Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do

The following information has been taken from www.gov.uk
covid info

The government has set out its plan to return life to as near normal as we can, for as many people as we can, as quickly and fairly as possible in order to safeguard livelihoods, but in a way that continues to protect our communities and our NHS.

The government has published guidance on staying alert and staying safe outside your home. This page sets out key FAQs to cover the next set of changes planned from 11 July.

1. Gatherings, public spaces, and activities

1.1 What can I do that I couldn’t do before?

The UK Government is continuing to ease restrictions in a manner that is safe, cautious and consistent with our plan.

This means that from 11 July:

  • you can participate in team and other grassroots sports where the sports governing body has issued guidance on how to do so safely
  • outdoor swimming pools and outdoor water parks can open
  • outdoor performances in front of a live audience and indoor rehearsals can take place in COVID-19 secure venues. Indoor rehearsals and indoor performances for broadcast should only happen where no audience is present
  • smaller-scale indoor performances can be piloted in COVID-19 Secure venues once approved by the government

From 13 July:

  • close contact services, such as nail bars, salons, tanning booths, spas, massage parlours, tattoo parlours and body piercing studios, can open. Only services that do not involve work in the highest risk zone – directly in front of the face – should be made available to clients, in line with government guidance.

And from 25 July:

  • sports facilities and venues, including such as indoor gyms, fitness and dance studios, indoor swimming pools and indoor water parks, will open – subject to evidence closer to the time

As was already the case, in terms of seeing friends and family, you can:

  • meet in groups of up to two households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household) in any location - public or private, indoors or outdoors. You do not always have to meet with the same household - you can meet with different households at different times. However, it remains the case - even inside someone’s home - that you should socially distance from anyone not in your household or bubble. This change also does not affect the support you receive from your carers
  • continue to meet outdoors in groups of up to six people from different households, following social distancing guidelines
  • stay overnight away from your home with your own household or support bubble, or with members of one other household

It remains the case that you should not:

  • socialise indoors in groups of more than two households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household) – this includes when dining out or going to the pub
  • socialise outdoors in a group of more than six people from different households; gatherings larger than six should only take place if everyone is from exclusively from two households or support bubbles
  • interact socially with anyone outside the group you are attending a place with, even if you see other people you know, for example, in a restaurant, community centre or place of worship
  • hold or attend celebrations (such as parties) where it is difficult to maintain social distancing
  • stay overnight away from your home with members of more than one other household (your support bubble counts as one household)

You should only be socialising in groups of up to two households indoors and outdoors or or up to six people from different households outdoors.

It is against the law for gatherings of more than 30 people to take place in private homes (including gardens and other outdoor spaces). Businesses and venues following COVID-19 Secure guidelines can host larger groups provided they comply with the law. This can include weddings and funerals (which we advise should be limited to no more than 30 people), religious ceremonies and services, community activities and support groups. If attending a place or event that is following COVID-19 Secure guidelines, you should take care to limit your interactions with anyone outside of your group and you should continue to maintain social distancing from those that you do not live with. It is critical that you follow these guidelines to keep both yourself and others safe.

1.2 I don’t have to stay at home anymore?

On 19 June, the UK CMOs changed the COVID-19 alert level from level four to level three following recommendation by the Joint Biosecurity Centre. This means that the virus is considered to be in general circulation but transmission is no longer high or rising exponentially. As a result, you are less likely to encounter the virus when you leave your home.

However, when you leave your home, you should follow the guidelines on staying safe outside your home. As businesses reopen and people begin to socialise more regularly, everyone should continue to socially distance from people they do not live with or are not in their support bubble, and should wash their hands regularly. This will help to protect you and anyone you come into contact with and is critical to keeping everyone as safe as possible.

The more people you have interactions with, the more chance the virus has to spread. Therefore, try to limit the number of people you see - especially over short periods of time.

If you or someone in your household or your support bubble is showing coronavirus symptoms, everyone in your support bubble should stay home. If you or a member of your support bubble is contacted as part of the test and trace programme, the individual contacted should stay at home. If that individual becomes symptomatic, everyone in the support bubble must then isolate. This is critical to staying safe and saving lives.

Find out more about meeting people you don’t live with

1.3 What businesses are reopening?

Many businesses and venues are now permitted to reopen and are expected to follow COVID-19 Secure guidelines. From 11 July and 13 July, further businesses will be permitted to open.

