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Coronavirus – National Lockdown questions and answers

To follow any changes to this service, visit the Council Service Updates page.

What has changed?

The government has placed the country into National Lockdown. You must stay at home. The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

You should follow this guidance immediately.

What this means for you

These laws apply to homes and businesses in North Lincolnshire.

You must not leave or be outside of your home except where you have a ‘reasonable excuse’. A ‘reasonable excuse’ includes:

Work

You can only leave home for work purposes where it is unreasonable for you to do your job from home.

Volunteering

You can also leave home to provide voluntary or charitable services.

Essential activities

You can leave home to buy things at shops or obtain services from a business which is permitted to open, but you should stay local. For instance you can leave home to buy food or medicine, or to collect any items – including food or drink – ordered through click-and-collect or as a takeaway, to obtain or deposit money (e.g. from a bank or post office), or to access critical public services (see section below).

Fulfilling legal obligations

You may also leave home to fulfil legal obligations, or to carry out activities related to buying, selling, letting or renting a residential property, or where it is reasonably necessary for voting in an election or referendum.

Education and childcare

You can only leave home for education, registered childcare, and supervised activities for children where they are eligible to attend. Access to education and children’s activities for school-aged pupils is restricted. See further information on education and childcare. People can continue existing arrangements for contact between parents and children where they live apart. This includes childcare bubbles.

Meeting others and care

You can continue to exercise alone, with one other person or with your household or support bubble. This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area. You should maintain social distancing.

Exercise and recreation

You should minimise time spent outside your home.

It is against the law to meet socially with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble. You can only leave your home to exercise, and not for the purpose of recreation or leisure (e.g. a picnic or a social meeting).

Medical reasons, harm and compassionate visits

You can leave home for a medical reason, including to get a COVID-19 test, for medical appointments and emergencies, to be with someone who is giving birth, to avoid injury or illness or to escape risk of harm (such as domestic abuse), or for animal welfare reasons – such as to attend veterinary services for advice or treatment.

You can also leave home 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.

Communal worship and life events

You can attend places of worship for a service. However, you must not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble. You should maintain strict social distancing at all times.

You should follow the national guidance on the safe use of places of worship.

Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and funerals are allowed with strict limits on attendance, and must only take place in COVID-19 secure venues or in public outdoor spaces unless in exceptional circumstances.

Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Linked religious, belief-based or commemorative events, such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 6 people in attendance. Anyone working is not counted in these limits. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.

Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies must only take place with up to 6 people. Anyone working is not included. These should only take place in exceptional circumstances, for example, an urgent marriage where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover, or is to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery.

To reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services. The businesses required to close include:

  • non-essential retail, such as clothing and homeware stores, vehicle showrooms (other than for rental), betting shops, tailors, tobacco and vape shops, electronic goods and mobile phone shops, auction houses (except for auctions of livestock or agricultural equipment) and market stalls selling non-essential goods. These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services.
  • hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery.
  • accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for providing accommodation or support to the homeless, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
  • leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, sports courts, fitness and dance studios and golf courses.
  • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres)
  • animal attractions (such as zoos, safari parks, aquariums, and wildlife reserves)
  • indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open for outdoor exercise.
  • personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons. Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close. These services should not be provided in other people’s homes
  • community centres and halls must close except for a limited number of exempt activities. Libraries can also remain open to provide access to IT and digital services – for example for people who do not have it at home – and for click-and-collect services.

Other businesses and venues are permitted to stay open, following COVID-19 secure guidelines. Businesses providing essential goods and services can stay open. The full list of these businesses can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England, but include:

  • essential retail such as food shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, garden centres, building merchants and suppliers of building products and off-licences
  • market stalls selling essential retail may also stay open
  • businesses providing repair services may also stay open, where they primarily offer repair services
  • petrol stations, automatic (but not manual) car washes, vehicle repair and MOT services, bicycle shops, and taxi and vehicle hire businesses
  • banks, building societies, post offices, short-term loan providers and money transfer businesses
  • funeral directors
  • laundrettes and dry cleaners
  • medical and dental services
  • vets and retailers of products and food for the upkeep and welfare of animals
  • animal rescue centres, boarding facilities and animal groomers (may continue to be used for animal welfare, rather than aesthetic purposes)
  • agricultural supplies shops
  • mobility and disability support shops
  • storage and distribution facilities
  • car parks, public toilets and motorway service areas
  • outdoor playgrounds
  • outdoor parts of botanical gardens and heritage sites for exercise
  • places of worship
  • crematoriums and burial grounds.

If you live in North Lincolnshire, you must:

  • not leave or be outside of the place you are living unless you have a reasonable excuse
  • not meet other people indoors, unless you live with them, or they are part of your support bubble
  • only meet one person outdoors from another household

(unless they’re in your support or childcare bubble, or when an exemption applies)

A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household (on an exclusive basis). Households within a bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit public places together.

Once you make a support bubble, you should not change who is in your bubble. You should not have multiple bubbles.

Find out more about support bubbles on GOV.UK

A childcare bubble is where someone in one household can provide informal (i.e. unpaid and unregistered) childcare to a child aged 14 or under in another household. This applies to extended family members and friends but must be on an exclusive basis – always the same two households.

Find out more about childcare bubbles on GOV.UK

People can visit another household:

  • to attend a birth at the mother’s request
  • to visit a person who is dying
  • to fulfil a legal obligation
  • for work purposes, or for the provision of voluntary or charitable services
  • for the purposes of education or training
  • for the purposes of childcare provided by a registered provider and informal childcare as part of a childcare bubble
  • to provide emergency assistance
  • to enable one or more persons in the gathering to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm
  • to help with a house move
  • to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person
  • to continue existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children where the children do not live in the same household as their parents, or one of their parents.

