Frequently Asked Questions

1. Changes in restrictions

1.1 What is changing and 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.

In recent weeks, a wide range of sectors and activities have been able to restart, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidelines, and we have eased the restrictions on social contact - enabling people to meet in groups of two households in any location (or, as previous, in a group of any six people outdoors).

The Prime Minister updated on progress on 17 July, setting out the next stages of our roadmap. This includes the following steps.

From 24 July:

  • in order to help contain the spread of the virus as we open up more premises, face coverings are now required in shops and supermarkets – in addition to public transport where they were already required. People are also strongly encouraged to wear face coverings in other enclosed public spaces where there are people they do not normally meet

From 25 July:

  • sports facilities and venues, including such as indoor gyms, fitness and dance studios, indoor swimming pools and indoor water parks, can open

From 1 August, subject to rates of transmission closer to the time:

  • employers will have more discretion, in consultation with their employees, on how to ensure people can work safely – working from home is one way to do this, but workplaces can also be made safe by following COVID-19 Secure guidelines
  • the clinically extremely vulnerable will no longer need to follow advice on shielding, though should still take particular care to follow the social distancing guidelines when meeting people
  • bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos can open
  • conference and exhibition centres will be able to reopen in order to enable pilots for business events to take place – they should not yet be open fully to host events more widely
  • indoor performances to a live audience can begin to take place, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidelines and subject to the success of pilots that are taking place as soon as possible
  • further pilots of larger events can take place in venues, including in sports stadia and business conferences
  • small wedding receptions - sit-down meals for no more than 30 people – can take place, subject to COVID-19 Secure guidance
  • all remaining close contact services – such as facial treatment and make up application – can restart, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidelines

1.2 What else will change in the next few months?

In the Prime Minister’s update on progress on 17 July, he set out the next stages of our roadmap.

From 1 September:

  • schools, nurseries and colleges will open for all children and young people on a full-time basis
  • universities are working to reopen as fully as possible

From 1 October, if prevalence remains around or below current levels:

  • we will bring back audiences in stadiums, and allow conferences and other business events to recommence in a COVID-19 Secure way

In November, our ambition is to scale back remaining social distancing measures, but this is contingent on a number of factors, including consideration of the specific challenges as we move into winter.

1.3 What should I still avoid doing?

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 and avoid close social interaction – even if they are organised by businesses and venues that are taking steps to follow COVID-19 Secure guidelines
  • stay overnight away from your home with members of more than one other household (your support bubble counts as one household)

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, civil partnership ceremonies 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.

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

You don’t have to stay at home anymore but 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, you should maintain social distancing from people you do not live with or are not in your support bubble, and should wash your 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 self-isolate, stay at home and get a test. 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.

1.5 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. This list will be updated as the reopening described above comes into effect.

1.6 What do the local lockdown restrictions mean?

So that more people can lead lives closer to normal, the Government is replacing national restrictions with local action to contain local outbreaks. 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.

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

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

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

Where the risk of a local flare-up is identified, it is important that we take quick and appropriate action to control the spread. Both the 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. Social contact and events

2.1 Can I visit people indoors?

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.

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

You can meet in groups of up to six people who you do not live with or who are not in your support bubble.

You can also meet people in groups of more than six people if everyone is exclusively from two households (anyone in the same 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.

2.3 Can I visit a clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely 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.

Until 1 August, if someone is defined as clinically extremely vulnerable and being asked to shield, you should follow the guidance for a shielded person.

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

You should walk or cycle if you can, however where this is not possible, you can use public transport or drive. If you do use public transport, you must wear a face covering and you should follow the safer travel guidance for passengers.

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

You should try not to share a vehicle with those outside your household or social bubble. If you need to, try to:

  • share the transport with the same people each time
  • keep to small groups of people at any one time
  • open windows for ventilation
  • travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where seating arrangements allow
  • face away from each other
  • consider seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle
  • clean your car between journeys using standard cleaning products - make sure you clean door handles and other areas that people may touch
  • ask the driver and passengers to wear a face covering

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.

2.6 Can I stay overnight in someone else’s home?

Yes, you can stay overnight in someone else’s home. However, you should ensure you maintain social distancing with anyone you do not live with or who 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.

You should also only stay overnight in groups of up to two households. This means if you are staying overnight in someone’s home, you should only do so with members of your own household, in addition to the household of your host.

2.7 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.

2.8 Can weddings go ahead?

Yes, wedding ceremonies and civil partnerships are allowed to take place. 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. The lower the number of attendees, the lower the risk of spreading the virus.

See further guidance on wedding ceremonies and civil partnerships.

Large wedding receptions or parties should not currently be taking place and any celebration after the ceremony should follow the broader social distancing guidance of involving no more than two households in any location or, if outdoors, up to six people from different households.

However, from 1 August (subject to rates of transmission closer to the time), small wedding receptions will be able to take place – this means sit-down meals for no more than 30 people and subject to COVID-19 Secure guidance.

2.9 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, civil partnership ceremonies 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.

2.10 How can I stay safe if I am part of a larger gathering?

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

3. Visiting public places and taking part in activities

3.1 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 can use public transport but it is better to travel in other ways if possible. It is difficult to socially distance during car journeys and transmission of coronavirus can definitely occur in this context. So avoid travelling with someone from outside your household or your support bubble unless you can practise social distancing.

Further guidance on car sharing is available. If you need to use public transport, you should follow the safer travel guidance for passengers. When travelling on public transport you are legally required to wear a face covering.

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 here. This is crucial to help to ensure the virus does not spread across borders.

