Are there restrictions on how far I can travel?
No. You can travel irrespective of distance, but you should take hygiene and safety precautions if using services on the way.
You can use public transport but it is better to travel in other ways if possible. It is difficult to socially distance during car journeys and transmission of coronavirus can occur in this context. So avoid travelling with someone from outside your household or your support bubble unless you can practise social distancing.
Further guidance on car sharing is available. If you need to use public transport, you should follow the safer travel guidance for passengers. When travelling on public transport you are legally required to wear a face covering.
If visiting other parts of the UK – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – you must adhere to the laws and guidance of the devolved administrations at all times. If you wish to travel internationally, you should follow the laws of other countries and FCO international travel guidance. Upon return to the UK, you must by law self-isolate for 14 days, unless you have come from one of the countries listed here, and you are required to complete a passenger locator form before arriving in the UK. This is crucial to help to ensure the virus does not spread across borders.
Are day trips ok?
Yes, day trips to outdoor open space are allowed. You should take hygiene and safety precautions if using services on the way. You should practise social distancing from other people outside your household or support bubble. You should walk or cycle if you can, however where this is not possible, you can use public transport or drive. If you do use public transport, you must wear a face covering and should follow the safer travel guidance for passengers.
Can I go on holiday? Can I stay in my second home?
However, you should not go on holiday in England with people you do not live with (or who are not in your support bubble) in a group larger than 6 people. Doing so is against the law. You should ensure you maintain social distancing with anyone you do not live with or is not in your support bubble.
If you are in a support bubble, or if the group consists solely of people you live with, you can stay overnight without needing to maintain social distancing. People in the same support bubble can also gather together indoors even if the group size is more than 6.
Take particular care to maintain excellent hygiene – washing hands and surfaces – and avoid using shared facilities like bathrooms wherever possible.
What happens if I become unwell while on holiday in England?
If you develop symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) while staying in overnight accommodation you should inform the accommodation provider immediately, self-isolate where you are to minimise any risk of transmission, and request a test by calling 119 or online at nhs.uk. If your test is positive you should return home as quickly and directly as possible. You should use private transport but only drive yourself if you can do so safely.
Avoid using public transport in order to reduce the spread of the virus. If you cannot avoid using public transport, you should continue to self-isolate in your accommodation and call 111 for further advice.
In most cases, it will not be possible to self-isolate at your holiday accommodation. In these cases, you should make arrangements to travel home as safely as possible, while minimising the risk to others.
It may be possible for you to agree with the accommodation provider to extend your stay in order to self-isolate until you are well enough to travel. Unless otherwise provided for in the contractual terms of the booking, you will be expected to pay the costs of an extended stay in all but exceptional circumstances.
What if I can’t travel home?
If you feel so unwell that you cannot travel, or if you cannot avoid using public transport, (for example because you do not have the means to travel via private transport), you should call 111 and ask to discuss your circumstances with an appropriate health care professional.
What happens if I am on holiday in England and I am contacted by NHS Test and Trace?
If NHS Test and Trace contacts you while you are on holiday to tell you that you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, you should tell your accommodation provider immediately and make arrangements to return home as quickly and directly as you can.
You should self-isolate for 14 days from the last day you had contact with the person who tested positive, even if you remain well. If you cannot avoid using public transport to get home, you should continue to self-isolate where you are staying and call 111 for advice.
If it is agreed with the accommodation provider that you can extend your stay in order to self-isolate until you are able to make safe travel arrangements, unless otherwise provided for in the contractual terms of the booking, you will be expected to pay the costs of an extended stay in all but exceptional circumstances.
In many cases it will not be possible to self-isolate at your holiday accommodation. In these cases, you should make arrangements to travel home as safely as possible, while minimising the risk to others. If this isn’t possible because you feel so unwell that you cannot travel, or if you cannot avoid using public transport, you should call 111 for advice.
If you start to feel unwell during your self-isolation period, get a test either online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.
People you have been travelling with, or people you live with, do not need to self-isolate if you do not have symptoms, unless contacted and asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.
Do I need to follow the rules if I’m on holiday in another country?
If you are abroad, you should follow the rules of the country you are in.
You should also follow the same principles to keep you and your loved ones safe. It is essential to maintain social distancing wherever possible from those you don’t live with and wash your hands regularly. These rules are important wherever you are in the world.
Will public toilets and playgrounds reopen?
Councils are responsible for public toilets and this decision is up to them. If you need to use any of these facilities, you should practise social distancing and good hygiene (i.e. washing your hands thoroughly).
Outdoor playgrounds are also able to reopen but the people responsible for them – for example, the local authority – should ensure they comply with COVID-19 Secure guidelines to help avoid risks of transmission. Anyone using playgrounds should take particular care to wash their hands after use and avoid touching their face. Children should be supervised carefully to maintain good hygiene and should not use playgrounds if they have any signs or symptoms of coronavirus.
Can I visit outdoor tourist sites? What about indoor ones?
Yes, you can still travel to outdoor areas, such as National Parks or beaches. It is advisable to check ahead to ensure the venue is open to visitors.
You are also able to visit most indoor sites and attractions. When going with people you don’t live with you should only attend in groups of up to 6 people from 14 September, when the new social contact rules will become law. This does not apply if your household (and/or support bubble) is larger than 6 people. There will be exemptions, for example for school groups.
Can I pray in a place of worship?
Yes, places of worship will stay open for services and communal prayer in line with guidance for reopening Places of Worship.
Places of worship can stay open for services for more than 6 people. However, you must not mingle in a group of more than 6 people (other than with people you live with or have formed a support bubble with).