You can continue to use early years and childcare settings, including childminders and providers offering before or after school clubs or other out-of-school settings for children.

Children of parents who are separated can continue to move between households, providing the two separate households are in the same support bubble together.

Yes. Grandparents who live in the same household can link with one other household to provide childcare.

North Lincolnshire’s schools and colleges will remain open for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term. Education settings are following Public Health England and Department for Education guidance on keeping students and staff safe.

Face coverings are now a legal requirement in many public places, including shops and public transport. When you’re wearing a face covering, it must cover both your nose and your mouth.

By law you must wear a face covering in these places (unless you’re exempt):

  • public transport (aeroplanes, trains, and buses)
  • taxis and private hire vehicles
  • transport hubs (airports, rail stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
  • essential shops and supermarkets (places which offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
  • premises providing veterinary services
  • places of worship
  • funeral service providers (funeral homes, crematoria and burial ground chapels).

Yes. You can leave home for work purposes, where your place of work remains open and where you cannot work from home. Workplaces should have Covid-19 secure arrangements in place.

Journeys should be minimised, but you can still travel to go to the shops and work that are open. You should still wear a face covering.

You’re advised against travelling out of your area (although exceptions apply, for example for work, education or caring responsibilities).

People who live in North Lincolnshire should not visit other households inside or outside of the area’s boundaries (unless an exemption applies).

No, if you live in North Lincolnshire you must not socialise indoors with people who you do not live with, whether inside or outside the North Lincolnshire boundary. Hospitality venues must remain closed.

You can only leave your home to exercise, and not for the purpose of recreation or leisure (e.g. a picnic or a social meeting). This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.

You can exercise in a public outdoor place:

  • by yourself
  • with the people you live with
  • with your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one)
  • in a childcare bubble where providing childcare
  • or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household.

Public outdoor places include:

  • parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests
  • public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them)
  • the grounds of a heritage site
  • playgrounds.

Residents are advised to walk or cycle when possible and when travelling by car to only travel with those in your household and/or support bubble.

It is advised to only use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work. Face coverings must be worn unless exempt.

At this time please avoid car sharing, but if you have to, please follow these simple steps:

  • wash your hands or use sanitiser before and after your journey
  • wear face coverings
  • share with the same small group only
  • clean your car surfaces after every journey (including seat belts and internal/external handles)
  • sit as far away as possible
  • keep the windows open.

You can only travel internationally – or within the UK – where you first have a legally permitted reason to leave home. In addition, you should consider the public health advice in the country you are visiting.

If you do need to travel overseas (and are legally permitted to do so, for example, because it is for work), even if you are returning to a place you’ve visited before, you should look at the rules in place at your destination and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice.

UK residents currently abroad do not need to return home immediately. However, you should check with your airline or travel operator on arrangements for returning.

You are allowed to stay overnight away from your home if you:

  • are visiting your support bubble
  • are unable to return to your main residence
  • need accommodation while moving house
  • need accommodation to attend a funeral or related commemorative event
  • require accommodation for work purposes or to provide voluntary services
  • are a child requiring accommodation for school or care
  • are homeless, seeking asylum, a vulnerable person seeking refuge, or if escaping harm (including domestic abuse)
  • are an elite athlete or their support staff or parent, if the athlete is under 18 and it is necessary to be outside of the home for training or competition.

Official/registered tradespeople can go to other people’s homes for work purposes as long as they follow national guidance on how to work safely there.

In North Lincolnshire, the following attendance limits apply for weddings and funerals:

  • Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies must only take place with up to 6 people. Anyone working is not included. These should only take place in exceptional circumstances, for example, an urgent marriage where one of those getting married is seriously ill and not expected to recover, or is to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery. No receptions are permitted. If you would like to discuss your booking, or make a new ceremony enquiry, please email us at registrars@northlincs.gov.uk and a member of the team will contact you.
  • Funerals – in line with latest government guidance and due to the size of Woodlands chapel, the limit on the numbers attending funerals in the crematorium chapel is 20.
  • Burials which take place outside are limited to 30.

Anyone working at these ceremonies or events are not included as part of the person limit.

The additional restriction on mixing with other households within indoor settings does not change the attendance limits.

Further information:

Indoor gyms and sports facilities are closed.

Outdoor sports courts, outdoor gyms, golf courses, driving/shooting ranges, riding centres are closed. Organised outdoor sport for under 18s and disabled people will be allowed.

For more information visit our Leisure centres – Coronavirus related FAQs page.

You can still move home. People outside your household or support bubble should not help with moving house unless absolutely necessary.

Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work. If you are looking to move, you can go to property viewings.

Follow the national guidance on moving home safely, which includes advice on social distancing and wearing a face covering.

Hot food takeaways should close to walk-ins but they can continue to operate a delivery service, via a website, telephone, text message, post, or by ‘drive-throughs’.

No, hospitality settings, such as bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants are closed – they are permitted to continue sales by takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.

The symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell.

Visit the NHS website for further information.

People with health conditions and those who were asked to shield are still particularly vulnerable and need to take special care during this worrying period and to be extra cautious and follow the new guidance.

If you’re affected by coronavirus and need help, let us know and we’ll match you with a volunteer in your area.

Here are some of the things we can help you with:

  • food
  • medicine
  • someone to listen and support you
  • health advice and taking care of yourself.

We can help with other concerns you have too, please do get in touch, call us on 01724 297000, we’re all here to help. Further information is available on the main cornavirus page.

We’ve also launched a payment to support people who may struggle with money if they need to self-isolate and cannot work.

North Lincolnshire Council can provide emergency assistance for people struggling financially due to Covid-19. Further information is available on the Emergency Financial Assistance for Residents webpage.