FAQs - National Restrictions
You can find more details on the Government's website.
Why has the delaying of the roadmap taken place?
With the emergence of the more transmissable Delta Variant of Concern, scientists fear there would be a "significant resurgence" in people needing hospital treatment for Covid-19 if stage four of easing the lockdown went ahead as planned on 21 June.
How long will we have national restrictions in place?
It is expected that England will move to Step 4 on 19 July, though the data will be reviewed after 2 weeks in case the risks have reduced. The government will continue to monitor the data and the move to Step 4 will be confirmed one week in advance.
What if I don’t follow the rules?
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.
Can I visit other members of my family that I don’t live with?
You can meet outdoors in gathering of up to 30 people. You can meet people you do not live with indoors in gatherings of up to six, or two households. Each household can include a support bubble if eligible.
Instead of instructing you to stay 2m apart from anyone you don’t live with, you will be encouraged to exercise caution and consider the guidance on risks associated with Covid-19 and actions you can take to help keep you and your loved ones safe.
Can I still be in a support bubble or childcare bubble
You can now mix socially indoors with people outside of your household in groups of six or two households, this can include to provide childcare for a friend or relative. Each household can include a support bubble if eligible.
Can I have more than one support bubble?
Sorry no. Support bubbles are to allow households with only one adult member (with or without children) to meet up indoors with another household of any size. This is an exclusive arrangement, so you can’t have more than one.
People who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable are no longer required to shield, but they are advised to limit the time they spend outside the home.
There is additional advice for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus.
Can I visit my relatives in a care home?
Care home residents are able to nominate five named visitors each, with two visitors being able to visit each day; subject to the visiting arrangements specific to each care home or any local guidance issued by the Director for Health and Care.
For visits into care homes, all care home residents are able to nominate an essential care giver. These essential care givers can visit the care home resident, even if the resident is isolating.
In most cases, residents who go on a visit out of a care home will no longer need to isolate for 14 days when they return. Residents returning from some higher risk visits out of the care home, such as an overnight stay in hospital, will still be required to isolate. Decisions on risk will be made following a risk assessment by the care home for each visit out.
The guidance on care home visiting can be found on the Government website.
There is separate guidance for people in supported living.
Can I go to a place of worship?
Up to 6 people, or two households, can gather indoors including in places of worship.
You should follow the national guidance on the safe use of places of worship.
What does it mean for weddings?
Most significant life cycle events can resume in COVID-Secure venues with attendee limits determined by how many people a venue can safely accomodate with social distancing measures in place. This will include events such as weddings, wakes, private baptisms, naming ceremonies and stone setting ceremonies.
Anyone working at the venue is not counted in these limits.
They may also take place in venues other than COVID-Secure venues, such as in the garden of a private home.
For more information, please visit: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Wedding and civil partnership ceremonies, receptions and celebrations
What about funerals?
Funeral attendance will be determined by how many people the COVID-secure venue can safely accommodate with social distancing. They may also take place in venues other than COVID-Secure venues, such as in a garden of a private home.
What business are allowed to open?
Indoor entertainment and visitor attractions are now open, including:
- cinemas and outdoor cinemas
- theatres and outdoor theatres
- concert halls
- amusement arcades and adult gaming centres
- bingo halls
- bowling alleys
- snooker and pool halls
Indoor as well as outdoor attractions are reopen at the following:
- museums and galleries
- adventure playgrounds and activities
- skating rinks
- games and recreation venues, including laser quest, escape rooms, paintballing and recreational driving facilities
- play areas (including soft play centres and inflatable parks)
- model villages
- trampolining parks
- water and aqua parks
- theme parks and film studios
- zoos, safari parks, aquariums and other animal attractions
- botanical gardens, greenhouses and biomes
- sculpture parks
- landmarks including observation wheels or viewing platforms
- stately or historic homes, castles, or other heritage sites
Indoor events and remaining outdoor events, such as elite sports, business events, cinemas and live performance events will also be permitted. Attendance at these events will be restricted to 50% of capacity up to 1,000 people for indoor events, and 50% of capacity up to 4,000 people for outdoor events.
For outdoor events taking place in venues with seated capacity of over 16,000, event organisers may apply a 25% capacity cap, up to a maximum of 10,000 seated people.
Remaining holiday accommodation can reopen, as can saunas and steam rooms. Indoor team sport and group exercise classes will return.
Are pubs and restaurants allowed to open?
Indoor areas of hospitality venues are now open with table service required. Venues are prohibited from providing smoking equipment such as shisha pipes, for use on the premises.
Are schools and colleges still open?
Pupils and students in all schools and further education settings returned to face to face education on 8 March.
What about universities?
All higher education students will be able to access in-person teaching.
Should I go to work?
You should continue to work from home if you can - this is now extended to 19 July.
Employers and employees should discuss their working arrangements, and employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home, including providing suitable IT and equipment to enable remote working.
I am in the clinically extremely vulnerable category and can’t work from home. Should I still go to work?
You are strongly advised not to go to work.
You may be eligible for support if you cannot work and can find more information on the Government’s website.
People should minimise travel where possible. When travelling within the UK, you should aim to do so safely and plan your journey in advance.
People are particuarly advised to avoid travelling in and out of areas where the Delta Variant of Concern is spreading rapidly. A list of these areas can be found on the GOV website.
A traffic light system is in place for international travel, and you must follow the rules when returning to England depending on whether you return from a red, amber or green list country.
All holiday accommodation is open (including hotels and B&Bs). This can be used by groups of up to 6, or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).
Everyone in Staffordshire should get tested twice a week if they don’t have symptoms.
People now have plenty of options to get tested, including rapid tests at our community testing sites, and options for home testing. More information can be found on our Testing for people without symptoms webpage and our Testing FAQs webpage.
If you have the main symptoms of Covid-19, which are fever, cough or loss of taste or smell, you must isolate immediately and book a test online or by ringing 119. You must isolate until you get the result.