Eight things you can and can't do under the coronavirus lockdown

Will Taylor
News Reporter

Boris Johnson has announced tough new restrictions on what people can do and which shops can remain open to fight the coronavirus’s spread.

In a speech on Monday evening, the prime minister outlined a series of measures to combat the outbreak, bringing the UK closer to European countries like Italy, Spain and France.

The latest restrictions came after it became clear many people were not abiding by government advice to socially distance and avoid pubs and restaurants, leading to a risk of the virus spreading rapidly and overwhelming the NHS with cases.

They affect how you can shop, exercise and important events that you may still have planned.

Here is what you can and can’t do under the restrictions.

Members of the public exercise in Richmond Park, London. (PA Images via Getty Images)

Latest coronavirus news, updates and advice

Live: Follow all the latest updates from the UK and around the world

Fact-checker: The number of Covid-19 cases in your local area

Explained: Symptoms, latest advice and how it compares to the flu

You can

  • Leave your house to shop for basic necessities, but this should be as infrequently as possible

  • Take part in one form of exercise outside of your home, such as running, walking or cycling – on your own or with people you live with – a day

  • Leave the house for a medical need, to provide care or to help someone who is vulnerable

  • Travel to and from work if you absolutely have to and can’t carry out your job from home

  • Visit the park for exercise, but congregations will be dispersed

A near empty London Bridge Station as UK faced tight restrictions amid the coronavirus outbreak. (AP)
The global rise in confirmed coronavirus cases. (PA Graphics)

You can’t

  • Gather in groups of more than two people, excluding those you live with – and the prime minister has said you should not be meeting friends

  • Keep a shop open that is selling non essential goods – this includes clothing and electronic stores

  • Hold a wedding, baptism or other social event or ceremony, with places of worship being told to shut, though funerals may take place

Under review

Police will enforce the restrictions through fines and dispersing gatherings, Johnson said in his speech.

“Without a huge national effort to halt the growth of this virus, there will come a moment when no health service in the world could possibly cope; because there won’t be enough ventilators, enough intensive care beds, enough doctors and nurses,” the prime minister said on Monday.

The measures will be looked at again in three weeks, Johnson added.

“No prime minister wants to enact measures like this,” he said. “I know the damage that this disruption is doing and will do to people’s lives, to their businesses and to their jobs.”