BORIS Johnson has ordered the nation to stay at home until February in a fresh lockdown to crack down on coronavirus cases.
The PM tonight ordered a return to the strict measures of March – even tougher than the lockdown in November as schools and more shops will shut until mid-February.
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It means that from midnight tonight people in England will only be able to leave their house for a certain number of allowed reasons.
Schools will be shut again, with only the children of key workers of vulnerable children permitted to attend.
The drastic intervention will last for at six weeks.
Boris has said the huge spike in cases – with 58,000 recorded today alone – has forced him to act.
And the Covid alert level is going up to five for the first time too, the highest level of alert meaning the NHS may be overwhelmed within three weeks.
Similar rules will be in place in Scotland, too.
Anyone who breaks the rules to leave home or go somewhere without a reasonable excuse will face a fine of £60 in Scotland – and up to £200 in England.
You could face a fine for:
- Being out of your home without a reasonable excuse as above
- Travelling abroad or going on holiday during the lockdown period – as this is not a reasonable excuse
- Breaking Covid rules by having others outside your household inside your home
- Hosting a gathering – this could see you get a fine of up to £10,000
A full list of reasons are set to be published by the Government in due course.
The excuses are expected to include:
- Work: If you have to go to work as you really can't work from home, this will be allowed. Key workers such as those who work for the police, or NHS, will be permitted to do so
- School and childcare: Schools are open only for the kids of key workers or vulnerable pupils, but people can carry on accessing other childcare
- Exercise: Boris will continue to allow unlimited exercise outdoors. That means people can carry on going for walks, runs and other forms of exercise outdoors if they wish. You can do that with your household, support bubble or on your own with one person from another household
- Food, drink & supplies: People will still be allowed out to collect food and drink – such as at the supermarket, or take-aways
- Medical appointments: Everyone will be urged to continue to attend hospital and doctor appointments if they need to
- To escape injury or harm; those at risk of harm are allowed to leave their current home and move elsewhere
- To provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer: people will still be allowed to travel to care for people who need it, or attend volunteer work too
- Harm and compassionate visits – you can leave home to be with someone who is giving birth, to visit someone who is dying or someone in a care home (if permitted under care home guidance), hospice, or hospital, or to accompany them to a medical appointment.
- Animal welfare reasons – you can leave home to attend veterinary services for advice or treatment
- Communal worship and life events – You can leave home to attend or visit a place of worship for communal worship, a funeral or event related to a death, a burial ground or a remembrance garden, or to attend a wedding ceremony. You should follow the guidance on the safe use of places of worship and must not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble
- Weddings, funerals and religious, belief-based or commemorative events linked to someone’s death are all subject to limits on the numbers that can attend, and weddings and civil ceremonies may only take place in exceptional circumstances – like when someone is terminally ill
- To fulfil legal obligations or to carry out activities related to buying, selling, letting or renting a residential property
- You can also leave to vote in an election or referendum
- You are still allowed to move home
Other services you can still visit are:
- The NHS and medical services like GPs and dentists.
- Jobcentre Plus sites
- Courts and probation services
- Civil registrations offices
- Passport and visa services
- Services provided to victims
- Waste or recycling centres
- Getting an MOT, if you need to drive when lawfully leaving
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