Lockdown 3, from midnight on 4 January

Following the move to Tier 3 restrictions on 31 December, the below list was created to set out what is and is not permitted in areas of specific interest to the voluntary sector. Lockdown restrictions coming into place this morning (5 Jan) will have changed that, so the notes below have been adjusted. You can find the full list of lockdown restrictions here.

The headlines are:

People in England will have to stay at home and only go out for essential reasons. Primary and secondary schools will move to online learning for all pupils apart from vulnerable and keyworker children.

Reasons to leave home include:

  • Work or volunteering where it is “unreasonable” to work from home. This includes work in someone else’s home, such as that carried out by social workers, nannies, cleaners and tradespeople
  • Education, training, childcare and medical appointments and emergencies
  • Exercise outdoors (limited to once a day). This includes meeting one other person from another household in an open public space to exercise
  • Shopping for essentials such as food and medicine
  • Communal religious worship
  • Meeting your support or childcare bubble. Children can also move between separated parents
  • Activities related to moving house

More, clear details on the BBC.

Tier 3?

This graphic about Tier 3 restrictions can be downloaded, but does not apply at the moment.

The Government’s Tier 3 guidance can be found in full here.

What about the voluntary sector?

Groups larger than 6 can continue to meet:

  • for work, or providing voluntary or charitable services, including in other people’s homes (read guidance on working safely in other people’s homes) This still applies in Lockdown.
  • for registered childcare, education or training – meaning education related to a formal curriculum or training that relates to work or obtaining work This still applies in Lockdown for early years settings, and for children of critical workers, and university students in certain practical subjects, (listed here).
  • for supervised activities provided for children and those who were under 18 on 31 August 2020, including wraparound care (before and after-school childcare), children’s groups, activities for under-18s, and children’s playgroups Not permitted now
  • for parent and toddler groups – up to a maximum of 15 people. Under-5s do not count towards this limit. These cannot take place in private dwellings not permitted now, it seems
  • support groups of up to 15 participants – formally organised groups to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support, where it is necessary for these to take place in person. These cannot take place in private dwellings. Under-5s do not count towards the 15 person limit for support groups. This seems to be still OK – not 100% clear here – will update if it is clarified

These all still apply in Lockdown 3

People are still permitted to meet:

  • for birth partners
  • to provide emergency assistance, and to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm
  • to see someone who is dying
  • to fulfil a legal obligation, such as attending court or jury service
  • for gatherings within criminal justice accommodation or immigration detention centres
  • to provide care or assistance to someone vulnerable, or to provide respite for a carer
  • for elite sportspeople (and their support teams if necessary, or parents/guardians if they are under 18) to compete and train
  • for organised outdoor sport and physical activity and organised sports for disabled people.
  • (and others)

Vulnerable people

  • People who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable have additional advice that they are required to follow.
  • These people should not attend work, school, college or university, and limit the time they spend outside the home. They should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential – this is new.
  • People who are clinically vulnerable (aged over 70, those more at risk) should be careful, but are not required to shield.

Business closures

Any closed business can remain open for providing essential voluntary services or urgent public support services, including the provision of food banks or other support for the homeless or vulnerable people, blood donation sessions, support in an emergency.

Many entertainment facilities can remain open for the use of sports professionals and disabled people (eg trampoline parks, indoor play centres, ice skating rinks). This is not clear yet. Details to come, once it’s clarified.

Community centres and halls, and libraries can remain open for certain activities, also not clear yet. Group events should not take place, unless there’s a specific legal exemption to the social contact rules e.g. support groups, supervised activities for children.

Schools

Primary and secondary schools, and colleges and universities are to remain closed except for children of key workers (under 18) and certain practical courses:

  • Medicine & dentistry
  • Subjects allied to medicine/health
  • Veterinary science
  • Education (initial teacher training)
  • Social work
  • Courses which require Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) assessments and or mandatory activity which is scheduled for January and which cannot be rescheduled (your university will notify you if this applies to you).

At the moment, schools in Cornwall will be resuming face to face learning on 4 January for:

  • primary school pupils
  • children of key workers

Pupils taking external exams (eg GCSEs & A-Levels) will resume face to face learning on 11 January.

Other year groups will return in person on 18 January.

The BBC has more detailed information around what is happening with schools.

Vaccinations

With 2 vaccines now in use, the most vulnerable are beginning to be protected against COVID-19. The most high-risk groups are being approached first,, covering roughly a quarter of the UK population, but representing 90-99% of those at risk of dying from COVID-19.

  1. Residents in care homes for older adults and their carers
  2. 80-year-olds and over and frontline health and social care workers
  3. 75-year-olds and over
  4. 70-year-olds and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
  5. 65-year-olds and over
  6. 16- to 64-year-olds with serious underlying health conditions
  7. 60-year-olds and over
  8. 55-year-olds and over
  9. 50-year-olds and over

It is expected that teachers, transport workers and the military could be prioritised once this first phase has been completed, but this is likely to be further into 2021.

It has also been announced that the priority will be to give as many people as possible the first dose, before delivering the second dose that is required for enhanced immunity.

People will be approached by their GP surgery with details of when and where to attend for their vaccination, and should await that contact.

For more information, see the BBC.