The 13 exceptions that mean you can leave your house during lockdown 2

·Freelance Writer
·3-min read
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 16: A NHS signage about coronavirus advice people to âStay home. Save lives" is displayed on the advertising boards at Piccadilly Circus in London United Kingdom on April 16, 2020, as the government is to announce today a formal extension to the coronavirus lockdown that will last until at least May 7. (Photo by Isabel Infantes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
A 'Stay home, save lives' billboard is displayed at Piccadilly Circus in London. (Getty)

With just one day to go before England enters a second national coronavirus lockdown, people are once again being told to stay at home as much as possible.

During the first lockdown, that was imposed at the start of the March, the country was under tight restrictions that only allowed people out for a limited set of reasons.

Many of those restrictions will once again be in place – but the rules are slightly less stringent this time round, and the government has published 32 pages of regulations including 13 exceptions to the general stay-at-home message.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he speaks during a press conference in 10 Downing Street, London, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020 where he is expected to announce new restrictions to help combat a coronavirus surge. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali, Pool)
Boris Johnson last week announced a second national lockdown for England in November. (AP)

What are the exemptions?

Leaving home is necessary for certain purposes

There are many reasons given for being able to leave home, for which the government has labelled “certain purposes”.

These include shopping for yourself or others, for exercise, which you can take as many times a day as you wish, or to visit a place of worship.

Other reasons for leaving home that fall into this category include open air recreation, moving home or visiting others in your support bubble.

For work, voluntary services, education and training, etc

Working, where working from home is not possible, is permitted, while you can also leave your home for education or training, to access critical public services or to satisfy bail conditions.

Watch: PM certain ‘better days’ ahead after second lockdown

Elite athletes

Elite athletes are allowed out to play sports, as well as parents of those athletes if the person is under 18.

Medical needs, etc

Attending medical appointments is allowed or to escape injury or harm (such as for people suffering domestic abuse). Going out to to donate blood or to visit someone from your household who is receiving treatment in hospital are also permitted.

Support and respite

Attending support meetings or providing respite care for a vulnerable person are listed as exemptions in the regulations.

Death-bed visit

Household members and close friends of someone who is believed to be dying are allowed to leave their homes to visit.

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Funerals and grave visits

People in England will be allowed to go to funerals or visit graves to pay respects.

Marriage and civil partnerships

Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are only allowed in “exceptional circumstances” but the regulations did not explicitly state what these are.

They say it is “reasonably necessary” for a person to leave or be outside their home to attend a marriage ceremony, a civil partnership ceremony or an alternative wedding ceremony.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 03: A Covid alert sign is seen in the window of a restaurant on November 3, 2020 in London, England. Non-essential businesses, including pubs and restaurants, will be forced to close from Thursday, Nov 5, following a new national lockdown in England. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)
A COVID alert sign is seen in the window of a restaurant in London ahead of the second national lockdown. (Getty)


Children can move between the homes of their parents if their parents are separated, which was the case during the first lockdown.

Childminders and nurseries will stay open and childcare bubbles, where for example a grandparent provides childcare while a parent works, will be able to continue.

Animal welfare

Visiting a vet for treatment for pets or exercise with them is allowed under the new regulations for lockdown two.

A sign outside beau-k florists in Battle, East Sussex, ahead of a national lockdown for England from Thursday.
A sign outside Beau-k florists in Battle, East Sussex, ahead of a national lockdown for England from Thursday. (PA)

Returning home

If someone is on holiday at the start of lockdown, they will be allowed outside so that they can return home.

Prison visits

Close family or friends can visit people who are in prison during lockdown.

Other visits

The regulations state people can be outside of their homes to return from a visit to other permitted purposes, including traveling back from a wedding.

Watch: What is long Covid?

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