Remember, ‘Hands. Face. Space’:
When meeting people you do not live with, it is important to do so outdoors where possible, or to make sure that any indoor venue has good ventilation (for example by opening windows so that fresh air can enter).
You must not meet socially indoors with anybody you do not:
Unless a legal exemption applies.
‘Indoors’ means any indoor setting, including:
You must not meet socially (in a private garden or at most outdoor public venues), with anybody you do not:
Unless a legal exemption applies.
However, you can see friends and family you do not live with (or do not have a support bubble with) in some outdoor public places, in a group of up to 6. This limit of 6 includes children of any age.
These outdoor public places include:
You can continue to meet in a group larger than 6 if you are all from the same household or support bubble, or another legal exemption applies.
There are exceptions where people can continue to gather indoors or in private gardens, or in groups larger than 6, in outdoor public places:
Where a group includes someone covered by an exception (for example, someone who is working or volunteering), they are not generally counted as part of the gatherings limit. This means, for example, a tradesperson can go into a household without breaching the limit, if they are there for work, and the officiant at a wedding would not count towards the limit.
The police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups. This includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fines (fixed penalty notices).
You can be given a fixed penalty notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400. If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of over 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000.
When meeting friends and family you should also:
If you have any of the following health conditions, you may be clinically vulnerable, meaning you could be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. If you are clinically vulnerable you:
Clinically vulnerable people are those who are:
There is a further group of people who are defined, also on medical grounds, as clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus – that is, people with specific serious health conditions. At each tier, there is additional advice that clinically extremely vulnerable people must follow.
As well as specific exemptions set out below, any closed business can remain open for:
Hospitality settings, such as bars (including shisha bars), pubs, cafes, restaurants, and social clubs must close except for takeaway, delivery and click and collect services. This includes restaurants and bars within hotels or member’s clubs. Exemptions apply for the following settings:
Cafes and canteens at:
Services providing food or drink to those experiencing homelessness can also remain open.
Businesses and venues selling alcohol for consumption off the premises can continue to do so as long as this is through takeaway, delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through
Food or alcohol purchased from a hospitality premises via takeaway or click-and-collect may not be consumed on any part of that premises, including beer gardens, as well as adjacent seating to the premises (with exceptions for motorway service areas, airports, seaports, the international terminal at Folkestone and public transport services although these places cannot sell alcohol after 11pm).
Businesses must not provide shared smoking equipment for use on the premises.
Accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs, campsites, holiday lets and guest houses must close. These premises can only open for a person, who:
They can also open:
Businesses that remain open in law, but are located within accommodation, such as a spa within a hotel, can remain open.
These restrictions on accommodation do not apply between 22 to 28 December 2020. This means that accommodation may open during this period for people to stay in order to be located near their Christmas bubbles. However other restrictions, such as those on hospitality and social contact still apply - so people cannot mix with their Christmas bubble in a hotel, for example, unless a member of their bubble lives their permanently. Please see separate guidance for more information on the rules for social contact during the Christmas period (23 to 27 December).
The following entertainment and tourist venues must close:
At the following outdoor entertainment venues, the indoor attractions must close:
Conference centres and exhibition halls are closed for the purposes of hosting conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, private dining events or banquets
The following outdoor venue can remain open:
All businesses and venues should follow COVID-secure guidelines to protect customers, visitors and workers.
In certain indoor settings, staff and customers must wear face coverings, unless they have an exemption.
Businesses must ensure that if their workers need to self-isolate, they do not work outside their designated place of self-isolation.
Some businesses have to collect customer, visitor and staff data to support NHS Test and Trace.
If businesses fail to comply with these restrictions, they can face fines of up to £10,000, prosecution or closure.
Everyone who can work from home should 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.
Public-sector employees working in essential services, including education settings, should continue to go into work where necessary.
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.
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you can go to work as long as your workplace is COVID-secure. Gatherings for work purposes are only allowed where they are reasonably necessary. If meetings take place in the workplace, workplaces should be set up to meet the COVID-secure guidelines. Meals to socialise with work colleagues are not permitted.
For more information, read the guidance on how to return to work safely.