From 11 July:

  • outdoor swimming pools
  • outdoor water parks

From 13 July:

  • nail bars and salons
  • tanning booths and salons
  • spas, and beauty salons
  • massage parlours
  • tattoo parlours
  • body piercing services

This in addition to the businesses opened on 4 July:

  • hotels, hostels, bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday apartments or homes, cottages or bungalows, campsites, caravan parks or boarding houses
  • places of worship
  • libraries
  • community centres
  • restaurants, cafes, workplace canteens, bars, pubs that are self-contained and can be accessed from the outside
  • hair salons and barbers, including mobile businesses
  • cinemas
  • theatres and concert halls
  • funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities such as go-karting, laser tag and paintballing
  • outdoor gyms and playgrounds
  • museums and galleries
  • bingo halls
  • outdoor skating rinks
  • amusement arcades and other entertainment centres, such as snooker halls
  • model villages
  • social clubs
  • indoor attractions at aquariums, zoos, safari parks, farms, wildlife centres and any place where animals are exhibited to the public as an attraction
  • indoor and outdoor areas of visitor attractions including, gardens, heritage sites, film studios and landmarks

1.4 What will need to remain closed by law?

Some businesses will need to remain closed, as we have assessed that they cannot yet be made sufficiently COVID-19 Secure. See a full list of businesses that will need to remain closed.

1.5 Can I start visiting people indoors now?

Yes, you are able to meet indoors in groups of up to two households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household). This includes inviting people from one household into your home or visiting the home of someone else with members of your own household. You should continue to maintain social distancing with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble when doing so.

If you are in a support bubble you can continue to see each other without needing to maintain social distancing.

The more people you have interactions with, the more chance the virus has to spread. Therefore, try to limit the number of people you see - especially over short periods of time. The risk of transmission is also higher indoors, so you should take extra care to stay as safe as possible.

1.6 How many people am I allowed to meet with outdoors?

You are allowed to meet in groups of up to six people who you do not live with or who are not in your support bubble. You are only allowed to meet in groups of more than six people if everyone is a member of the same household or support bubble.

You are also allowed to meet people in groups of more than six people if everyone is exclusively from two households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household).

There is more information about the guidelines you should follow when meeting people you do not live with here.

1.7 Can I visit a clinically vulnerable person?

We know that people 70 and over, those with certain underlying conditions and pregnant women may be more clinically vulnerable, so we have advised them to take particular care to avoid contact with others.

Although such individuals can meet people both outdoors and indoors, you and they should be especially careful and be diligent about social distancing and hand hygiene. Never take a chance on visiting a clinically vulnerable person if you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, however mild.

Never visit a clinically vulnerable person if you have been advised to isolate by NHS Test and Trace because you have been in contact with a case.

You can also visit a clinically vulnerable person inside if you are providing care or assistance to them. You should not do so if you have coronavirus symptoms, however mild.

Wherever possible, you should stay socially distant from others, use a tissue when sneezing and dispose of it safely, cough into the crook of your elbow and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser if washing facilities are not easily available.

If someone is defined as clinically extremely vulnerable and being asked to shield, you should follow the guidance for a shielded person.

1.8 Are there restrictions on how far I can travel?

No. You can travel irrespective of distance, but you should take hygiene and safety precautions if using services on the way. You should continue to avoid using public transport and should cycle, walk or drive wherever possible.

If visiting other parts of the UK – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – you must adhere to the laws and guidance of the devolved administrations at all times. If you wish to travel internationally, you should follow the laws of other countries and FCO international travel guidance. Upon return to the UK, you must by law self-isolate for 14 days, unless you have come from one of the countries listed in section 7. This is crucial to help to ensure the virus does not spread across borders.

It is not possible to social distance during car journeys and transmission of COVID-19 can definitely occur during car journeys, so avoid travelling with someone from outside your household (or your support bubble), unless you can practise social distancing – for example by cycling.

1.9 Can I use public transport if I’m seeing friends in a park or going to my parents’ garden?

You should avoid using public transport if you can. You should cycle, walk or drive wherever possible. If you need to use public transport, you should follow the safer travel guidance for passengers.

