Coronavirus: what are the new lockdown rules?

New lockdown rules have come into effect after being published on Friday afternoon.  From Saturday, people can meet in groups of up to 30 people, indoors or outdoors, and venues like pubs can open.


Larger gatherings are still banned with some exceptions such as those organised by a business.  However, risk assessments and extra steps must be taken to prevent the risk of spreading coronavirus.


Can I play football outside with my friends?


There is nothing in the new law which prohibits people playing football and other sports together.


Professor Chris Whitty told the Downing Street press conference: “It may be possible to play the games safely at a distance as long as participants take precautions like keeping distance to avoid contact.”


Which businesses have to remain closed?


Venues which open at night and provide a space for dancing are not to open.  This includes nightclubs, adult entertainment venues, casinos and bowling alleys.


All beauty salons including nail bars, tanning booths, spas, massage and tattoo parlours, body piercing businesses and any others which provide cosmetic or wellness treatments must stay closed.


Hairdressers offering these services in addition can open, just not offering beauty treatments.


Can I still get fined?


Breaking the new rules can still be fined.   Repeat offenders can be fined up to £3,200 or face prosecution.


How long will these rules last?


The Regulations expire after six months unless they are scrapped by the government earlier. However, they must be reviewed every 28 days and the first review must take place by 31 July.


The government is urging people to keep following its guidance of keeping two metres apart, or one metre if they can take extra precautionary measures like wearing face masks, sitting side-by-side as opposed to face on, and washing their hands regularly.


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