The government has prioritised ensuring all children and young people can attend school and college safely, to support their wellbeing and education and help working parents and guardians. All pupils should continue to attend school and colleges, unless required to self-isolate, when their school and college should provide them with high quality remote education.
Universities should follow guidance on reopening buildings to ensure they have safety measures in place to minimise the spread of the virus.
If you’re a student, you can meet in groups of more than your household as part of your formal education or training. Students should expect to follow the guidance and restrictions. You should socially distance from anyone you do not live with wherever possible.
University students are allowed to change their household temporarily once after 2 December to return home for Christmas. After that point they should comply with the social contact limits above as if their family home is their household. This will not affect any support bubble arrangements their family home is part of. Where available, students should take advantage of a free test from their university before departing.
In schools and colleges where year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn by adults (staff and visitors) and pupils when moving around indoors, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain.
There are several ways that parents and carers can continue to access childcare in tier 3. You can get childcare support from:
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. Read guidance on making and using a childcare bubble.
Visits to care homes can take place with arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, and window visits. Regular testing will be offered to up to two family members or friends per resident by Christmas, which – when combined with other infection-control measures such as PPE – will support indoor visits with physical contact. Detailed guidance will be published shortly.
You can continue to travel within your area for reasons such as:
You should avoid travelling outside your area and reduce the number of journeys you make wherever possible.
Walk or cycle where you can and plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. Where that is not possible and you need to travel. Read safer travel guidance.
Avoid car sharing with anyone from outside your household or your support bubble – read guidance on car sharing.
You must not travel if you are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, are self-isolating as a result of coronavirus symptoms, are sharing a household or support bubble with somebody with symptoms, or have been told to self-isolate after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
Avoid travelling outside your area, including for overnight stays, other than where necessary, such as:
Where necessary, you can travel through other areas as part of a longer journey.
If you live in a Tier 3 area, you must continue to follow Tier 3 rules when you travel to a Tier 1 or Tier 2 area. You must not stay with anyone you do not live with elsewhere in the UK or visit their home (unless you share a support bubble).
If you are travelling, you should only do so alone or with members of your household or support bubble, and should follow the safer transport guidance.
If you live in a Tier 3 area, you should avoid staying overnight outside of your area other other than where necessary, such as:
If you live elsewhere, you should avoid staying overnight in a Tier 3 area other than for this type of reason.
This means you should not leave a Tier 3 alert level area to stay in a second home.
You must not stay with anyone you do not live with from a Tier 3 alert level area, or visit their home, unless you share a support bubble.
In a Tier 3, you should avoid travelling outside of your area. If you do need to travel abroad see the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Travel Advice for your destination and the travel corridors list.
When travelling, it is important that you respect the rules in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and do not travel to different parts of the UK where your intended activities there would be prohibited by legislation passed by the relevant devolved administration.
There is guidance on what to do if you’ve booked holiday accommodation in a local restriction area.
During the Christmas period (23 to 27 December) different rules on travel will apply.
Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and funerals must only take place in COVID-secure venues or in public outdoor spaces unless in exceptional circumstances.
You can have up to:
The limits above are the maximum number for all attendees at the event, for example at a wedding or civil partnership ceremony to include the couple and guests. Anyone working at a wedding, civil partnership ceremony, funeral or linked ceremonial event is not included in the limit. Within these larger gatherings, social distancing should still be followed between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.
Read the guidance on small marriages and civil partnerships and managing a funeral during the coronavirus pandemic.
You can attend places of worship for a service. However, you must not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble.
You should follow the national guidance on the safe use of places of worship.
In line with guidance from sporting national governing bodies, you can take part in organised sport and physical activity outdoors with any number of people. However, you should avoid contact in training and, for some sports, avoid contact in all activities. Read the guidance on what this means for your sport.
Gyms and sports facilities will be open for individual exercise and exercise in single households or support bubbles only. Indoor group activities and exercise classes should not take place.
You can continue to do unlimited exercise alone, or in an outdoor public place in groups up to 6.
There are exceptions for the following, which can take place in any number:
You should follow the guidance on:
You can still move home.
Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work. If you’re looking to move home, you can go to property viewings. Follow the national guidance on moving home safely, which includes advice on social distancing and wearing a face covering.
Wherever you live, you may be able to get financial help:
Published 30 November 2020