1.10 Can I share a private vehicle with someone from another household?

You should avoid sharing a private vehicle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble as you will not be able to keep to strict social distancing guidelines. The Department for Transport has provided specific guidance on using private vehicles. Please see their guidance on Private cars and other vehicles for more information on car sharing and traveling with people outside your household group.

1.11 Are day trips ok?

Yes, day trips to outdoor open space are allowed. You should take hygiene and safety precautions if using services on the way. You should practise social distancing from other people outside your household or support bubble. You should continue to avoid using public transport if you can. Consider all other forms of transport before using public transport. If you need to use public transport, you should follow the safer travel guidance for passengers.

1.12 Can I go on holiday? Can I stay in my second home?

Yes, you can stay overnight away from the place where you are living. This includes staying overnight in a second home, hotels, bed and breakfasts or campsites.

You should only stay overnight in groups of up to two households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household) and should ensure you maintain social distancing with anyone you do not live with or is not in your support bubble.Take particular care to maintain excellent hygiene - washing hands and surfaces - and avoid using shared facilities like bathrooms wherever possible.

1.13 Do I need to follow the rules if I’m on holiday in another country?

If you are abroad, you should follow the rules of the country you are in. You should also follow the same principles to keep you and your loved ones safe. It is essential to maintain social distancing wherever possible from those you don’t live with and wash your hands regularly. These rules are important wherever you are in the world.

1.14 Will public toilets and playgrounds reopen?

Councils are responsible for public toilets and this decision is up to them. If you need to use any of these facilities, you should practise social distancing and good hygiene (i.e. washing your hands thoroughly).

Outdoor playgrounds are also able to reopen but the people responsible for them – for example, the local authority – should ensure they comply with COVID-19 Secure guidelines to help avoid risks of transmission. Anyone using playgrounds should take particular care to wash their hands after use and avoid touching their face. Children should be supervised carefully to maintain good hygiene and should not use playgrounds if they have any signs or symptoms of coronavirus

1.15 Can I visit outdoor tourist sites? What about indoor ones?

Yes, you can still travel to outdoor areas, such as National Parks or beaches. It is advisable to check ahead to ensure the venue is open to visitors.

You are also able to visit most indoor sites and attractions. It is strongly advised that you only attend these places in groups of up to two households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household).

1.16 Is there a limit on the number of people attending funerals?

You should only invite close friends and family. The premises will limit capacity based on how many people it can safely accommodate with social distancing in place, and we advise that funerals are limited to a maximum of 30 people.

The guidance on funerals can be found here.

1.17 Can weddings go ahead?

Yes, wedding ceremonies and civil partnerships are allowed to take place. The number of attendees should ideally be kept to a minimum as far as possible. The lower the number of attendees, the lower the risk of spreading the virus. You should only invite close friends and family, up to a maximum of 30 people where this can be safely accommodated with social distancing in place.

See further guidance on wedding ceremonies and civil partnerships

Large wedding receptions or parties should not be taking place. Any type of celebration after the ceremony should only happen when people follow the social distancing guidance of meeting no more than two households in any location or, if outdoors, up to six people from different households. It is critical for these guidelines to be observed to keep you and your family and friends as safe as possible.

1.18 Can I pray in a place of worship?

Yes, places of worship can open for services and communal prayer in line with guidance for reopening Places of Worship. You are able to independently pray or hold a religious ceremony in a church, mosque, synagogue, gurdwara temple or other place of worship.

We advise that you limit your social interaction in these venues to your own household and up to one other, wherever possible. Strict adherence to social distancing is strongly advised and a distance of 2 metres should be kept from people you do not live with wherever possible.

1.19 Can I attend an activity club or support group?

Yes, you can. Premises such as activity clubs, community centres and youth clubs can reopen, and should follow COVID-19 Secure guidelines. It is important to maintain social distancing and good hand hygiene in these circumstances. You should continue to limit your interactions with those you don’t live with outside of these formal activities to help control the virus.

1.20 Can I send my teenagers to their youth club?

Yes, you can. However, you should advise your children to maintain social distancing, wash their hands regularly and limit social interaction with anyone you do not live with outside of these formal activities.

The club should also follow COVID-19 Secure guidance.

1.21 Can I go to a pub or restaurant with people I don’t live with?

When eating or drinking out with people you do not live with (and who are not in your support bubble), you should keep to the wider guidance on group sizes: up to two households indoors, and up to either two households or six people from more than two households outdoors.

