Last updated Wednesday 6 January 2021 at 9:45am

The government has put England into a National lockdown because of the number of coronavirus cases. The restrictions are in force from 5 January 2021 and everyone must follow them.

Key points

  • stay at home and only go out for essential reasons such as shopping, exercise or medical appointments
  • work from home if you can
  • clinically extremely vulnerable people are advised to shield and limit the time they spend outside their home
  • don't mix with other households indoors or outdoors (except those in a support bubble or childcare bubble)
  • you can exercise once per day with your household (or support bubble) or one other person outside your household
  • you should not travel outside your local area. Only leave your area for work, education, caring responsibilities or medical reasons
  • primary and secondary schools are providing online learning for all pupils. Schools remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers 
  • universities and colleges are providing online learning (except for students who are eligible for face to face teaching on specific courses)
  • nurseries and Early Years settings are open
  • safe visiting opportunities for friends or family in care homes are available – check the guidance


  • essential businesses and services are open, including supermarkets and food shops, pharmacies and garden centres, places of worship, petrol stations and MOT services, launderettes, banks and post offices, doctors, dentists’ surgeries and vets, car parks, public toilets and playgrounds
  • non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues are closed as well as pubs and restaurants
  • takeaway food services are open and all food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery

Sport and Leisure

  • indoor gyms and sports facilities are closed
  • outdoor sports courts, outdoor gyms, golf courses, outdoor swimming pools, archery/driving/shooting ranges and riding arenas are closed
  • organised outdoor sport for disabled people can continue


  • if children do not live in the same household as their parents or one of their parents, existing arrangements for contact between them will remain in place
  • friends and family can provide informal childcare for children under 14. This must be part of a regular childcare arrangement and does not include meeting for social occasions like playdates or birthday parties
  • registered childcare providers and nannies can provide childcare


  • you can leave your area for work, education, caring responsibilities or medical reasons
  • holidays and overnight stays in the UK and abroad are not allowed. This includes staying in a second home or caravan and you cannot stay with anyone you don’t live with unless they’re in your support bubble
  • if you need to travel, walk or cycle where possible and plan ahead. Avoid busy times and routes on public transport and practice social distancing while you travel

Places of worship and ceremonies

  • you can attend places of worship, but you can’t mingle with anyone outside your household or bubble
  • there are limits to attendance at funerals, weddings and other ceremonies – see our Our affected services

Our advice

  • avoid using public transport unless you must. If you do use it, you need to wear a face covering 
  • don’t share a car with other households unless they are in your bubble

More information

Full information on the National Lockdown restrictions can be found on the government’s website.

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