11 reasons you can leave your home in the new national lockdown

The whole of England is entering a new national lockdown in a bid to regain control of the coronavirus situation.

Much of the country had previously been plunged into Tier 4, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced pressure to bring stricter measures in for the whole nation.

He has announced a new national lockdown that will last until at least mid-February.

The new lockdown rules are similar to those in the March and November lockdown, as people have been ordered to stay at home.

There are only a limited number of reasons you can legally leave your home.

Reasons you can leave your home in new lockdown

Work and volunteering

You can go to work, or provide voluntary services, if it's impossible for you to do so from home.

This includes if your job is working in other people’s homes (for example if you're a cleaner, plumber or other tradesperson).

Essential shopping

You can leave to buy things at shops or obtain services from businesses which are allowed to be open under the lockdown.

For example, you can buy food and medicine, or collect a takeaway, for yourself or a vulnerable person.

But you are still advised to stay local.

Education and childcare

Schools are only open for vulnerable children or children of key workers. All other pupils must learn from home.

Nurseries and special schools will stay open.

Meeting your support bubble or childcare bubble

You can leave home to visit people in your support bubble or childcare bubble.

Children of separated parents can move between their parents' homes.

Exercise

Unlimited exercise is permitted outdoors, and you can continue to visit some public outdoor spaces such as parks.

You can go with your household, support bubble or with one other person if you maintain social distancing.

Medical reasons or to escape harm

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You can still leave your home for a medical reason. You can attend appointments (including dentists and opticians), go for a medical test, or seek help in an emergency.

It is also permitted to leave to avoid injury or illness or to escape risk of harm (such as domestic abuse).

Animal welfare

You can take your pet to the vet.

Compassionate reasons

You can leave home to visit somebody who is dying, in a care home, in a hospital, or in a hospice. You can also accompany loved ones to medical appointments, and you can leave home to be with somebody who is giving birth.

Worship or life events

You can leave home to attend or visit:

  • a place of worship
  • a funeral or event related to a death
  • a burial ground or a remembrance garden
  • a wedding ceremony (weddings can only go ahead in very limited circumstances)

To fulfil legal obligations

You can leave your home to fulfil a legal obligation (for example if you're required to appear in court, or called for jury service). You can also leave to vote in an election or referendum.

To facilitate a house move

You can attend a house viewing, and you can move house.

If you break the rules, police can issue you a £200 Fixed Penalty Notice for your first offence. This will double for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.

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