The new Lockdown rules explained.

As the UK begins to lift the restrictions of lockdown and we make our first tentative steps towards regaining some aspect of normality in our lives.  There is general uncertainty and a lack in consensus over what we are actually allowed to do, and how certain locations and organisers are expected to adapt and operate in a post-lockdown environment.  Here is a breakdown of the government’s new rules and a bit of clarity as to what you can and can’t do.

Can I visit family and friends?

From the 1st of June meeting with friends is permitted providing social distancing is maintained.

The answer is Yes.  From the 1st of June people from different households are allowed to meet in small ‘social bubbles’ of up to six individuals.  

This means that families in the UK can begin to reunite in public open spaces, and private gardens as long as social distancing rules are maintained and people stay 2 metres apart.  However, it is important to note that technically, although we are allowed to travel unlimited miles to visit family and friends, we are not yet allowed to stay overnight. Entering another household is only allowed for the purposes of accessing a back garden or using the toilet and all surfaces should be wiped down thoroughly and hands washed frequently. 

Can I go shopping?

Norwich Marketplace opens with a one way system and limited stalls as the lockdown restrictions begin to be lifted.

From the 1st of June Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that car showrooms and outdoor retail spaces such as Norwich Market will all be allowed to reopen and operate.  Here is an up to date list of the retailers operating in the Marketplace including any restrictions or changes to their services.

Providing the number of new Coronavirus cases continues to drop, from the 15th June, other non-essential shops and public locations that have put social distancing measures in place, will be allowed to open.  This includes tourist attractions and heritage sites as well as museums, theatres and libraries.

But it appears we’re going to have to wait a bit longer before we can visit the hairdressers.  Also Restaurants, pubs and cafes are still not allowed to be open to the public but are permitted to serve takeaway food.

Can I go outside without getting in trouble?

The governments advice is to safely go outside and get some fresh air.

As much (or as little) as you like.  There are no restrictions on the amount of time you can spend enjoying the sunshine, jogging, exercising or most other outdoor activities.  

Outdoor social pastimes such as tennis and golf can be enjoyed with people from your household and within your social bubble.  Maintain strict social distancing rules and you can spend time with up to 5 members of a different household.  But just be extra vigilant and aware of the surfaces you come into contact with and wash your hands regularly.

Many organised outdoor event and activities have been cancelled or are not yet able to open, but there are still lots of ways to enjoy the outdoors around Norfolk and maintain a safe 6 feet away from each other.

What about those who are in the high risk category?

Stay informed and make your own decision whether you are ready to start socialising with other people.

In England and Wales those who have previously been asked to shield themselves have been told that some “careful time outside in the fresh air is likely to make you feel better in yourself.”  Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals should of course continue to take extra precautions and may still choose to remain in their own home at all times if they don’t yet feel comfortable with any form of contact with others.  But as long as social distancing measures are maintained the general consensus is to get outside, breathe some fresh air and socialise with at least one other person.

Does this guidance apply to me? 

This guidance is for people of all ages who are at a greater risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus (COVID-19).   Most people who fall into this category should have received a letter from their GP or hospital clinician outlining their higher vulnerability to the virus and suitable guidance. 

If you are unsure of how this guidance relates to you or any member of your family then check out the UK Government’s official guidelines for the clinically extremely vulnerable. 

What’s going on with schools?

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Schools are to start partially re-opening for children under 6 years old.   This means Nurseries and receptions will begin to operate albeit with reduced class sizes and strict measures put in place to enforce social distancing.  

Schools will also implement staggered breaks and from the 15th of June the government proposes starting classes for older pupils in year 10 – 12.  

Check out the UK Gov website for further advice about what parents and carers need to know about schools and nurseries during the coronavirus outbreak

Can I go on a day trip?

Day trips out are permitted but be aware that many public facilities including toilets are still closed.

Providing social distancing is maintained most public outdoor spaces are open for visitors.  However staying overnight at another household is not permitted and hotels are still closed.  It is also stated that play areas must not be used and be aware that public toilets are still closed.

It should be noted that fines for rulebreakers have been increased with first offence penalties being £100 (£50 if paid within 2 weeks) and the fee is doubled for every subsequent rule any individual is found to have breached.

That being said, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and providing we all take care, life can begin to get back to normal.

Posted on June 3, 2020

Posted in Blog
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