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Coronavirus – check if you can go out or meet people

This advice applies to England

The whole of England is in lockdown. During the lockdown, places like bars, restaurants and gyms will be shut.

It's against the law to leave your home or meet with people outside your household without a good reason, for example shopping for essentials.

If you do have a good reason to leave your home, the government guidance suggests you should stay in your local area if possible.

You're allowed to meet up with people from other households in some situations. The government recommends you keep at least 2 metres away from people who aren't in your household.

If your partner or family member makes you feel anxious or threatened

You can still get help during this time. Contact a domestic abuse organisation to check what services are available.

You can also check the guide to staying safe on the SafeLives website.

Going to work

You should work from home if you can. You can go to work if it's not reasonably possible to work from home – this includes if you work as a volunteer.

The government guidance recommends you don't go to work if you've got a medical condition that makes you 'extremely vulnerable' – even if you can't work from home. You can check if you're extremely vulnerable on GOV.UK.

Going outside to exercise

You can also go outside to public spaces for exercise.

You can't use outdoor sports facilities like tennis courts, golf courses and swimming pools - these should be shut.

You're allowed to exercise outdoors with the people you live with.

You can meet for exercise with 1 person from another household. You can't take anyone else from your household to meet them - except for a child under 5. You can only meet to exercise, not to socialise - for example, you can't have a picnic or social meeting.

Seeing your children

If you have children under 18 and you're separated from their other parent, you can see your children as normal.

Visiting someone who is ill or needs help

You can meet with someone:

  • to care for them, for example if they need help to stay safe, wash or eat
  • to visit them in a hospital or care home – check if visitors are allowed first
  • to visit them if they're nearing the end of their life

Going to a funeral

You can meet in a group of up to 30 people for a funeral.

You can meet in a group of up to 6 people for a wake or memorial. This can be outside or somewhere public like a town hall – it can't be in someone's house.

Going to a wedding

You can only go to a wedding or civil partnership ceremony if one of the people getting married is nearing the end of their life. There can only be up to 6 people at the ceremony – this includes the couple but doesn't include the officials conducting the ceremony.

Taking your children to school

Schools and sixth form colleges have closed for most children.

You might be able to take your children to school if you're a 'critical worker'.

This means your job keeps an important service running, like the NHS, police or food deliveries. Check if you're a critical worker on GOV.UK.

You should also take your children to school if they're considered vulnerable, for example if they have:

  • a social worker
  • an Education, Health and Care Plan

Your child might also be considered vulnerable if they have difficulty learning at home - for example, if they don't have a computer. You can check what help you can get if your child doesn't have a computer or internet access.

You can check if your child's considered vulnerable on GOV.UK.

Check the government's advice on school closures on GOV.UK.

Leaving your home for another reason

You can also leave your home for reasons including:

  • education or childcare
  • getting goods from shops or visiting food banks
  • getting money or topping up a prepayment meter
  • going to a place of worship
  • getting or giving medical help – for example if you're caring for someone who doesn't live with you
  • avoiding being harmed or helping someone in an emergency
  • doing something the law says you have to – for example going to court

You can check all the situations when you're allowed to leave your home on GOV.UK.

Check what happens if you break the rules

The police could tell you to go home or fine you £200 if you go out or meet with people when you're not allowed to.

You can be fined up to £6,400 if you keep breaking the rules, and up to £10,000 if you organise a meeting of more than 30 people.

Joining with another household

You might be able to join with 1 other household and treat them like part of your household. This is called making either a 'support bubble' or a 'childcare bubble'.

You're allowed to meet people in your bubble anywhere, including in their home.

You can make a 'support bubble' if either:

  • you live with no one else aged 18 or over
  • there's only 1 person aged 18 or over in the household you want to join

You can make a childcare bubble to get help with childcare if either:

  • you live with a child under 14
  • there's a child under 14 in the household you want to join

You can only be in 1 support bubble and 1 childcare bubble. You can't change the household you're in a bubble with. You can't meet people from your childcare bubble and your support bubble at the same time.

If you have children and you're separated from their other parent

If your children are under 18 and they spend time with you and the other parent, they can be part of 2 different bubbles.

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