Lockdown questions answered after major rule changes in England

The rules for lockdown in England have now changed as the country moves along the roadmap set by Boris Johnson.

That means the activities you can participate in, the organizations allowed to work, the travel rules, and the rules for socializing have all changed.

Azeem Majeed, Professor of Public Health at Imperial College London, spoke to The mirror to answer some frequently asked questions about the latest UK rules.

Can I have a barbecue with others from my street?

Yes, but only if no more than six of you or people from only two households are present.

If there were four people in your household and four in another household, eight of you could meet up for a barbecue because you come from two households. If your group consists of three households, a maximum of six people can meet.

Can I use a friend’s toilet?

Yes, if it is necessary. However, you should avoid interacting or coming into close contact with friends from your friend’s house around the house, as this is where the risk of infection is greatest.

You should also wear a face mask or covering indoors, wash your hands thoroughly, ideally with a separate or disposable towel, and get back outside immediately when you’re done.

Can I meet five parents and their children in a park?

Parent and children’s groups can only take place outdoors if they benefit children under the age of five and are organized by a company, charity, or public body.

However, if this were an informal gathering, you might not be able to meet in the park as the group comes from more than three households and has more than six people.

You would have to limit the group to a maximum of six people from three households or a larger number of people from two households.

If I can meet with a grill, what are the rules for cups, plates and utensils?

There are no specific rules for cups, plates, and utensils, but you should use good infection control measures when grilling.

You should use separate cups, plates and utensils for each person present and not share them as sharing increases the risk of infection.

You should also avoid shared foods like nutshells or buffets, as these have been shown to increase the risk of infection.

Can I chat with other parents on the school playground now?

While in the playground, the same rules apply as in other outdoor areas, so you can only chat with mothers from two other households as this is within the limit of six people from three households.

Schools would not rate large groups of parents mingling in their playgrounds positively, knowing that doing so would increase the risk of infection and would not comply with government regulations.

Can two households and the people in their two support bubbles meet even if there will be 15 people?

Yes. You can meet in a group of any size from up to two households, including members of an existing support bubble. A group of 15 people can meet outdoors if they come from a maximum of two households and have their respective support bladders.

Now I am allowed to go for a walk outside of my surroundings. Can I camp overnight?

No. You can walk outside of your area, but overnight camp is not permitted as it is considered a non-essential purpose.

Can 10 people get together for an informal five-on-five soccer game?

Only if they come from a maximum of two households. You can participate in formally organized outdoor sports with any number of people. However, this must be organized by a company, charity, or public entity and the organizer must take the necessary infection control precautions.

Are we well on our way to opening stores, theme parks and gyms on April 12th? What could it reset?

Yes, because in England the number of Covid-19 cases, hospital admissions and deaths are currently falling. If the number of cases increases rapidly over the next few weeks, it could cause the government to stop these reopening of businesses. However, this is unlikely to be the case.

Can I do my yoga class in my garden or in a park?

If this is a formally organized event run by a qualified yoga instructor or yoga club, you can conduct your course outdoors with no limit on numbers.

However, you cannot meet for an informal yoga session with your friends if it violates the rules on the maximum number of people who can get together.

Will more people than just the specific person be able to visit my mother in the garden of her nursing home?

Nursing homes can offer visits to other friends or family members if they take place outdoors, for example in the nursing home’s garden.

However, you must be aware that nursing home residents are at very high risk of serious illness and death if they contract Covid-19. Therefore, good infection control measures must be followed. Ideally, visitors should have been vaccinated as well as your mother.

Can i go to the beach

Yes, but overnight stays outside the house are not permitted for this purpose. So you need to be able to go to the beach and return home the same day.


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