In all cases, people from different households should ensure they socially distance as much as possible. You should think about where to sit at a table with this in mind - the premises should also take reasonable steps to help you do so in line with COVID-19 secure guidelines. It remains the case that you do not need to maintain social distancing with those in your support bubble. This change also does not affect the support you receive from your carers.

1.22 Can I register the birth of my child?

You are permitted to register the birth of your child. You should check whether your local register office is open. The office will also be able to advise you on appointment availability.

1.23 Can I go to the theatre or a concert?

From 11 July, outdoor performances will be permitted given the risk of transmission is lower outdoors. You should only be seated with members of one other household - and, wherever possible, socially distance from those you do not live with (or who are not in your support bubble) to reduce the risk of chains of transmission.

Right now, venues should not permit indoor performances, including dramatic, musical or comedy performances, to take place in front of a live audience. This is because of the increased risk of transmission associated with these types of activities indoors. From 11 July, the government will be piloting indoor performances with a socially distanced audience in accordance with COVID-19 Secure guidelines. This will inform further stages of the roadmap and our guidance, including moving more fully to indoor performances in front of a socially distanced audience.

There may be an additional risk of infection in environments where you or others are singing, chanting, shouting or conversing loudly. This applies even if others are at a distance to you. Venue managers should ensure sing-alongs or similar activities are avoided. You should also avoid environments that require you to raise your voice to communicate with anyone outside your household.

1.24 When will I be able to go to the theatre or watch a football match?

Large gatherings or mass events should not be taking place due to the substantial transmission risk with crowd behaviour. From 11 July, the government will be piloting smaller-scale indoor performances in accordance with COVID-19 Secure guidelines. Through our close work with the sectors and public health experts, we will look into ways to safely re-open other large venues, such as sports stadia, to the public and will be piloting new approaches over the course of the next few months.

1.25 Can I play sport outside?

From 11 July, you will be able to play team sport in any number if this is formally organised by a sports club or similar organisation and sports-governing body guidance has been issued. You should only be playing team sports where the relevant governing body has published guidance on how to do so safely. For example, the English Cricket Board has published guidance here. If you are playing one of these sports informally, such as in the park or a private garden, there must should be no more than 30 people involved (including participants, coaches, umpires, spectators). If you are playing one of these sports informally, such as in the park or a private garden, there must be no more than 30 people involved (including participants, coaches, umpires, spectators).

Team sports that do not have approved guidance should not be played. Instead, people should train together and take part in activities such as conditioning or fitness sessions in groups of no more than six people (outdoors) or two households (in any setting). You should socially distance from people you do not live with.

At all times, you should comply with COVID-19 Secure measures and limit social interaction outside of the sporting activity.

1.26 Can I gather in larger groups for any reason?

You should only be socialising in groups of up to two households (including your support bubble) indoors and outdoors or up to six people from different households when outdoors.

More generally, you can continue to meet in larger groups if necessary for work, voluntary or charitable services, education, childcare or training, elite sporting competition or training, to fulfil legal obligations, to provide emergency assistance, or to enable someone to avoid illness, injury or risk of harm.

It is otherwise against the law for gatherings of more than 30 people to take place in private homes (including gardens and other outdoor spaces). Businesses and venues following COVID-19 Secure guidelines can host larger groups. This is also the case for events in public outdoor spaces that are organised by businesses, charitable or political organisations, and public bodies, provided they take reasonable steps to mitigate the risk of transmission, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance and including completion of a risk assessment. This can include weddings and funerals (which we advise should be limited to no more than 30 people), religious ceremonies and services, community activities and support groups. Any other gathering in an outdoor space or in a private home (or garden) must not be any larger than 30 people.

If taking part in activities with larger groups, you should take particular care to follow social distancing guidelines. In addition to those guidelines, the following principles should be observed to ensure you meet people in a way that minimises the risk of spreading infection:

  • limit the time you spend interacting with people from outside your household or support bubble to the activity which you are partaking in
  • limit the number of different activities which you partake in succession to reduce the potential chain of transmission
  • follow strict social distancing guidelines from people outside your household or support bubble
  • group size should be limited to the minimum which allows the activity to take place
  • if organising an activity, you should carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment to identify actions which could minimise the risk of transmission. Employers have a legal responsibility to protect workers and others from risk to their health and safety.

