Back to Square One for England

It’s back to square one for England as a second national lockdown is announced.

England will enter a national lockdown for a month, from 12am on Thursday 5th November and ending on Wednesday 2nd December.

Everyone in England must stay at home as much as possible. The exclusions to this are:

  • For education;
  • For work, if you cannot work from home;
  • For exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household, support bubble or on your own with one person from another household;
  • For all medical reasons, appointments and to escape injury or harm;
  • To shop for food and essentials;
  • to provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.

People can attend funerals but weddings, civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted to take place except in exceptional circumstances.

Domestic and International Travel

All non-essential travel by private or public transport must be avoided. In terms of movement for holidays, it seems that the restrictions are the same as per the original lockdown. This means that people cannot travel internationally or within the UK. This also means that people must stay in their primary residence and therefore cannot visit a second home or holiday home.

As people are allowed to travel for work, it would seem that accommodation providers will be allowed to stay open to provide accommodation for those still able to travel.

Those already on holiday, either in the UK or abroad, can complete their stay – but adhering to any quarantine restrictions in place for foreign destinations. Overseas holiday-makers should check what is happening with their return flights, as schedules are likely to change due to the closure of outbound flights. Anyone desperate for a foreign holiday can still fly out until the end of Wednesday. But any holiday after that date can not be taken during the lockdown, even if pre-booked.

Coach operators will be badly hit again, unless they are transporting workers or school children, with all non-essential travel discouraged/forbidden.

Businesses and attractions in England

All non-essential shops, attractions, leisure and entertainment venues will be closed.

Announcements are still to come from most historic attractions, gardens, museums and galleries – but clearly they will all have to close from Thursday for the rest of the month.

Essential shops, including supermarkets, will remain open.

Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes must close, except for takeaway and delivery services.

Theatre

Many theatres were planning to re-open their doors in December for Christmas shows, as I reported in my article Christmas at the theatre is back on the menu on 30th October. Most begin their run in mid-December, so will probably adopt a wait-and-see policy, as the lockdown is currently planned to be over before their performances are due to start.

However, those theatres with productions running in November are having to close. These include the six West End theatres run by Nimax.

In a statement, Nimax said:

“Despite our best efforts to bring live entertainment back to the West End, following the government announcement on Saturday October 31st, our theatres will close from Thursday November 5th until Wednesday December 2nd. We will be in touch with ticket holders for all affected shows in due course. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.”

Nimax had already reopened the Apollo Theatre, with Adam Kay: This is Going to Hurt, which will continue until 4th November.

The National Theatre in London has cancelled performances of the play Death of England: Delroy from 5th to 28th November. Performances on the 3rd and 4th November will go ahead as scheduled.

The rest of the UK

At present residents of Wales and Northern Ireland are not allowed to travel beyond their borders, and Scotland does not want people crossing the border from either direction. It remains to be seen how the other UK nations will adapt to the English lockdown.

For further information, visit the Government’s website.