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Coronavirus - check if you can go out or meet people

This advice applies to England

The whole of England is in lockdown. It's against the law to leave your home or meet people you don't live with unless you have a good reason.

If your partner or family member makes you feel anxious or threatened

You can still get help during this time. Contact a domestic abuse organisation to check what services are available.

You can also check the guide to staying safe on the SafeLives website.

Making a 'bubble' to join with another household

In some situations, you can join with 1 other household and treat them as if you lived with them. This is called making either a 'support bubble' or a 'childcare bubble'.

Not everyone can make a bubble - check if you're allowed to make a bubble.

Going outside to exercise

You can go outside to public spaces for exercise. The government recommend you:

  • stay in your local area
  • only go out to exercise once a day

You can't use outdoor sports facilities like tennis courts, golf courses and swimming pools - these should be shut.

Check if you can exercise outside with other people

You're allowed to exercise outside with other people if you live with them or they're in your bubble - check if you're allowed to make a bubble.

You can meet for exercise with 1 person you don't live with. You can't take anyone else to meet them - except for a child under 5. You can exercise with a different person every day.


Laila lives with 3 other adults - she's allowed to exercise outside in a group with them. She's also allowed to meet someone she doesn't live with for exercise - but she can't take anyone else with her.

If you meet someone from another household to exercise, you should try to keep 2 metres away from them.

You can only meet to exercise - for example, you can't have a picnic or social meeting.

If you have children

Children should follow the same rules about meeting with people as adults.

If you have a child under 14, you can check if you can make a childcare bubble to get help with childcare.

Schools and sixth form colleges have closed for most children. Your children might still be able to go to school if you're a 'critical worker' or they're considered vulnerable. You can check if your child is allowed to go to school on GOV.UK.

Children who see each other at school are not allowed to meet up outside school.

If you're separated from your children's other parent

If your children are under 18 , you can see them as normal.

Visiting someone who is ill or needs help

You can meet with someone:

  • to care for them, for example if they need help to stay safe, wash or eat
  • to take them food or essential supplies - you can also go shopping with them to get these
  • if they're at risk because of their mental health
  • to visit them in a hospital or care home - check if visitors are allowed first
  • to visit them if they're nearing the end of their life

You're allowed to travel outside your local area to visit them.

The government recommend that you try to stay 2 metres away from the other person.

Going to a funeral

You can meet in a group of up to 30 people for a funeral.

You can meet in a group of up to 6 people for a wake or memorial. This can be outside or somewhere public like a town hall – it can't be in someone's house.

Going to a wedding

You can only go to a wedding or civil partnership ceremony if one of the people getting married is nearing the end of their life. There can only be up to 6 people at the ceremony – this includes the couple but doesn't include the officials conducting the ceremony.

Going to work

You should work from home if you can. You can go to work if it's not reasonably possible to work from home – this includes if you work as a volunteer.

You're not allowed to socialise with the people you work with outside work.

The government guidance recommends you don't go to work if you've got a medical condition that makes you 'extremely vulnerable' – even if you can't work from home. You can check if you're extremely vulnerable on GOV.UK.

Leaving your home for another reason

You can also leave your home for reasons including:

  • education or childcare
  • getting goods from shops or visiting food banks
  • getting money or topping up a prepayment meter
  • going to a place of worship
  • avoiding being harmed or helping someone in an emergency
  • doing something the law says you have to – for example going to court

You can check all the situations when you're allowed to leave your home on GOV.UK.

Check what happens if you break the rules

The police could tell you to go home or fine you £200 if you go out or meet with people when you're not allowed to. If you go to a gathering of more than 15 people, you could get a fine of £800.

You can be fined up to £6,400 if you keep breaking the rules, and up to £10,000 if you organise a meeting of more than 30 people.

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