How do I stay safe under new lockdown rules and when will they next be reviewed?
- Credit: Archant
You can attend a barbecue in a friend’s garden and meet with more than one household outside, but how do you do all that safely?
As of June 1, there have been changes to the places you can go and the things you can do in lockdown in England.
You can spend time with other people in their private gardens or in public, as long as the group does not total more than six people and you adhere to social distancing rules, as well as visit outdoor markets which began to reopen this month. You can also visit car showrooms.
Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children have been able to return to school, but parents who do not choose to send them will not be fined for keeping them at home.
If you were shielding you are now able to see one other person outdoors, as long as you remain at least two metres apart.
Besides following the social distancing rules set out at the start of lockdown, what else can you do to keep yourself safe?
Do I need to wear a face mask?
As of June 1, the UK government only recommends members of the public wear face masks if you are in an enclosed space for an extended period of time, for example if you are food shopping, or on public transport.
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Do I need to wear any other form of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?
As of June 1, the UK government does not recommend members of the public wear other forms of PPE, in part to ensure that PPE supplies can be used by NHS staff and carers coming into regular contact with older and vulnerable people.
Who do I have to remain distant from?
If you are meeting people from outside your household, you should keep two metres away.
In the new advice from the government, it recommends trying to “limit the number of people you see, especially over short periods of time” - which echoes the ‘bubble’ model being used in schools whereby you mix with the same people rather than lots of different people.
What do I do if a garden is too small to socially distance in?
Private gardens should only be used for meetings if you are able to remain socially distant from people from other households.
Can I go into other people’s houses?
You should not enter anyone else’s household except to access the garden or the toilet.
You should not use spaces such as sheds, cabins or garages as these are enclosed spaces with a higher chance of transmission.
How can I use the bathroom and stay safe?
You should minimise contact with household surfaces and wash your hands thoroughly when using the bathroom in another person’s household.
A study published in the journal Nature, conducted at the University of Wuhan, also suggests flushing the toilet with the lid closed could reduce the potential spread of coronavirus.
Government advice includes:
• Wipe down surfaces you come into contact with
• Use a separate towel or paper towels to dry your hands
• Wash or dispose of paper towels/hand towels after use
Can I share food and drink with someone outside of my household?
Although government advice does not specifically say you should avoid sharing food and drink, it says: “You should not pass each other food or drink unless you live together.”
Hands should also be washed regularly if you are sharing food and drink.
Can I share plates and glasses with someone outside of my household?
Government advice says those from different households should use their own plates and utensils when sharing food and drink.
Those from different households in someone else’s gardens should not help hosts carry items in and out of the house or go inside to assist with washing up.
Can I play sport with people from other households now?
As of June 1, you can participate in sports with people from other household which allow you to remain socially distant – tennis, cricket and Frisbee, for example.
The government advice says: “People who play team sports can meet to train together and do things like conditioning or fitness sessions but they must be in separate groups of no more than six and must be two metres apart at all times.
“While groups could practice ball skills like passing and kicking, equipment sharing should be kept to a minimum and strong hand hygiene practices should be in place before and after.”
How long are these rules in place for?
These rules remain under “constant review” from the government. The next official reassessment of the lockdown rules will be on June 25 after the Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the lockdown review period had been extended from 21 days to 28 days. The last review took place on May 28.
Are there still fines for those who don’t follow the rules?
Penalties for a first offence are now set at £100 (reduced to £50 if paid within two weeks) and double for every subsequent rule breach, up to £3,200.