3.2 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 walk or cycle if you can, however where this is not possible, you can use public transport or drive. If you do use public transport, you must wear a face covering and should follow the safer travel guidance for passengers.

3.3 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 the same 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.

3.4 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.

3.5 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.

3.6 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).

3.7 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. 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 (or 1 metre with additional COVID-19 Secure measures in place) should be kept from people you do not live with wherever possible.

3.8 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. Outside of these formal activities, to help control the virus, you should limit your interactions with those you don’t live with.

3.9 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 outside of these formal activities with anyone you do not live with.

The club should also follow COVID-19 Secure guidance.

3.10 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.

3.11 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.

3.12 Can I go to the theatre or a concert?

Outdoor performances are 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.

Currently, venues should not permit indoor performances, including dramatic, musical or comedy performances, to take place in front of a live audience. The government is piloting indoor performances with a socially distanced audience in accordance with COVID-19 Secure guidelines.

From 1 August indoor performances to a live audience can begin to take place, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidelines, subject to the successful completion of pilots, and provided prevalence remains around or below current levels.

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.

3.13 When will I be able to go to a football match?

Through our close work with the sectors and public health experts, we will look into ways to safely re-open large venues, such as sports stadiums, to the public and will be piloting our COVID-19 Secure approaches over the course of the next few months. As set out in the Government’s plan, if prevalence remains around or below current levels into the autumn, we will bring back spectators in stadiums in a safe way, from 1 October.

3.14 Can I play sport outside?

You can 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 and the FA has published guidance here. 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 if you cannot socially distance from people you do not live with. 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).

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

3.15 Do I have to wear a face covering in public?

Face coverings are currently mandatory on public transport, and in shops, supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, banks, building societies, post offices, and indoor transport hubs. People are also strongly encouraged to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces where there are people they do not normally meet. Relevant guidance on face coverings is available here.

You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to. This includes (but is not limited to): children under 11; because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability; to communicate with someone who relies on lip reading; to avoid harm or injury; to identify yourself; or to eat or drink if necessary.

You can carry something that says you do not have to wear a face covering for medical reasons. This is a personal choice, and is not necessary in law - you should not routinely be required to produce any written evidence to justify the fact you are not wearing a face covering.

Relevant guidance on face coverings is available here

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

4.1 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 else 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 health problem.

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.

4.2 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), may 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.

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 and:

  • 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.

4.3 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.

5. Going to work and being COVID-19 Secure

5.1 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.

In order to keep the virus under control, it is important that people work safely. Until 1 August, people who can work from home should continue to do so. 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 COVID-19 Secure guidelines. These are tailored guidelines for employers - developed in consultation with businesses and trade unions - to help protect their workforce and customers from coronavirus while still continuing to trade or getting their business back up and running.

From 1 August, it will be at the discretion of employers as to how staff can continue working safely. Working from home is one way to do this, but workplaces can also be made safe by following COVID-19 Secure guidelines. Your employer should consult with you on how you can work safely, and must ensure workplaces are safe if they are asking you to return, as above.

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.

5.2 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.

5.3 Do I need to stay 2 metres apart - or 1 metre?

People should either stay 2m apart or ‘1m plus’ – which is one metre plus mitigations that will help to prevent transmission. These mitigations will depend on the workplace or setting. For example, on public transport (and from July 24, in shops and supermarkets), people must wear a face covering, as it is not always possible to stay 2m apart. People should also wash or sanitise their hands regularly and avoid the busiest routes and times (like the rush hour).

In other spaces, mitigations could include installing screens, making sure people face away from each other, putting up hand washing 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.

5.4 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-19 Secure guidelines indirect legal enforceability.

Local authorities also have new powers to close any premises if they believe it necessary to help prevent transmission of COVID-19.

6. Workers’ rights

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

Employers and staff should discuss and agree working arrangements.

For now, 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.

From 1 August, it will be at the discretion of employers as to how staff can continue working safely. Working from home is one way to do this, but workplaces can also be made safe by following COVID-19 Secure guidelines. Your employer should consult with you on how you can work safely, and must ensure workplaces are safe if they are asking you to return, as above.

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.

6.2 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.

7. Public Transport

7.1 Who is allowed to travel on public transport?

You should walk or cycle if you can. However where this is not possible, you can use public transport or drive. If you are using public transport, you should follow the safer travel guidance for passengers.

7.2 Should people wear face coverings on public transport?

It is the law that you must wear a face covering when travelling in England on a:

  • bus or coach
  • train or tram
  • ferry or hovercraft or other vessel
  • aircraft
  • cable car
  • in an enclosed transport hub, such as a train or bus station

If you do not wear a face covering you will be breaking the law and could be fined £100, or £50 if you pay the fine within 14 days.

Please be aware that some people are exempt, and do not have to wear a face covering on public transport, including for health, age or equality reasons.

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.

7.3 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. It is mandatory to wear face coverings in shops, supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, banks, building societies, post offices, and indoor transport hubs

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

8. Schools and Childcare

8.1 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.

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

8.2 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.

9. Borders / international visitors

9.1 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, we need to impose measures relating to people arriving in the UK. Exemptions are in place for some countries where the risk of transmission is low. Find out more about self-isolation when you travel to the UK.

In England, if you are required to self-isolate and do not, 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. These fines start at £100, and will double - up to £3,200 - for repeated offences.

9.2 How do the quarantine exemptions work?

Unless you have visited or stopped in any other country or territory in the preceding 14 days, passengers arriving from the countries and territories listed here will not be required to self-isolate on arrival into England.

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.

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

People should follow the government guidelines, including maintaining social distancing with those they are not staying with and washing their hands regularly

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