here to read official Government advice. This page sets out key FAQs to help you prepare for those changes.

You must stay at home. The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

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
  • to attend an event, such as a place of worship for individual prayer, a funeral or a related event for someone who has died, to visit a burial ground or a remembrance garden, or to attend a deathbed wedding

You should minimise time spent outside your home.

It is against the law to meet socially with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble. You can only leave your home to exercise, and not for the purpose of recreation or leisure (e.g. a picnic or a social meeting). This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.

You can exercise in a public outdoor place:

  • by yourself
  • with the people you live with
  • with your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one)
  • in a childcare bubble where providing childcare
  • or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household

Outdoor public spaces include:

  • parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests
  • public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them)
  • allotments
  • the grounds of a heritage site
  • Playgrounds

Outdoor sports venues, including tennis courts, golf courses and swimming pools, must close.

You cannot meet people in a private garden, unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them.

You may only leave your home for work if you cannot reasonably work from home.

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 for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term.

Universities

Those students who are undertaking training and study for the following courses should return to face to face learning as planned and be tested twice, upon arrival or self-isolate for ten days:

  • Medicine & dentistry
  • Subjects allied to medicine/health
  • Veterinary science
  • Education (initial teacher training)
  • Social work
  • Courses which require Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) assessments and or mandatory activity which is scheduled for January and which cannot be rescheduled (your university will notify you if this applies to you).

Students who do not study these courses should remain where they are wherever possible, and start their term online, as facilitated by their university until at least Mid-February. This includes students on other practical courses not on the list above.

If you live at university, you must not move back and forward between your permanent home and student home during term time. You should only return home at the end of term.

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
  • Vulnerable children and children of critical workers can continue to use registered childcare, childminders and other childcare activities (including wraparound care)
  • 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
  • Nannies will be able to continue to provide services, including in the home

Visits to care homes can take place with arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, or behind windows. Close-contact indoor visits are not allowed. No visits will be permitted in the event of an outbreak.

If you are clinically vulnerable, you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. There is additional advice for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus.

Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should follow resumed shielding guidance and should not attend work, school, college or university. You should limit the time you spend outside the home. You should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential.

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

You must not leave your home unless you have a reasonable excuse (for example, for work or education purposes). If you need to travel you should stay local – meaning avoiding travelling outside of the area where you live – and look to reduce the number of journeys you make overall.

The list of reasons you can leave your home and area include, but are not limited to:

  • work, where you cannot work from home
  • accessing education and for caring responsibilities
  • visiting those in your support bubble – or your childcare bubble for childcare
  • visiting hospital, GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health
  • buying goods or services that you need, but this should be within your local area wherever possible
  • outdoor exercise. This should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel a short distance within your area to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space)
  • attending the care and exercise of an animal, or veterinary services

If you need to travel, walk or cycle where possible, and plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practice social distancing while you travel.

Avoid car sharing with anyone from outside your household or your support bubble. See the guidance on car sharing.

If you need to use public transport, you should follow the safer travel guidance.

You can only travel internationally – or within the UK – 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.

UK residents currently abroad do not need to return home immediately. However, you should check with your airline or travel operator on arrangements for returning.

Foreign nationals are subject to the ‘Stay at Home’ regulations. You should not travel abroad unless it is permitted. This means you must not go on holiday.

You cannot leave your home or the place where you are living for holidays or overnight stays unless you have a reasonable excuse for doing so. This means that holidays in the UK and abroad are not allowed.

This includes staying in a second home or caravan, if that is not your primary residence. This also includes staying with anyone who you don’t live with unless they’re in your support bubble.

You are allowed to stay overnight away from your home if you:

  • are visiting your support bubble
  • are unable to return to your main residence
  • need accommodation while moving house
  • need accommodation to attend a funeral or related commemorative event
  • require accommodation for work purposes or to provide voluntary services
  • are a child requiring accommodation for school or care
  • are homeless, seeking asylum or a vulnerable person seeking refuge
  • are an elite athlete or their support staff or parent, if the athlete is under 18 and it is necessary to be outside of the home for training or competition

If you are already on holiday, you should return to your home as soon as practical.

