How the lockdown rules vary across the United Kingdom

How the lockdown rules vary across the United Kingdom

Lockdown rules across England will undergo a major change on Monday – while other parts of the UK will see no change at all.

It follows weeks of changes to the rules, which mean that what started out as a relatively uniform approach at the end of March is now very fragmented.

The UK Government is only responsible for lockdown restrictions in England, because health is a devolved matter – and the lockdown rules are to do with the protection of health.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are responsible for their own policies, and each nation brought in their own policies at the same time as the UK Government which broadly mimicked the legislation at the start.

England, Scotland and Wales introduced lockdown restrictions on March 26 and Northern Ireland on March 28 with only minor differences in their approaches, according to thinktank Institute For Government.

But the exiting of lockdown at different rates has created major differences across the UK.

Each of the four governments has now published its own roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions.

England has a three-step path out of lockdown which started on May 13.

Northern Ireland has a five-step ‘pathway to recovery’, the Scottish government has four phases and the Welsh government uses a traffic-light system.

Here is how the rules differ across the UK

Leaving your house

People in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland may only leave their home if they have ‘reasonable excuse’ to do so.

People in England can leave their house for any reason so long as they do not stay anywhere else over night.

In England the use of face coverings is compulsory on public transport from June 15.

Going to work

In England employees who cannot work from home, for example, those in construction and manufacturing, are now encouraged to go to work.

In Scotland and Northern Ireland you may not leave your house to go to work unless it is not ‘reasonably possible’ to work from home.

In Wales you may not leave your house to go to work unless it is not ‘reasonably practical’ to work from home.

Meeting friends and family

In England up to six people from different households can meet outdoors, in Scotland it is two households up to a maximum of eight people, in Wales two households can meet with no maximum number of people and in Northern Ireland up to six people from different households can meet.

At present people from different households can’t meet indoors – although that will change in Scotland next week when it enters phase two of lockdown. Then two households can meet indoors.

Weddings

Currently not allowed in England, weddings will be allowed with minimal attendees in Scotland from next week.

In Wales people are permitted to attend weddings where one partner is terminally ill and in Northern Ireland weddings are permitted with up to 10 people. If one partner is terminally ill, weddings of up to 10 people indoors are permitted in NI.

Funerals

In England, Northern Ireland and Scotland only members of the deceased person’s household, close family members, or if neither are attending, a friend, may attend a funeral.

In Wales people can leave home to attend a funeral if they are organising it or invited to attend.

Shops

Essential shops are open across the UK – food shops, pharmacies and petrol stations included.

Garden centres have also been allowed to reopen across the four nations.

Outdoor markets are open in England and Northern Ireland, and will reopen in Scotland from next week while they remain closed in Wales.

Car showrooms are open in England and Northern Ireland but not Scotland or Wales.

Non-essential retailers will open in England on June 15 and in Scotland from next week under phase two. They reopen in Northern Ireland from June 12 and no date has been set in Wales – where they remain closed.

Hairdressers and beauty salons along with similar outlets remain closed across the UK.

Amenities

Waste and recycling centres can reopen across the UK

Libraries reopened in Wales from June 1 but are closed everywhere else.

Churches remain closed in England and Wales but are open for private prayer in Northern Ireland.

They will reopen for private prayer in England and Scotland from next week.

Sports

Outdoor sports courts are open in England and Northern Ireland, tennis and bowling is open in Scotland and more will open from next week.

Everything is closed in Wales.

Indoor sports facilities are closed across the UK. Athletes are allowed to train in England but not in the other nations while professional sport resumes in Scotland from next week.

Live sport behind closed doors is permitted in England but nowhere else.

Horse racing restarted in England on June 1. Premier League football is due to re-start on June 17, and the English Football League (which includes Welsh clubs) will restart on June 20. The Scottish Premiership is planning to start a new season in August.

Pubs, restaurants and other leisure

All closed in England including cinemas, theatres and museums.

Outdoor parts of pubs, cafes and restaurants look set to open in Scotland under phase two as early as next week.

Drive-in cinemas are open in Northern Ireland and will open in England from June 15.

Zoos can reopen in England from June 15.

Schools

Nurseries and childminders are operating in England and child-minding services and outdoor nurseries are operating in Scotland.

None have reopened in Wales or Northern Ireland.

Schools in England are taking some primary school children with some secondary children restarting from June 15.

Schools are not currently open in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland but will start to reopen in Wales (June 29), Scotland (August 11) and NI (August).

Travel

There are no restrictions on domestic travel in England or Northern Ireland. People in Wales and Scotland are asked to stay within five miles of their homes.

All international travellers arriving in the Uk must isolate for 14 days, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all non-essential foreign travel.

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