Government Changes to Lockdown Regulations From June 13

The UK has been in lockdown since March 23, but a number of measures are being lifted throughout June.

At the the start of the month, primary schools for some year groups were reopened, and the public were told that they could meet up to five people from another household outside or in gardens, subject to social distancing rules. Car showrooms and outdoor markets were allowed to reopen.

On Monday June 8, some dentists across the UK were opened, and the two-week quarantine period for travellers returning from overseas was implemented.

On Saturday June 13, people can set up support bubbles.

A bubble is defined as a group of people with whom you have close physical contact.

Single adults living alone – or single parents whose children are under 18 – can form a support bubble with one other household. The second household can be of any size.

Nobody who is shielding should join a bubble.

Support bubbles must be “exclusive”. Once in one, you can’t switch and start another with a different household. People in each bubble can visit each other’s homes and go inside. They won’t have to stay 2m (6ft) apart and can even stay overnight.

Anyone in the bubble contacted as part of England’s test and trace programme must stay at home. If they develop coronavirus symptoms, everyone in the bubble must self-isolate.

From Monday June 15 more changes will be made to the lockdown regulations in England:

  • New guidelines on when wearing a face covering is compulsory come into force

From June 15, anyone using public transport in England will be required to wear a face covering.

All hospital visitors and outpatients will also need to wear face coverings, and hospital staff must use surgical masks.

There will be exemptions to the rules for very young children, disabled people and those with breathing difficulties.

Face coverings are not the same as the face masks worn by hospital staff.

Coverings can be made from scarves, bandanas or other fabric items, so long as they cover the mouth and nose.

Face coverings should also be washed with detergent after every use.

The government advises that face coverings should be worn in any situation where social distancing can not be maintained.

Several airlines such as easyJet and Ryanair have also introduced a requirement for passengers to wear face coverings.

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

  • Non-essential shops can reopen

Non-essential shops will be allowed to reopen from Monday if they comply with social distancing rules.

Non-essential retail shops which can open from Monday include (but are not limited to):

    • Clothes shops
    • Shoe shops
    • Toy shops
    • Furniture shops
    • Bookshops
    • Electronics
    • Tailors
    • Auction houses
    • Photography studios
    • Indoor markets
  • Secondary schools can start reopening

Secondary schools and colleges in England are being asked to start providing face-to-face support to Year 10 and 12 pupils, as well as 16 to 19-year-old students who are due to take key exams next year, from June 15.

However, only a quarter of pupils will be able to attend at any one time in order to limit the risk of transmission.

  • Places of worship can open for private prayer

Churches and other places of worship are set to open for private prayer from June 15.

Individuals will be able to ‘reflect and pray’ while adhering to social-distancing rules – but worship groups, weddings and other services will still not be permitted.

Communal prayer will not be permitted until July 4 at the earliest, the government has said.

  • Zoos, safari parks and drive-in cinemas can reopen

Zoos and other outdoors attractions can open their doors from June 15 in the latest lockdown easing.

Attractions will not be allowed to reopen indoor exhibitions, such as reptile houses, and must ensure amenities including cafes are takeaway only.

They will also be required to introduce social distancing measures such as strict limited capacity, one-way routes and increased hand-washing facilities.

Other outdoor attractions that will be able to open their doors under the new guidelines include ones where visitors remain in their cars, for example safari parks and outdoor cinemas.


If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), you can ask for a test to check if you have the virus.

You can ask for a test:

  • for yourself, if you have coronavirus symptoms now (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
  • for someone you live with, if they have coronavirus symptoms

Please help the NHS by only asking for tests for people who have coronavirus symptoms now.

You need to get the test done in the first 5 days of having symptoms. Do not wait. Ask for the test as soon as you have symptoms.

The test usually involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud.

You can do the swab yourself (if you are aged 12 or over) or someone can do it for you. Children aged 11 or under cannot do the swab themselves. Their parent or guardian will have to swab test them.

There is very high demand for tests at the moment.

People in hospital and essential workers, including NHS and social care staff, are getting priority.

Even if you are successful in requesting a test, we cannot guarantee you will get one. It depends on how many tests are available each day in different parts of the country.

If the test is positive you’ll be contacted by text, email or phone and asked to log on to the NHS Test and Trace website.

There you will be asked for personal information including:

  • Name, date of birth and postcode
  • Who you live with
  • Places you visited recently
  • Names and contact details of people you have been in close contact with in the 48 hours before your symptoms started

Close contacts are:

  • people you spend 15 minutes or more with at a distance of less than 2m
  • people you have direct contact with – such as sexual partners, household members or people with whom you have had face-to-face conversations at a distance of less than 1m

The contact must have taken place between two days before and up to seven days after symptoms appeared.

No-one contacted as a result of you testing positive for coronavirus will be told your identity. A parent or guardian will need to give permission for a call with under-18s to continue.