MORE than 50 million people in England woke up to new tough coronavirus restrictions this morning after Boris Johnson plunged the country into a new nationwide lockdown.
It is the third time the whole country has faced harsh rules in almost a year, although there have been differences between lockdowns.
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Schools will be closed across the country – just like in the first lockdown Credit: Caters News Agency
Like the first lockdown, schools will be closed apart from for vulnerable youngsters and children of key workers.
In another similarity with last spring’s restrictions, universities will not reopen for most face-to-face teaching and students should not return.
Instead they should continue their studies from their homes.
In the second English lockdown in November, schools and other education settings were allowed to remain open.
The new measures will last until at least mid-February, the Prime Minister said.
He initially set a three-week review period for the original lockdown measures in March, but they continued for a lot longer.
In November, the restrictions were given a set end date of December 2, and were lifted on that day.
LEAVING THE HOUSE
Like in March, people are being told to only leave their house for essential activities such as buying groceries or to provide care to another person.
Non-essential retail has been closed as have entertainment venues.
Travelling to and from work will be permitted much like during the other shutdowns, but only when absolutely necessary and only if work cannot be done from home.
Just like in March, people will only be allowed to exercise once a day.
However, this time they can exercise with one other person from outside their household as long as they follow social-distancing guidelines.
They can go on walks together but cannot sit down during their workout, for example, on a park bench.
Similar to the recent Tier 4 restrictions, gyms and leisure centres have to stay closed and outdoor team sports will also not be permitted – just like the first lockdown.
The extremely clinically vulnerable who were previously told to shield will be advised stay at home and only leave for medical appointments and exercise.
This is similar to the advice in November.
The measures mark a slight relaxation from last spring, when shielding patients were told to stay at home at all times and medical appointments were advised to be done at home.
People will be able to exercise once a day – just like in MarchCredit: Zenpix
Brits can form childcare and support bubbles – a big difference from the first lockdown when social contacted was banned in March Credit: Getty Images – Getty
Support and childcare bubbles will be allowed to stay in place, differentiating this lockdown from last spring when social contact was banned.
This time, people can leave their homes to form childcare bubbles which allows one household to link with another one to provide informal childcare to kids under 14.
Informal childcare is defined as being unpaid and unregistered but parents can still use registered childcare during lockdown.
Another key difference is only key workers were allowed to travel to work at the start of the first lockdown.
There was big controversy over builders continuing to work on site in March.
But now, in the third lockdown, anyone who can’t work from home can travel to their workplace – such as factory staff.
WEDDINGS AND FUNERALS
Like the earlier lockdowns, weddings are off apart from in exceptional circumstances (such as where one partner is seriously ill).
There are strict limits on attendance (up to six people).
Funerals can take place with a maximum attendance of 30.
PLACES OF WORSHIP
Unlike last spring and November, places of worship will remain open for prayer and services and for ceremonies such as weddings and funerals.
People should only visit with their household or support bubble.
In the previous lockdowns places of worship had to close apart from for funerals or to record a service for broadcast.
The Government has chosen to use the same slogan for the new lockdown.
They are urging the population to Stay Home, Protect NHS, Save Lives.
Playgrounds will remain open under England’s new Covid lockdown rules.
They were controversially shut during the first lockdown so the new measures will be a relief to millions of parents around the country.
The biggest difference between the lockdowns is the new vaccination programme.
During the first lockdown in March, Britain didn’t have an end strategy with no vaccine plans in sight.
However, the vaccination programme continues to be rolled out and symbolises the UK’s best chance of getting life back to normal.
Playgrounds will remain open for kids during England’s third national lockdown