Government announces new lockdown rules

12 May 2020

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has announced plans to help restart the UK economy and begin the process to ease lockdown restrictions.

During a speech made in the House of Commons today (Monday 11 May, 2020), Johnson provided further guidance and clarity on what the general public can and cannot do as the number of new cases of Coronavirus reported begins to decline.

Can people go back to work?

The Government has stated that those who can work from home should continue to do so “for the foreseeable future”. However, those who can’t should travel to work. Where possible, public transport should be avoided to ensure social distancing measures are followed.

Sectors that “are allowed to be open should be open”, include construction, food production and manufacturing.

Venues that are required by law to remain closed to the public include:

  • restaurants and cafes, other than for takeaway
  • pubs, cinemas, theatres and nightclubs
  • clothing and electronics stores; hair, beauty and nail salons; and outdoor and indoor markets (not selling food)
  • libraries, community centres, and youth centres
  • indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, gyms, arcades and soft play facilities
  • some communal places within parks, such as playgrounds and outdoor gyms
  • places of worship (except for funerals)
  • hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses for commercial/leisure use, excluding use by those who live in them permanently, those who are unable to return home and critical workers where they need to for work

Businesses including pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, hotels, cinemas and places of worship will open 4 July at the earliest if the target figure for new cases is met and social distancing measures have been put in place at the venue.

If employees are returning to their place of work, business should follow new Covid-19 secure guidelines, which will be published later this week.

Public transport

While the government is working with public transport providers to ensure social distancing measures are in place, it is advising users to avoid using public transport wherever possible. Alternative methods of transport should be considered, including walking, cycling and driving.

If public transport is the only suitable means of transport to travel to work, the public is being advised to wear face coverings in crowded places and wash clothes more regularly.

For more information about the new social distancing guidelines, click here.