politics

When will the third Covid lockdown end and how do the restrictions compare to the previous ones?


It is the third time the whole country has faced harsh restrictions in almost a year, although there have been differences between lockdowns.

Here we explain the rules of this new lockdown, and how does it compare to the others:

In another similarity with last spring’s restrictions, universities will not reopen for most face-to-face teaching and students should not return. Instead they should continue their studies from their homes.

In the second English lockdown in November, schools and other education settings were allowed to remain open.

The new measures are expected to last until at least mid-February, allowing a return to the more-relaxed tier system, the Prime Minister said. 

However, Mr Johnson said people should remain cautious about the timetable ahead. He suggested that the end of lockdown would depend on the success of the vaccine, its rollout and the Covid death rate.

He initially set a three-week review period for the original lockdown measures in March, but they continued for a lot longer.

In November, the restrictions were given a set end date of December 2, and were lifted on that day.

Like in March, people are being told to only leave their house for essential activities such as buying groceries or to provide care to another person.

Non-essential retail has been closed as have entertainment venues.

Travelling to and from work will be permitted much like during the other shutdowns, but only when absolutely necessary and only if work cannot be done from home.

The extremely clinically vulnerable who were previously told to shield will be advised stay at home and only leave for medical appointments and exercise.

This is similar to the advice in November.

The measures mark a slight relaxation from last spring, when shielding patients were told to stay at home at all times and medical appointments were advised to be done at home.

Support and childcare bubbles will be allowed to stay in place, differentiating this lockdown from last spring when social contact was banned.

Like the earlier lockdowns, weddings are off apart from in exceptional circumstances, and will then be limited to six guests.

Funerals can take place with a maximum attendance of 30.

Unlike last spring and November, places of worship will remain open for prayer and services and for ceremonies such as weddings and funerals.

In the previous lockdowns places of worship had to close apart from for funerals or to record a service for broadcast.



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