Strict adherence to social distancing is strongly advised and a distance of 2 metres (or 1 metre with additional COVID-19 Secure measures in place) should be kept from people you do not live with wherever possible.
Can I send my teenagers to their youth club?
Yes, you can. However, you should advise your children to maintain social distancing, wash their hands regularly and limit social interaction outside of these formal activities with anyone they do not live with.
The club should also follow COVID-19 Secure guidance.
Can I go to a pub or restaurant with people I don’t live with?
When eating or drinking out with people you do not live with (and who are not in your support bubble), you must keep to the wider rules on group sizes: you must only attend these places in groups of up to 6 people. You can attend in larger numbers with the people you live with/who are in your support bubble.
In all cases, people from different households should ensure they socially distance as much as possible. You should think about where to sit at a table with this in mind – the premises should also take reasonable steps to help you do so in line with COVID-19 Secure guidelines. It remains the case that you do not need to maintain social distancing with those in your support bubble. This change also does not affect the support you receive from your carers.
Can I register the birth of my child?
You are permitted to register the birth of your child. You should check whether your local register office is open. The office will also be able to advise you on appointment availability.
Can I go to the theatre or a concert?
You can now attend indoor and outdoor performances, for example dramatic, musical or comedy shows.
If you are watching the performance, you should:
- only attend in a group of no larger than 6
- socially distance from people you do not live with (or who are not in your support bubble)
When will I be able to go to a football match?
Through our close work with the sectors and public health experts, we have been looking into ways to safely re-open large venues, such as sports stadiums, to the public. However, the government will review plans to pilot larger audiences in venues this month; planned events will be limited to smaller, safer numbers, with strict conditions to ensure social distancing, and will not take place in areas where incidence is high.
We will also review our intention to return audiences to stadia from 1 October, as set out in the government’s plan.
Can I still participate in sport and physical activity in groups of more than 6?
You can continue to take part in organised sporting or licensed physical activity in groups of more than 6. This can be in any public place – indoors or outdoors – or a private outdoor space like a garden; but not inside a private home. These activities either need to be organised by a club, business or charity; and/or involve someone who has received an official license to use equipment relevant to the activity. In all cases, the organiser must conduct a risk assessment and ensure compliance with COVID-19 Secure guidance.
You should only be playing team sports where the relevant governing body has published guidance on how to do so safely. Organised dance and exercise classes can take place in groups of more than six, where a risk assessment has been carried out, but you should limit your social interaction with other participants.
The list of organised sport or licensed outdoor physical activity that you can do in groups of more than six includes:
- Baseball / Softball
- Canoeing / Kayaking
- Dragon Boat Racing
- Gaelic Sports
- Ice Hockey
- Roller Sports
- Rugby League
- Rugby Union
- Shooting (including hunting and paintball that requires a shotgun or firearms certificate license)
- Ultimate Frisbee
All supervised activities for children, including sports and exercise groups, are permitted where a risk assessment has been carried out – up to any number of participants.
When participating in organised sport or licensed physical activity, you must not gather in groups of more than 6 before and after the activity. You must also ensure you socially distance from people you do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with) wherever possible.
When playing sports informally with people you don’t live with, you must limit the size of your group to 6. It is illegal to do so in a larger group and you may be fined.
Do I have to wear a face covering in public?
Face coverings are currently mandatory on public transport, and in shops, supermarkets, indoor shopping centres, banks, building societies, post offices, indoor transport hubs, museums, galleries, cinemas, places of worship, and public libraries.
People are also strongly encouraged to wear face coverings in any other enclosed public spaces where there are people they do not normally meet.
You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to. This includes (but is not limited to):
- children under 11
- because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
- to communicate with someone who relies on lip reading
- to avoid harm or injury; to identify yourself
- to eat or drink if necessary
You can carry something that says you do not have to wear a face covering for medical reasons. This is a personal choice, and is not necessary in law – you should not routinely be required to produce any written evidence to justify the fact you are not wearing a face covering.
Can I go to my support group?
Some types of support group are exempt from the legal gatherings limit.
Support groups can can take place in gatherings of any number in a public place, if the support group is organised by a business, a charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution or a public body to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support to its members or those who attend its meetings. This includes, but is not limited to, providing support:
- to victims of crime (including domestic abuse)
- to those with, or recovering from, addictions (including alcohol, narcotics or other substance addictions) or addictive patterns of behaviour
- to new and expectant parents
- to those with, or caring for persons with, any long-term illness, disability or terminal condition or who are vulnerable
- to those facing issues related to their sexuality or identity including those living as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender
- to those who have suffered bereavement
This is an exemption to the legal gatherings limit of six people.
Support groups not covered by this exemption can still take place if they do not breach the new gatherings limit of six people. This does not mean that no more than six people can attend. There can be multiple groups of six people attending, provided that the social interaction and shared activity is limited to groups of six. Where this is unlikely to be possible, no more than six people should attend. Anybody who is attending for work purposes is excluded from the gatherings limit.
Can I go to my hobby club / amateur musical group / other leisure activity?
It is against the law to gather in groups of more than six, where people are from different households or support bubbles. The rule above does not mean that there cannot be more than six people in any one place. All activities for under 18s are exempt. There can be multiple groups of six people in a place, provided that those groups do not mingle.
In practice, however, this will make it difficult for some activities to take place without breaking the law. Activities where there is a significant likelihood of groups of more than six mingling – and therefore breaking the law – should not take place until further COVID-19 Secure guidance has been developed and approved to enable the activity to happen safely. This may include extended tour groups, large banquet dinners, society or club meetings, or amateur music or drama rehearsals.