Due to the increase in cases of Covid-19, the coronavirus level has been raised to five, which means that the epidemic is in general circulation, transmission is high or rising exponentially and there is a risk of healthcare services being overwhelmed.
Therefore, we will now be entering a new national lockdown in order to slow the infection rate.
The main advice is to 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 must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary.
You may leave the home to:
- shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
- go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
- exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
- meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
- seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
- attend education or childcare – for those eligible
Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term. Early Years settings remain open.
Higher Education provision will remain online until mid February for all except future critical worker courses.
Those who are judged to be clinically vulnerable are being urged to stay at home as much as possible and not go to work even if they can’t work from home.
You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with (if you are legally permitted to form one).
The law will be updated to reflect these new rules. The police can take action against you if you leave home without a ‘reasonable excuse’, and issue you with a fine (Fixed Penalty Notice).You can be given a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.
Although the NHS is under immense pressure, significant changes have been made so people can still receive lifesaving treatment. It is absolutely critical that people still come forward for emergency care.
If you require non-urgent medical attention, please contact your GP, call NHS 111 or visit the NHS 111 website.