What exactly are the new lockdown rules that have come into force today? - The Guide Liverpool

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What exactly are the new lockdown rules that have come into force today?


The lockdown rules changed just after midnight on Wednesday – but what are they exactly?

New rules on what people can and cannot do in England have come into force as the Government eases coronavirus restrictions.

Exercise is no longer limited to once a day, and those who want to go fishing are able to do so.

Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are either adhering to existing rules or writing their own amendments.

You can meet a friend at the park and view a potential new home as the Government begins to relax coronavirus lockdown measures despite the death toll continuing to rise.

Changes in the guidelines, which come into force today, have caused confusion and anger – as people remain unable to visit relatives or friends at their homes, but can now be shown around a property for sale.

The move to unlock the housing market will enable buyers and renters to complete purchases and view properties in person, while visiting estate agents, developer sales offices or show homes will also be allowed.

Unlimited exercise, sunbathing and meeting one person from another household in a public space will also be permitted in England from Wednesday, as long as the two-metre rule is respected, while golf clubs, tennis courts and angling have been given the green light.

Restrictions on how far people can travel to get to the countryside, national parks and beaches in England have also been lifted – but people have been warned to respect local communities, keep their distance from others and avoid hotspots or busy areas.


Here’s what you are able to do and what is still off-limits:

Exercise and sport

People in England will now be able to exercise more than once a day and with one person who is not from their household, so long as social distancing requirements are still met.

Golf courses, outdoor tennis and basketball courts can be used, and people can also swim in lakes and the sea.

However, gathering with more than one member of another household is still forbidden, along with swimming in a public pool, using a playground or outdoor gym, and exercising in indoor leisure centres or facilities.


Driving to outdoor open spaces, either alone or with members of your household is allowed, as well as travelling to beaches or beauty spots in England. Similarly, travelling to the countryside is also permitted.

Regulations against going on holiday or staying overnight at a holiday home or second home still apply.



Going for a picnic, sunbathing and relaxing in a public place is now allowed in England, while people can also fishing on their own, or with one other person while adhering to social distancing rules.

People are not allowed to visit the homes of friends and family – unless it is for care and medical reasons, or to take a child to another household with whom parental responsibilities are shared.

Visiting a private or ticketed attraction is also not permitted.

Can I go for a drive?

Yes, this was never banned under the laws, even though ministers had previously advised against it.

Petrol stations, car repair and MOT services, taxi companies and car parks are still among businesses which can remain open, albeit with restrictions.

How often can I go out?

As much as you like.

Although previous Government advice was to exercise once a day, the law has never actually prohibited how many times you could leave your house or exercise, and this remains the case.

What else can I do?

You can start up your house hunt again.

The original regulations said a reasonable excuse included to “move house where reasonably necessary”.

The change to the law now says it is permitted to “undertake any of the following activities in connection with the purchase, sale, letting or rental of a residential property”.

They include: visiting estate or letting agents; developer sales offices or show homes; viewing residential properties to look for a property to buy or rent; preparing a residential property to move in, moving home; visiting a residential property to undertake any activities required for the rental or sale of that property.

What else does the law say?

Outdoor sports courts and garden centres have been added to the list of locations and businesses – like parks, supermarkets, hardware stores and post offices – which are allowed to stay open, albeit with restrictions.

Hotels may also provide accommodation to key workers in some circumstances.

But what about social distancing?

Neither the original regulations or the amended legislation address social distancing specifically, so keeping two metres (6ft) apart in certain circumstances was never a legal requirement.

But the Government strongly advises the public to do this wherever possible with those not in their household to help prevent the spread of the virus.

This may raise questions over whether police officers can enforce this by law or fine those who have not complied.

 So can I see family and friends I don’t live with?

Yes, but according to the law only one person from another household at a time in a public space or for exercise as mentioned above.

Has anything changed for the police?

Yes, the fines they can issue are higher in England, now starting at £100 – reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days.

The fine doubles to £200 for a second and subsequent offences, to a maximum of £3,200.

Action by officers is still expected to be “necessary and proportionate”.

How long do the rules last?

The emergency law needs to be reviewed at least once every 21 days and remains in place until scrapped by the Government.

Ultimately they expire after six months of initial introduction if not renewed

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