National lockdown – Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Reading has been placed in a national lockdown by Government as part of the Covid 19 pandemic response. Restrictions are explained below.

Visit gov.uk for information on lockdown restrictions.

Hands. Face. Space

1 in 3 people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and will be spreading it without realising it.

Remember – ‘Hands. Face. Space.’

  • hands – wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds
  • face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet
  • space – stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings)

When meeting people you do not live with, it is important to do so outdoors where possible. If you meet people you do not live with indoors, such as someone working in your home, you should make sure you let as much fresh air in as you can (for example by opening windows). Follow the guidance on meeting others safely.

Stay at home

You must not leave or be outside of your home except for where you have a specific purpose, or a ‘reasonable excuse’. A reasonable excuse includes:

Work and volunteering

You can leave home for work purposes, where your place of work remains open and where you cannot work from home (including if your job involves working in other people’s homes).

Essential activities

You can leave home to buy things at shops which are permitted to open in your area, but you should stay local. For instance you can leave home to buy food or medicine, or to collect any items – including food or drink – ordered through click-and-collect or as a takeaway, to obtain or deposit money (e.g. from a bank or post office), or to access critical public services (see section below).

You may also leave home to fulfil legal obligations, or to carry out activities related to buying, selling, letting or renting a residential property, or vote in certain elections taking place overseas.

Education and childcare

You can leave home for education (formal provision, rather than extracurricular classes such as music or drama tuition, or out of school settings) or training, registered childcare and supervised activities for children that are necessary to allow parents/carers to work, seek work, undertake education or training, or attend a medical appointment. People can continue existing arrangements for contact between parents and children where they live apart. This includes childcare bubbles.

Meeting others and care

1 in 3 people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and will be spreading it without realising it.

You can leave home to visit people in your support bubble, or to provide informal childcare for children aged 13 and under as part of a childcare bubble, to provide care for vulnerable people, to provide emergency assistance, attend a support group (of up to 15 people), or for respite care where that care is being provided to a vulnerable person or a person with a disability, or is a short break in respect of a looked after child.

Exercise and recreation

People can also exercise outdoors or visit some public outdoor places, such as parks, the countryside, public gardens or outdoor sports facilities. You can continue to do unlimited exercise alone, or in a public outdoor place with your household, support bubble, or one other person.

Medical reasons, harm and compassionate visits

You can leave home for any medical reason, including to get a COVID-19 test, for medical appointments and emergencies, to be with someone who is giving birth, to avoid injury or illness or to escape risk of harm (such as domestic abuse),or for animal welfare reasons – such as to attend veterinary services for advice or treatment.

You can also leave home to visit someone who is dying or someone in a care home (if permitted under care home guidance), hospice, or hospital, or to accompany them to a medical appointment.

Communal worship and life events

You can leave home to attend a place of worship for communal worship, a funeral or a related event for someone who has died, or to visit a burial ground or a remembrance garden, or to attend a wedding – but funerals, linked events and weddings are all subject to limits on the numbers that can attend (see below).