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National Lockdown - what you can and can't do

Updated 8th March 2021

You must stay at home. The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

Leaving home

You must not leave, or be outside of, your home except where necessary. Legally permitted reasons to leave home include to:

  • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • exercise, or for outdoor recreation in a public outdoor space - this can be on your own, with your household or support bubble or with one other
  • person (in which case you should stay 2m apart). You should minimise the amount of time spent outside your home, and you should not travel outside your local area.
  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • attend school or further education
  • attend university or other higher education - for those eligible
  • attend, or take a child to, childcare - for those eligible
  • If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay in your local area - unless it is necessary to go further, for example to go to work.

    Staying in your local area means staying in the village, town, or part of the city where you live.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable you are advised to go out only for medical appointments, for exercise, or if it is essential. We recommend that you do not attend work. You are advised to follow this guidance until 31 March 2021.

Meeting others

You may leave your home for exercise or to visit a public outdoor place for recreation. This must be on your own, with your household or support bubble or with one other person when in a public outdoor place. You should minimise the time you spend outside your home for this, and you should not travel outside your local area.

Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household or support bubble and follow the guidance on how to stop the spread of coronavirus at all times.


From 8 March, all pupils and students should attend face-to-face education in primary schools, secondary schools and further education settings such as colleges. Secondary pupils, further education college students and staff will be offered regular testing from 8 March.

You can also leave home to access or attend registered childcare and supervised activities for children but only where it is necessary to allow parents or carers to work, seek work, undertake education or training, attend a medical appointment or attend a support group. Vulnerable children can continue to make use of supervised activities for children, including wraparound childcare, in all circumstances.

There is further guidance on what parents need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during COVID-19.

How to get a test for Coronavirus

If you have any of the following symptoms you must get a test for Coronavirus and stay at home:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

Follow this link for information on how to arrange a test:


Latest Government advice

To keep up to date with Government advice in relation to COVID-19 and any changes to this please check the following website regularly.  Also remember to only get your information from trusted sources.


Department for Education (DfE) Coronavirus Helpline

The Department for Education Coronavirus Helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows: 

0800 0468687  8am-6pm (Mon-Fri)

                            10am -4pm (Sat & Sun)

NHS - Every mind matters

With the majority of us spending prolonged periods of time at home, taking care of your mind as well as your body has never been more important. The Every Mind Matters website from the NHS has guidance, tips and advice on looking after your mental health and wellbeing at this challenging time. 


Government advice for young people

Stay alert and safe: social distancing guidance for young people - This guidance is about social distancing and what you can do to stay alert and safe during this time, and explains the new measures that will help you to stay safe as rules on being outside, or at school or work, change.

Hands. Face. Space.

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

Remember - ‘Hands. Face. Space.’

  • hands – wash your hands regularly and for at least 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)

You should follow the guidance on how to stop the spread of coronavirus at all times.

Access to regular rapid lateral flow testing

The following people in England will have access to regular rapid lateral flow testing as schools and colleges reopen for more students:

  • secondary school pupils and college students
  • primary and secondary school staff and college staff
  • households, childcare and support bubbles of primary and secondary-age pupils and college students
  • households, childcare and support bubbles of primary and secondary school and college staff

See the guidance on rapid lateral flow testing for households and bubbles of school pupils and staff


The NHS is currently offering COVID-19 vaccines to people at the highest risk of becoming seriously unwell and dying from COVID-19.

The vaccines have been shown to reduce the likelihood of severe illness in most people. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective, so those who have received the vaccine should continue to take recommended precautions to avoid infection.

We do not know by how much the vaccine stops COVID-19 from spreading. Even if you have been vaccinated, you could still spread COVID-19 to others.

To help protect yourself and your friends, family, and community you should continue to follow all of the government guidance, even if you have been vaccinated.

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