OVER the last few months, lockdown restrictions have gradually eased, allowing us more freedom to go out and socialise.

However, with the rapid change in rules, it may have been difficult to keep track of what you are and aren’t allowed to do.

On Friday, the government announced a delay to further easing these restrictions, adding more confusion. 

Here, we give an overview on the restrictions which are still in place, and a reminder of what the government has said you can and cannot do when it comes to adhering to Covid-19 rules.

You should not:

• socialise indoors in groups of more than two households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household) – this includes when dining out or going to the pub

• socialise outdoors in a group of more than six people from different households; gatherings larger than six should only take place if everyone is from exclusively from two households or support bubbles

• interact socially with anyone outside the group you are attending a place with, even if you see other people you know, for example, in a restaurant, community centre or place of worship

• hold or attend celebrations (such as parties) where it is difficult to maintain social distancing and avoid close social interaction – even if they are organised by businesses and venues that are taking steps to follow COVID-19 Secure guidelines

• stay overnight away from your home with members of more than one other household (your support bubble counts as one household)

Staying safe outside your home

While the government is no longer advising people to stay at home, it is asking people to keep their distance from those outside their household or support bubble.

It recommends that you keep two metres away from people, or one metre when you can mitigate the risk by taking other precautions.

The government warns that you are at higher risk of being directly exposed to respiratory droplets when you are within two metres of someone and have face-to-face contact with them. You can lower the risk of infection if you stay side-to-side rather than facing someone.

It says: “The key thing is not to be too close to people outside your household or support bubble. If you must, keep it as brief as possible.”

The government advises to

• Wash your hands often using soap and water and dry them thoroughly.

• Where available, use sanitiser outside your home, especially as you enter a building and after you have had contact with surfaces. Avoid touching your face.

• Keep indoor places well ventilated

• Avoid crowded spaces

• Work from home if you can

• Wear a face covering at all times on public transport, attending a hospital, or inside enclosed shops and shopping centres

• Avoid shouting or singing close to people outside your support bubble or household

• Reduce the number of people you spend time within a work setting

• Wash your clothes regularly

If you or someone in your household/bubble has Covid-19 symptoms

If you or someone in your household or your support bubble is showing coronavirus symptoms, everyone in your support bubble should self-isolate, stay at home and get a test. If you or a member of your support bubble is contacted as part of the test and trace programme, the individual contacted should stay at home. If that individual becomes symptomatic, everyone in the support bubble must then isolate.

If you and your household are isolating because you are experiencing coronavirus symptoms, you and your household are able to end self-isolation early if you receive a negative test.

However, if you are isolating because you live with someone who has symptoms, you must continue to isolate for 14 days even if you receive a negative test. You may only end isolation early if the person with symptoms in your household receives a negative test.

If you are isolating because you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace or because you are required to under public health measures at the border, you must continue to isolate for 14 days even if you receive a negative test.