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In light of rising coronavirus cases in the UK, the Prime Minister announced on Saturday, October 31 that England will be going back into lockdown. The rules will not be as strict as those introduced in March of this year, but rules will significantly restrict daily life while they are in place. People will be told to stay at home, and only to leave their homes for essential reasons.
Can I meet friends outside?
Boris Johnson introduced a three-tier lockdown system in England in October, which divides the country into tiers based on whether the risk of coronavirus is medium, high or very high in an area.
In Tier 1, or medium-risk areas, it is possible to meet up to six people indoors or outdoors, providing social distancing is adhered to.
In Tier 2 and Tier 3 areas, up to six people can meet in outdoor settings only.
The three-tier lockdown system will be overhauled on November 5 by a national lockdown, and the rule of six will no longer apply in England.
Under the lockdown rules, people can only meet outside with members of their own household.
Meeting people from other households indoors is banned under the lockdown rules, and people cannot meet in private gardens.
But one person can meet one other person from another household outside as long as social distancing measures are followed.
People can meet in public places such as parks, beaches, playgrounds, public gardens, countryside and allotments.
Single adult households can still form support bubbles at this time.
The Government guidance states: “You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household – meaning the people you live with – or support bubble.
“A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household.
“Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit outdoor public places together.
“You can exercise or visit outdoor public places with the people you live with, your support bubble, or one person from another household (children under school age, as well as those dependent on round-the-clock care, such as those with severe disabilities, who are with their parents will not count towards the limit on two people meeting outside).”
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Will people have to shield during the second lockdown?
Many people considered vulnerable to coronavirus were asked to shield during the first lockdown back in March.
But during the Downing Street press conference on October 31, the Prime Minister said the Government will not be asking people to shield again during the second lockdown.
People considered clinically vulnerable and the over-60’s have been asked to take extra precautions during the second lockdown, such as by minimising contact with other people.
The Government will write to everybody who is clinically extremely vulnerable to set out detailed advice while the new restrictions are in place.
Mr Johnson said: “I know how tough shielding was and we will not ask people to shield again in the same way.
“But we are asking those who are clinically extremely vulnerable to minimise their contact with others and not to go to work if they are able to work from home.”
England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty added that people on the previous shielding list need to take “extra precautions”, however he said shielding would not be reintroduced due to “the issue of people having significant problems with loneliness and feeling completely cut off from society”.
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