Detailed Government Advice – Coronavirus

Friends and family in public spaces
The government has updated its advice on outdoor activity, after evidence showed the “risk of infection outside is significantly lower than inside”.

  • From Wednesday (May 13) “people may exercise outside as many times each day as they wish,” the document says, as opposed to just for one hour, as was previously the rule. For example, this includes angling and tennis.
  • People can only exercise with up to one person from outside their household – this means people should not play team sports, except with members of your own household.
  • Anyone meeting with someone outside their household should stay two metres away from them.
  • People are still not able to use areas like playgrounds, outdoor gyms or ticketed outdoor leisure venues, where there is a higher risk of close contact and touching surfaces.
  • People may also “drive to outdoor open spaces irrespective of distance“, so long as they respect social distancing guidance while they are there.
  • When travelling to outdoor spaces, it is important that people respect the rules in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and “do not travel to different parts of the UK“.

The Workplace
In his address, the Prime Minister said people should be “actively encouraged” to return to work from Wednesday, if they are unable to work from home.

However, he said people should only return to work where social distancing can be observed and at firms which are “Covid-secure“.

  • For the foreseeable future, workers should continue to work from home rather than their normal physical workplace, wherever possible.
  • The government says this is to protect those who must physically attend work, by “minimising the risk of overcrowding on transport and in public places“.
  • Sectors encouraged to reopen include: Food production, construction, manufacturing, logistics, distribution and scientific research in laboratories.
  • Sectors that must remain closed: Hospitality and non-essential retail.
  • Nannies and childminders can also return to work, if safe to do so, to allow more parents to return to work.
  • Anyone with symptoms should not return to work, and should instead self-isolate, as should members of their household.

“There is a large social benefit” for vulnerable children in attending school. As such, the government wants schools to “urge more children who would benefit from attending in person, to do so”.

  • Paid childcare is allowed to resume, including nannies and childminders, as long as it’s safe to do so.

The government says this should help working parents return to work.


  • When travelling, the government says “everybody (including critical workers) should continue to avoid public transport wherever possible”.
  • It is encouraging people to only travel by foot, bicycle, or by car, however it acknowledges public transport is essential for some people in getting to work.

Face coverings

  • As people return to work, the government wants people to “wear a face-covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible“.
  • It says while on public transport or in supermarkets, face coverings “can help reduce the risk of transmission”.
  • Face-coverings are not intended to help the wearer, but to protect against transmission of the disease to others.
  • The government says people should not wear clinical face masks, which are intended for health care professionals, but “homemade” face coverings, which are also beneficial.

Click here for instructions on how to wear and make a cloth face covering.