1.27 What do the local lockdown restrictions mean?

As a country, we all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Where increased local transmission of COVID-19 is identified, areas may be required to take additional measures to reduce the spread of the virus. This could include closing certain premises or restricting the movements of people and interactions with others.

1.28 Is my area in a local lockdown and what does this mean?

You can check whether your area is in local lockdown here.

1.29 Can the government stop me going to a particular public place?

Government has taken action throughout the pandemic to control the transmission of COVID-19, to protect the NHS and to save lives. Where the risk of a local flare-up is identified, it is important that we take quick and appropriate action to control the spread. Government, and Local Authorities, will be able to impose a range of different restrictions from closing down individual premises to preventing people from going to a particular outdoor space. Any measure will be proportionate to the risk identified and we will publicise online and at the place itself, if these powers have been used.

2. Vulnerable groups, shielding, 70 year olds and over, and care homes

2.1 Does easing restrictions apply to 70 year olds and over?

Yes. However, the advice for those aged 70 and over continues to be that they should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their household.

If they do go out, they should be careful to maintain distance from others. They and everyone should continue to comply with any general social distancing restrictions.

We know that those aged 70 and over can be absolutely fit and healthy and it’s not the case that everybody over 70 has an underlying disease.

But unfortunately, we also know that as you get older, there is a higher risk of coronavirus infection resulting in more serious disease. Complications and deaths are more common in the elderly, even those without pre-existing conditions.

2.2 How is guidance to those shielding (clinically extremely vulnerable) being relaxed?

Current government advice is that the clinically extremely vulnerable:

  • may, if they wish, meet in a group of up to six people outdoors, including people from different households, while maintaining strict social distancing
  • no longer need to observe social distancing with other members of your household
  • in line with the wider guidance for single adult households (either an adult living alone or with dependent children under 18) in the general population, may from this date, if you wish, also form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household. All those in a support bubble will be able to spend time together inside each other’s homes, including overnight, without needing to socially distance

This is a small advisory change that brings those affected a step nearer others in their communities. However, all the other current shielding advice will remain unchanged at this time.

From 1 August, the government will be advising that shielding will be paused. From this date, the government is advising you to adopt strict social distancing rather than full shielding measures. Strict social distancing means you may wish to go out to more places and see more people but you should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside your household or support bubble.

In practice, this means from 1 August you are advised that you no longer need to shield. This means that from 1 August, the government will be advising:

  • you can go to work, if you cannot work from home, as long as the business is COVID-19 Secure
  • children who are clinically extremely vulnerable can return to their education settings if they are eligible and in line with their peers. Where possible children should practise frequent hand washing and social distancing
  • you can go outside to buy food, to places of worship and for exercise but you should maintain strict social distancing
  • you should remain cautious as you are still at risk of severe illness if you catch coronavirus, so the advice is to stay at home where possible and, if you do go out, follow strict social distancing

The guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable group remains advisory. More detailed advice will be updated into this guidance as the changes in advice come into effect on 6 July and 1 August.

2.3 What safety standards will need to be put in place in care homes?

We have issued detailed guidance about infection control and staff safety in care homes to help admit and care for residents safely and protect care home staff.

This includes isolation procedures, PPE and infection control training for all staff, cleaning and how to provide personal care safely.

As with all of our advice, this guidance is kept under constant review and updated frequently, in line with the latest scientific evidence.

3. Going to work / Closed businesses / Safer spaces

3.1 Who is allowed to go to work?

With the exception of the organisations listed in this guidance on closing businesses and venues, the government has not required any other businesses to close to the public – it is important for business to carry on.

People who can work from home should continue to do so. Employers should decide, in consultation with their employees, whether it is viable for them to continue working from home. Where it is decided that workers should come into their place of work then this will need to be reflected in the business’s risk assessment and actions taken to manage the risks of transmission in line with this guidance.

Where work can only be done in the workplace, we have set out tailored guidelines for employers to help protect their workforce and customers from coronavirus while still continuing to trade or getting their business back up and running. We have published detailed COVID-19 Secure guidelines, which have been developed in consultation with businesses and trades unions.

There are specific guidelines for those who are vulnerable, guidance for those who are shielding, and guidance for those showing symptoms that should be observed when considering adjustments to enable people to go back to work.

