Boris Johnson unveils new rules for life under lockdown

11 May 2020, 14:00

Boris Johnson has unveiled the new rules for life under lockdown
Boris Johnson has unveiled the new rules for life under lockdown. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Face coverings, social distancing and working from home as much as possible are the main features in Boris Johnson's new 50-page document detailing life under lockdown.

Since making an address to the nation last night, the Prime Minister has faced accusations that the new advice is "confusing", but it is hoped the new guidance will lay out the government's plan in detail.

The "roadmap" details a three-step plan - starting with relaxing some lockdown measures while still enforcing social distancing rules.

It is likely these rules will remain in place for sometime, with the document saying it "could be a year or more" before a mass-vaccine would allow the country to get back to some level of normal.

Step One - which comes into force from Wednesday - allows people unlimited amounts of exercise outside as long as socially distancing rules are maintained.

Step Two could involve families from different households being allowed contact with one another, although this is still being discussed by scientific experts.

Schools could also be allowed to make a phased return from June, along with some non-essential retailers. Further guidance on this will be released at a later date.

Under Step Two sporting events may also be able to take place behind closed doors for broadcast on television, as well as more public transport being opened.

Step Three will be take place no earlier than 4 July, although this could be subject to change depending on the rate of infection.

It covers other non-essential places where people gather, including hairdressers, pubs and restaurants, cinemas and places of worship.

However, the government says that those places will only be able to open if social distancing is possible to be maintained.

Britain has now been on lockdown since 23 March
Britain has now been on lockdown since 23 March. Picture: PA

Here are the main points of the new advice:


Under Step One, people are being urged to continue working from home, wherever possible.

However, those who cannot work from home should travel to work - only if their workplace is open.

Face coverings

After weeks of speculation on whether those in England should wear face coverings, the government has now said that homemade cloth face-coverings can help reduce the risk of transmission in some circumstances.

People are now being told to wear a face covering in shops and on public transport, where social distancing is not always possible.

It comes after Transport for London earlier today said people who used the Tube or London buses would need to cover their faces to stem the risk of infections.

Read More: Commuters told to wear face masks as part of Boris Johnson's coronavirus plan

People have bene urged to wear face masks in shops and on public transport
People have bene urged to wear face masks in shops and on public transport. Picture: PA


Vulnerable children and children of critical workers can still attend school.

Local authorities and schools are now being told to urge more children who would benefit from attending in person to do so.

Under Step Two, it is hoped all schools could return in phases from 1 June.

Reception, year 1 and year 6 are expected to return to classrooms first.

It said pupils will return to class in smaller groups than usual but aims to give young students and those moving to secondary school in September more time with teachers.

Read More: Schools to make 'phased return' from June 1 at the earliest

Meeting friends and family from outside your household

For the first time since 23 March, people can now meet a person from outside their household - subject to strict rules.

You may not meet with more than one person from outside your household in an outdoor setting, and must stay at least 6ft away from one another.

Playing sports with someone from outside your household is also banned to stop the spread of infection.

Some had hoped that the new rules would include family members from different households being able to mix together, but although this is being looked at, households are still being urged to remain apart.

Brits can now enjoy unlimited exercise in outdoor settings
Brits can now enjoy unlimited exercise in outdoor settings. Picture: PA


Anyone who does need to travel to work is being urged to avoid using public transport, instead travelling by car, walking or cycling.

Social distancing guidelines on public transport must be adhered to "rigorously", the new guidance says.

There is also now no limit on how far people can travel to exercise in open outdoor spaces, as long as people from separate households follow social distancing guidelines.

However, the government says people must not travel to separate parts of the UK where some rules differ (for example Scotland still recommends people stay indoors).

To have more of your questions on the lockdown answered, visit the government's guidance through the link HERE.