Guest accommodation providers such as hotels, B&Bs and caravan parks may remain open for the specific reasons set out in law, including where guests are unable to return to their main residence, use that guest accommodation as their main residence, need accommodation while moving house, are self-isolating as required by law, or would otherwise be made homeless as a result of the accommodation closing. A full list of reasons can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England.

Accommodation providers are also encouraged to work cooperatively with local authorities to provide accommodation to vulnerable groups including the homeless.

You can still move home. People outside your household or support bubble should not help with moving house unless absolutely necessary.

Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work and people looking to move home can continue to undertake viewings.

Follow the national guidance on moving home safely, which includes advice on social distancing and wearing a face covering.

Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Linked ceremonial events such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 6 people in attendance. 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 and civil partnership ceremonies must only take place with up to 6 people. Anyone working is not included. These should only take place in exceptional circumstances, for example, an urgent marriage where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover, or is to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery.

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

A support 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 – 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.

Businesses and Venues

Businesses that are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 Secure guidelines includes those providing essential goods or services:

  • essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences
  • market stalls selling essential retail may also stay open
  • businesses providing repair services may also stay open, where they primarily offer repair services
  • petrol stations, automatic (but not manual) car washes, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses
  • banks, building societies, post offices, short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses
  • funeral directors
  • laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • medical and dental services
  • vets and retailers of products and food for the upkeep and welfare of animals
  • animal rescue centres, boarding facilities and animal groomers (may continue to be used for animal welfare, rather than aesthetic purposes)
  • agricultural supplies shops
  • mobility and disability support shops
  • storage and distribution facilities
  • car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas
  • outdoor playgrounds
  • outdoor parts of botanical gardens and heritage sites for exercise
  • 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, and you will be able to leave home to visit them. 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
  • getting an MOT, if you need to drive when lawfully leaving home

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:

  • Non-essential retail, including, but not limited to:
    • clothing and homeware stores
    • vehicle showrooms (other than for rental)
    • betting shops
    • tailors
    • tobacco and vape shops
    • electronic goods and mobile phone shops
    • auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment)
    • market stalls selling non-essential goods.

These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services

  • Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as:
    • leisure centres and gyms
    • sports facilities including swimming pools
    • golf courses and driving ranges
    • dance studios
    • stables and riding centres
    • soft play facilities
    • climbing walls and climbing centres
    • archery and shooting ranges
  • Entertainment venues such as:
    • Theatres
    • Concert halls
    • Cinemas
    • Museums and galleries
    • Casinos
    • Adult gaming centres and arcades
    • Bingo halls
    • Bowling alleys
    • water and theme parks
    • animal attractions (such as zoos, safari parks, aquariums and wildlife centres)
    • Indoor attractions at botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open
  • Personal care facilities such as:
    • Hair, beauty and nail salons
    • Tattoo parlours
    • Spas
    • Massage parlous
    • Body and skin services
    • Non- medical acupuncture
    • Tanning salons

It is also prohibited to provide these services in other people’s homes

  • hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery.
  • Accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites. Except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where they cannot return home, for homeless people, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
  • Community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities as set out below Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services – for example for people who do not have it at home – and for click-and-collect

Some of these businesses and places will also be permitted to be open for a small number of exempt activities, including:

  • education and training (including for schools to use sports and leisure facilities where that it part of their normal provision)
  • childcare purposes and supervised activities for children
  • blood donation and food banks
  • to provide medical treatment
  • for elite sports persons (in indoor and outdoor sports facilities), professional dancers and choreographers (in fitness and dance studios)
  • for training and rehearsal without an audience (in theatres and concert halls)
  • for the purposes of professional film and TV filming

Non-essential retail can continue to provide click-and-collect and delivery services in response to orders made online or over the phone. If a customer is collecting their pre-ordered goods, they must not entre the premises.

Indoor gyms and sports facilities will remain closed. Outdoor sports courts, outdoor gyms, golf courses, outdoor swimming pools, archery/driving/shooting ranges and riding arenas must also close. Organised outdoor sport for disabled people is allowed to continue.

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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