3.2 What does it mean to be a critical worker?

Critical workers are those working in health and care and other essential services, who can take their children to school or childcare, regardless of year group. This critical worker definition does not affect whether or not you can travel to work – if you are not a critical worker, you may still travel to work if you cannot reasonably work from home.

3.3 What are the ‘COVID-19 Secure’ safety guidelines workplaces have to put in place?

We have set out clear, practical steps that businesses should take to ensure their workplaces are COVID-19 Secure and give their staff the confidence to return back to work.

These include how to keep as many people as possible safely apart from those they do not live with in various workplace settings.

3.4 What does the review of 2m mean in practice?

People should either stay 2m apart or ‘1m plus’ – which is one metre plus mitigations. These mitigations will depend on the workplace or setting. For example, on public transport, people must wear a face covering, as it is not always possible to stay 2m apart.

In other spaces, mitigations could include installing screens, making sure people face away from each other, putting up handwashing facilities, minimising the amount of time you spend with people outside your household or bubble, and being outdoors.

We have set out COVID-19 Secure guidance to help businesses take the measures that are right for them.

3.5 How will health and safety regulations be enforced?

Where the enforcing authority, such as the Health and Safety Executive or your local authority, identifies employers who are not taking action to comply with the relevant public health legislation and guidance to control public health risks (for example, not completing a new risk assessment taking account the risk of COVID-19, or taking insufficient measures in response), they will consider a range of actions to improve control of workplace risks. This includes giving specific advice to a business, or issuing an improvement notice, which a business must respond to in a fixed time, or a prohibition notice. Failure to comply is a criminal offence, which can lead to fines or imprisonment for up to two years, giving the COVID-secure guidelines indirect legal enforceability

4. Workers’ rights

4.1 My employer is asking me to come to work but I’m scared.

Employers and staff should discuss and agree working arrangements.

People who can work from home should continue to do so. Employers should decide, in consultation with their employees, whether it is viable for them to continue working from home. Where it is decided that workers should come into their place of work then this will need to be reflected in the risk assessment and actions taken to manage the risks of transmission in line with this guidance.

If you remain concerned that your employer is not taking all practical steps to promote social distancing then you can report this to your local authority or the Health and Safety Executive who can take a range of action, including where appropriate requiring your employer to take additional steps.

4.2 What if they try to fire me because I won’t go to work but cannot work at home?

We urge employers to take socially responsible decisions and listen to the concerns of their staff. Employers and employees should come to a pragmatic agreement about their working arrangements.

If individuals need advice, they should approach ACAS where they can get impartial advice about work disputes.

5. Public Transport

5.1 Who is allowed to travel on public transport?

If you need to travel to work or make an essential journey, you should cycle or walk if you can, but you can use public transport if this is not possible. Before you travel on public transport, consider if your journey is necessary and if you can, stay local. Try to reduce your travel. This will help keep the transport network running and allows people who need to make essential journeys to travel safely.

We have set out further advice on how to stay safe during your journey.

5.2 Should people wear face coverings on public transport?

Yes. It is a legal requirement to wear a face covering on public transport. This is helping to ensure that transport is as safe as possible as more people begin to return to work and go shopping. Transport operators will enforce this requirement, and the police can also do so. This will mean you can be refused travel if you don’t comply and could be fined. You should also be prepared to remove your face covering if asked to do so by police officers and staff for the purposes of identification.

More generally, if you can, you are advised to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces where social distancing is not possible and where you are more likely to come into contact with people you do not normally meet. For example, in some shops.

We have published guidance for those making face coverings at home, to help illustrate the process.

A face covering is not the same as the surgical masks or respirators used as part of personal protective equipment by healthcare and other workers; these should continue to be reserved for those who need them to protect against risks in their workplace such as health and care workers and those in industrial settings like those exposed to dust hazards.

5.3 Will a face covering stop me getting COVID-19?

The evidence suggests that face coverings can help us protect each other and reduce the spread of the disease from someone who is suffering from coronavirus, but not showing symptoms. That is why it is important to wear a face covering on public transport and it is required by law.

To protect yourself, you should also continue to follow social distancing measures and isolation guidance and wash your hands regularly.

5.4 Can I use public transport to get to green spaces?

You should still avoid using public transport wherever possible. Consider all other forms of transport before using public transport. If you need to use public transport, you must wear a face covering and you should follow the safer travel guidance for passengers.

6. Schools and Childcare

6.1 Can children go back to early years settings and schools or university?

The government is committed to doing everything possible to allow all children to go back to school safely, to support their wellbeing and education and help working parents. The government’s plan is for all students in England to return to education settings in September.

Primary schools should now be open for Reception, Year 1, and Year 6 pupils and if schools have capacity they can welcome more children back, in group sizes of no more than 15, before the summer holidays. Schools and colleges should provide some face-to-face support for Year 10 and Year 12 pupils. Early years (aged 0-5) childcare should also be open to children.

School places of all age groups remain available to the children of critical workers and for vulnerable children and young people.

You can find out more about the government’s approach to education and how schools are preparing.

6.2 How will you make sure it is safe?

Keeping children and staff safe is our utmost priority. As more children return to school, we require new safety standards to set out how schools and early years settings can be adapted to operate safely.

We have published guidance advising schools and early years on reopening to ensure schools can adequately prepare new safety measures to operate safely and minimise the spread of the virus.

Protective measures to reduce transmission include regular hand cleaning, hygiene and cleaning measures, and small consistent group and class sizes of no more than 15 pupils. We have asked schools to consider staggering drop-off and arrival times, break times and assemblies, and make use of outdoor space.

7. Borders / international visitors

7.1 Are you isolating people at the border now?

The scientific advice shows that when domestic transmission is high, cases from abroad represent a small amount of the overall total and make no significant difference to the epidemic. Now that domestic transmission within the UK is coming under control, and other countries begin to lift lockdown measures, we need to impose measures relating to people arriving in the UK. Find out more about self-isolation when you travel to the UK.

7.2 What does this actually mean (before 10 July)?

Until 10 July, when you arrive in the UK, you will not be allowed to leave the place you’re staying for the first 14 days you’re in the UK (known as ‘self-isolating’). This is because it can take up to 14 days for coronavirus symptoms to appear. You should follow separate advice if you will self-isolate in:

Before you travel, you should provide your journey, contact details and the address where you will self-isolate. You will be able to complete the public health passenger locator form 48 hours before you arrive. You must present these details on your arrival in England.

You may be refused permission to enter the UK (if you are not a British citizen), or fined if you do not to provide your contact details or do not self-isolate when you arrive in the UK.

In England, if you do not self-isolate, you can be fined £1,000. If you do not provide an accurate contact detail declaration – or do not update your contact detail form in the limited circumstances where you need to move to another place to self-isolate – you can be fined up to £3,200.

7.3 What does this actually mean (after 10 July)?

From 10 July, unless you have visited or stopped in any other country or territory in the preceding 14 days, passengers arriving from the following countries and territories will not be required to self-isolate on arrival into England:

  • Andorra
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • Bonaire St Eustatius and Saba
  • Croatia
  • Curaçao
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Polynesia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guadeloupe
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Réunion
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Monaco
  • New Caledonia
  • The Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Seychelles
  • St Barthélemy
  • St Kitts & Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Pierre and Miquelon
  • San Marino
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Turkey
  • Vatican City State
  • Vietnam

Ireland is already exempt as part of the Common Travel Area, as are the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. In addition, we have exempted the 14 British Overseas Territories.

We will keep the conditions in these countries and territories under review. If they worsen we will not hesitate to reintroduce self-isolation requirements.

Travellers should always check the latest FCO travel advice. Travel advice includes information on any health measures in place for visitors to the country or territory. These can include a requirement to self-isolate, quarantine, or undergo testing for COVID-19, or even restrictions on entry.

Information on self-isolation in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be published in due course by the Devolved Administrations.

7.4 What rules do I need to follow if I am visiting the UK?

People should make every effort to adhere to the government guidelines, including maintaining social distancing with those they are not staying with and washing their hands regularly.

8. Devolved administrations

8.1 Does this guidance apply across the UK?

This guidance applies in England only If you live in an area that is experiencing a local COVID-19 outbreak where local lockdown measures have been imposed, different guidance and legislation will apply. Please consult this local lockdown restrictions page to see if any restrictions are in place in your area

People in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should follow the specific rules in those parts of the UK. Additional guidance is available:

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